Featured Artist: Lauren Raineby Charles Spillar on Aug. 02, 2009, under arts, Tucson Art
Lauren Raine is one of Tucson’s true visionary artists. Her art appears to transcend our physical world and portray a wider vision of awareness including spiritual or mystical themes. I compare her art to other visionaries like Hieronymous Bosch, William Blake, Emil Bisttram and Gustave Moreau. Whereas, she has not achieved their level of recognition as yet she definitely will in the future.
Raine’s talents are multiple. She is a classically trained painter, mixed media sculptor, choreographer, theatrical mask maker, dancer, author and teacher. There appears to be an underlying story in all of her art that challenges the viewers. She holds a BFA from the University of California at Berkeley and a MFA from the University of Arizona. She has also attended the Otis Art Institute and the New England Institute for art therapy. She studied mask making under master mask maker Ida Bagus Anom in Bali, Indonesia. Her masks are mostly painted leather.
In 1999 she created “Masks of the Goddess,” <http:www.rainewalker.com/masksofgoddess.htm> homage to the divine feminine spirit. This choreographed production traveled across the U. S. for exhibits, rituals and community performances. In 2006 her Goddess mask collection was used for the 20th Annual Spiral Dance at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco, CA and received front-page recognition in the San Francisco Chronicle. She has created masks for numerous other productions throughout the country and received numerous awards and fellowships.
Before the demise of the former Muse Art Center at 6th St. and 5th Ave., I attended a performance of Masks of the Goddess. The overflowing audience appeared overwhelmed by the originality of the production and touched by the unique music and dance of the players. Unfortunately, this once thriving art community is now a hole in the ground left us by some greedy developers. This demise affected Lauren Raine and she writes about it on her blog. http://rainewalker.com/The%20Muse.htm
In 2007, she auctioned off her Goddess Mask collection and began a new quest about the mythical Spider Woman. The creator and weaver of life and sacred guardian for many Native American cultures. She has created a series of paintings and sculptures about this ancient mythical icon and these creative interpretations are continuing today. http://rainewalker.com/spiderwoman%20page.htm
To review the five books authored by Lauren Raine visit: http://www.yellowleafpress.blogspot.com and to see her full gallery of masks and paintings visit http://www.rainewalker.com/rainwalkergallery.htm
Later this month she will be leaving for a resident artist fellowship at the Henry Luce Center at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D. C. for several months before returning to Tucson.