Through painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, and architecture, I explore the vagaries of life.

Contact:  laura(at)lauraelkinsartist(dot)com

News:  Please visit my Instagram page for updates.


Laura Elkins began to paint and create architectural designs as a child. She was mentored in architecture by her sixth-grade teacher, who was also an architect, and in painting by several artists in her hometown, Oxford, Mississippi. After college Elkins returned to Oxford to begin painting full-time. Visionary painter Theora Hamblett was a local presence and Elkins enjoyed visits with her at her home and studio, where Hamblett shared in-depth descriptions of her work. Later, the artist would share Hamblett’s earlier patronage by Betty Parsons, who exhibited Elkins’s work in 1980.

After living, essentially, a peripatetic life, Elkins, has made her home in Washington, DC since 2000. The artist has a degree in architecture from the University of Virginia, where she studied life drawing and painting, and has worked in all phases of architectural practice. She also studied at the Polytechnic Central London and Sweet Briar College.

Elkins received a grant, funded by the NEA, The Rockefeller Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in 1993, to create Why There Are No Great Women Artists: The Children's Room that translated her series of paintings, The Birth of Housework, into architecture. Elkins was the Forsyth Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in 2008 and joined the Santa Fe Art Institute's Immigration/Emigration Residency in September 2015. In February 2020, she joins the Escape to Create Residency in Seaside FL and in May 2020, Vermont Studio Center, courtesy of an Artist/Writer Grant.

Recent exhibitions in New York include First, She’s a Lady! a painting retrospective of 15 years of The White House Collection, at Tikhonova&Wintner. Yulia Tikhonova has also included work in many of her curatorial projects including Self-portraiture at the Art Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University in the spring of 2021; Fabrications: Constructing Female Identity at Dixon Place and the 7th Krasnoyrsk Museum Biennale in Krasnoyrsk, Siberia. Other exhibitions include a solo show and installation at Ground Floor Workshop in Brooklyn, and Sue Scott chose Elkins’s work for Studio Montclair Viewpoints 2014 at Aljira Contemporary Art Center in Newark, NJ. Curator and photographer Allen Frame has included the artist’s work in many shows, including in Budapest, New York, and Memphis.

Recent exhibitions in DC include United in Passion and Pride, a response to the Orlando massacre, curated by John Paradiso, director of 39th Street Gallery; Portrait of the Self as Other, curated by Thomas Drymon; 19 Ways of Looking at a Painting at Porch Projects; and three solo shows at The Fridge. The Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College of the University of Mississippi debuted America Selfie autumn 2017. 39th Street Gallery exhibited America Selfie in January 2018.

A monograph of the artist’s paintings Summer in the City was published by Enlightening Press in 2015. Sundog Books in Seaside FL, Upshur Street Books in DC, and Square Books in Oxford MS have hosted signings.

Grants and Residencies

2020  Vermont Studio Center  Johnson VT

2020 Escape to Create Seaside FL 2015 Santa Fe Art Institute Immigration/Emigration Residency

2008 Forsyth Fellowship Virginia Center for Creative Arts Amherst VA

1998 Mourning Becomes Electra Artist Residency with The Builder’s Association sponsored by Shreveport Regional Arts Council Shreveport LA

1993 Why There Are No Great Women Artists: The Children's Room Natchitoches LA art-and-architecture project funded by NEA, The Rockefeller Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts


Summer in the City monograph (Enlightening Publishers, 2015)

Dreams and Secrets Finding Art in Argentina and Uruguay (Art Papers, May/June 2000)

Selected Exhibitions

2021     Self-portraiture  Art Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University Willimantic

2020     Museum of Sonoma County (Karen Gutfreund, curator)

2018    She Works Hard for the Money Federal Project #2 (Joanna Lehan, curator)

2018   America Selfie  39th Street Gallery  Brentwood MD

2018   What Feminism Looks Like, a Nasty Women exhibtion to benefit Planned Parenthood by ArtWatch DCAC  Washington DC

2017   One House by ArtWatch  Touchstone Gallery  Washington DC

2017   Portraits of US  Montpelier Arts Center  Laurel MD

2017    America Selfie  Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College  University of Mississippi

2017    Film-Makers' Cooperative Benefit Auction  Next to Nothing  New York NY

2017    A Womb with a View  Inner Space  Jersey City NJ (The Vagilante, curator)

2016    United in Passion and Pride  39th Street Gallery  Brentwood MD (John Paradiso, curator)

2016    Summer in the City monograph signing and exhibition  Square Books  Oxford MS

2016     Starry Night  DC Arts Center  Washington DC (Thomas Drymon, curator)

2016     Summer in the City  monograph signing and painting exhibition  Upshur Street Books  Washington DC

2015     First, She's a Lady  Tikhonova&Wintner Fine Art  New York NY

2015     Portrait of Self as Other  Studio Gallery  Washington DC (Thomas Drymon, curator)

2014     POWER PLAY  Laughing Horse  Taos NM

2014     Studio Montclair Viewpoints 2014  Aljira Contemporary art Center Newar NJ (Sue Scott, curator)

2014     Fabrications:  Constructing Female Identity, Dixon Place, New York NY (Yulia Tikhonova, curator)

2013      Stories We Tell  Phoenix Gallery New York NY (Jessica Porter, curator)

2013      Homage to Michelle  the Fridge  Washington DC

2012      WBAI Art Auction Steven Kasher Gallery New York NY (Jim Wintner, curator)

2012      Packin' Heat Talkin' Dirty  the Fridge  Washington DC

2012      Empowered  Marlboro Gallery Prince George's Community College (John Anderson, curator)

2012      Nineteen Ways of Looking at a Painting Porch Projects Washington DC

2012      King Me  the Fridge  Washington DC (Adam Dwight, curator)

2011     Eccentric Portraits  Kleinert/James Arts Center Byrdcliffe Woodstock NY (Nancy Azara, Sylvia Leonard Wolf, curators)

