Explore local artist's work
March - May 2020
A QR code at each site of Laura’s works gives viewers access to the Schlumpy Funk Studios, where a cat named Boots will guide them to chill out, collect found objects, and bring them together into Schlumpy Funk sculptures.
I had the pleasure of being introduced to Laura via Michelle, who lived above her studio, the Claypen, at the time of the project.
The word schlumpy, which has Yiddish origins, is often referred to as unkempt and sloppy.
The term funk originated from jazz artists when referring to improvisation and freestyle interludes.
Laura started the Schlumpy Funk art movement.
In her words, it has "its origins based in the Surrealist, Dada and Funk movements. Clay artists Robert Arneson, Peter Voulkos, Beatrice Wood, and George E. Ohr were all predecessors to the Schlumpy Funk movement, contributing free flowing, expressive and often humorous ceramic forms."
Each month, people from all over Pittsburgh stroll Penn Avenue between the 4800 and 5500 blocks to meet with artists and business owners. Visitors can bask in Penn Avenue's creative energy – experiencing a mix of photography, dance, painting, sculpture, music and spoken word performances.
Laura fosters over 20 cats. They are an inseparable element of the Claypen.
We created a simplified version of Laura's studio for visitors to explore.
Thank you to Laura Jean McLaughlin for your help in creating this work.