“As a potter,” Lugo explains, “I aim to carry on the ceramic tradition in a manner that honors the culture and community I come from.”
Lugo was raised in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, an area marked by community vitality yet lack of opportunity to achieve upward economic mobility or access to artistic outlets. At the age of 25, he enrolled in his first pottery class. Today, he leads the ceramic department at Temple University in Philadelphia, and his art resides in the collections of the most prestigious art institutions in the country, including the Cincinnati Art Museum. When he is not teaching or creating, Lugo returns to neighborhoods with a potter’s wheel emblazoned with the words, “This machine kills hate.” Taking his art to the street, he uses clay and his wheel to teach others how to throw pots, break down cultural and social biases and encourage the possibility that anyone can choose and achieve their dreams.
“We are thrilled to welcome artist Roberto Lugo to Cincinnati,” states exhibition curator Amy Miller Dehan. “In his highly skilled practice and with his vibrant works of art, Lugo aspires to create universal access to the arts; to document and include those who have traditionally been excluded; and to bring hope, purpose and a sense of belonging to all—goals that guide the museum’s own mission to inspire people and connect Cincinnati communities.”
The exhibition is presented by FEG and sponsored by Capital One with additional support provided by GBBN and LPK. The exhibition will be on view in the Sara M. and Michelle Vance Waddell Gallery and the Manuel and Rhoda Mayerson Gallery (Galleries 124 and 125) across from the Terrace Café. No tickets are required. General admission to the museum is also free. Photography is encouraged, but no flash. On social media, use the hashtag #RobertoLugo.