Meet Michelle Lohr
Michelle Lohr is an Israeli-born artist who currently lives and works in Austin, Texas. Ms. Lohr has been painting since the age of 3. Her love and enthusiasm for art was instilled in her through her grandmother who was also an artist; and her talents were further supported and encouraged by her mother. I interviewed Ms. Lohr in preparation for this article and she allowed me to incorporate her remarks wherever appropriate. Per Ms. Lohr:
“My grandmother immigrated from Morocco (then a French Colony) to Israel in her mid 30s. She had moved to a country that was literally being built from scratch because of the ravages of war, etc. She wholly devoted all of her talents to building her family home, but I believe she could have become an extremely successful working artist. Her crèche, knitting and sewing resulted in marvelously beautiful creations. My grandmother once made a crèche as big as a living room wall, to replace curtains for our home in Haifa. In this crèche, she made incredibly real images ocean waves, fish and sailboats. It was amazing!
From the age of 3, my mom let me draw on the flat walls of our home in Haifa, Israel. That’s all I did mostly as a child. Its surprising that she allowed me do that, but it was a great way for me to express myself. I try to instill the same freedom in my own children.”
The example provided by her grandmother and the freedom of artistic expression allowed by her mother enabled her to chart the course for her future career as an artist. When others also recognized her talent, it was an extra impetus for her to believe in herself and continue on. She won art awards in elementary school in her hometown. Ms. Lohr recalls:
“At the age of five, it was an exhibit for which only a few paintings were chosen (first, second, and third place). When I went with my mom and saw my painting on the wall, I thought: WOW! Anything is possible!”
Ms. Lohr went on to acquire her Bachelors in Fine Arts from the University of Haifa, Class of 1987. Her studies included: History of Impressionistic Art, Painting, Drawing and Sculpture.
Rather than immediately embark upon her career as an artist Ms. Lohr continued on her professional education path. She attended Haifa University in Israel, and Kent University in Canterbury, United Kingdom, where she studied Criminal Law, Business Law, Law of Contracts and Constitutional Law. She was awarded her Bachelors in Law, 1991, and received her Masters in International Law and Business, and International Business Law from Tulane University Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1992. She then pursued a career in law and business for the next 15 years. She interned in England, and practiced in the United States and in Israel. She did not immediately set out to accomplish her goal of being a full time artist because of the uncertainty; however, it was always in the back of her mind.
In 2005, Ms. Lohr and her husband started a business endeavor, which is now an extremely successful home building company in Austin, Texas. GnM Lohr specializes in green building, new construction, home additions, major home remodels and custom home construction. Her husband encouraged her to make use of her talents by utilizing her artistic expression in home staging, interior design, use of materials and color schemes. Her zeal for art and design is evident in every project from concept to completion. She effortlessly combines interior design, construction and art all-in-one. GnM Lohr Homes interior design work has been showcased in various publications like the Austin Statesman, Natural Awakenings, and Remontech.com.
Because Ms. Lohr never gave up on her aspiration to become an artist, her participating role in the various aspects of the family venture rekindled and reinforced her artistic inclinations and opened a window of opportunity for her to finally pursue her true passion.
Over the past few years Michelle Lohr has been creating exquisite paintings of various subject matters. Her art has been displayed in local art galleries around Austin, Texas. She prefers acrylic paints as her primary medium, but her style is constantly evolving with use of color, freedom of expression, and her imagination. Ms. Lohr says that her 3 favorite artists are Henri Matisse, Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh, but she is a huge fan of modern expressionist art. I am a huge fan of her art, no matter how it is labeled: expressionist, impressionist, contemporary, old school, whatever! My personal favorite from Ms. Lohrs current collection is Nightbloom because I have particular fancy for flower paintings. To learn more about this contemporary artist who is now in full bloom:
- Follow Ms. Lohr on Facebook.
- Ms. Lohr is a member of Austin Working Artists.
Ms. Lohr is also actively involved with AVAA, Austin Visual Arts Association, a non-profit arts organization, established in 1977, comprised of working artists and supporters of the arts.
Of particular note:
- Ms. Lohrs paintings, Nightbloom and Reflections (which are both featured with this article) were selected to be at the Art on the Roof reception, a benefit for LifeWorks, at the Austonian Club, May 10th, 2012.
Ms. Lohrs advice to other aspiring artists: “If someone has a passion, they should never give up on it. Its a major asset for those who know how to make it a useful part of their lives even if it is only an outlet.”
* Other Artists I Fancy:
International Contemporary Master Artist Andrea (Adka) Jones
Native American Contemporary Artists