Grad student in ceramics wins top prize in national exhibition

Lauren Mabry and her pottery piece "Cylinder."
Lauren Mabry and her pottery piece "Cylinder."

Lauren Mabry of Madison, Wis., a master of fine arts in ceramics candidate in the Department of Art and Art History, won first prize for her piece, "Cylinder," in the eighth-annual Marge Brown Kalodner Graduate Student Exhibition at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia.

The Marge Brown Kalodner Graduate Student Exhibition highlights the best work of students or recent graduates from the best graduate programs in ceramics from across the United States. The exhibition identifies emerging artists whose work is deserving of attention and provides a forum for the exhibition of their work and introduces the ceramics community to this next generation of talented makers.

"Lauren is talented and worked very hard as a student," said Peter Pinnell, Hixson-Lied professor of ceramics and interim chair of the Department of Art and Art History. "It's nice to see her begin to get national recognition for her work."

"Cylinder" is made of clay, slips and glazes. Mabry layers slips and glazes over red earthenware to create colorfully lush and texturally rich surfaces, which appear to be weathered and peeled - yet shiny and fresh. Frenetic smears of powerful colors and bold hues intermingle with quiet tints and shades. The sumptuous surface, applied to subtle forms, functions formally as an abstract composition and conceptually as a recreation of her own vague or blurred visual memories.

Mabry earned her bachelor of fine arts in ceramics at the Kansas City Art Institute. She has studied abroad at the International Ceramics Studio in Kecskemet, Hungary, and completed post-baccalaureate work in pottery at Colorado State University. She is the recipient of a Hixson-Lied Graduate Fellowship at UNL.

Her recent exhibitions include "Beyond the Brickyard," international juried exhibition at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Mont., in 2011; "Ceramic Works" solo exhibition at Handmade Modern Studio and Gallery in Lincoln in 2010; and "National Juried Cup Exhibition" at the Lux Center for the Arts in Lincoln in 2010. Mabry was an artist-in-residence for nine months at the Carbondale Clay Center in Carbondale, Colo., in 2008 and 2009.

- Kathe Andersen, Fine and Performing Arts

More details at: