Born on opposite sides of the country and 10 years apart, Robert LaWarre and C.A. “Cat” Traen were connected professionally through national exhibitions and social media but met in person in 2015 in Rhode Island in a city appropriately named “Providence”.
Both LaWarre and Traen each have over a decade of teaching experience and their first conversations bonded them together by their shared personal and spiritual callings to ceramics education, sharing their work, and connecting with future collaborators to help others reach their goals.
These shared aspirations led to fruitful collaborations teaching joint workshops abroad as well as representing local and national arts organizations including National K12 Ceramics Foundation, National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), and International Ceramic Artists Network (ICAN).
After two years of a distance relationship spanning from Florida in the east to Las Vegas in the west, LaWarre and Traen recently met in the middle of the country in Memphis, Tennessee where they now productively and happily reside together.
The newest chapter of their mission is building RoCat Arts, a studio gallery featuring international artists’ workshops and exhibitions along with a program of study for clay artists at all levels of experience to hone their craft. The most essential aspect to their vision is to enrich the local community through a dynamic outreach program.
Together, LaWarre active since 2006 and Traen since 2012, have earned more than 40 national and international awards, taught workshops, exhibited, and are collected in the United States, Germany, Netherlands, France, Italy, Croatia, China, India, Taiwan, Korea, Austria, Slovenia, England, and Canada.
Each have had their own levels of success with their work internationally most notably with Traen being awarded the Silver Prize for the ICMEA Emerging Artist exhibition in Fuping, China and the Plata Argenta at the 38th International Ceramics Biennale in Gualdo Tadino, Italy and LaWarre honored with the Silver Prize at the Taiwan International Gold Teapot Prizeand taking the Gold Prize for theMungyeong International Chasabal Festival in Korea.