Connection—in its broadest sense—permeates the art and social sculpture of Atlanta artist Lauri Stallings. In all aspects of her work, Stallings centers the notion of the deep South as a formal exercise–one defined by collective body, creative agency, and theory synthesis. A fifth generation southern woman, Stallings was born and raised poor in low-income housing on Gainesville’s Eastside. Drawing on her interest in choreography as a self-contained toolbox, Stallings addresses the notion of social sculpture, and the conviction that bodies of information stored in the daily lives of people are art. Originally trained as a classical ballet dancer, Stallings shifted the focus of her practice in 2009 in order to address more directly the pressing social, economic, and cultural needs of her community. With modest economies, she creates work of diverse context, scale, and textures. Time is her most consistent material.
She has exhibited for Creative Time (2015); Center for Civil and Human Rights (2016); High Museum of Art (2019). Stallings was a recipient of the MOCA GA Working Artist Project Fellow in 2017. She was the 2018 Hudgens Prize awardee. In 2019, she was awarded the Lorenzo Il Magnifico at the XII Florence Biennale. She was a Bogliasco Fellow (2012), Georgia Tech Resident Artist (2015), and first choreographer as resident artist at the High Museum of Art in 2019. She is a 2014 Artadia awardee. Her work has been commissioned by and presented at such venues as Central Park, Art Basel Miami, Paradise Gardens, City Center, Atlanta Symphony Hall, Chattahoochee River National Park, Harris Theatre, DMAC, Atlanta Contemporary, Zuckerman Museum, Swan Coach House Gallery, Pasaquan Art Environment, and internationally in England, Germany, Canada, and Netherlands. Residencies include Oakspace, Bordeaux (2019). She is Flux Projects’ debut artist, and the inaugural recipient of Emory University’s Community Artist Impact Award. Stallings graduated from Point Park University with a BFA in performance. Stallings is one of 11 interracial women shaping the inaugural cohort of the first of its kind Social and Environmental Arts Practice MBA, led by Patrisse Cullors, Black Lives Matter co-founder, artist, and freedom fighter.
In 2012, Stallings older brother died of complications to HIV/AIDS, and to date the artist considers his life as her most important education. Stallings makes all of her work at The Goat Farm Arts Center, a 120-year old working farm for culture hybrids in Atlanta.