Visual Art Collection By Kelsey Lawrence

Kelsey Lawrence is a visual artist from Memphis, Tennessee.

"I grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and I am a sophomore Industrial Design student at Auburn University. Producing fine art has always been my passion, and I knew that I wanted to continue to produce art throughout my life. Instead of building a career based on fine art, I decided to pursue my major in Industrial Design, which is the business of designing products for manufacture. I am minoring in Sustainability Studies, as I am very concerned with lessening the environmental impact of mass manufacturing. Ultimately, I aspire to become a product designer for a high-powered company; however, I will always continue to dabble in fine art on the side. This publication features my work in industrial design renderings, fine art, and photography."

On her work: 

"I believe that the environments in which we are submerged shape us. I am deeply inspired by my hometown, Memphis, Tennessee. “Cooper-Young Festival” is an illustration of a common scene at a festival in the neighborhood for which it is named: artists selling their work in booths. The art on the canvases represents the different elements that define Cooper-Young, such as its eclectic music, interesting food, and bike friendliness. Meanwhile, “Delta Blues” captures the elements that define the Memphis skyline. The pyramidal base represents the Pyramid Arena, while the gray arches symbolize the Hernando De-Soto Bridge. The blue triangles are a metaphorical representation of the delta blues, a nod to a line from Marc Cohn’s iconic song “Walking in Memphis,” as well as the city’s rich music history. “Playing the Hand” also has undertones of Memphis music.

Of course, just as I am inspired by Memphis, I am also inspired by my second home, Auburn, Alabama. “Glow” and “Mirror Pond” are photographs that were taken on a whim, capturing the beauty of the town. “When Life Gives You Lemons” is a marker rendering of Auburn’s famous lemonade from Toomer’s Drugstore. I hope to create more pieces of art that embody not only Auburn, but what it stands for, as a university and a town.

As an industrial design student, I am rather inspired by big names in the industry. For example, “Delta Blues” follows the style of Alexander Calder’s kinetic sculptures. Meanwhile, “Four Boards, Five Books” is a bookshelf that captures the rectilinear nature of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture. “Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring” consists of four different stylized renderings of Henry Dreyfuss’s historic Model 500 Telephone. I believe that it is important to study these iconic designers, and attempt to reproduce the successes in their work, so as to grasp a feeling of what works, and what does not, in terms of design.

I have a huge obsession with Charles and Ray Eames, a couple who were primarily the industrial designers behind the first mass-produced chairs. Their work did not stop there, as they also produced significant work in film, architecture, photography, and textiles. Studying the Eames has caused me to not want to have tunnel vision on industrial design, and they are a reason why I still dabble in fine art and photography. Ultimately, I hope to primarily be a product designer, but still find time to produce painted canvases and other art on the side."

On female creators:

"It is important for female creators to know that women are quickly permeating the formerly male-dominated field of industrial design. In decades past, the industry was filled with men who designed everything, from cars to kitchen appliances. In the twenty-first century, it is becoming more and more common for females to be product designers. For example, the Xbox 360 controller was designed by one of my female professors. Women constitute half the market, and they tend to make decisions as to what to purchase, so the product design field is being filled with more and more women designers, in order to appeal to the economy. I am happy to say that out of the 45 students accepted to Auburn Industrial Design each year, about a third are female, and that fraction rises annually. I believe that through sharing my story, I can show another side of creative career opportunities to younger girls."

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