2011     9  Harmon Art Lab  Washington DC

2011     DCwRAP  Ground Floor Workshop  Brooklyn NY

2011     White House Negligee  the Fridge  Washington DC

2010     Unbearable   Studio B  Washington DC (Thomas Drymon, curator)

2010     Amnesty International Human Rights Art Festival Silver Spring MD (Thomas Block, curator)

2010     PooL Art Fair New York NY (Marion Callis, curator)

2010     Found on Facebook Manhattanville College Art Gallery Purchase NY (Charles McGill, curator)


2018      Rachel Cain Vibrantly colorful art in local gallery addresses social issues The Sentinel  January 10

2017     Andy Belt  Oxford native’s artwork speaks to politics and American culture The Oxford Eagle August 27

2017     Jacqueline Knirnschild Honors College art installation ‘America Selfie” draws inspiration from democracy The Daily Mississippian August 23

2017     Steve Gagliano  Laura Elkins brings evocative America Selfie exhibit UM Honors College  Hotty Toddy August 18

2016     Mark Jenkins In the galleries: Spins on ‘The Starry Night,’ from critical to cheeky  Washington Post  May 20

2015     Jason T Borbet  Price Ranges and Studio Images of 20 Contemporary Artists  Forbes  August 12

2015     Doug Rule  Selfie Expression  Metro Weekly  January 22

2015      Mark Jenkins  In the Galleries  Washington Post  January 16

2015      doris-mae presents Portraits of Self as Others at Studio Gallery  January 12

2014       Johanna DeBiase   Continuing the Legacy  Taos Tempo  September 18

2014      Sally Deskins  Les Femmes Folles  March 10

2013      Haley Fults   Weekend East City Round Up   DC Style is Real January 11

2013      The Fridge Presents: Laura Elkins' Homage to Michelle   East City Art January 9

2012      Joanna Castle Miller   Ultra and Elkins: DC Faces at the Fridge   We Love DC October 19

2012      Rebecca Baird-Remba   Fridge Art Gallery Serves Up Mini-Fridge, Two Solo Shows   Roll Call    October 19

2012      Michael O'Sullivan   Gallery Opening of the Week   Washington Post October 5

2012      Brightest Young Things Fall/Winter Fine Art Guide October

2012      Eric Hope   19 Ways of Looking at a Painting at Porch Projects   East City Art August 17

2012      'KING ME: Studies In the Uncivilized World' Shows 2 First Ladies Smooching   Huffington Post March 1

2012      Jason Dick   DC Art Venue Has Cool Vibe   Roll Call March 12

2012      Joanna Castle Miller   King Me: An Interview with Laura Elkins   We Love DC March 21

2012      The 202   Art Exhibits: The Fridge   March

2012      East City Art   King Me: Studies in the Uncivilized World   February

2012      Northwest Current   January 4

2011       Selections from Summer in the City    Certain Circuits  December 2011-January 2012

2011      Ben Valentine   Laura Elkins at Ground Floor Workshop   Contemporary Art Truck April 23

2011      Leah Taylor   Laura Elkins:DCwRAP   Flavorpill April 15

2011      Courtney Boyd Myers   Laura Elkins DCwRAP@ Ground Floor Workshop   courtbean April 15

2011      Megan Skidmore   Brooklyn's Coolest Art Space: Laura Elkins at Ground Floor Workshop   Go.See.Now. April 15

2011      DCwRAP   ArtCat   April

2011      Thomas Drymon   Q&A with a First Lady   Thomas Drymon Selects January 25

2011      Tom Risen  The Fridge Gallery To Kick Off February FestivaCity's Best   January 25

2011      Ellyn Weiss   White House Negligee   Gessohead January 20

2011      Dizzle   Laura Elkins: White House Negligee at the Fridge   Just About Anywhere January 14

2011      Haley Fults   A Peek at the First Ladies at the Fridge   DC Style Is Real January 14

2011      Maura Judkis   White House Negligee   TBD January 10

2011      Laura Elkins: White House Negligee @ The Fridge   Brightest Young Things January 8

2011      Philippa PB Hughes   Laura Elkins Opening: White House Negligee Pinkline Picks Pinkline Project January 8

2011      Michael O'Sullivan    White House Negligee: Gallery Opening of the Week   Washington Post January 6

2011      Laura McKenzie   White House Negligee   The Washingtonian  January 6

2010      Artnet News   Found on Facebook   January 27

2009      Liisa Rajala   Reframing Images of the First Ladies   Roll Call  April 13


2012       Joanna Castle Miller   King Me: An Interview with Laura Elkins   We Love DC   March 21

2011      Thomas Drymon   Q&A with a First Lady   Thomas Drymon Selects   January 25

2011      The Art List  Artist of the Month   October