Trained in Sculpture (UCLA) and Landscape Architecture (UCB Extension), Lauren Elder is an Environmental Artist, an Adjunct Professor (California College of Art) and an organizer of community-based projects (Ambiente). All aspects of her professional work are focused on the themes of Water, Urban Ecology (including farms and gardens) and the effects of Climate Change. While most of her work is functional design, she also accepts commissions from art museums and galleries. Elder is bilingual (English-Spanish) and works in Latin America on a regular basis, developing projects that respond to community needs and contributing to the North South hemispheric dialogue on environmental issues. This work was supported locally by 3 consecutive awards from the Potrero Nuevo Environmental Fund.
Elder was recently invited to participate in the 11th Biennial Art Exhibition in La Havana, Cuba where she carried out an interactive mapping, cooking and food tasting project with organic farmers in the San Agustin neighborhood. The local project sponsors are a collective: Laboratorios Artisticos de San Agustin. Their larger agenda for the Biennial was the ephemeral MAC.SAN (Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de San Agustin), an ironic commentary on the absence of a contemporary art museum on the island.
Earlier in 2012 she was also invited to participate in the Dorothy Saxe show, “Trees: Do Not Destroy” at San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum, exhibiting a tree sculpture which is also a Native Bee habitat.
She currently serves on the Board of WEAD (Women’s Environmental Art Directory) and has recently joined Architecture for Humanity in San Francisco.
Elder’s previous projects (1979-1995), created in collaboration with noted performance ensembles (Motion and Contraband), have been supported by 3 NEA grants for Interdisciplinary Art, 2 individual grants from the California Arts Council, the Eureka Sculpture Fellowship, numerous grants from the City of Oakland Cultural Arts Division and were recognized with 3 Isadora Duncan Awards for Visual Design.