Elaine Lorenz, born in the Bronx, is a sculptor and professor at William Paterson University where she teaches sculpture and ceramic sculpture. She has taught sculpture in adult education classes, art centers and museum educational programs. She earned a BA in sculpture from Marietta College in Ohio and an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Lorenz works mainly in ceramic, though has also worked with wood, metal, concrete, and encaustic over a wire armature. She has always referenced nature abstractly in her sculpture, from land-forms of the American Southwest to creatures and vegetation. Lorenz’s most recent body of work focuses on the “vast variety of seedpods and their promise of the future.” She feels that these sculptures have become “realistic, complex and suggestive” than previous work. At first, Lorenz was attracted to the “ burgeoning, ripe and luscious” and “supernatural” forms of new seedpods, though later became fascinated by the “somber beauty” of empty seedpods. “In my mind the empty pods became metaphors for many things: species extinction, barren nests, lack of nourishment, destruction of habitats and shelters - loss in general. I focus on the remains of what once was, and perhaps the broken promise of continuity of life.”
Lorenz has displayed work in numerous solo and group shows across the country. Solo show highlights in New York City include the Sculptors Guild Gallery, the Fulcrum Gallery, and the Bertha Urdang Gallery. She has also made large outdoor sculptures displayed at numerous sculptures sites, including at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, New York and The Fredonia Sculpture Project in Fredonia, New York. Her work is also included in many corporate and public collections. Some of Lorenz’s many awards include a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, a NJ State Council on the Arts Fellowship Grants in 1988 and 1999, an Athena Foundation Grant for Socrates Sculpture Park, and a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Grant, and a New Jersey State Sculpture Commission for the NJ Environmental Center Headquarters at DeKorte Park. She has been the President of the Sculptors Guild since 2014.