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Born in New York, Lorraine initially attended Goddard College in Vermont for a year and completed an internship at the Guggenheim Museum before deciding to study art. After a summer at the Art Students League, she transferred to the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) and earned her BFA in 1977. In 1980 she received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she studied with many of the Chicago Imagists, including Karl Wirsum and Ray Yoshida. Upon graduating she won a Traveling Fellowship Award for her sculpture and was awarded an Illinois Completion Grant. In Chicago she was represented by the Nancy Lurie Gallery and was included in shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art, The Chicago Cultural Center, and Navy Pier. At the Randolph Street Gallery, she curated a show about the burgeoning phenomena of functional art, a subject that held great interest for her and impacted her future work.

Following graduate school, Lorraine spent many years designing furniture and interiors in Chicago, New York and in Los Angeles. The emphasis in her design work relied on her skills as a decorative artist that included painted finishes, stenciling, and mosaics. When she returned to her studio practice, she incorporated a tactile sensibility into her work along with a love for folk art and architecture. Her work today still addresses the built environment as well as the transformation of ephemera and paint into personal narratives. Lorraine has lived in Eagle Rock, CA since 2011 and divides her time between her studio, exhibiting, and writing for art publications and blogs. She also takes on curatorial projects that bridge these two practices.