Tara Lynnsmith McConnell was born in Pennsylvania and grew up in Colorado.  She is now a Denver based community and participatory artist.  She holds a Master’s of Art in Integrated Arts and Education from the University of Montana, Missoula, and a Master of Fine Arts in Visual Art from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, Vermont.  McConnell has worked as an art teacher for nine years and is experienced working with kindergarten through adult-aged students.  She hosts art and worship integration workshops and created a participatory project for 500 teen-agers in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 ELCA Senior High Youth Gatherings based on the theme “The Wonder of it All,”  “Woven,” and “The Pursuit.”  McConnell has exhibited publicly in Fraser Colorado, Decorah Iowa, at the College Hall Gallery of Vermont College of Fine Arts, the Hud Gallery in Ventura CA, Helen Day Art Center in Stowe VT, the Core Gallery annex on Santa Fe in Denver, the Artwork Network Gallery on Santa Fe in Denver, the Denver Seminary Gallery, and Gallery 970 in Loveland, CO.  McConnell’s 22 foot tall interactive and theme-based tree project was the center piece for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s Synod Assemblies for 2013 and 2014.  McConnell’s current work explores multi-media painting and designed experiences of play to encourage her viewers to reflect upon conditions of community connection and habitual norms.