Artist Feature: Lauren Chester

In honor of my good friend Lauren's birthday this week, I wanted to feature her photography on my blog. I met Lauren the summer before we began our freshman year at the University of Georgia. We became instant friends, especially after learning that we were both art majors. Throughout our first few years of undergrad, we spent many long hours in the studio together drawing larger-than-life self portraits, welding abstract sculptures, and experimenting with new printmaking techniques (and plenty of time trying to keep each other awake during early morning art history classes as well).

Lauren is one of my greatest sources of artistic inspiration, and one of my most cherished friends. She was one of my bridesmaids in my wedding last summer, and I was thrilled that she was willing to take my bridal portraits and document our rehearsal dinner. (She also deserves special recognition for driving five hours to meet up with me to try on dozens -- is than an understatement? -- of bridesmaid dresses before we decided on these lovely dresses.)

Lauren recently moved from Georgia to New York City, where she is studying art therapy at the School of Visual Arts. I think this is a perfect fit for her because not only is she a talented artist, she is also one of the most caring and understanding people I know. And while her move to NYC has been an adjustment, it certainly hasn't hindered her ability to create. This year, she has taken on the quest to take a photo each and every day. She posts her Project 365 photos on her blog, and here I've included a few of my favorite images from the year (so far). She also posts photos periodically on flickr. Through these daily posts, I feel like I'm able to stay up to date with the events of Lauren's life in the city, even though I live miles and miles away.

Happy Birthday, Lauren! I hope your day was everything you'd hoped it would be. Can't wait to see your newest photos!

Lauren Chester