Lauren Spencer - Senior Art Exhibition - McDonogh School

Lauren Spencer

The inspiration for my personal series was derived from my love for the planet and my concern for not only the environmental issues globally, but locally and how intensely these issues disproportionately affect different communities in our area. In Baltimore City there is an innumerable number of environmental issues that are racially biased due to the gentrification that’s very historical in Baltimore city. Therefore with my work I wanted to bring light to these situations that are so close to us as they are not nearly talked about enough. My artwork represents a voice. A voice for people who don’t have one because of our cities institutionalized racism that has altered the fate of our residents to the point of no return. I hope that with my pieces I can speak for those who have been silenced. I chose to  create these pieces because for me the most important thing to live by what I believe and to advocate for it. This can be said for any facet that anyone is passionate about. But environmental awareness is my passion therefore I wanted to work off of that. 

My first piece “Fatebrator” is photographed outside of Baltimore’s incinerator called the Wheelabrator. This piece was inspired by the fact that this incinerator greatly reduces the air quality in the surrounding area. A close friend of mine helped me out with the shoot and with this piece the editing that I did was really meaningful. With Baltimore having an incinerator, these air quality issues affect intellectual development, cause hallucinogenic issues and affect mental health. My intention with these pieces is to show kind of through a visual way for the audience how harmful the effects of this are. 

My second piece, “Points of Silence” is taken outside of the city hall in Baltimore City. This piece aims to speak on the difficulty for those affected by these environmental injustices to gain help and be heard over these issues. Initially my subject is sitting down in protest of these environmental atrocities that are occuring in his home, yet when he realizes that he is silenced and will never be heard over his race, socioeconomic status, and inherent intelligence, he walks away with the black line covering his mouth. 

My last piece titled “Social Stream” aims in a little bit of a different direction. Although we live in a digital age where everything is photographed and posted, ironically these issues are rarely talked about or documented. This stream located right outside Baltimore's incinerator, is a cesspool of emissions, trash, and toxic overflow, located right in a neighborhood with no regard to how it affects others. I hope that with this piece I can showcase just how easy it is to demonstrate these horrors.

View Lauren's Art

Fatebrator

Point

Social Stream