The cover of our 2020 Program Guide features our 2020 Wildflower Festival Poster by artist Lauren Christensen. We have been captivated by the riot of color and the exquisite detail in this year’s poster since the moment we saw it. We’re excited for you to fall in love with the 2020 poster and even more excited to introduce you to Lauren at this year’s festival!
For LA-based artist Lauren Christensen, Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley hold treasured childhood memories. Lauren’s family traveled to Colorado often for vacations – first for winter skiing trips, and later to take in the glorious Crested Butte summers while hiking and camping.
Lauren’s art for the 2020 poster design was directly inspired by one of her early trips to the Gunnison Valley. “I based the background of the poster on an old photo my mom took while we were in Gunnison National Park on the Lost Lake hike,” Lauren reveals. “I then superimposed wildflowers into the foreground that weren’t in the original picture, but that I love and know to be native to the Crested Butte area.”
Perhaps thanks to her childhood sojourns to the mountains of Colorado, Lauren finds herself most inspired to create by the colors, shapes, and patterns that she observes in nature. “Some of my works are more realistic landscapes, like the painting featured on the poster, and then some are a little more abstract,” Lauren elaborates. “My interest in exploring different colors and shapes through my art is something that correlated well with the aesthetic of the Wildflower Festival poster. There are so many different colors and shapes in the various types of flowers found in this area. And I love the contrast in patterns you find in in the poster between the different flowers and the backdrop of mountains and trees.”
Serendipitously, it was Lauren’s family connection to Crested Butte that led her art to grace the 2020 Wildflower Festival Poster. Both of her parents are long-time members of the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival. “My mom is actually the one that alerted me to the poster contest,” Lauren laughs.
Because of her family ties to the Wildflower Festival, Lauren understands the significance of having her art selected as part of the Wildflower Festival’s decades-long tradition. “Nature is my main focus in terms of subject matter and my main source of inspiration. I know people who attend the Wildflower Festival are also passionate about that, and it means a lot to me that they will be seeing my art at the festival and taking it home with them.”
The poster contest was also meaningful to Lauren as a source of motivation to carve out time for her art while working full-time as a nurse practitioner in emergency medicine. “When you approach art as a hobby, pieces are left unfinished, or there’s not a lot of motivation to pursue a specific subject,” Lauren explains. “The poster contest really pushed me to finish something that I was proud of.”
Lauren concedes that the 50-60 hours a week she spends in her life-saving work as a nurse practitioner are an added challenge to pursuing her career as an artist. But she has a few words of wisdom for others who similarly find themselves juggling artistic pursuits together with a more traditional career: “I finally realized that when you put so much time and effort into your career, you owe it to yourself to also put time and effort into your passions outside of work.”
Lauren’s future aspirations include transitioning to a full-time art career in the next 5 to 10 years – ideally working on commissions, paintings similar to her work for the 2020 Wildflower Festival Poster, and smaller-scale illustrations. Her most recent project culminated in the completion of a coloring book full of art interwoven with her favorite themes of nature, mysticism, and dreams. You can find Lauren’s coloring book – as well as the 2020 Wildflower Festival Poster featuring her art – for sale at the Wildflower Festival Headquarters.
Lauren will join us at our Member Appreciation Party on Tuesday, July 14th from 4:30-7:00pm to mingle with members. You can commission work from Lauren or view more of her art at www.laurenashleychristensen.com or by following her on Instagram @laurenashleychristensen. Posters are available for purchase at our Headquarters (716 Elk Ave), the CB Chamber of Commerce, and the CB Heritage Museum. You can also order a poster online at www.crestedbuttewildflowerfestival.com.