Laura Cooper Elm

Laura Elm is a typical renaissance artist - a master potter and painter whose expressive work is brilliantly detailed and multifaceted. Her openness to experience and theoretical temperament are integral to a passionate pursuit of a wide variety of art forms. She possesses the rare combination of being incredibly focused and detail-oriented while retaining optimism, idealism and vision.
A prolific maker of lyrical things; searching for sublime and hidden meaning; she uses a painterly palette of high key color – difficult to achieve in studio ceramics, that segues seamlessly with her painting and works on paper. Elegant forms and expert drawing are developed from analytical observation of the natural world and then re-tooled, tweaked and intensified imaginatively.
The graphic quality of her work stems from a love of anything beautifully designed and well crafted; especially calligraphy, typography and the printed page. Book arts and textiles form a cohesive connection with pattern and repetition.
Laura’s clay work encompasses functional vessels and sculptural forms overlaid with painterly content like tattoos on skin. The Tattoo Foo Series imparts inherent luck, often blind; sometimes dumb, to traditional tomb figures aka Guardians of Soul. These figures are the domain of Heaven and Hell based on the metaphorical fine line humans tend to walk. Inspired by classic literature and romantic poetry, common features in her work include a strong graphic use of black and white, the sun and moon, and time.  The progression of this subject matter ties in nicely with charming Creatures of Habit showing off familiar quirks and playful mannerisms.
During more than a few paradisiacal island years, while living in Micronesia, Elm traveled extensively embracing and incorporating the history, mythology, archeology and art of many cultures including her own oddly American heritage. The overlapping spheres of influence are evident.
Bringing over 30 years of artistic and teaching experience, she thoroughly enjoys the process of learning and quickly draws parallels and cross references ideas that translate intuitively and connect with people young and old.
Lives and Works: Crested Butte, CO
Education: BFA, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

SELECTED Exhibitions + Awards

2013 First Place People’s Choice, Clay Continuum, SPACe Gallery, La Veta, CO
2013 Second Place, Sculptural Ceramics, Clay Continuum, SPACe Gallery, La Veta, CO
2011 Best in Show / Functional Ceramics, Clay Continuum, SPACe Gallery, La Veta, CO
2010 Contemporary Clay Biennial, The Art Center, Grand Junction, CO
2005 American Craft Council, Chicago, IL
2004 American Craft Council, Chicago, IL
2003 American Craft Council, Baltimore, MD