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Lauren Cunningham 

A found artist

Twenty-one-year-old Lauren Cunningham is a sculptor and a full-time student at Davidson College. For the last four years, she has pushed past her own uncertainty and the doubt of family and friends to become a nationally recognized artist.

Cunningham began as a freshman at Tulane University in New Orleans. Because of Hurricane Katrina, the school was evacuated on the first day. She left with only what she was wearing, a toothbrush, and a cell phone and became a temporary student at Davidson, where she ultimately decided to remain.

For artistic inspiration, she turns to found objects or those with a purpose unrelated to art, such as combs, balloons, and pencils.

Her "Comb Curtain," a curtain made from melted black hair combs, won first place in an internationally-juried show at Florida State University's Museum of Fine Art, as well as national renown in a Providence, R.I. competition.

Cunningham hopes that people will be able to enjoy ambiguous art, like her own. "People are all about instant gratification. If there's something they can't explain or find a definition for they impose one or say it's not art."

Parkour is her newest obsession. According to the philosophy behind this French sport, there are no limits, only obstacles, and all obstacles can be overcome. This means Cunningham will be spending a lot of time leaping over fences and scaling walls.

She hopes to build a labyrinth on Davidson's campus. Built from a kit, the labyrinth, through which there is only one path, will provide students with a means of meditation and relaxation.

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