“Create, create, create. Number one rule - do the work. The rest will follow.” – Launa Lee Eddy
For centuries, art has been a cornerstone of community. It cultivates a sense of identity that can transcend the barriers of time and the boundaries of borders. From Romantic era sculptures to modern-day murals, art both brings us together and creates a shared purpose.
Although Launa Lee Eddy lives in New York City, she has fallen in love with Boise (who wouldn’t?) and has spent more than four months as Xanadu’s Artist in Residence. Launa has spent her time crafting a massive 25-foot-tall sculpture, constructed with hand-formed steel, entitled The Mind’s Eye.
“The Mind's Eye represents the human ability to take struggle and pain and turn it into something beautiful and absurd. This piece is about the transformation from dark to light and is a monument to the human capacity to overcome adversity with imagination,” shared Launa. “The hope is that this piece inspires people to feel seen, and to experience a sense of wonder and joy from its poppy, colorful surrealism.”
Launa grew up in a family of offshore lobster trappers and spent her childhood learning how to operate boats and repair lobster traps. When the family wasn’t embarking on 100-mile journeys into the open ocean, they were raising Timber Wolves. To this day, Launa has a deep fondness for the ocean and prefers to live nearby, gathering materials like driftwood and vines to craft temporary sculptures. “However, I don't want to romanticize it too much. The ocean is a hard place to work, with hard people working it. And beneath the surface is a world of predators that clearly inspires some of humanity's science fiction.”
Her journey from lobster-wrangler to renowned artist began with writing. “I first discovered that I could change my perspective and the perspectives of others through writing,” she said. “I started creating by writing dark brooding poetry as a kid - it helped me process difficult things.”
Her ability to craft varying perspectives opened the door to transforming the three-dimensional world, through art and, eventually, sculpture. Fast forward to today, her wearable sculptures & masks have been featured at Art Basel in Miami, commissioned by Sean Lennon, seen in performance on David Letterman, and featured on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.
Using Xanadu’s creative space, Launa was able to craft the second half of The Mind’s Eye and revealed it to the world for the first time at this year’s 2022 Burning Man festival.
Xanadu, a community center founded by non-profit organization, the Idaho Burners Alliance, Inc, is an open studio available for rent. They cater to artists, teachers, dancers, and more. They host events and classes with the goal of inclusion and education in the fields of art, technology, science, and more.
Their website touts an important mission: ‘The goal of inclusion is part of our desire to find ways to combat loneliness, isolation, feelings of suicide or depression, and to bring in those that might otherwise not know how to take part in community. Old or young, all income levels and ability. We hope to create increasing ways for everyone to belong.’
They’ve truly cultivated a space where creativity and community can flourish together. Xanadu inspires us to not only appreciate the arts and education, but to feel deeply connected to both ourselves and to our surrounding community.
To learn more about Launa Eddy and The Mind's Eye, please visit www.launaeddy.com. For more information on Xanadu Community Center, you can visit IdahoBurnersAlliance.org.