Fatigue & Clay in My Ears: Why I Love Lamplighter
Sometimes I catch myself spacing out in ambiguous roadside diners late at night, lose myself in thrift shops looking for sweaters and ceramic owls, and focus too long on cadmium splotches of tempera- all due to work exhaustion. I’ve come home with clay in my ear, paint in my hair, and gone out for coffee with charcoal smeared on my face.
I’m Lauren DiPalma, art editor at Lamplighter, independent artist, and art educator. I am the fine arts enrichment educator at North Star Academy in Newark, New Jersey, and an instructor for the Studio Kids Art program offered at the Art Garage in downtown Montclair. I’ve featured my artwork in group showcases and charity events in New Jersey at the Apollo 1 Gallery in Boonton, Trinity and the Pope in Asbury Park, Open Hearts Music and Art Festival in Jackson, and the Local Folk-al Point Festival in Point Pleasant.
I put up with my own fatigue and artistic exasperation because I truly admire my students and the artists I work with for their capacity to create the inner workings of their imaginations, their eagerness to learn and explore their existence, and their innate desire to freely express the songs of their souls. It is my mission to work towards the progression of both students and artists through my work as an educator and as editor at Lamplighter here in New Jersey. I love working at Lamplighter because it has given me the opportunity to reach further than I ever could before to provide support to all the artistic souls residing in our great state of New Jersey by recognizing and rewarding their creative importance.
My work here with the magazine is all done in memory of my dad, John DiPalma, who passed away in 2012 and who first inspired me toward my artistic path. My dad was my best friend and my greatest supporter, the one who taught me how to draw a star when I was 5. He was the front man and guitarist of a New Jersey metal band for over 10 years, and he gave me my first autographed copy of Metal Edge Magazine when I was in elementary school. I can’t carry a tune to save my life, but I carry him with me in my memory, letting him live on like the catch of a riff throughout my endeavors in art and my work with artists, writers, and musicians at Lamplighter.
I can only reach so far on my own. In order to continue my mission to make and celebrate art, to make Lamplighter successful in the way that we at the magazine plan to, I have placed my trust in the community I so love. And I can think of no greater way to honor my dad than to give those people who welcomed him into their community the recognition they deserve for the art they create and give to the world. Now, I am asking you to help us grow as an organization by contributing to our Indiegogo campaign. You’re helping to fund our magazine, yes, but you’re also helping to fund a way for us to express our love for New Jersey and its artists.