Mint Museum Randolph in Charlotte, NC, Offers Lecture by Ceramic Arts Legend, Wayne Higby – Nov. 13, 2019

Wayne Higby, an internationally recognized ceramic artist and educator from Alfred University, will present “Light Falling on Grass” a lecture, on Nov. 13, 2019, at Mint Museum Randolph in Charlotte, NC. The presentation will be an autobiographical reflection with images that mark career highlights representing a half century of Higby’s work as a ceramic artist. It will include personal philosophy and concepts as well as a report on the new Alfred Ceramic Art Museum. It is sponsored by Delhom Service League, the ceramics affiliate of The Mint Museum, as part of The Ceramics Series.

Since 1973 he has taught at Alfred in New York. As professor and advisor to students he has influenced many potters in North Carolina, as well as throughout the world. Ceramic artist, Carol Gentithes, of Johnston and Gentithes Studios, Seagrove, NC, says that as his student “His boundless energy and insightful commentaries propelled me to be bold and expressive in my artistic endeavors.” Her husband and ceramic artist Fred Johnston credits Higby with introducing him “to the idea of illusionistic perspective and the power of theatrics.”

Acknowledged for his articulate lectures, essays and critical evaluations, Higby is a Professor of Ceramic Art and the Wayne Higby Director and Chief Curator of the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum at Alfred University, Alfred, New York. The American Craft Museum named Higby a Visionary of the American Crafts Movement. He is a published authority on ceramic art, and since 1991 has traveled and taught extensively in the Peoples Republic of China.

Ceramic artist Samantha Henneke, of Bulldog Pottery, also in Seagrove, remembers being a student of Higby’s. “He always encouraged the functional potters to think beyond the function of the pot and imagine what the functional pot could be alluding to”. For instance, says Henneke, water flowing through the rocks in a stream “could be like water flowing through a pitcher’s spout.”

Higby’s unique vision of the American landscape is manifested in his own work, ranging from vessel form, to tile, sculpture and architectural installation. Another North Carolina potter, Kate Johnston, recalls that she was a freshman at Alfred when a gallery exhibition of Wayne Higby’s “Earth Cloud” opened. “It included a massive wall of planning sketches on diner placemats and napkins, which morphed into formal drawings, then glaze test tiles, and mini-installs of sample tiles, finally ending in the manufacturing tools and equipment.” She continues, “The first time I ever skipped class was to attend a talk by the artist. I can remember sitting on the cold cement floor while Wayne lively described his thought process, his love of glaze chemistry, and his broader ideas about being an artist. He gave us advice for being good students and successful artists which I remember and find myself repeating to others.” Eventually the final piece was installed in the Miller Performing Arts complex on campus. “EarthCloud”, is the largest hand cut porcelain, architectural installation in the world, and features 12,000 tiles.

Higby has an exceptionally long list of accomplishments and awards. Among them 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. He is an Honorary Professor of Art at Shanghai University and the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute, and in 2004 he became the first foreign national to be acclaimed an Honorary Citizen of the “porcelain city” of Jingdezhen.

Wayne Higby’s work is held in the permanent collections of numerous art museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, the National Art Museum of China, Beijing, the Hermitage Art Museum, St Petersburg, Russia, the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, and The Mint Museum, Charlotte.

Details of the talk:
A wine and light bites reception will be held in the atrium of Mint Museum Randolph at 6pm. “Light Falling on Grass” will begin in the Van Every Auditorium at 6:30pm. The reception and presentation are free and open to all.
The museum galleries are also open on Wednesday evenings at no charge, at 2730 Randolph Road, Charlotte, NC 28207.

For further info call 704/337-2000.

The Delhom Service League was founded by M. Mellany Delhom as an affiliate organization of The Mint Museum in 1975. The group—credited with boosting interest and funding for The Mint Museum’s vast ceramics collection—is comprised of a diverse group of artists, teachers, corporate leaders, writers, librarians, doctors, collectors, and lifelong learners. Over the last 40 years the focus of the group has expanded, but the mission of the group is the same: to promote ceramic arts and education.

Delhom Service League’s signature fundraising event is Potters Market at the Mint – a show and sale of North Carolina potters on the lawn of Mint Museum Randolph. It showcases the depth and breadth of talent in the North Carolina ceramics community in what has become known as the Pottery State. The potters quoted here have all participated in the event. The next Potters Market is being planned for September 26, 2020.

Today the league presents nationally and internationally known speakers, like Wayne Higby, through its Ceramics Series and supports the Delhom-Gambrell Reference Library for the decorative arts. It has funded the acquisition of numerous objects for the Mint’s ceramics collection.

View the Delhom Service League rack brochure and Ceramics Series calendar.

Find Delhom Service League on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

More information on Potters Market at the Mint can be found at (pottersmarketatthemint.com).

Contact Susan Kooiman by e-mail at (delhomserviceleague@gmail.com) or call 704/293-3921.

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