Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Heather Nameth Bren is a studio artist who specializes in ceramic sculpture, creativity research, and visual art education. Her creative practice is conceptually based and explores ideas of dominant and subordinate perception through her ceramic and mixed media objects and installations.
Bren received a Master’s of Fine Arts in Ceramics from the University of Kansas in 2003. During that time, she participated in a study abroad exchange program with Staffordshire University in the United Kingdom where she learned industrial ceramic processes that continue to inform her work. She has worked as a ceramic sculpture for over twenty years and has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally.
Bren has been the recipient of a number of awards including a Jerome Foundation Artists Project Grant through Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis. In 2004, she was recognized as an “Emerging Artist” by Ceramics Monthly Magazine. Bren received the 2010 McKnight Foundation Fellowship for ceramic artists. Most recently, Bren was awarded a 2013 Minnesota State Arts Board Grant for research in delftware and travel to the Netherlands.
In addition to Bren's studio practice, she is an Associate Professor of Art & Design at Bethel University in Minnesota. She teaches ceramics and advises visual art education students. Beyond her academic appointment, Bren is also actively involved in the leadership at Northern Clay Center (NCC) where she serves as secretary on the executive board since 2015. Beyond board responsibilities, Bren is a mentor for NCC's MN NICE (Minnesota New Institute for Ceramic Education).