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Artist Spotlight: Lori McElrath-Eslick

Updated: May 22, 2020

Lori McElrath-Eslick’s work brings to mind common experiences of a midwesterner. The Muskegon based artist admits that her memories of growing up in the country helped to foster a love for nature. This deep rooted appreciation can be found in the delicate strokes of a lily pad or the sun soaked colors of her farmer’s market paintings; emanating a nostalgia that many of us know so well.

Her work has been featured across the globe in exhibits such as Bologniafiere, International Exhibit in Bologna, Italy; where she was one of only two American artists accepted in the Illustrator's Exhibit. The exhibit went on to be shown in Japan. Her work has also been shown in Spain and New York City.

Growing up in West Michigan, Lori’s teachers encouraged her to pursue her passion for art. When it came time to choose a college, she decided to attend Kendall College of ART and Design. After graduation, Lori and her husband relocated to Kansas City, Missouri where she established a career as a greeting card artist for Hallmark Greeting Cards.

The encouragement she had received from her instructors now inspires her to give back to current students. Lori is a frequent guest at local schools to share what she has been working on, in hopes to be an example of a ‘working artist’. An idea she says that she wasn’t exposed to growing up. And she offers to schools her program titled: DRAWING, READING AND WRITING TRIANGLE which she visits a school with financial help from other entities to host this program creating a reading and writing curriculum-related work of art. “I love working with kids directly over a span of time, so they will learn from me, as a working artist”, explains Lori.

A current exhibit of Lori’s work from her picture book, FROM SLAVERY TO FREEDOM, is traveling the Underground Railroad. Alongside Lori’s book are similar-themed books that are illustrated by her illustration/painter heroes: James Ransome, Jerry Pinkney, Bryan Collier, Floyd Cooper. This exhibit is curated and arranged by the MAZZA MUSEUM OF CHILDREN'S BOOK ART, University of Findlay, Findlay, OH. It is currently on exhibit in Findlay, Ohio and will be a traveling exhibit for the next two years or so.


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