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Lauren Bonney

Decorah, IA

Midwest Award for Artists with Disabilities


A mural painted on the side of a building. Pastel colors and bold lines show stars, meteors, angels, sea life, and other abstract forms.
Photo Credit: Lauren Bonney


Lauren Bonney is one of nine inaugural winners of the Midwest Award for Artists with Disabilities. This award, designed to support accessibility in the arts and celebrate the exceptional work of disabled Midwestern visual artists, has received an incredible response from the artistic community.  Over 200 artists applied to receive funds, and a panel of seven reviewers narrowed the pool to nine finalists from across the Midwest.

“I create art that is deceptively whimsical. Odd and lovely images captured on paper, wood, canvas, or walls fuse together folk art, bold color, mysticism, and the intensity of emotions I feel as an autistic woman. Recurring motifs include broken and swirling lines and quilting patterns that represent how our communities and our personal experiences of the world are stitched together from all we have experienced, the individual parts together forming a whole. I prefer to work with the unrefined shapes, patterns, and images that are often associated with artists like Mary Blair, Hilma af Klint, and Paul Klee or illustrative works of magical realism such as those found in the films of Studio Ghibli and Cartoon Saloon. By stripping away the filters of complexity that are imposed on us as adults in a modern society my art provides a space for emotional resonance and enchantment.

Award Details

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