What’s my story, you ask?

If the pandemic taught me anything, it is that it’s best to grab the bull by the horns before it is too late! So in 2022, I determined it was time to take a new dharma path after working in the museum field for many years. I am excited to take on a new role as a coach, using all the skills and knowledge I have developed in Eastern spiritual philosophies and yogic practices, cognitive sciences, aesthetic development, interpretation and museum curation and education, and art-making.
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Compassionate

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Active Listener

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Creative

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Authentic

Me with my Princess Diana haircut drawing with my grandfather on Monhegan Island, Maine, c.1980
Me with my Princess Diana haircut drawing with my grandfather on Monhegan Island, Maine, c.1980

My Life

I grew up in a family of artists. My grandfather was an Ashcan and WPA painter in New York City, and my dad was a creative writer and painter, too. I was tapped into my family's creative energy and went on to study for a bachelors in art education, followed by a masters in art history at NYU, and finally, a doctorate in art education at Columbia University Teachers College.

I spent much of the past three decades in leadership positions in museums including from 2002-23 as the Founding Director of Education and Curator of Kidspace at the nation’s largest contemporary arts center, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA. I have curated 30 exhibitions with world renowned artists and developed community partnership programs exploring social justice, compassion, and socio-emotional learning.

image of laura in a red shirt and blue glasses in front of a portrait of her with a yellow mask and red glasses
Portrait of me at the Kidspace ArtBar by Richard Neilsen, 2020
laura with her two boys and husband
Me with my family.

When I first started at MASS MoCA, I was also working on making a family with my husband. I was going through IVF treatments and found the stress of the procedures while working full time overwhelming. It was then that I ratcheted up my interest in yoga, acupuncture, and meditation. I would meditate often and make art that expressed everything from my ovulation cycle to how I felt when we found out the treatment failed. Meditation and art helped me to process, and heal.

So where from there?

I continued to practice and went on to include an arts-integrated mindfulness approach to my work as an academic and educator. To this day, I teach classes & workshops for college students at Williams College, UMass Darmouth, and MCLA. I conduct professional development for teachers and museum educators, and more broadly for artists, adults, children, and families at museums, community centers, yoga studios, and schools.

I have published numerous articles on the topic of art and mindfulness. I have presented workshops for national art education associations and for international museums and arts organizations on the topics of care, creativity, and social justice. Also I am the co-director of the CARE SYLLABUS, an online humanities based resource.

Frustration, 2022. Oil on canvas, 36 x 36". Created following a meditation practice.
Frustration, 2022. Oil on canvas, 36 x 36". Created following a meditation practice.
Frustration, 2022. Oil on canvas, 36 x 36". Created following a meditation practice.
Tangled up in Blue, 2022. Oil on canvas, 24 x 30". Created following a meditation practice.
Tangled up in Blue, 2022. Oil on canvas, 24 x 30". Created following a meditation practice.

I have added to my credentials a 200hr certificate in Meditation Teaching from the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. I offer “Mindful Creativity” workshops at the Kripalu 3 - 4 times a month. I also teach meditation at Berkshire Yoga, Dance, and Fitness.My personal yoga practice is in Kundalini and Hatha yoga. I have participated in mindfulness training with: John Tarrant; Pema Chodron; Joan Sutherland; Sylvia Boorenstein; the alai Lama; Jon Kabot Zinn; the late Thich Nhat Hanh, and Melissa Lorusso.

I practice what I preach in my personal abstract expressionist oil paintings, and have shown my work most recently as part of an arts education alumni exhibition at Columbia University Teachers College.

I am asked this a lot by my doting mother, and others

If you still have questions, have a look at my FAQ

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