Lauren Karnitz earned a B.A. in English Education and Russian Literature from New York University in 1992, taught English in New York City, then accepted a job in Seattle. In 2001 she returned to academia to pursue her first love, painting. In 2004, while completing her Fine Arts degree at University of Tennessee, Lauren opened Three Flights Up Gallery in downtown Knoxville, where she was founding partner and curator through 2009. Lauren remains active in Knoxville's art community, while exhibiting her own work and raising two boys. Her work is in private collections around the country.