Northwestern welcomes cartoonist as artist in residence

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Northwestern welcomes cartoonist as artist in residence

Artist in Residence, Lauren Purje

Comic strip cartoonist and Northwestern artist in residence, Lauren Purje.

Comic strip cartoonist Lauren Purje, originally from Ohio, is visiting the Northwestern Oklahoma State University campus from Brooklyn, N.Y., for the month of February to serve as the Studio Art program’s artist in residence.

Jave Yoshimoto, assistant professor of art, found Purje through her work on a comic strip she draws for a blog called  Purje finished her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting degree from Ohio University in Athens before moving to New York to pursue her career, both as an artist, as well as her day job at an artist-owned gallery in Brooklyn.   

“I was really excited when Jave told me there was a natural history museum,” Purje said.  “They have let me rent birds and things to draw, so besides cartoons I’ve been drawing from the specimens also.”

After being in Alva a few weeks, Purje said she loved how nice everyone has been and the slower-pace lifestyle that allows her to sit down and practice her drawing.  By focusing on her work fulltime, she has had the chance to start a comic that she received a script for four years ago.  Before her residency is up, she plans to do some screen printing with Yoshimoto. 

Purje’s work will be on display at the Graceful Arts Center and Galleries March 6 for the First Friday Art Walk.  As of now she plans to display her bird drawings and more naturalist works, but she hasn’t yet decided for sure.  A more extensive sample of her work can be viewed on her website at

For more information about the artist in residence or the art program at Northwestern, contact Yoshimoto at (580) 327-8108 or