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Cortland Harstad

2023-24 STUDIO ASSISTANT

Cortland was born and raised in the St. Cloud area and currently resides in St. Joseph. He started his career in the creative fields after studying 3D Modeling and Graphic Design at Minneapolis Media Institute. He served as a Studio Photographer, a Graphic Designer, and a Studio Specialist during his career and now currently teaches as a Visual Arts Coordinator at the Boys and Girls Club of America.

Cortland was introduced to Maine Prairie Studio through his Studio Specialist position at  Cherrico Pottery during a Wood-Firing opportunity. This opportunity not only lit the fire of the kiln, named Rocinante, but lit a proverbial fire in his heart for the awe inspiring community and practice of pottery. He quickly found himself taking classes with JD and Megan and in April of 2023 he became a Studio Assistant at Maine Prairie Studio.

Artist Statement

My practice in ceramics is a marriage of all of these disciplines and includes a deep care for the preservation of historical practices and knowledge. My body of work demonstrates my steep infatuation with the ancient practices of clay refinement, manipulation, firing and inspiration from the Mediterranean and Mesopotamia regions.

Lauren Lukasvitz

2023-24 Studio Assistant

Lauren lives in Sauk Rapids, MN where she works with children with Autism providing
therapeutic services as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minor in Art from University of Minnesota Duluth in 2016. She later pursued a Master’s degree at Ball State University in Special Education emphasizing in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2022. She first started working with ceramics during her time at UMD with her main focus being hand building.

Lauren began taking classes at Maine Prairie Studio in the winter of 2022 to learn more about the wheel throwing process and became a Studio Assistant at Maine Prairie Studio since April of 2023. 

Artist Statement

I utilize common household objects to create surface texture in my work. I make functional and sculptural work with both hand building and wheel throwing techniques where I incorporate surface texture into these designs.