Lauren Herzak-Bauman

Born and raised in Cleveland, OH, Lauren received a BFA in Ceramics from Bowling Green State University and an MFA in Studio Art from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. She returned to Cleveland, Ohio in 2013 to pursue my artistic career after living in Minneapolis, MN for close to seven years. She now lives and works in a former electric car-manufacturing factory in Lakewood, Ohio.

Lauren’s practice is three-fold: she makes pottery, sculpture, and public art. Within each of these practices, she uses concept and craft to create a transformative experience for her audience. Her most recent public art project is currently installed at Penn State Behrend in Erie, PA.

Lauren worked with students and faculty at the plastics fabrication laboratory on campus to design and fabricate a site-specific public art piece entitled Colorwalk. Other recent public art projects include Common Energy for Cleveland Public Library’s See Also program and Trichromic at Cuyahoga Community College Western Campus.

While living in Minnesota she received several grants and fellowships to expand her artistic practice and work on large-scale projects, including the MCAD Jerome Emerging Artist Fellowship and the Minnesota State Arts Board Arts Initiative Grant. Lauren was a CPAC 2016 Creative Workforce Fellow, which she utilized to expand upon her sculpture and public art practice.

In the last few years, Lauren has exhibited her work in several solo two and three-person exhibitions including SPACES Gallery in Cleveland, Harcourt House in Edmonton, Alberta, and most recently, Gallery W at the American Greetings Headquarters in Westlake. Lauren also shows sculptures at Corey Daniels Gallery in Wells, Maine.

Lauren has participated in several residencies and workshops around the country and internationally, including leading a two-week residency at Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts in Maine and attending a month-long residency at Da Wang Cultural Center near Jingdezhen, China.

Visit Lauren Herzak-Bauman’s website and Instagram page.

Featured work

Amor Fati, 2018

Lauren Herzak-Bauman Ceramics

Stack Series, 2020

Lauren Herzak-Bauman Ceramic artist

With clay as a primary medium, I make large-scale installations that examine the materiality of clay, the 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.

My intent as an artist is to design and execute work that creates a cathartic impact for the viewer through site, scale, and material. When built and sited properly, the scale shift of large-scale site-specific installation is meant to overwhelm the viewer through its gestural arrangement, with everything else in the space centered on this gesture and informing or supporting that moment. My first concern is about creating a phenomenological experience for my audience, raising questions about space, beauty, and loss.

While much of my work is made in clay, I frequently incorporate many different materials and methods in my practice, including wood and metal fabrication, fabric manipulation, printmaking, and repetitive hand processes. I regularly use power tools to make my work and practice the recommended safety and maintenance procedures for each piece of equipment. Having let go of following the conventions of ceramic art, I am free to make work that pushes the boundaries of material and allow for other conversations to emerge, such as site specificity, material properties, and the temporal qualities of the work.