Interview and Bio on Deanna McLaughlin of Cartrageous

“Cartrageous" began evolving as a series over the past decade. Impacted by the people I have met and the children I have worked with over the past 30 years, I came to understand how the shopping cart represents the arc of our consumer culture. My latest series, 3-D printed jewelry is an outgrowth of the shopping cart furniture series I began in 2008. As with each piece of furniture, I derive pleasure through the design challenge: "what else can I do with this shape:" Intended to be playful and fun the jewelry, like the furniture, is developed with a deeper intention. Those who purchase work from the Cartrageous series can find joy while giving twice - 15% of proceeds are donated to a local soup kitchen with each purchase. Because I and the people who work with T3B, LLC believe giving doesn’t have to be limited to a holiday or special event.
Cartrageous donates 20% of profits to a local soup kitchen, Feast Incarnate.

The mission of Feast Incarnate is to feed the hungry and welcome the stranger in an atmosphere of mutual respect and fellowship. We do this by serving a meal every Tuesday at 5pm to people who are food insecure. In contrast to the more conventional “soup kitchen approach” where meals are served cafeteria-style, our aim is to provide a healthy, hearty, comfortable meal served on china by volunteers to our guests who are seated. Feast began with a meal for 8 people 30 years ago and has grown to serving 80 to 120 every week.

Feast Incarnate is a volunteer-driven organization physically based in facilities at University Lutheran Church of the Incarnation, located at 3637 Chestnut Street. Each week, a different area congregation or agency provides food for the meal, and volunteers from student service organizations at Penn and Drexel participate as servers at virtually every meal.

Deanna has exhibited regularly and extensively since 1984 shortly before acquiring her Bachelor of Science from Bowling Green University in Ohio. Early highlights include exhibitions with the Ohio Watercolor Society, The Ohio Craftsman Group, and at galleries, museums, and outdoor festivals. She has received grants and awards for her oil paintings, ceramics, and drawings and has been awarded opportunities Nationally and Internationally. She was accepted as one of five Americans for the first Artist Exchange with the Union Of Artists of St. Petersburg, Russia. Living and working amidst the artists in a fienze (porcelain) factory was life-changing for her. One of the ceramic sculptural works she created there was selected for the Museum of Artists of St. Petersburg's permanent collection. Two years later she was chosen by People to People International to lead a delegation back to reconnect with the artist she had lived and worked with in St. Petersburg and later toured with the group through the waterways to Moscow. She continues to produce work in Philadelphia.  Several of her one-of-a-kind artworks are in private and corporate collections.

Artist Statement

Visual artist and designer Deanna McLaughlin creates unique artworks and custom creations for the home. Her Philadelphia studio space is a sanctuary for her to indulge in the creative process. She is inspired by the form, color, line, and texture found in nature and the world around her– anything from a stick to the mundane discarded objects of our society. Through her eyes, everyday objects are transformed into anything from joy-filled to pensive reflections about everyday events and American society. Most recently her work has focused on designing meditation spaces, garden furniture and pragmatic creations from repurposed sustainable objects. “Regardless of the material I use to make art, the creative process gives me the opportunity to merge my inner self with my reflections of the world in which we live.”