Lauren Pallotta Stumberg- Artist
Lauren Palotta Stumberg’s work can be found throughout the city. If you're not familiar with her name, you’re sure to have stumbled across her murals in Old Fourth Ward, Little Five Points, and Edgewood signed Think Greatly. Her signature Magpies that make a recurrent appearance in her paintings have come to serve as a signature mark of the artist.
Lauren is a multidisciplinary artist who has received a 2017 Emerging Artist Award from the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs. She was also awarded the 2017 Laura Patricia Calle grant from Living Walls to lead a five female artist mural collaboration celebrating unity. She has received public commissions from the cities of Norcross, Hapeville, and Atlanta to create public art. She has a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Michigan Stamps School of Art and Design. She also serves on the boards of C4 Atlanta and Fourth Ward Neighbors Association.
Lauren’s history of community art and engagement began early in her career when she moved abroad to the Marshall Islands after graduating from University. Made up of 29 coral atolls and 5 islands, with a population of just over 68,000, the Marshall Islands is a tiny and secluded nation. While living in the islands Lauren worked in education and international development. It was at this time that she gained experience in organizing community projects. As an outsider, Lauren adapted to her environment while building the trust of community and establishing credibility through the art programs she led. These are the same set of skills that we see Lauren demonstrate in her work here in Atlanta, GA.
Of recent Lauren has completed 4 public mural projects while simultaneously balancing the responsibilities of being a new parent. Often Lauren works with her new baby harnessed to her chest either in the studio or outside working on projects. It is a refreshing site in what can often be perceived as a male dominated field. Lauren represents real women in the world getting the work done.
Lauren is well known for her collaborations with other artists in Atlanta. The newly finished “In Solidarity” mural on Edgewood Ave was a collaboration between five local Atlanta female artists for Living Walls and the second annual Laura Patricia Calle grant. Each artist created two of the hands and worked together to create the background. Inspired by Laura Patricia Calle’s advocacy work in social equality, feminism, immigrants’ rights, LGBTQ rights, and culture diversity, "In Solidarity" represents Laura Patricia Calle's constant fight for equality for all. This mural was completed in April of 2018 and included visionary artist Lauren Pallotta Stumberg (of Think Greatly) and collaborating artists: Jonesy, Lela Brunet, Jessica Caldas and Angela Davis Johnson.
Lauren is currently completing the last of two murals along Randolph Street bridge. The first is a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Junior and was funded by Fourth Ward Neighbors Association and Fulton County Arts Culture. The second mural coming to a wrap is representative of her conceptual work. Of her work Lauren says, “My experiences in the Marshall Islands, Sicily, and now Atlanta, have inspired an investigation into how we navigate our personal journeys - using language, symbols and images - and arrive at a destination. My current body of work combines portraiture with abstracted objects that represent transition, vulnerability, and cultural displacement. Without a doubt, I am dazzled by the human experience: the symbols we choose to mind, the maps we follow, the emblematic images that form the landscape of our environment and chosen paths.”
In July of 2016 Lauren launched the Moreland Mural Project in Little Five Points. “This project is part of a larger effort to revitalize the Little Five Points neighborhood through the arts and reclaim its identity as a safe and eccentric arts destination for locals” says Lauren. The mural will be a collaboration between 22 female artists, nearly half are artists of color. In addition to creating a more vibrant public space, Lauren’s mission is to ensure each artist is paid a fair and competitive wage. The city of Atlanta pays artists $4,000 for commissioned art work and Lauren is determined that each of the 22 artists will receive this compensation. In total the project will require fundraising of $150,000 to pay for materials, artists pay, traffic calming per DOT regulations, and equipment rental. Funding along with city approval have taken longer than anticipated to officially launch work on the project. Lauren anticipates that work will begin on Moreland Ave this year. To help fundraise or sponsor this project you can donate through C4’s website.
Atlanta artists like Lauren demonstrate passion and creativity to enhance local neighborhoods. In addition to creating mixed media pieces inside of her studio, Lauren has been focusing an increasing amount of time on public art. Partnering with organizations like Forward Warrior, Fourth Ward Box Project, and Atlanta Public Art Bike Rack are just to name a few. Lauren’s artistic talent along with her dedication to social equality and cultural diversity make her an invaluable member of Atlanta’s art community. We look forward to the many more projects in her future.
Donate to the Moreland Mural Project- https://c4atlanta.org/project/little-5-mural-project/
Words Aileen Farshi
Images compliments of Lauren Pallotta Stumberg