Two muralists from Montana with passion for art, travel, and everything in between.
Lorin Pope was born in Missouri, Lorin has spent the last 20 years in the Greater Yellowstone area. Profoundly influenced by this nearly intact ecosystem, she incorporates the designs found in nature whenever possible. Light, depth, texture, contrast, temperature, are major design influences.
Commissioned to do a residential interior mural in 2018, Lorin posted a photo of a demolished barn in the Ozarks adding the caption, "Shopping." Reclaimed Barn wood would be the ideal canvas for the Midwestern plains family to commemorate its heritage. More than one of her clients has benefited from Lorin's life experience as a carpenter earlier in life. Take the Saketome Sushi Restaurant in Missoula, MT where Lorin designed a 7 ft. tall, 25 ft. long hand-carved maple wood salmon. The salmon wall sculpture was made possible from her earlier days in making skateboards using her homemade press and veneering her own plywood.
Wildly imaginative, Lorin is inclined to throw in touches of fantasy and whimsy whenever possible, which is exactly what she did for the prominent Bozeman restaurant, JAM! Owner Aaron Parker offered up his 75 ft. long x 15 ft. tall wall. She made use of the wall as her personal sketchpad, bringing it to life just as Jazz musicians do with their improvisational style.
Lani McKay was born and raised in Hawaii, Lani's Polynesian heritage plays a significant role in her philosophical perspective to living. "Traditional Maori art was characterized by objects made for practical and symbolic purposes. They gave visual form and shape to cultural belief systems and expressed spiritual ideas in natural materials," says Lani. Her Maori ancestors influenced her through their carvings, weaving, songs and dances. As a result, Lani has always been inclined to express herself artistically.
"Art is essential to my life and is the best way I can serve my higher purpose," says Lani. "Through LOLA I can make myself available to travel and create large scale work. I have had many related jobs in the past, such working as an art specialist in Montessori schools, as a director at a bakery, an independent graphic designer, a birth photographer and portrait artist...all of these experiences have helped lead me to this point. I want my art to reach more people."
"An important aspect of design is to allow the clients to describe the feeling that they want to communicate in the designated space," she states. "This kind of personal inquiry is crucial to have with prospective clients, since a mural can drastically affect the atmosphere. For example, if I am doing a mural for a child's room, the subject matter, colors, light and texture should be a custom fit to inspire and uplift that child's spirit."
Lani explains. "Every property has its own character. Its historic attributes, its rustic features, or even the absence of aesthetic qualities, it's our pleasure to consider those challenges and incorporate new artistic ideas."
With her paintings in private homes and commercial establishments, Lani says, "LOLA was the next logical step, a leap of faith, a journey that allows us to focus on one commission at a time. It's also the fulfillment of what we've known all along...that art is our passion, strength and contribution to communities we may not have otherwise explored."