Lauren Zens

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Lauren Zens uses both mixed media and paint to create abstract, geometric, contemporary, modern works.

Lauren Zens is an abstract contemporary painter, specializing in geometric and optical art styles using hard edge techniques. She finds her inspiration in the organic and inorganic patterns in nature and architecture, particularly in while traveling and in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

Since 2017, Lauren has worked as an educator and administrator at Milwaukee arts nonprofits to support multidisciplinary, community-based arts opportunities for youth and families. She continues to build and transform her art practice out of her studio at Var Gallery & Studios, hoping to expand it into a full-time career in the future.

Lauren is perpetually curious about her natural environment. She is fascinated by nature’s forms - the spirals, ripples, branchings, meanders, waves, spots, stripes, cracks - that naturally repeat and multiply in mathematical and scientific complexity, and the way that urban architecture tends to mimic these patterns. She loves that art allows her to investigate those curiosities in a tangible way.

Art is also focal to Lauren as it is important to people (even though many are not fully aware of that). Her graduate research focused on equitable and inclusive community arts engagement and progressive, student-centered learning. She has worked with many people, youth in particular, who have been completely transformed by art in just minutes of creating. Lauren loves what art can teach a person, and it usually has little to do with the end product they create. The process, to Lauren, is what is important and she loves art for giving us that freedom.


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