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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Laurie Hardin of Monkey Cats Studio- NBC Interview

Big Congratulatory High Fives for Laurie Hardin of Monkey Cats Studio as she does it again! Last year was a CBS interview and this year it is NBC! What is next for this talented artisan?

~Click Below Picture to go to video or read interview below~

(10/27/2009) By Dennis Kellogg - If you are struggling to carve out a scary face on your pumpkin for Halloween, there's a woman in Kearney who can probably give you a few helpful tips. NEWS 5's Dennis Kellogg introduces us to this artist who focuses on Halloween twelve months a year.

There is something about Halloween that brings out the artist in Laurie Hardin.

"I have always liked Halloween," said Hardin.

Laurie has taught college art classes, and served as the curator of the Museum of Nebraska Art. Her focus, though, has shifted from landscapes to frightening shapes.

"I do Halloween year round. It is a theme I do. There are huge Halloween collectors out there and they are always looking for something new, something a little bit different," Hardin said.

She has developed a series of orange pumpkin figures called the "Pumpkin Boys." Then there are the white pumpkin sculptures she calls the "Lumina Brothers."

They tend to be a little mischievous.

"Each one of these figures has its own very unique story, including this guy, who bears a striking resemblance to someone in Laurie's family," said Hardin. "I got it finished and I showed a photograph to my sister and I said, 'Who does this remind you of?' And she said, 'That looks like dad.' And I said, 'It does look like dad.' So it is the only figure that I have decided that I am going to keep."

Laurie has to create a story for a figure before she can even think about beginning her work with the paper mache clay.

"I have to develop a story for the figure to let the figure evolve. The facial features, the smile on the face, the position of the body, what the figure is dressed like, what he is carrying, what he is wearing. All those little elements kind of create who that little figure is going to be," said Hardin.

Once Laurie has created her vision, she goes to work in her kitchen studio. She roughs out a basic head and body form. Then focuses on the details which make each work one–of–a–kind. That can take hours.

"And then all of a sudden you realize, oh gosh, the sun is setting. I guess it is time to quit or think about making some supper," said Hardin.

Since she started about a year and a half ago, Laurie has made nearly 200 unique Halloween figures. They have been purchased by collectors across the country. And Laurie said she is in no danger of running out of new Halloween characters to create.

"There is always something in Halloween land. There is always some new creature or some new story that comes out," said Hardin.

That's why for Laurie Hardin, every day is Halloween.

Laurie recently returned from an exclusive Halloween art show in California called "Halloween and Vine." Halloween collectors flew in from across the country — and she sold almost every one of the pieces she brought with her.

If you would like to check out more of Laurie's works, we have a link to her blog on our web channel at http://lauriehardinsaccents.blogspot.com/


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