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Koger Center for the Arts

Closing Reception: Mirrorball by Lauren Casassa


Closing Reception: Mirrorball by Lauren Casassa
Thursday, August 10, 2023: 5:30-7 p.m.


Closing Reception for "Mirrorball: A Tribute to Taylor Swift" by Lauren Casassa, the Koger Center and Jasper Project's featured artist in the Nook. For more information about the Jasper Project's gallery spaces throughout Columbia, visit their website. Casassa's original work will be for sale on the gallery wall. Prints and other original pieces by Casassa will also be for sale tonight only!

Artist Statement

This body of work is a series of Taylor Swift portraits in the medium of gouache and watercolor on paper. It is my first time painting with gouache, and I started this series after seeing "The Eras Tour." Creating this series was a wonderful way to begin my understanding of how I respond to this material in various sizes, colors and compositions. More than simply "fan art" I see this series as an important evolution for myself as an artist and for my studio practice. Seeing her perform Eras really inspired me to get back into the studio and start experimenting. I have always been inspired by how prolific Taylor is and how it has helped her refine and experience so many different genres of sound. It has felt so great to bring this show to life. Just like the anticipation for the next song at her show, each painting I started made me excited for the next one. I learned that I did not need to approach painting realistically to arrive at a place where I feel I've truly captured her. It's really been about trusting myself and painting every day for the past few months. I admire Taylor's tenacity to speak her truth using her platform to highlight and support women's and LGBTQ+ rights. I believe she is someone to look up to, and I had chills hearing people of all ages singing together joyfully and unapologetically because I believe in this world we all benefit from a woman who unapologetically speaks her mind. I have just experienced the best few months leading up to this show. I was lucky enough to see "The Eras Tour," and in the process fell back in love with painting. It's a love story.

Artist Bio

Lauren Casassa (b. 1990) is from Tulsa, OK and lives in Columbia, SC. She received her BFA in Painting at the University of South Carolina. Casassa has been awarded the Scholastic Art & Writing Gold Key Award for excellence in Visual Arts, the Yaghjian Studio Arts Scholarship at USC, and the 2018 Artfields Solo Award Exhibition at Jones-Carter Gallery. She has been featured in Garnet and Black, the Daily Gamecock, The State, FreeTimes, the Jasper Project, and Susie Magazine. She has lectured for classes at USC, SC State University, and spent a summer residency in Monte Castello, Italy. Exhibitions include group shows in Italy, New York and South Carolina, and solo shows in Iowa and South Carolina.