Years after receiving her BFA in Communications Design from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, Lauren went to graduate school at the age of 40, where she not only received her MFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art, but also her nickname “Sadie”. It was at MICA that she studied under abstract expressionist painter Grace Hartigan, who forever changed the way she looked at art.
Other Graces have shaped Lauren, too: both of her grandmothers were named Grace. Lauren grew up with her father telling her how much she resembled her late Grandmother Grace. Her maternal Grandmother Grace was the one who exposed Lauren to art, someone Lauren credits with saving her life by changing her from an uninspired student into a thriving artist. Recognizing the ways in which The Graces and her experiences at MICA altered her perspective and changed her life, Lauren went on to name her new company “Sadie & Grace”.
The other elements of Lauren’s work are no coincidence. The natural dyes used in her fabrics come from her experience teaching abroad in Rwanda. With no art supplies available, she turned to the open air markets of Kigali, for food she could boil down into dyes and paints. Lauren’s Annapolis family geography accounts for the nautical elements in her designs, and her love of history accounts for the rugged and antiquated elements in her work.
Today, Lauren Sleat teaches at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore Maryland, she also works as an Advanced Placement Studio Art table Leader for Educational Testing Services and College Board. Lauren recently moved from Atlanta to Annapolis, Maryland, where she is very excited to announce set-up the new home base of Sadie & Grace.