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Curly haired Laura Chenault sits with a smile surrounded by stacks of sketchbooks.Laura Chenault is an interdisciplinary artist creating art from a feminist and a post-modernist perspective. She believes concept and content must work hand-in-hand with presentation and display. Medium, scale, and delivery are critical components of every project. Her process begins in her extensive journals that are filled with notes, scribbles, ramblings, and inspiration. Form and function are always considered as the foundation of the initial image making. With time and perseverance, ideas take fruition.

She has a BFA in photography from the University of Illinois. The disciplines she works in are photography, collage, book arts, installation art, performance, printmaking, and film making. Her love of alternative processes spans decades after being exposed to them by Bea Nettles and Barbara DeGenevieve as an undergrad. In addition to making art, she is passionate about building communities, sharing skills, mentoring, and teaching.

She owns Laurel Tree Bindery specializing in one of a kind books and short print runs of poetry chapbooks, art books, short stories, children’s books, genealogies & memoirs, custom wedding & baby books, and photo books.

After attending the first Maker Faires in the San Francisco Bay Area,  Laura worked diligently with the team to bring  its celebration of the Maker Movement to Philadelphia, the city once known as the “Workshop of the World”. The Philadelphia Maker Faire highlights the recent resurgence of Making within the city’s tech, startup, and artistic communities, and for local Makers to connect with each other and the community-at-large. Laura currently serves as the co-chair and marketing director and co-hosts the podcast featuring makers from Philly and around the world.

In addition, Laura co-organizes the Queer Zest Zine Fest, an all-virtual zine fest accessible to anyone with an internet connection. This allows folks around the world to meet and exchange ideas where physical limitations would restrict access to these spaces. It will be a place where queer zine makers and queer zine fans can gather to celebrate zines, queer community, and share stories. 

She was half of the performance art duo, Sister Nagsters, with Lynn King. They specialized in the creation of site specific performance art that varied from five-minute sketches to installation performances that lasted for hours. Slide and movie projections, sound, movement, and spoken words combined to communicate layered messages about politics, gender dynamics, and sexuality. Sister Nagsters created short movies and site specific installations, and were part of the Suite Home Chicago city wide public art exhibit.

Laura is a prolific filmmaker and is currently working on her first feature film, Path of the Forgotten, a feminist fairy tale set in an alternate reality that tells the story of a day in the life of a creation and destruction goddess as she builds and destroys the world.

Laura Chenault was recently announced as CRNY Artist Employment Program Recipient and is honored to work with Say Yes Buffalo, and her collaborating artists as a recipient of this validating opportunity. She participated in the Artists as Educators Seminar, Mapping the Journey: Planning Effective Residencies for Students developed by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She has lived in Niagara Falls for two and a half years and can often be found lugging cameras around town or teaching folks how to make books. Follow what she is up to over on her blog.

Artist Statement

I dream as I wander and gather.
Weaving together the threads of the universe,
art energizes life's cycles.
Changing and growing,
recreating landscapes outside and within.
Elements and symbols, the pieces of the puzzle.

I make art reflecting the world around me.
Exploring and observing,
I find beauty in the microscopic,
the overlooked,
and the discarded.
Making art is like breathing –
necessary for life.