Ae Featured Artist Interview: Lara Cornell

Lara Cornell, Ae Featured Artist

My vision was to show a moment frozen in time among nature and to illustrate how fragile and beautiful it all is. 

By Jes Reyes, Ae Co-Exhibitions Director

Lara Cornell, an intuitive artist and alumni of Altered Esthetics Solo Exhibitions Program, grew up in Northfield, MN, and traveled the world for several years before returning to Minneapolis, Minnesota to raise a family and channel her artistic streak. Being a professional artist is relatively new for Lara. “I believe I was born an artist, I just let it lay dormant for most of my life,” she discloses on her website. Whatever the path has been for Lara, her art is strong, focused and as she puts it: “heart-centered”. 

“I'm an artist and a Light Keeper,” she says. You’ll find her mostly working with inks and acrylics, but in this interview she tells me has been experimenting with photography too. On top of being an amazing and inspiring artist, Lara is also a Reiki practitioner, yoga instructor, ayrvedic bodyworker, and crystal energy worker! Ae is honored to exhibit her work in our current 3D show at The Southern Theater - on view until the first week of January 2016.  


Jes: What’s your favorite piece of work that you have created? And why?

Lara: I really adore the Butterfly series I created using real, ethically sourced butterflies. It was a real challenge to make it work, but was totally worth it. I also donate a percentage to, which is an organization that supports families who have children with health concerns that render them as fragile as butterflies. It makes me feel like I'm doing something even more with my art. 

Jes: That’s really awesome, Lara. Your butterfly series is great. Ae has been super proud to have exhibited them multiple times now. Can you tell me a bit more about the work and the process behind them?

Lara: I'm showing pieces of my Butterfly Series. These are real, ethically sourced butterflies frozen in layers of resin with paint between the layers. My vision was to show a moment frozen in time among nature and to illustrate how fragile and beautiful it all is. 

Jes: What are you currently working on right now?

Lara: I'm currently expanding my yoga line, and creating a coloring book with my floral designs. I'm in the process of planning some upcoming art retreats for 2016 as well. 

Jes: Who and what is an influence for you as an artist?

Lara: Mostly the beauty found in nature. I grew up in a wooded area and among fields in Southern Minnesota, so nature has always played a part in my upbringing. My children are also very open to giving me inspirational quotes they made up to use in my art and I love that!  

Jes: What are you doing when you’re not creating? What (other) hobbies, interests or obligations do you have? 

Lara: I'm a Reiki practitioner (offering sessions currently in Distance Reiki), yoga instructor, ayrvedic bodyworker, and crystal energy worker. As well as a mother of three young kids, a wife, and a full-time worker in Uptown. My brain is ALWAYS working, and I follow my intuition to guide me on my path.  

Jes: Tell me a bit about your some of your goals, both work wise and life?

Lara: This year I'm beginning training in crystal, floral and color therapy and I'm so excited! In the future I'd love to have some sort of soothing space for women which incorporates all my interests (art, yoga, energy work, etc...). I want it to be a really feel-good/pampering kind of atmosphere. The kind of place you never want to leave :). I imagine all sorts of events, retreats, classes, etc. …With amazing guest teachers.

Jes: That’s so cool, Lara! You’d be so good at doing that – I hope you get to open up such a place. Your goals are inspirational; much like your artwork! Do you sell your artwork online?

Lara: Yes. You can find links to my shops at I also recently moved into my very first art studio called Light Keepers Studio in the Solar Arts Building in NE Minneapolis.

Jes: Is there anything else we should know about you and your work?

Lara: A lot of my work is created intuitively with inspiration found from everywhere. I prefer bright colors and inspirational words. I've also been working with photography and even had a photograph featured at the Louvre in Paris this past summer. 

Jes: Are there any art-related blogs you like to frequent?

Lara: Honestly, I'm always looking for new inspiration so my go-to is Pinterest.  

More on Lara, follow her on her website: Her art studio is also located at the Solar Arts Building in NE MPLS. To view Lara’s work at The Southern, please review current performance schedule:

Photos courtesy of Lara Cornell. 

Jes Reyes serves as one of Ae's Co-Exhibitions Directors. She says you should enter a self-portrait into submission review for Ae's upcoming I AM show set to open March 2016: Deadline is January 15.