Lauren Stanford was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She grew up spending her summers at her grandparents’ remote homestead, which fostered her imagination and inspired her love of animals. Lauren began working with clay while pursuing an English (Creative Writing) degree from Colorado State University. She graduated in 2010 and returned home to Alaska. Lauren went back to school full time to study ceramic sculpture and earned her BFA from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2018. The following fall, Lauren began the first of two terms as an Artist in Residence at the Mendocino Art Center in Mendocino, CA. In 2019, she spent a month at the Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, MT as a short-term Artist in Residence. Lauren is also a fourth generation commercial fisherman and setnets near the mouth of the Naknek river each summer. When not in a clay studio or picking fish, Lauren enjoys spending time with her small pack of rescue dogs, dabbling in theatrical productions, or sipping a cup of good tea with family and friends. She currently resides in Anchorage, AK. Lauren's ceramic sculpture can be viewed on her website:
Creating ceramic sculpture is a dynamic process. What was essentially mud has the ability to be transformed through sculpting, firing, and glazing into a permanent piece that will exist long after I am gone. This transformation of malleable clay to a stone-like sculpture directly relates to the healing process I experience while creating my art: each piece brings a clearer understanding of self that is stronger and more permanent than the previous version. Clay also allows me to articulate isolating thoughts and feelings into a tangible object that creates a dialogue with others. I use animal forms to tell human narratives. These animals operated as an approachable door to topics, such as my personal mental health struggles, that can be difficult to discuss. I am perpetually surprised and comforted to learn that my hopes and fears, my struggles and dreams, aren’t all that unique. By sharing my experiences through my artwork, dialogues occur and connections are formed. An understanding between artist and audience is created, and therefore the healing moves beyond myself.