Friday, October 16, 2015


Laurie Beth Zuckerman's completed installation of her "The Girl I Left Behind" dollhouse altar at Lola's Fresh Patina Gallery, Loveland, Colorado 2015, for their "Storytellers" Day of the Dead exhibit.

Here's a little more detail in this shot showing some of the antique photos in my dollhouse altar.

Laurie Zuckerman sets up her dollhouse altar at Lola's Fresh Patina gallery as part of the "Storytellers" Day of the Dead exhibit. The altar is in honor of Zuckerman's mom, who died from ovarian cancer in 2001. Copyright: Jessica Benes, reporter for Arts/Entertainment Spotlight, Longmont Times-Call, October 2015.

[Laurie Beth Zuckerman was interviewed by reporter, Jessica Benes at Lola's Fresh Patina in LovelandThis post is excerpted from Benes' Longmont Times-Call and Loveland Reporter-Herald article for Arts/Entertainment Spotlight, October 15, 2015.]

Laurie Zuckerman tucks a black Victorian shawl around the dark wood of the altar. She drapes rosary beads so that they lie in front, a wooden cross just touching the base of the altar. Zuckerman has been designing altars since her mother was stricken with ovarian cancer about 1999.

"It was right after my dad passed away, and once I learned she had ovarian cancer, I knew she wasn't going to make it most likely," Zuckerman said recently while designing the altar at Lola's Fresh Patina in Loveland
After her mother got sick, Zuckerman said, she started collecting old Victorian tintypes, particularly of children.
"I knew I was going to lose my mother and it felt like I was losing my childhood," the Fort Collins resident said.
Zuckerman was attracted to how angelic and innocent they were and wondered what happened to them.
"There's something nostalgic about all these Victorian photographs. Those are some of the first studio photographs that were made," Zuckerman said. "I want to give a sense that these are sort of lost children. Maybe they lost their mother like I was going to lose mine."
She collects baby shoes and women's gloves and childhood dolls, as well as Mexican ornaments and shawls.
"It just helped me to soothe the little girl in me that was about to be an orphan," she said. The "dollhouse" series of altars she started with after her mother's death in 2001 has expanded into larger altars.

Zuckerman doesn't consider herself to be "dark" — she simply is interested in the Victorian era of mourning, the way children and people were immortalized in old photography.

"I knew I was going to miss her before she was even gone and then I missed her so much. I didn't have anyone to nurture me anymore, so I kind of nurtured myself by making these altars," Zuckerman said.
She has displayed her altars at the Loveland Museum/Gallery in the past and even built a large altar at Virginia Tech in 2008 for its Day of the Dead celebration, a year after the shooting that occurred there.

For a little more background on this altar, here is my exhibit statement:

"The Girl I Left Behind," from my series of “dollhouse” altars, showcases Victorian photography and dolls, religious figurines, and miniature paraphernalia, displayed in stacked wooden boxes, shrouded in mourning shawls. They were begun in 2001 during the final months of my mother’s losing battle with ovarian cancer. In nervous anxious anticipation of becoming “orphaned,” I was drawn to collecting Victorian photographs of “angelic” girls. This altar houses cabinet cards, carte vistas, and tintypes of stoic young girls, each hardened “old souls."

Blanche Kleid Zuckerman died in June 2001 and the altar memorials began pouring out of me from grief and loneliness. First the dollhouses, then home altars, then memory jugs, and finally the room-size installations, all in honor of my mother. Fourteen years later, my mother is still the primary focus of my altar work, which expanded in scope to include other Russian-Jewish relatives who were mothers. The Mother of Sorrows–La Madre Dolorosa–is the overriding theme I continue to explore.


[Jules Gillen, Lola's Fresh Patina gallery director, was also interviewed by reporter, Jessica Benes for this article.]
Lola's Patina is hosting a Day of the Dead exhibit, "Storytellers," through November 7, 2015.
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is celebrated Nov. 1 throughout Latin America and many other countries to honor and remember loved ones who have died.
"It's traditionally a Mexican holiday," said Julie Gillen, Lola's Fresh Patina gallery director. "Now more cultures celebrate it, so we're coming at it from a different perspective using storytelling as a way of remembrance and celebration."
She said the event will include pieces from more than 10 local artists, as well as a community altar where community members can include their own pieces as a remembrance.

"It's important to celebrate where you came from and where you're going," Gillen said. "It's an amazingly beautiful way to share with other people your histories about Loveland.

"Maybe you have a grandmother or grandfather that you didn't get to know so by installing that altar you get to pull things out and share with your other family members and friends."
She said the imagery of skeletons as used for Day of the Dead are not like the scary Halloween images.
"They're always happy, they're laughing, a celebration," Gillen said.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Support Local Culture is sponsored by Noosa Yogurt. Each week KRFC radio station in Fort Collins airs interviews with Northern Colorado artists. This week KRFC is airing Laurie Beth Zuckerman's interview with Michelle Venus, and tastefully edited by Ric Reed. You can listen to Laurie's October 2015 interview at this KRFC radio link:

You can also visit KRFC's website directly to see samples of Laurie's artwork and read her biography at this link:

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Tarnished Angels memory jug is on exhibit in the fifth Annual Contemporary Art Survey show at the Lincoln Center Art Galleries. It is such an honor to be selected for this national competition by Guest Juror, Dean Sobel, Executive Director of the fabulous Clyfford Still Museum in Denver, Colorado. This is also the second year I have had my memory jugs selected for these national juried exhibitions at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The Annual Contemporary Art Survey offers a thought-provoking and eclectic array of painting, sculpture, fiber art, photography, mixed media, and installations. The exhibition is meant to be a survey—an overview of contemporary art across the country. 34 artists from 15 states were chosen from more than 600 works of art by artists in 30 states, including 7 from Fort Collins and Masonville. The exhibit opened on Friday, August 28 with an excellent gallery lecture by Dean Sobel, and a packed artists' reception.

The legendary exhibition designer, Jack Curfman, arranged this show and gave me a personal tour of his curating philosophy after I had completed installing my memory jug. I had been fortunate to work with Jack last year at the Global Village International Museum in Fort Collins on an exhibit of vintage Mexican Folk Art, where I created a large altar installation of antique Mexican dolls and saltillos. Jack assigned me a very nice space in the front area of the Lincoln Center Art Gallery for my memory jug. Below are exhibition photos from different vantage points in this beautiful glass-enclosed gallery run by Jeanne Shoaff.

The Annual Contemporary Art Survey exhibition will close October 10, 2015. Stop by if you are in Fort Collins!

Fort Collins artists Jennifer Davey (middle), Anne Bossert (right), 
and Joe Coca (third from right) have their artwork shown in my photo above.

Lincoln Center Art Gallery, shown above, is open Tuesdays-Saturdays: 12-6pm. Free admission. 
Galleries are open most evenings during the center's music and theater performances.  
417 West Magnolia Street, Fort Collins, CO 80521, (970) 416-2737