Collages with a Message

Last year the Art Gallery of Ontario had an amazing show of Jean- Michael Basquet. His work was amazing, frenetic and packed with ideas and messages. Paintings that Urk and make you think.

My work is about seeing and often the message is quite simple- LOOK MORE- PAY ATTENTION!

So I decided to put myself in Basquet’s shoes and try making work in his style. This is harder than you think. This is what I came up with. I took my simple idea a bit further and decided to start a seriesn fo works that have a witness in the image, a lone often hatted person -paying attention much like what the Quakers do. -January 2016



Unlikely Spoon Collection

Over Christmas  and especially due to all of the news about Syrian Refugees I came to the realization even though I am a a somewhat unknown and medium income artist, I am part of the Group classified as the 1% or the people of the haves. I have shelter, food ,clothes, family, a job, health and wealth in the bank . I even, have the ability to spend my extra money on a Christmas tree and ornaments and presents . This led me to thinking about the  two main classes of the HAVES and the HAVENOTS. Spoon Collections reside in many homes across middle America collecting dust. This is a testament to being a Haves. If this is a spoon collection that never gets used then why not make it out of very unlikely materials; hair, nails, volcanos, the moon, concrete etc.  This is the thought process for these works. They are conceptual, silly and commenting on what us Capitalist Haves spend our hard earned money on. Feel Free to SPend you rmoney on  my Unlikely Spoon Collection.- January 2016

Landscapes a la Turner

I work at the Art Gallery of Ontario and this past winter Turner has been our main show. His work is all about sky and the long view towards a horizon. I was inspired by this and by finding a whole bunch of plastic on the road. Putting the two together to create this series.

Sacred Dot Painting

Call to the Elements – Art Installation in Neighbourhood’s Sacred Space

Call of the Elements at NUUC by Lauren McKinley Renzetti
Call of the Elements at NUUC by Lauren McKinley Renzetti

The Tree of Stewardship , installed on the left, is made from cut, glued, screwed , gouged dremmelled and carved plywood with acrylic paint  stained on top and is six feet wide and seven feet tall. The tree is a representation of The Earth Element, and how we as Unitarian Universalists care for our world: we are the stewards of the planet, we must care for all living things. That is why it has the look of a manicured Bonsai. Lauren’s tree design is influenced by Canadian artist Patterson Ewan, the Group of Seven, and has the intention of whimsy much like Dr. Seuss.

tree of stewardship at NUUC by Lauren Renzetti
tree of stewardship

The Solar Egg is the  second piece, hanging to the right. It is painted in acrylic on plexiglass and is six feet wide  by four feet tall, and is hung above the Wiggle Room. It represents the element of Fire, the Sun in the form of an egg. The Sun nurtures us and gives us light, warmth and also energy. We harness the sun with our solar panels on our roof.  The spirals coming out of the sun are shaped from the Golden Section* radiating out as our seven guiding principals. The way this was painted was by starting with all of the smallest detail elements painted first and then working towards larger and larger components, finishing with the rich blue cosmos in the background.

* The Golden Section is a ratio (roughly 1.618) found in the design and beauty of nature, which can be used to achieve aesthetic beauty and balance in art, architecture and design of any kind.

The Blue Elementals: Air & Water  is the third component. This middle piece, is the  largest piece in the installation measuring, 10 feet wide and 21 feet tall at the peak. This hanging quilt project, was community oriented created by most of the congregation through donation of fabrics, and  small groups from Neighbourhood led by Lauren from March to June of 2014 . The Blue Elementals consists of over 50 panels. One of the first stages was dying cloth to have a series of green, blues and purples for background pieces and to cut up for smaller quilted elements.  Several small groups were involved in making parts. The choir, youth group and all ages of children took part in workshops to create group and individual panels along with smaller elements that represented different aspects of water or air. A dedicated few also helped with the initial cutting out and arranging of background panels. Some of the panels are the choir singing, a kite flying, musical instruments playing, a hot air balloon in transit, spirals, and windmills  which all represent air. Other panels are snowflakes, clouds, waterfall, rain drops, fish in the sea, growing plants, trees, crops, waves, river systems, and silhouettes of people represent water. The biggest challenge with this undertaking was not only its size but having more than forty people contributing different parts of a whole, and trying to piece all of these parts together mindfully.   The seven columns of images are not all the same size and thusly the piece in its entirety is not symmetrical. The most time consuming part was figuring out the placement of each piece within that column and to the columns on either side, staggering the colours and images evenly and then sewing it all together and backing it to be all one piece. The look was to have some recurring themes jumping from column to column. This was to reflect not only, the interconnectedness of our seven guiding principals but also to help acknowledge the interwoven nature of our ecosystem. It had to make sense, with some logic in the placement of celestial bodies far up in our outer stratosphere and move down to the actual surface of the earth at the bottom. After all the air  and water does start at our feet.

~Lauren McKinley Renzetti March 2015.


Hegelian Seed Collection- conceptual art

Hegelian Seed Collection Statement by Lauren McKinley Renzetti

The Hegelian Seed Collections: Seeds of a Future and Seeds of Extinction are a commentary on choices.


The collection so named after G.W.F. Hegel1 because of his belief in absolute idealism. If we follow his three steps – study the nature of our society and acknowledge what should be removed and become extinct and what should remain and be encouraged to Nurture and Flourish we will not only be looking at Society but taking necessary steps to Change  Our Society.

The collection and nature with which it is presented is indicative of the cabinets of curiosities so popular at the turn of the 19th century. The artist is looking down on society, is passing judgment, and hoping that these collections through time become a curiosity that our children and future generations can say “How quant remember when there was genocide, malnutrition, war… we were such heathens… So glad we stopped that .”


