“As society continues to redefine nature, I explore alternative systems of human/animal interaction through interdisciplinary processes: Juxtaposing animal imagery with human spaces and subverting traditional ways of observing non-humans in contemporary human networks.”

Lauren Strohacker is a recipient of a 2015 Artist Research & Development Grant.

Artist Research and Development Grants are designed to support the advancement of artistic research, aid in the development of artistic work and recognize the contributions individual artists make to Arizona’s communities. For more information about the Artist Research & Development Grant, click here.

AnimalLand_4aWith Animal Land, Lauren Strohacker and collaborator Kendra Sollars reimagine traditional wildlife encounters in a contemporary format– through technology in human-populated urban spaces. After sunset, moving video projections of isolated, larger-than-life animals are directed onto and inside of urban spaces. Void of their contextual natural environments, sound, and color, the projected animals integrate into the cityscape. Animal Land follows the principals of ecological art that strive to connect humans to the environmental issues of our time. The goals of the project are to create animal-centric dialogues about loss and conservation within urban environments and to garner attention for the online sales of photographic prints that monetarily support the wildlife organizations on the front lines of habitat and species loss.

AnimalLand_1aAnimal Land had been using a single projector projecting onto a single surface. Now, installation events can happen more frequently and are being created to include: multiple projectors that strengthen the feeling of being surrounded and uncertain of the animals’ next moves, more closely mimicking a true animal encounter; and motion sensors that will change the parameters of the projections (beginnings, durations, endings), echoing the unpredictability of actual wildlife movement. This interactive and encompassing evolution of Animal Land should enrich and promote the live experience as well as enhance the final photographs and short films.

AnimalLand_SollarsStrohacker_1aLauren Strohacker’s work examines the ever-growing conflict between humans and animals as our manufactured environments (physical and economical) expand into natural habitats. She received a BFA (2006) from The Ohio State University and an MFA (2011) from Arizona State University. Her projects include a commission by INFLUX and Roosevelt Row CDC titled Encounter, a life-sized, sculptural herd of mule deer that migrated around the city and dwindled over the course of a year. Other projects include NO(w)HERE (2009), an ongoing collaboration with the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project, Defenders of Wildlife, and MexicanWolves.org, that places Mexican wolf silhouettes in southwestern cities, giving a current population count of the most endangered mammal in the United States. And, most recently, the project Animal Land (2013), a collaboration with artist Kendra Sollars and local wildlife conservation/ rehabilitation centers, was awarded the Contemporary Forum Emerging Artist Grant (2014) by the Phoenix Art Museum. Strohacker’s work has been published in the National Endowment for the Arts eBook, Exploring Our Town (2014), Sierra Magazine (2014), Java Magazine (2013), and Phoenix Magazine (2013). In 2014, Strohacker was named one of the top 100 creatives in the city by the Phoenix New Times.

Land Tracings

In June 2016, the Arts Commission presented an exhibition at Chartreuse, a contemporary art space on historic Grand Avenue in downtown Phoenix, featuring work by five members of the 2015 cohort of Artist Research & Development Grant recipients. These five artists work in various media and address multiple thematic concerns, but at the core of their artistic practice is a common need to document a passing moment.

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Artist Research and Development Grant Recipients Featured in Arizona Biennial 2015

The Arizona Biennial 2015 opens July 25, 2015 at the Tucson Museum of Art. Among this year's featured artists are three recipients of Arizona Commission on the Arts Artist Research and Development Grants: David Emitt Adams (2015), Lauren Strohacker and Kendra Sollars (2015), and Patricia Sannit.

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