Miriam Baker was born in Chicago, Illinois and began her artistic endeavors at an early age at the Chicago Art Institute, and the Chicago Academy of Fine Art.
After moving to southern California in 1955, she continued her artistic studies under the tutelage of the esteemed masters; Vincent Farrell and Frank Tauriello. She then taught painting classes for eight years.
Her creative abilities and perspicacity led the former Ms. Lodder into new directions and she spent the next 25 years at the helm of her own interior design firm, specializing in model homes and high end office design.
Miriam Baker found her true calling in 1992 when she began sculpting. Her incredible passion for art and beauty, the years of experience and training; painting, drawing, design work, now focused through the experienced eyes of a master sculptor.
Her formal training is extensive and formidable. Ms. Baker spent five years at Goldenwest College with Darrell Ebert, master classes at the Scottsdale Artist School with Bruno Lucchesi, Richard Macdonald, and Blair Buswell, workshops on sculpting the child with Jo Saylor, and numerous workshops with Paul Lucchesi in Pietrasanti, Italy and the Artist's League in Virginia.
Miriam Baker currently has her own studio on Balboa Island in California where her portrait subjects, who come from all over the world, can gaze at the passing boats while she models their likeness and captures their personality for posterity.
Miriam also sculpts life-size pieces with her longtime friend Rhonda Jones. Together they have built "Mahogony" and "Michelle" as they work together and learn from each other, their association continues to be one of mutual admiration and respect.
Miriam Baker's first commissioned work was a life size bust of George Washington for Chapman University. She had only been sculpting for three years at the time. Chapman University has since commissioned and installed on their campus the following life size busts: 1996- Adam Smith and George Washington, 1997- Ella Fitzgerald (singing with microphone in hand,) 1998- Paulo Freire and Cecille B. DeMille.
In 1999 Miriam Baker also did life-size busts of George Argyros, and D. Arnold Beckman. For the year 2,000 Miriam did life-size busts of Donald Kennady, Harry Rinker, and found of Bank of America; A.P. Giannini. There were also three terra cotta reliefs for their business school of Gary Anderson, Ralph Leatherby, and Walter Schmidt. All of these sculptures can be viewed at Chapman University.
Ms. Baker has done numerous commissions and portraits for individuals in California, Minnesota, Idaho, Arizona, Illinois, Washington D.C. and as far away as the Netherlands.
One of Ms. Baker's more recent works is a privately commissioned bust of the esteemed religious leader, Cantor Attias. This is what the family had to say about the completed work. "Words are so inadequate to describe the joy you have brought us with this magnificent sculpture. You have captured his warmth, his charm, his enigmatic smile. You are a master artist Miriam Baker and the beauty and joy you create will truly last forever."
From 2001 to 2007 there were more Chapman commissions including; Eli Wiesel, Dr. Fahmi Attallah, Donna Attallah, Abraham Lincoln, Marion Knott, Ronald Reagan, Mozart and in 2011, Alexander Hamilton. The Beckman bust is on display at the University of California at Irvine, M.I.T. in Boston, and the University of Illinois.
In addition, Miriam received a most auspicious commision from the city of Newport Beach, California, when she was asked to do a life- size bronze of President Ronald Regan. Her sculpture was installed with many California politicians in attendance at Bonita Park in Newport Beach. You can view the reception on video on Miriam's home page.
Miriam Baker continues her active schedule and accepts private commisions.
" I sculpt because it brings joy and happiness into my life. I believe God gave me a talent and with that comes a responsibility to make the very most of this wonderful gift... that means working hard and long and taking chances so I can grow as an artist. It often means having strained muscles and aching joints, but it also brings a world of wonderful people that I get to know when they sit for their portraits.
The friends I have made sculpting, both portrait subjects and fellow sculptors are some of my best friends. They are interesting, fun, daring, fascinating people.
When I create a portrait of a person the likeness just comes through as I work, and also, surprisingly, so does the personality. . . then I know I have really achieved something great.
Being a sculptor, I see myself as a work in progress- always evolving, constantly striving to be the best I can be."