Deb Lawrence was born in the United States and raised in the artsy college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her parents were big liberal dreamers with artistic and intellectual legs to stand on. As a child, she painted with oil paints, built pots on a potters wheel, etched on metal with acid, silk screened, carved linoleum blocks, learned to weave on large looms, and even tried her hand at marble sculpting.
While maintaining an ongoing art presence in NYC, Atlanta, and Cleveland, she recently moved to the outskirts of Philadelphia to a 1745 farmhouse with a large barn, home to her studio.
My work has been influenced by my unique upbringing in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the 60s by smart, liberal, activist parents who never were pompous or frilly or put on airs. My dad has his MD and my mom earned her PhD but you would never know it by looking at them. I went to a farm based Montessori preschool, a public
elementary school with "open classrooms" which my mom helped to create, and an alternative high school that allowed me to fashion my own education. My mom took one class at a time over 12 years to earn her Ph. D so she could be home while we were young. She went on to become a nationally recognized writer and researcher on progressive education, worked part time at a teen crisis center, and
fought city council on all sorts of humanitarian and environmental issues. My dad built a sea worthy sailboat out of lumber from trees he cut down himself when he was in his 70s. He is the kind of person who would give you the shirt off his back...whether he knew you or not...if he felt it would make a meaningful difference in your life. Being raised the way I was clearly has a lot to do with my becoming the person and artist I am today. I, too, am passionate, take risks, and wear my heart on my sleeve. As a contemporary artist my work is about helping ourselves and others feel valued and genuinely good about ourselves...honoring our blemishes...like a well worn, well loved security blanket.