Illustration - Painting - Visual Arts - Drawing
Wheaton, IL, 60189
Lauren Nielsen was born in Chicago, Illinois. Her love for the arts began in childhood. Some of her earliest memories include experimenting with new materials and painting at a young age in her mother’s art studio.
In high school, Nielsen became a part of the National Art Honors Society, and later received a scholarship based on the quality of her portfolio to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During Nielsen’s undergraduate studies, her work was focused primarily on portraits and universal and inclusive design. Her work was displayed in local campus gallery shows as well as a senior thesis show at the I-Space Gallery in Chicago. Nielsen also served as student chapter president of the National Art Education Association (NAEA) and was an active member of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). In 2009, Nielsen was recognized for her notable achievements as a student and selected as a Senior 100 Honorary graduate. Nielsen graduated with a BFA in Industrial Design and a BFA in Art Education.
After graduation, Nielsen accepted a full time teaching position at Edison Middle School as their Visual Arts teacher. Since beginning her professional teaching career, she has held many leadership positions, attended three NAEA National Conventions and been a co-presenter at the Illinois Art Education Association (IAEA) State Conference on understanding and applying research to teaching with a focus on creativity and collaboration. In 2014, Nielsen enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Florida in their Masters of Art Education Distance Learning Program. During her studies, she conducted a research curriculum project titled Investigating the Contemporary Selfie under the supervision of Dr. Craig Roland, professor of Art Education. Her research specifically involved the integration of digital self-portraiture along with traditional art practices in an eighth grade art curriculum
Currently, Nielsen is continuing to teach full time while promoting her business of custom hand-drawn and hand-painted portraiture. Her recent work has been displayed at local art shows and galleries in the greater Chicagoland area. In the fall, Nielsen plans on pursing a second masters degree in Educational Leadership with a Principals Endorsement.