Meet Lauren Maddux: An Artist-Philosopher
By Willena Moye
Visual arts senior Lauren Maddux isn’t sure if she is an artist or a philosopher. She’s a painting and drawing major in the formative stages of putting together her senior show, but she’s minoring in philosophy, and that greatly influences her work.
“Art & philosophy are made to go together—especially in visual arts. You have to have some kind of subject matter that you are working with, some kind of concept behind your art. … Your artwork will be richer for it.”
Lauren transferred to Kennesaw State a few years ago after participating in a joint enrollment (high school/college) program at Middle Georgia College in Cochran. “My perception of my place in the art department has changed since I came to Kennesaw. When you are a freshman and you are starting out and you aren’t incredibly sure of where you want to go artistically and what direction you want to push yourself in, you kind of rely a lot on your professors to provide some kind of structure for you to experience. Then when you get to your higher level classes and the other classes you are taking in conjunction with them, your art histories and your theories, your mind starts to open up and you get these other ways of thinking about art.”
Maddux recently had a piece chosen for inclusion in the KSU College of Humanities & Social Sciences' permanent collection. The department had requested that students create pieces on the theme of “Intersecting Cultures.”
“Since I take philosophy, I am trained to think and write in a very language-oriented way. When I switch and have my visual art hat on, it’s hard for me to get the concept into a concrete visual form the way that I want it. For that piece in particular, it was very concept heavy. A lot of my pieces can be concept heavy. But it’s a lot of fun to take those concepts and to try to make them into visual forms.”
After graduating in May, Maddux plans to spend a year in Savannah, living with her sister. Then she hopes to go to graduate school at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, to study art therapy and work with terminally ill patients. “I appreciate art on the level of being a means of communication between people, and even to get things out that you didn’t necessarily know were there. So, the art therapy route is going to be rewarding for me.”