Lauren Sandler ( she/her )

Artist Statement

Clay as archival material tells stories. I utilize the layered and complex history of clay as a place to unearth stories that have been erased, distorted, or rewritten. My practice considers how knowledge, culture, and material are used as tools of storytelling and fabrication often in conflicting ways to regulate, exclude, and decenter narratives and histories. I employ the familiarity and accessibility of ceramic objects to serve as an entry point and engage a closer examination of the layers of context held in my pieces. My work looks at goods associated with ceramic objects, such as tea, sugar, coffee, salt, and the systems that support their production to examine economies of control that constitute migration, commodification, power dynamics, and labor. Through tactics of ornamentation and accumulation, my pieces strive to challenge the presumptive neutrality of material culture. From the textile work of my Italian and Jewish immigrant families in New York City to the colonial settler industries of Philadelphia, where I currently live, to the transnational extraction and movement of material as commodity, my work resides in the shared intersection of body, culture, and history to reflect on the intricate narratives contained in the earth.


Lauren Sandler is a ceramic artist and educator whose work deconstructs mythologies and investigates narratives of power and perspective. Her practice amplifies interdependence, highlights stories obfuscated or erased, and implicates our assumptions of normal and worth. Sandler exhibits nationally, as well as lectures and publishes concerning contemporary and historic issues in ceramics. She holds an MFA in Ceramics from Penn State University, and undergraduate degrees in Anthropology and Ceramics from Ithaca College and SUNY New Paltz. She is Assistant Professor and Program Head of Ceramics at Tyler School of Art and Architecture and currently serves on the Board of The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts as Director at Large.