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Artist Interview – Lara Plecas

I first met Lara when I was ending my tenure at the Phoenix art collective, eye lounge. We overlapped a bit but I didn’t get a chance to really know her until we went to the 5th International Encaustic Conference in Provincetown, MA together. We were fortunate enough to both receive grants to attend from the Arizona Commission on the Arts. The conference inspired me so much, in fact, the idea for this blog came from a lecture at the conference. I’ve noticed Lara has a grown a bit too since then. I am fortunate to be one of the people who participated in her upcoming show, “Residual Energy,” read on to learn more.

Lara Plecas with modelLara Plecas casting the face of Lori Fenn.

Have you always made art?

I was trained as a dancer, I studied dance for over 11 years and minored in dance at ASU. I have always been interested in art, enjoying the classes I took throughout high school and college. My parents encouraged me to study something in college that would lead to a “real job”. I planned to go into Physical Therapy but, I soon became bored with my studies and I was drawn to paint.

Lori FennLori Fenn

Do you remember where or when you first found the artist in yourself?

I had a real longing to return to dance while I was in high school, and began to seriously study dance my junior year. I had recently experienced loss for the first time, losing my grandmother and a few dear friends in a short amount of time. I began to dance, and felt alive for the first time after going through such grief. It was healing and provided a platform for expression. I never really enjoyed the performance aspect of dance, it made me feel very detached from my body. I felt like more of a witness as my body moved automatically through space, like I had rehearsed over and over. I found contact improvisation to be my favorite of all dance classes. It was amazing to connect with the other dancers in the moment, and let the movement just unfold. 

Lara Plecastop: Clint Plecas, Rafael Navarro, Carolyn Lavendar
bottom: Todd Phelps, Sergio Aguirre, Jenna Duncan

Can you tell us about your upcoming exhibition at eye lounge, Residual Energy:

My upcoming exhibit is a different approach to making art for me, it is an installation. I am very interested in working with Public Art in the future, and want to strengthen my 3D portfolio. In this installation I really want to show how I can utilize space, and develop my ideas. In my encaustic paintings, I paint landscapes. My landscapes are about the connection that we have with our environment, or a specific location. I believe that the place holds memories of interactions that have occurred there. Whenever we revisit a place, the memories are triggered and the feeling of those memories are recalled. The human element is always absent in my paintings. In this Installation entitled “Residual Energy”, I have chosen to make the human element the focus. It isn’t about me, but it’s about the community of people that I have grown to know. Each person has their own personal energy that they share and that is left behind. I believe all the people that we get to know leave an imprint on you that will always be with you. Memories are feelings, they are uniquely your own and help to shape your reality.

 Fausto FernandezFausto Fernandez

What are your influences?

I am influenced by my surroundings…I enjoy being out in nature hiking, and just living in the moment. This is my time to truly clear my mind and to just observe. It is also very important as an artist to get out and regularly expose yourself to art in all forms. It is wonderful to see the ideas, techniques and approaches of other artists. It helps me to think bigger, and questions my own approach to making art. Travel has also always be a great source of inspiration for me, it changes the way I see the world forever.

Kate TimmermanKate Timmerman

What’s next for you?

We are planning for a group exhibition of eye lounge members at the Mesa Arts Center that will be on display March 29th-August 11th 2013. Our exhibition will be work based on the idea of the “American Dream”. I am currently working on a series of wildfire landscapes for my final show as an eye lounge member January 18th- February 10th 2013. The panels that I have completed so far will be submitted for the MCA show in the spring.

Where can you find Lara Plecas?

Online at www.larakupcikevicius.blogspot.com

She is currently included in the following exhibitions:
“Transitive Ephemera” a group exhibition through a gallery exchange between eye lounge in Phoenix and Agripas 12 gallery in Jerusalum, Isreal.
“Downtown in Old Town” at the Scottsdale Exhibition Gallery along with nine other downtown Phoenix artists (until October 25th, 2012)
“Chaos Theory 13″ at Legend City Studios, exhibiting 50+ artists active in the Phoenix art scene
“Residual Energy” at Eye Lounge, October 19th – November 11th



  1. toni timpke (Reply) on Monday 15, 2012

    great article Lara !! and beautifull picture of you ! i really enjoyed reading this, you are so humble and always including others in your projects, it was nice to see the ‘ history of Lara’ …way to go sister….xo t