Laurie Beth Zuckerman creates altar installations and memory jugs using an eclectic blend of Catholic, Hispanic, African, and Haitian religious sensibilities. Items from her collection of antique religious art and found-object collectibles are used as elements when constructing her memorials, mourning the passing of her Russian-Jewish ancestors. Laurie’s enigmatic memory vessels are small-scale assemblages of natural materials, vintage souvenirs and memorabilia. She designs her work for curated museum, university, and gallery exhibitions in her home studio in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Laurie completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts at the University of California at Berkeley in 1973. She earned graduate degrees in secondary art education and then painting at the University of Oregon. After living in Seattle as an award-winning painter, Laurie moved Virginia in 1991, where she experimented with her first three-dimensional home altar. Over the next seven years, she filled her house with a dozen eclectic altars, and began lecturing about her assemblage work at Virginia Tech University and Chicago’s Elmhurst Art Museum. After relocating to Fort Collins in 1999, Laurie began exhibiting her altars in Colorado, New Mexico, and Virginia.
Laurie’s home altars and memory jugs have been profiled in three art books: A Beautiful Necessity: The Art and Meaning of Women’s Altars, by Kay Turner, Lynne Perrella’s 2008 book, Art Making, Collections, and Obsessions: An Intimate Exploration of the Mixed-Media Work and Collections of 35 Artists, and her 2010 book, Art Making and Studio Spaces: Unleash Your Inner Artist: An Intimate Look at 31 Creative Workspaces. Laurie wrote her own book on memory jugs.
Since 2000, Laurie has taught drawing and painting at Front Range Community College in Fort Collins. She has taught drawing and painting at Colorado State University, the Art Institute of Seattle and Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon. Laurie’s own drawings are inspired by her rusty cast-iron Madonna, and will be included in her altar installations.