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Unfortunate horseback riding accident propelled Lauren Gallaspy into the world of ceramics. Being temporarily disabled, the young artist was seeking a medium to regain her strengths. Her intense relationship with clay acted as a healing agent on her way to overcome bodily trauma. Then, Gallaspy attended the University of Georgia and graduated with a BFA in Ceramics. It was her MFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred College that paved the way for her highly recognizable work and its subtle, yet complex nuances. Tennessee-native Gallapsy began working as an instructor in ceramics at the University of Georgia, shortly after her studies in New York concluded.
She then served as the co-director and owner of Trace Gallery in Athens, Georgia. Her work received recognition from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts as an emerging artist in her trade. Lauren reaches into different disciplines to express her unique views and extraordinary craftsmanship and speaks of a tangibility that is not immediately or obviously visible, to say the least.
Gallaspy’s work garnered plenty of press, and most recently, saw her work featured in Glaze: The Ultimate Ceramic Artist’s Guide To Glaze and Color. Her delicately captivating work was exhibited in the United States and worked its way toward an international audience with over 60 group and solo exhibitions that goes back as far as 2007.
Lauren leaves her mark with combined techniques (ornamentation, obsessive mark-making, and decorative imagery) to capture a sense of rarity and transformations. Gallaspy draws inspiration from intellectual and spiritual impact and looks to the imbalanced silhouettes of Etruscan ware and artists like Bill Taylor, Howard Finster, and Dana Schutz.
“What I do is create spacial stories on clay – on these permanent but fragile objects – that get at some of the vulnerability of bodies and objects and landscape, interacting in a range of ways.”
Observing Gallaspy’s work is tricky, but it’s obvious in a sense that there are no intentions of simplifying her influence or facilitating a certain kind of experience in others through her work. Gallaspy relies on the engagement with ambiguity, and the deeply personal act that precedes the viewing of her work.
It is exactly these intricacies that weaves an enigmatic, yet mesmerizing path for a viewer to embark on, and her exhibition this January at the 2018 Featured Ceramic Artists, hosted by Lillstreet Gallery was no exception. Described as “intimate, vulnerable, and complex” by the Eutectic Gallery this is work that redefines the possibilities of contemporary functional ceramics.
This coming November, Gallaspy will be exhibiting at Greenwich House, but for now, there is not much that’s known about the direction or the nature of the work, but one thing is for certain: a Lauren Gallaspy exhibition will do nothing less than blow you away with its intricacies, attention to details and delightfully complicated nuances.