Bio: Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Lauren Herzak-Bauman studied ceramics at The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (MFA 2009) and Bowling Green State University (BFA 2004). Lauren is the recipient of numerous grants including the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant and the Cuyahoga Arts and Culture Creative Workforce Fellowship. She returned to her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio to pursue her artistic career in 2013 after living in Minneapolis for seven years. Recent exhibitions include "Field" at SPACES Gallery in Cleveland, Ohio, and "Boundless" at Barr Gallery in New Albany, Indiana.
Artist statement: With clay as a primary medium, I make large-scale installations that examine the materiality and production of contemporary ceramics, and my evolving relationship with death and loss. Porcelain is my clay of choice for its strength, fragility, and translucency. I am curious about the relationship between the objects I make and my own perceptions of control, particularly how porcelain’s capabilities to warp, bend, crack, and break reveal the human nature of the work and the error my hands impart.
Recently, I began to make public art. The unifying thread through my installations and public art is creating a transformative experience for those who encounter my work. When designing work for a public place, I focus on the specifics of that particular location in which it will reside-the history associated with a site, the residents and passersby that might encounter the artwork, and the impact the art will have over time. I consider how materials and objects can reflect and highlight the given landscape. For example, when considering a site, I seek out the overlooked or under appreciated, such as a telephone pole, with its crisscrossing lines and loops of material; or the shifting movement of water on a lakeshore and how varying weather patterns bring different abstracted lines and movement.
I also produce a line of functional pottery. I believe in the power of handmade objects to transform our everyday experiences and I design for those who want to elevate their surroundings. My work is informed by my contemporary art upbringing. While I launched my functional ceramics line in 2014, I continue to practice sculpture and love the interplay between art, objects, and design.
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