Louie Laskowski

Bio

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Louie Laskowski by Stephanie Funcheon

About the Artist

Born in Dayton, Ohio, 1947, Louie Laskowski spent her first few years living in a trailer. Soon the family outgrew the three-room vehicle after two more siblings were born. They moved to their first home near downtown Dayton. She began kindergarten at Central Elementary School where the famous aviators, Orville and Wilbur Wright, had once attended. Louie's birth name was Eileen Louise Horne. *

Her parents had married in 1943 after knowing each other for three days. It was a war marriage, and the ceremony took place on July 4th at Camp Breckenridge. In 1964, her family moved to Marion, IN, for her father's new job. She attended Marion High School in her senior year. The following year, she attended Purdue University in Lafayette, IN, where she received her Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts, Art Education, and Physical Education. In 1969 she gave birth to her only child, and four years later, divorced her first husband.

Her first memory about being interested in art was at the age of 4 when she felt the emotion of envy. At the time Louie was in the hospital waiting for tonsil surgery. She heard some parents tell their child that her coloring was beautiful. "I wanted my parents or someone to tell me my coloring was beautiful, too," said Louie. Through her young life, Louie spent hours on her coloring-books, exploring color.

The next significant memory Louie had about her artistic development was the day her father brought home a "real" oil painting. She remembers this painting captured her attention for years and said, "I wondered how one could paint so magically, how they could blend color so magnificently. I felt it was short of a miracle." Her mother also started working with paint-by-number sets. When Louie suffered rheumatic fever at the age of nine, her mother gave her her first oil paint kit.

As an adult, Louie received her Bachelors and Masters in the Arts from Purdue University and became a high school art teacher. Teaching, parenting, and political advocacy took its toll on her artistic productivity. Sometime around the age of thirty, she started to question the need for art, "Why should I make more stuff to pile or stack somewhere, unseen?" This disconnection led her attention elsewhere. As a teacher, she became more interested in the political world of education and legislation. She served as a leader of the Indiana State Teacher's Association as president of the local union and state board member.

After 8 years, Louie decided to disengage from her political commitments, and again connect with her art. She said, " I felt soul sick. I needed to heal. Politics was draining me. I needed time to renew and reach within to grow." From Louie's public experiences, she resolved her questions about the value of art. She explains, "I have come to believe that art is about one's interior life searching for a greater understanding of being human. The result is a product that embodies this involvement. In other words, I perceive that art brings together the skills and knowledge of the mind, heart, and body to create greater wisdom. The art experience is both my quest and reward."

Louie presently lives in Brookston, IN.

* In college one evening, I and a few friends agreed on an identity that was less gender-biased. We settled on Louie, an aberration of my middle name. In the art world, females struggled for validation; to be seen as authentic artists. Often work was judged by 35mm slides, pre-internet, or actual artwork. Only the name was shared. Having a more masculine name helped me more than once to gain a show or an award. I knew this from the judge's looks when I actually met them.


Louie Laskowski Studio
P.O. Box 428
307 Railroad Street
Brookston, IN 47923
(765) 563-6577

E-mail: louie@dcwi.com

[IAC LOGO] LOUIE LASKOWSKI is an Indiana Arts Commission Fellowship Recipient

All artwork and code Copyright 2018 Louie Laskowski
No part of this document may be copied or used without express written permission of the artist.