Laura Chasman grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. She is a graduate of the School of Fine Arts, Boston/Tufts University, and Smith College School of Social Work. Artists need to support themselves and Chasman always had an interest in psychology. She was a practicing psychotherapist and a geriatric social worker. At times her clinical experience inspired her work as a painter of people.
Chasman has been exhibiting her work in galleries and institutions for over 40 years. She was a recipient of the Maud Morgan Prize, which included a solo exhibition awarded by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; an Artadia finalist; a recipient of a Fellowship in Painting, as well as two finalist awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Her portraits were included in two of the Boochever exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Chasman received three grants from the Artist Resource Trust, Taconic Foundation and was awarded two fellowships to attend the Vermont Studio Center residency. She was a visiting artist at the Addison Gallery of American Art in conjunction with their exhibition “Alice Neel”. Her work is in private and public collections including Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, New Britain Museum of American Art, Fidelity Investments, Simmons College and the Boston Public Library.
My subject matter is drawn from my daily life, the people and the situations that I encounter. This is where I find my inspiration. I am drawn to how my subjects look, feel, and express themselves, and how I have come to know them. To capture the physicality and the spirit of my subjects is what I am after.
Painting the portrait of one person has often led to a series of images of others within the same social context. I begin by taking a series of photographs. Photography enables me to study the nuances of my subjects and the spaces they inhabit. Painting with gouache, acrylic, or Flashe, I work to bring the image to life, always striving towards a freer, more expressive way of painting. It is the experience of finding myself with others that I had never imagined knowing that soon grows to the recognition that here is an opportunity to capture my experience.