Clara Grace Hoag

Artist Statement

In my work, I build figure sculptures that reflect, and reflect on, the nature of the human condition and the “lived” urban experience. I integrate architectural motifs into my human forms, I build my sculptures in parts, and I combine those parts with construction adhesive, epoxy, and mortar. In this way, my sculptures take on the personality of a built environment: each piece is greater than the sum of its parts,

Within each of my figures are elements of human struggle and celebration, human vulnerability and strength. The dense skyscrapers, complex scaffolding, and slum housing in each piece illustrate the complexity of 21st century life, from the social constructions that keep our world running to the systemic structures that oppress us every day. Single buildings celebrate individuality or elevate the mundane; collections of architecture create tenuous landscapes where strength and vulnerability fight, constantly seeking balance.


Clara Grace Hoag was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She received two BFAs from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) in 2009, and she recently received an MFA in Ceramics from the University of Georgia (Athens) in 2013. Clara previously taught ceramics at the University of Georgia and Galveston College; she currently teaches Ceramics at Houston Community College, The Museum of Fine Art, and the University of Saint Thomas (Houston, TX). In addition to teaching, Clara has been a resident artist at The Archie Bray Foundation and The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft; she has participated in a number of national shows; and she plays a mean banjo.