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Wayne Higby

Wayne Higby

(b. 1943)
Born: Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.

Wayne Higby is an internationally acclaimed ceramic artist, educator, and writer. Born in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1943, he earned a BFA from the University of Colorado in 1966 and an MFA from the University of Michigan in 1968. Since 1973 he has taught at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University (Alfred, N.Y.), where he has served as Chair of the Division of Ceramic Art and Robert C. Turner Chair of Ceramic Art. He has also held teaching positions and residencies at other schools throughout the U.S.

Higby is best known for his raku fired bowls and his evocation of the American Southwest in his vessels, sculptures, and installations. In an artist’s statement he once noted, "I strive to establish a zone of quiet coherence–a place full of silent, empty space where finite and infinite, intimate and immense intersect." [1]

After a visit to Jingdezhen, China in 1991, the artist began working with glazed porcelain as a medium. [2] He has subsequently traveled and taught extensively in the People’s Republic of China. Higby is an Honorary Professor of Art at Shanghai University and the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute as well as a faculty member of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. In 2004 he became the first foreign national to be named an Honorary Citizen of Jingdezhen.

Higby’s mammoth wall project “EarthCloud” at Alfred University–the product of ten years of work–is believed to be the largest hand cut porcelain architectural installation in the world, and is the subject of a book published by Arnoldsche (Stuttgart, Germany).

A retrospective exhibition, Infinite Place: The Ceramic Art of Wayne Higby, opened in 2013 at the Arizona State University Art Museum in Tempe and traveled for two years to several venues including the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. The show was accompanied by a book of the same title published by Arnoldsche,.

Higby’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; and other institutions around the world. He has received numerous awards for both his body of work and for his teaching career, including recognition from the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Arts and Design (New York City), the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, and the International Academy of Ceramics (Geneva, Switzerland). His lectures and widely published essays on ceramic art have brought him further acclaim. 

For more information on Wayne Higby, visit, from which this profile is adapted. 


[1] Quoted in (Accessed 2/26/2015)

[2] Author unknown,!REVIEW-Infinite-Place-The-Ceramic-Art-of-Wayne-Higby/cmbz/CEC4BF7A-F442-4FC6-866F-91FDA44BED69. (Accessed 2/26/2015)