Artist blazed trail for 'book art'
Author: TERESA ANNAS
Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA) - Saturday, June 2, 2007
Edna Sara Lazaron , a Norfolk artist, cared about the earth and all of its inhabitants. On that subject, she had much to say.
Through the decades, her work evolved into a new art form called book art, where the entire piece, binding to text, constitutes a single artwork. She was among the first to embrace this new approach, and was included in national exhibitions.
Lazaron stopped making art on that scale three years ago, when she left her Lochhaven home and moved into an assisted-living facility. Lazaron , 83, died on Thursday.
She was among the last of the artists representing "the golden age of creativity" in this region, said Norfolk artist Norman Goodwin, who had been friends with Lazaron for 40 years.
Though she didn't teach art at Old Dominion University , she was close to that school's art community in the 1960s and 1970s, when artists such as the late painter Charles Sibley moved here and forged a local art scene, Goodwin said.
"We all hung out at Edna Sara's," he said. "She was the most giving person," and reveled in the success of others.
Lazaron painted her home robin's-egg blue and her front door daffodil yellow. She turned her lawn into a field of flowers and plants, many of them collected in travels with her husband, Morris Lazaron , who died in 1996.
Gayle Paul , curator at the Courthouse Galleries in Portsmouth , recalled visiting Lazaron a decade ago in preparation for a show featuring her work.
"Her house was filled, top to bottom with her work, and that of others. You went out into her garden and it was full of art. Every part of her property was touched with some creative aspect," Paul said.
"I think her work was just laden with message," said Virginia Beach artist Anne Iott, a nationally known book artist. Human rights and the natural environment topped her concerns.
For any artist interested in addressing social issues in their work, Iott said, "there was a model, an artist who was able to use her materials to say what she had on her mind, and make art out of it."
A memorial service for Lazaron is set for 11 a.m. Monday at Ohef Sholom Temple in Norfolk. She is survived by three children, including Norfolk architect Ed Lazaron , who said his mother continued to make art in more modest ways until a few months ago.
She'd flatten her paper pill cups and paint them and use pill bottle caps as hats for clothespins.
"Clearly," Ed Lazaron said, "that gene wouldn't stop."
nReach Teresa Annas at (757) 446-2485 or [email protected]
Morris Samuel Lazaron
1917–1996 (m. 1944)
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