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Wayne Higby

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Wayne Higby
Contemporary Ceramist
American, b. 1943 "American Ceramics: The Collection of Everson Museum of Art."
Wayne Higby grew up at Ground View Point, where the Rocky Mountains, Pike's Peak and the Sangrede Cristo Mountain range meet. Consequently, his sense of self is intertwined with a feeling for space, color and light, using landscape as inspiration.

Higby studied art at the University of Colorado, changing his major from law to fine arts soon after entering college. He took a leave to travel arond the world from 1963-64, and returned to graduate in 1966. He married Donna Bennett, his high school sweetheart, that same year in France. He studied with John Stephenson and Fred Bauer at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he received an M.F.A. in 1968. He taught for two years at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and briefly at Scripps College, before being hired by The Rhode Island School of Design and moving east. He was close to Betty and George Woodman and spent several weeks with them while on an extended honeymoon in Florence.

Higby participated in the Ceramics Annual Exhibition at Scripps College in 1968. After this his work underwent major changes in the 1970's, moving from almost exclusively nonfunctional vessels and issues of decoration to a rediscovery of landscape as inspiration. This fueled his "landscape boxes" which were individually planned, textured, labor intensive works. These continued until his move to the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1973, when his rigorous teaching schedule influenced his desire to create oval bowls - which he produced almost exclusively during the 1980's.

Higby's early work was in earthenware, but he turned almost exclusively to the use of porcelain after a visit to Gaolin Mountain in China (where Kaolinite, the chief ingredient in porcelain, is found) in 1995. Always interested in the vessel, but never in its functional aspects, Higby has used it as a vehicle for imagery, largely inspired by the western landscape he knew as a child. This treatment gives him the opportunity to experiment with the interplay between space, light, and time, both real and illusory.


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