Ironically no seed can grow in an air  tight box with no sun, water, nutrients and a pin through it. This is a perfect environment for seeds of extinction to wither and petrify. This does not hold true for the seeds of the future but hopefully they are plentiful and so common that they never move to the endangered list.  The categorizing, presenting and intimate viewing through a looking glass invites the viewer to ponder

Why these words?

Why not  Boredom? Hunger? Death?

The artist asks this question of you.

Can you come up with a reason?

It should be simple and if it is not then please ponder further.


Hegelian Seed Collection: Seeds of a Future

Bravery, Caring , Creativity, Ecotopia, Equality, Innovation, Justice , Love,

Safety , Sharing, Sustainability, Universalism, Virtue, Wisdom, Wonder

Hegelian Seed Collection: Seeds of the Future by Lauren McKinley Renzetti
2 shadow boxes , 8×8″, pins, words,magnifiers, thread $300 for pair


Hegelian Seed Collection: Seeds of Extinction

Apathy, Disillusionment,  Dystopia, Extinction , Fear, Genocide , Hate, Ignorance,

Malnutrition, Mediocrity, Prejudice, Selfishness, Stagnation , Terror, War

Hegelian Seed Collection:Seeds of Extinction by Lauren McKinley Renzetti
2 shadow boxes , 8×8″, pins, words,magnifiers, thread $300 for pair

-Lauren McKinley Renzetti  created circa 2014            statement written March 2015



1Hegelianism is the philosophy of G. W. F. Hegel which can be summed up by the dictum that “the rational alone is real”, which means that all reality is capable of being expressed in rational categories. His goal was to reduce reality to a more synthetic unity within the system of absolute idealism. The first and most wide-reaching consideration of the process of spirit, God, or the idea, reveals to us the truth that the idea must be studied (1) in itself; this is the subject of logic or metaphysics; (2) out of itself, in nature; this is the subject of the philosophy of nature; and (3) in and for itself, as mind; this is the subject of the philosophy of mind (Geistesphilosophie).  – from Wikipedia

Tactile & Interactive paintings, sculptures & altered books

Journey of Blue, Red & Yellow by Lauren McKinley Renzetti
Journey of Blue, Red & Yellow, interaction: Sir Blue, Sir Red and Sir Yellow all have different questsacrylic on canvas, various detritus, floss, metal men24″ x 26” $400
McKinley Reliquary by Lauren McKinley Renzetti
McKinley Reliquary, Interaction: view Reliquary through the frame provided wooden shadow box, various items, gold leaf nail 6″ x 8″ $150

After working a few years in national gallery settings like the Art Gallery of Hamilton and the Art Gallery of Ontario I became frustrated in the inability to touch art works. Brancusi created sculptures that were created with the full intention of being touched by the blind – these are housed behind glass.  Through the use of very thick impasto textured paint, inclusion of  found objects and street detritus  in my art  I came to realize I was reacting to this premise in galleries. I allow even encourage my work to be touched & experienced through your hands not just eyes. Many of my works are about the physical journey your hand takes whether that is by small men who walks on a journey on the canvas or the viewers personal exploration of the work through rearranging the composition, or looking through a small  frame . Altered books are a newer art medium for me and they beg to be flipped thorough and explored like any good book deserves.

May 2013


click to view the artwork that inspired this statement

Swamp Series – paintings & prints on paper, mylar & stretched canvas

Golden Swampby Lauren McKinley Renzetti
Golden Swamp , acrylic on stretched canvas 18 x 24, 2010 $300
Swamp Mural by Lauren McKinley Renzetti
Silver Swamp, acrylic on stretched canvas , 12 x 24, 2010 $250









Swamps are my latest passion.

Look through the bayou

to see tendrils

Hanging down

gnarly plants reaching up

knotted fingers grappling with your shoe lace

schlepping  to find

your foot is

no longer attached to your shoe

which is

sloww-ily disappearing into the muck

swamps have purpose & nothing stops  or stomps

The Process


regurgitated into new clean water


Waves of heat

water in the air creating golden mirages

Ghosts of what once was

plants breathing it in

moving with deliberation

an agenda only the swamp knows

March 2011

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click here to view the prints 

Stain & Light – Paintings on Loose Canvas or canvas board

Jesus Toys by Lauren McKinley Renzetti
Jesus Toys , acrylic , lace, maps on loose canvas, dowel , tassel, 24″ x 24″ October 1995 $150

Stain and Light is an exploration of colour, texture, luminosity and light refraction. I was influenced by old English and French stained glass artisans of the 16th Century to the present day craftsman, along with Medieval tapestries. I wanted the lyrical quality, clear shapes of colour without the heavy religious connotation or heavy leaded line. I also chose to mount them as simply and as lightly as possibly with sewn canvas on dowel with rope and tassel instead of stretched over a frame to remind us of the tapestries of old.

January 1997


click to view the artwork that inspired this statement

Plexiglass Paintings

10. Utopian Earth 10 x 10 $35 by Lauren McKinley Renzetti
Utopian Earth 10 x 10 $50

Works on plexiglass are unframed with a simple fishing line hanging system through holes directly in the plexiglass. The work is painted in acrylic,  UV protected & can hang directly in sunlit windows. Works tend to be 6 x6  or  10 x10 inches. I will take commissions and work is priced reasonably at $30-60 per piece, depending on the size.  All works pictured here are sold commissions or located at Unicamp.

September, 2013.

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