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Skidmore College

Wayne Higby to Present Illustrated Lecture Nov. 1

December 8, 2006

Wayne Higby, a contemporary ceramic artist recognized by the American Crafts Movement as a "genuine living legend," will present the 2006 Rosanne Brody Raab Lecture Wednesday, Nov. 1, on campus. Free and open to the public, the illustrated lecture will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Payne Room of the Tang Teaching Museum. 

Known for his unique vision of the American landscape, Higby's art creates an illusion of an earthscape on a small scale. Whether vessel form, tile, or sculpture, his work suggests a "monumental chunk of land torn from the planet for display and contemplation," according to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, home to three of Higby's pieces.

Over the course of his career, Higby has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions at locations in Japan and China, as well as galleries and museums throughout the United States. His work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Musee Arina, Switzerland; and the Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo.

A graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he earned a B.F.A. degree, and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he obtained an M.F.A. degree, Higby has taught at Alfred University since 1973 and is currently its Robert C. Turner Professor of Ceramic Art. In 1993 he received the State University of New York's Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, highlighting a distinguished career as an educator. The James Renwick Alliance presented its Board of Governors Distinguished Educator Award to Higby in 2002 "for his dedication to the education of a generation of students at Alfred, and for his educational contributions worldwide."

One of the initiatives cited by the Renwick alliance was Higby's contribution to the development of the Alfred and China Ceramic Cultural Exchange, which led to the opening of the Sanbo Ceramic Art Institute at Jingdezhen. Higby is an honorary professor of ceramic art at Jingdezhen and at the College of Fine Arts at Shanghai University.

Higby's numerous honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the George A. and Eliza Howard Foundation, a recognition of excellence from the American Ceramic Society, honorary membership on the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, and service as vice president of the International Academy of Ceramics.

The Rosanne Brody Raab Lecture was endowed at Skidmore by Raab, a member of the College's Class of 1955, as a way to showcase artists working in clay, fiber, metal, and wood.

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