SPRINGFIELD — Laura Bundesen, an artist-entrepreneur from Huntington, will exhibit and sell her mixed-media ‘brain artwork’ at a one-of-a-kind, neuro-themed pop-up shop at ReevX Labs in Springfield from Nov. 29 through Dec. 4.
Bundesen is one of 10 entrepreneurs chosen for the inaugural experience at the community hub at 270 Bridge St., which is funded by Berkshire Bank and supported by Valley Venture Mentors. She is excited to have the opportunity to use the space for her solo display and sale.
Her neuro-art pop-up shop will be open Nov. 29 to Dec. 3 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Dec. 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Community members are invited.
Bundesen calls herself a ‘neuro-artist,’ and said her work, which ranges from $14 enamel lapel pins to $3,600 embroidered paintings, especially resonates with people with neurological disorders, their loved ones, and with scientists, neurologists, psychologists, and others in healthcare.
“They find it intricate, interesting, and inspiring,” she said. “I’ve had a number of people who’ve had traumatic brain injuries, brain tumors, epilepsy, stroke, or multiple sclerosis (MS) buy my work because it inspires them and gives them hope.”
At the heart of most of Bundesen’s work is painstaking hand embroidery. A canvas might feature a whimsical rendering of a brain, in handiwork at the center, with paint on a work’s periphery. Each piece is unique and colorful and offers what Bundesen calls “fantastical, imaginary brains.”
Bundesen began embroidering in the ’70s as a teenager, and she has long been involved in art communities and served as the executive director of an art school in New Jersey in the early 2000s.
In 2014, she was inspired in part by people in her family and friends living with dementia, brain tumors, or mental illness to create her first two brain pieces.
At the time, she was a sponsored research officer at Mount Holyoke College, helping faculty members submit grant proposals to fund their research; she worked closely with neuroscientists.
“They liked my work and encouraged me,” she said. “One of the neuroscientists told me I should exhibit at the Society for Neuroscience annual convention, and since then, I’ve really been concentrating only on brains.”
She was also particularly encouraged by a pediatric neurosurgeon who has bought eight original pieces over the years. “She keeps coming back. She is appreciative because she does handiwork herself, and she understands the hours and hours of labor that go into it.”
Since she began focusing on neuro-art, Bundesen has become fascinated by brain health, and she’s learned much, including the fact that nearly one in six people are living with a neurologic disorder. “What really fascinates me, besides how the brain works, is that we’re learning so much every day,” she said. “I have an innate curiosity born out of dealing with neurologic disorders in my own family and with people close to me.”
Bundesen’s work includes mixed-media originals, prints, earrings, coloring books, and brain-shaped lapel pins. A large selection will be available at the pop-up shop for in-person shopping. Anyone interested in learning more about her wares can visit her website and shop at www.laurabundesen.com.