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Volunteer Spotlight: Lara Mann

Volunteer Spotlight: Lara Mann

Lara Mann is a Chicago-based artist and an artist mentor with Kelly Stone at the Chicago Studio. 

What have you been working on at the studio? And how did you get involved with The Arts of Life?? 
Recently I've been trying to take Kelly's current projects and react to the things he has been really excited about. He's been doing a lot of drawings of plants and so we are right now focusing on strawberries. I got involved with The Arts of Life through Vincent whom I met through a mutual friend.  

What is one of the biggest challenges collaborating brings about?
I find that the initial balancing act of personalities can be difficult in any collaboration. Sometimes it is hard to click under pressure but like any relationship, success takes time and cultivating trust does not come quickly.

How have you dealt with this at The Arts of Life?
Since I only come to the studio once every other week, Kelly and I have had to get comfortable to each other over some time. I find that some days are super productive and fly by, while others have snags and are less focused. I have come to understand that the most important part of our time is bringing my best to that day, whatever level it may be.

What are you and Kelly making at the moment?
We have been making mostly drawings and collages focused on shapes, plants, and colors.

Has collaborating at The Arts of Life impacted you and your practice?
Yes, beyond a doubt I have been impacted by The Arts of Life. I have been more grateful for having the creative drive to express myself, when many others perhaps do not have the confidence or tools to do so. Artistically and personally, working with Kelly (and the entire studio) has kept me on my feet while making my heart full. 

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