Laura Craig McNellis was born on September 8, 1957, in Nashville, Tennessee, and was the youngest of four sisters. McNellis’s mental retardation became apparent early in her life. Although there was some social pressure to institutionalize her, her family was determined that she should grow up at home. She attended day classes for mentally challenged children from age four to six, but was removed when the repetitiveness of the classes eventually frustrated her. McNellis’ family decided that learning at home presented a wider range of opportunities, both social and artistic. From a time when she was very young it was evident to those around her that McNellis greatly enjoyed painting.

Laura Craig McNellis has painted regularly, using tempera on blank newsprint as her medium, since childhood. For years her father brought home stacks of blank newsprint to keep up with the volume of her production. She still works only on this newsprint and has rejected any offers of canvas or better quality paper. see more…


A Different Lens


Laura Craig McNellis: Out of the Closet
Laura Craig McNellis – 2009
Laura Craig McNellis – 2001
Laura Craig McNellis: Night Work
Laura Craig McNellis: Works on Paper
Laura Craig McNellis – 1992


Laura Craig McNellis: Internal Conversations

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