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Racine, WI    October 2, 2014

Infinite Place: The Ceramic Art of Wayne Higby 

At Racine Art Museum


Racine Art Museum (RAM) is pleased to present Infinite Place: The Ceramic Art of Wayne Higby featuring more than 50 sculptures, jars, plates, bowls, boxes, and tiles as well as a wall-sized installation and studies for large-scale commissions. Organized by the ASU Art Museum and Ceramics Research Center, this landmark traveling exhibition is the first major retrospective of Higby's work. This show complements RAM's emphasis on contemporary ceramics and includes examples from museum's collection alongside the borrowed works. RAM is the only Midwestern venue for this exhibition which is on display through January 4, 2015.

Wayne HigbyPictorial Lake, 1986

Glazed earthenware, raku-fired

13 x 34 x 9 in.

Collection: Sarah H. Morabito

Photo credit: Steve Myers

Known for his landscape-inspired clay sculpture, Wayne Higby (1943 - ) is widely considered one of the most innovative artists to emerge from the post-World War II American ceramic studio movement. Higby rose to prominence in the late 1960s and 1970s as he explored the landscape as subject, adopting an approach that combines a manipulation of both surface imagery and texture as well as consideration of the form and shape of objects. He gave new energy to an American raku-firing technique that involves removing works from a kiln at their highest heat and subjecting them to a smoking process that encourages a blackening and crackling of the surface. In an addition to further developing his aesthetic in the studio, the artist has been a dedicated writer, educator, and traveler. 


Higby's color palette of blues, reds, browns, greens, and white directly echoes the naturally occurring colors of the earth's mountains, rocks, skies, seas, and land. He crafts compositions that evoke panoramic scenes or grand moments in nature. Directly impacted by the sights and experiences of world travel and a childhood spent admiring the geography of the American West, Higby sums up his five decades of work as a "meditation on the relationship between spirit and matter."


Infinite Place: The Ceramic Art of Wayne Higby Book

Accompanying the exhibition, is a hardcover book that documents the artist's ceramic work with over 150 images of 50 seminal works and gives context to the story behind the artwork. Wayne Higby's international reputation as an artist, a scholar, and a teacher is explored and a detailed chronology. Born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Wayne Higby received his BFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder, in 1966, and his MFA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1968. Since 1973, he has been on the faculty of the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, NY. The 216-page book is available online at ramart.org for $85 plus shipping or by calling the RAM Museum Store at 262.638.8200.

SOFA Chicago 2014 Lecture Series

The 21st Annual Exposition of Sculpture Objects (SOFA) & Functional Art + Design Fair is a gallery-presented, international art exposition dedicated to bridging the worlds of design, decorative and fine art. Works by emerging and established artists and designers are available for sale by premier galleries and dealers.  SOFA CHICAGO opens Thursday, November 6 and runs through Sunday, November 9, 2014 at Navy Pier.


On Friday, November 7, join RAM Executive Director and Curator of Collections Bruce W. Pepich when he interviews internationally recognized ceramic sculptor Wayne Higby about the development of his work and career path from the 1960s to the present. For more information, visit sofachicago.com.


Infinite Place: The Ceramic Art of Wayne Higby is made possible at Racine Art Museum by: Platinum Sponsors - Karen Johnson Boyd and William B. Boyd, SC Johnson, Windgate Charitable Foundation; Diamond Sponsor - Sam and Gene Johnson Fund; Gold Sponsors - Herzfeld Foundation, Johnson Bank, Racine Community Foundation, Racine United Arts Fund; Silver Sponsors - Elwood Corporation, Helen Bader Foundation, Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation, Runzheimer Foundation, Inc., W.T. Walker Group, Inc., Wisconsin Arts Board; Bronze Sponsors - 88NINE Radio Milwaukee, CNH Industrial, EC Styberg Foundation, Educators Credit Union, The Garvey Group, In Sink Erator, Miracle on Canal Street, The Norbell Foundation, Orkney Springs Retreat, Real Racine, Robert W. Baird Foundation, Ruud Family Foundation


Infinite Place: The Ceramic Art of Wayne Higby is organized by the Arizona State University Art Museum Ceramics Research Center, Tempe, Arizona, and curated by Curator of Ceramics Peter Held.


Together, the two campuses of the Racine Art Museum, RAM in downtown Racine at 441 Main Street and the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts at 2519 Northwestern Avenue, seek to elevate the stature of contemporary crafts to that of fine art by exhibiting significant works in craft media with painting, sculpture and photography, while providing outstanding educational art programming.

Docent led contemporary craft and architectural tours of the museums are available. Both campuses of the Racine Art Museum, are open to the public Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, and are closed Mondays, Federal holidays and Easter. RAM is open Sunday Noon - 5:00 pm, while Wustum is closed Sundays. An admission fee of $5 for adults, with reduced fees for students and seniors, applies at RAM. Admission to Wustum is free. Members are always admitted without charge to either campus.

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