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December 12, 2018

Sculpting Her Path: Lauren Skelly Bailey ’12, M.A. ’14, Makes Her Mark With Museum of Arts and Design Exhibit

by Choya Randolph, M.F.A. '18

Sculpture by Lauren Skelly Bailey

When you walk into the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan, you’ll see 125 pieces of colorful coral art relating to coral bleaching events and clay art exploring the possibilities of varied surfaces. This is Lauren Skelly Bailey: Studio Focus, an exhibit displaying the work of Lauren Skelly Bailey ’12, M.A. ’14, through January 13, 2019.

“The work is about wonderment,” said Bailey, “…but also the dangers of global warming, leading to bleach events, color changes and structural difficulties.”

Bailey is an alumna of the Museum of Arts and Design Artist Studios Residency Program that allows artists to share a studio at the museum over several months. During a visit with members of the education department at Bailey’s personal studio, the opportunity was offered to her.

As a first-year student at Adelphi, Bailey’s talent was noticed by Anti Liu, M.A. ’03, her Three Dimensional Design professor (and creator of the popular GiAnt DisCo Man sculpture, which was displayed on campus as part of Adelphi’s Outdoor Sculpture Biennial exhibition for 2012 to 2014). After networking with ceramic artists who were studying at Adelphi, Bailey found the perfect material to feed her passion. She works predominantly with clay and sculpts many series of corals, conglomerates and installations.

At the time, the traditional wood-fired kiln at the Adele and Herbert J. Klapper Center for Fine Arts at Adelphi was the only one at a school on Long Island. It allowed artists to participate, learn about the firing process and see the results.

“This process was one that I enjoyed at Adelphi,” she said. “This opportunity also allowed for me to experience a firing and see a transformation of my work from one color to multiple colors.”

The Museum of Arts and Design isn’t the only venue where Bailey’s work has been showcased. Monday, October 8, through Friday, November 2, 2018, Bailey and Katherine Volpe ’16 had their art presented as part of the 2018 Alumni Art Exhibition in the Adelphi University Performing Arts Center Gallery. And on Tuesday, October 16, Bailey was part of the Fourth Annual Art Alumni Panel Discussion, which featured Adelphi art alumni.

Bailey is currently an adjunct professor at Concordia College in Bronxville, New York. On January 12, 2019, she’ll be leading a workshop at the Museum of Arts and Design. More information will be available toward the end of December on her website.

“Adelphi’s clay program gave me the time I needed to learn the process of making clay and [glazing],” she said. “My mentors pushed me at every step to push my own boundaries… . I’m grateful [my professors] spent time teaching and critiquing my work.”

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