Earth and Sky: The Ceramic Art of Wayne Higby

May 18 – September 4, 2018

Opening Reception: Friday, May 18, 2018    learn more and register

Geology meets chemistry in this exhibition of ceramic landscapes by artist and educator Wayne Higby. The exhibition explores the forms, techniques, and firing processes used throughout Higby’s career, including groundbreaking work in American raku earthenware and porcelain.

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Since the early 1970s, Higby has explored the fusion of form and surface through panoramic landscape vistas.

“Earth, sky, time, light, space: my work is a meditation on the relationship between mind and matter.” –Wayne Higby

Landscape imagery covers the interiors as well as the exteriors of his series of large ceramic bowls, establishing illusions of depth. After visiting China in 1991, Higby began using porcelain with celadon glazes to create tile-sculpture that alluded to the natural environment.

This exhibition creates a dialogue between contemporary ceramic works and The Rockwell Museum’s celebrated collection of 19th century Hudson River School landscapes.

Artist’s Biography

Wayne HigbyWayne Higby is a ceramic artist and educator. His unique vision of the American Landscape and its manifestation in work ranging from vessel form to tile, sculpture and architectural installation has brought him international recognition.

He is the Wayne Higby Director and Chief Curator of the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum and Professor of Ceramic Art, Alfred University. Higby’s artwork is held in the permanent collections of numerous art museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the National Art Museum of China, Beijing, the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and the Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Higby is a published authority on ceramic art, acknowledged for his articulate lectures, essays and critical evaluations. Higby is the recipient of both the Master of the Media and the Distinguished Educator Awards from the James Renwick Alliance, Smithsonian Institution as well as the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, Visionary Award. Since 1991, he has traveled and taught extensively in the Peoples Republic of China.

Higby is an Honorary Professor of Art at Shanghai University and the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute as well as the Founding Director of the ALFRED-CAFA program in ceramic design at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing. In 2004 he became the first foreign national to be acclaimed an Honorary Citizen of the “porcelain city“ of Jingdezhen. Higby is a member of honor of the United States National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), a Life Trustee of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and the Vice President Emeritus of the International Academy of Ceramics, Geneva, Switzerland.

A retrospective Infinite Place: The Ceramic Art of Wayne Higby opened April 27, 2013 at the Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe. The exhibition traveled for three years to numerous venues including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. A retrospective book is available on Higby’s life and work by the same title published by Arnoldsche, Stuttgart, Germany. An additional book on Wayne Higby’s work and his project “EarthCloud” —the largest hand cut porcelain, architectural installation in the world—has also recently been published by Arnoldsche.


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