Lauren Balint - Sculptor
Lauren Balint is originally from a suburb of Pittsburgh, received her college degree from Mercyhurst College for Art Education and moved to Amherst in 2012 for a teaching position. She teaches at three elementary schools, teaches art classes outside the classroom, is involved with Alpha Delta Kappa teaching sorority and volunteers with Girls on the Run.
Lauren began creating ceramic and sculptural work mostly in college and continued working in both mediums as a hobby. In college, she painted a mural at the Erie Zoo and a few pieces in college and local art shows. Recently, she has decided to make her art have a move active role within her life and had a show at Sweet Briar College this past spring and her first piece selected for a juried art show in March.
WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE AN ARTIST?
I have always been creative, but throughout childhood I always wanted to be building things and designing things to build, not necessarily drawing, painting or sculpting. I originally thought about being involved with architecture, but I took an art class senior year of high school which started me on the journey of pursuing art and later, deciding to do something with my art.
HOW DOES YOUR PERSONAL STORY/BACKGROUND INFLUENCE YOUR WORK?
My organic forms actually started coming about in college and were based off of tree bracket fungus. I used to go mushroom hunting with my father when I was younger and help him collect the mushrooms (as well as golf balls lost in the woods). Years later, the summer before my senior year of college, I was a camp counselor in Michigan and these crazy large mushrooms would grow after it rained. These mushrooms kind of stuck with me when I started brainstorming ideas for my senior thesis work. Most of my work has evolved from these organic fungus forms I created during my senior year of college.
WHICH OF YOUR WORKS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
It’s hard to say-- I fall in love with every new piece that I make and anytime something gets pulled from the glaze firing, I usually love it more than I did when it was put into the kiln.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT BEING A PROFESSIONAL ARTIST?
The thing I find the hardest is having enough time to get things done. During the school year, I’m busy teaching and worrying about my students and their artwork. During the summer, I like to travel and visit friends and family. Ceramic work isn’t really something you can just place in your bag and take with you; you have to make time to visit the studio, which can be hard with a busy schedule.
WHAT ARE THE NAMES/URLS OF 2-3 OTHER ARTISTS THAT INSPIRE YOU?
Maya Lin (mayalin.com)
Tom Hubert (hubertceramics.com)