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Lauren Mabry

Teaching Artist - Past

Artist Statement:

The surfaces of my ceramic cylinders are bold, deep, dynamic compositions. The act of painting my work with layered slips and glazes is an intuitive process, which I have developed over time through experimenting with materials and methods. I relinquish control as I make marks, while considering formal dualities. For example, aggressive and passive elements are adjacent to one another. Bold hues intermingle with quiet tints and shades. The surfaces sometimes look weathered and aged, but at the same time colorfully lush and wet. The painted surface functions as an image contained by the edges of the form. A deep contemplative space extends beyond, or into, the tangible object itself, like a window into an alternate space.

I consider each cylinder to be a round painting. I keep my structures elemental in order to serve as a dimensional, but paired down canvas. The juicy characteristics of the glazes are opposed by hard-cut, linear edges of still, calculated, forms. When viewed in profile the cylinders resemble a flattened plane, which blurs the boundary between object and image. When approached the inside of the vessel is revealed, creating another dichotomy: interior and exterior. I use form as a means to reiterate the psychological depth of the surface, but also to emphasize the important presence that objects have.

My aim is to create work that is scintillating and dramatic. I want viewers to stop and examine my work with curiosity about how and why I made it. There is an inherent sense of mystery in the ceramic medium. To finish the work, it will always be removed from my hand, loaded into a closed kiln, and heated to temperatures that melt the materials together, transforming the piece. I anticipate the outcome, but it is always different than my expectations. That same sense of ‘unknown element’ remains in my completed work. When viewers look at my work I hope they experience color, form, and material as a synergistic whole, in a new, unexpected way.



Mabry is originally from Madison, Wisconsin. She received her BFA in ceramics from Kansas City Art Institute in 2007 and her MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2012. She has also studied abroad in Kecskemét, Hungary at the International Ceramics Studio. Her most recent residency was at The Archie Bray Foundation For Ceramic Arts (summer ’12). Mabry has work in permanent collections at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (Overland Park, KS) and The Sheldon Museum of Art (Lincoln, NE). Her exhibitions include The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, The Clay Studio of Philadelphia, and many more. Lauren is currently an instructor at The Clay Studio's School.