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Lauren E. Peters is a visual artist and arts professional who lives and works in Wilmington, DE. In her paintings, she explores the performance of identity through self-portraiture. She began creating within this genre for a small exhibit in 2016, and two years later won an “Emerging Artist” fellowship from the Delaware Division of the Arts. Peters was the 2023 Delaware Individual Artist Fellow for Visual Arts: Painting, awarded the grant as an "Established Fellow” with an associated exhibition at the Biggs Museum of American Art. She recently attended a three-week residency at the Vermont Studio Center, supported by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2022 she attended the Soaring Gardens Artist Residency with support from the same grant. At The Delaware Contemporary where she maintains a studio, Peters has served as Vice President of the Studio Artists group and the Artists Program’s Manager, helping develop this new role to serve emerging artists of the region. Peters was previously the Operations Manager of the Somerville Manning Gallery before leaving to concentrate on her art career full-time. 


Artist Statement

Self-portraiture came to me by way of a painting by Chantal Joffe: a bold figure in a drippy red dress whose identity was both obscured and struggling to assert herself. My practice is an examination of the construct(ion) and performance of identity and gender, an exploration of our daily costumes as armor, projection, mirage. Source photos are staged, a conversation with a cell phone and the selfie, followed by the oil paintings, which stake a tangible claim. Putting on these costumes is a donning of the Feminine in search of a more inclusive visual language that exists outside the historically dominant masculine and patriarchal lens. A definition of self, however rickety or steadfast it may be, living beyond any binary or box checked definitively on a personality test. Stories or symbolism that hold disparate meanings are welcome companions. My images embrace the irony of loud prints and colors as human flamboyance in contrast to life-saving camouflage in the wild. Perception and reality can be at odds or conjoined, concurrently real and fake. I am creating an environment where it would be safe to show my colors, to still be a wallflower in clashing patterns and the brightest palette imaginable. The paintings spring from a dialogue with the past and present, internal and external influences, a healthy dose of shared stories and mythology, and the struggle to form a cohesive sense of self. The work is emboldened while I fight the urge to hide, trying not to lose myself completely.


IG: @lauren.e.peters

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