Festival Artist

Festival Artist Overview

Each year the Festival Committee selects an image (photograph or fine art) that is featured on tee-shirts, publicity pieces, brochures, the website and in other ways as determined by the Committee. The artist of that image is designated as the Festival Artist and the original art work is prominently displayed at the Art Show.

2019 Festival Artist - Lauris Phillips

Lauris has been painting wetland birds for many years. In 2016, having learned of Greater Sandhill Cranes nesting in our state, she visited the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge to take photos to paint from. Lauris found so much more than that – she became a volunteer, recording Greater Sandhill Crane band data and helping to band juveniles, as part of a 30-year population study. Meanwhile, she has witnessed and recorded all stages of crane life from February, when they arrive at the MNWR from the Central Valley, through September, when they leave again.

The paintings and drawings Lauris is showing at the Sandhill Crane Festival capture these birds in their courtship dances, nesting, and flight. To reflect her commitment to conservation, she uses natural and non-toxic materials including Japanese Sumi (ink made of soot) along with watercolors sourced from soils, ash, eggshells and plants. She hand-crafts her brushes and pens. In keeping with the spirit of Sumi‑e (ink painting) her work is simultaneously abstract and joyously revealing of the essence of the Sandhill Crane.

Lauris, a native of California, inherited her love of birds from her scientist father. She received a BA in Fine Art at UC Santa Cruz and furthered her studies with another year at the University of Washington. Her mentor in Sumi‑e is Michael Hofmann, who lived and studied in Japan for 30 years. Lauris has lived off-grid in Humboldt County since 2000.

Lauris will be giving a Gallery Talk at the exhibit of her paintings each day of the festival at 2 PM. There she will share her materials, discuss her paintings and talk about her work with the Greater Sandhill Cranes of Modoc County.

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