About Laurie Marshall
At the heart of
Who I am
is the love of God.
What is deepest within me
I am a painter, writer and educator. The subject of my paintings reflects my love of and fascination with people, nature and religion. My work is in public and private collections around the world.
I've written five intergenerational plays using personal narratives, visual images, music and movement and three plays based on my images. One of my favorites is "I Will Survive". Children in Leesburg Elementary School gathered survival stories from their grandparents and I made a play with the heartening tales. "Stories from the Dust in the Corner", another favorite, was performed as a multi-media piece in churches, theaters and at the National Hospice Convention. I co-wrote and directed three plays for my classes at Novato Charter School - "Take Me with You When You Go" with Alan Venable and "The Gold Rush Musical" and "The Coyote's Tail" with Corrine Swall.
For almost thirty years, I've made murals and dramas with children in public, private and alternative schools. I love the collaboration process - letting everyone know that whatever idea comes to them is needed by the project and taking responsibility for the unity and beauty of the creative project. I've used visual art and storytelling in consensus building, leadership training, conflict prevention and values clarification with government organizations (NASA, Department of Interior, Army Corps of Engineers) and social service agencies (Hospitals, Hospices and Foster Homes). I see art as a tool to clarify what's important, to strengthen community and to connect with the Creator. I am a Quaker.
I majored in History and Education at Antioch College and received an M.A. from Beacon College (now the Union Institute) in Art and Education. I studied painting at the Art Student's League of New York City, focusing on portraiture. I've been an adjunct professor at Robert Morris University and Waynesboro University in Pittsburgh, Pa. and taught Art History and Drawing for ten years at Lord Fairfax Community College in Virginia. Polaroid Education Foundation hired me to teach over 3000 public school teacher concepts of visual literacy and how to incorporate photography into the classroom. I've served as an Artist-in-Residence for the Virginia Commission of the Arts and have carried out projects with the Virginia Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institution.
My most important work has been raising two glorious sons, Jeremy Marshall Slack (b. 1982) and Daniel Marshall Slack (b.1986). After living in Rappahannock County, Virginia for 27 years with my former husband, artist Rex Slack, I moved to Pittsburgh, Pa,with my youngest son, Daniel, in 2001 for 4 years, to care for my father. Stanley Charles Marshall passed away Feb. 20th, 2005, five days before his 86th birthday, at home and at peace. In Sept., 2005, I came Northern California, while still serving as an artist-in-residence at the Helen S. Faison Arts Academy in inner city Pittsburgh one week a month. Now I live in Novato, California, with my husband, Tom West, teaching at Novato Charter School, a Waldorf-inspired public charter school, painting portraits, and consulting in project-based learning, arts integration and teacher education. I am on the National Faculty of the Buck Institute for Education.
Photo by George Mendel