Lanter’s ceramics featured at Lawrence Arts Center

Stephanie Lanter, Catron professor of art at Washburn University, is one of the featured artists at the Lawrence Art Center’s “Body Awareness” exhibit. This is one of Lanter’s pieces from 2007 called the “Double Sucker.”

Kate Arroyo

The Friday evening opening reception at Lawrence Arts Center was crowded as patrons enjoyed viewing new exhibits featuring a wide variety of ceramics arts. The pieces ranged from miniature to life-size, from traditional to eclectic, from serene to disturbing. The works were created by artists from around the country, including Washburn Catron professor of art, Stephanie Lanter.

Lanter’s  pieces were part of the “Body Awareness” exhibit, which showcased the work of four artists working with contemporary ceramics.

According to Ben Alvers, curator of LAC, the artists often incorporate mindfulness of the human shape into their art.

“These pieces offer unique perspectives on awareness of the body as well as innovative approaches to the ceramics medium,” said Alvers. “These four individual voices create a fresh conversation on the subject of body awareness, surprising us both in the ways they challenge expectations about bodies and in the ways they push the boundaries of the ceramics medium.”

The pieces created by Lanter are mixtures of ceramic and crochet, which she states symbolize, celebrate and satirize the pursuit of pleasure, security and stimulation.

“With critical humor I attempt to portray the perceived inelegancies of the human psyche for what they truly are, elegant and powerful adaptive techniques for survival.”

Her pieces are considered thought-provoking, and somewhat mysterious. Their soft and lacy exteriors are inviting to the touch, an interesting juxtaposition to the hard objects within.

The “Body Awareness” exhibit also includes work from Tom Bartel, an assistant professor at Ohio University, who often creates disjointed human forms. The pieces wear clownish hats with bright colors and patterns on distorted human figures.

“My intentions are best conveyed through fragmentation of the human form where my interest is to encourage, if not require, the viewer to participate with the work,” said Bartel.