The Cincinnati Art Museum recently hosted artist Roberto Lugo as an Artist in Residency in support of his current exhibition, “Roberto Lugo: High Def Archives”.
“Roberto Lugo (Puerto Rican-American, b. 1981) is a potter, social activist, spoken word poet, and educator. Lugo’s work as a social activist is represented in his artworks, where he draws together hip-hop, history, politics, and his cultural background into formal ceramics. He draws from his lived experience and deep knowledge of ceramic history to create works that elevate the stories of those historically absent from the decoration of extravagant examples of pottery. Lugo’s multicultural mashups often combine classic forms and patterns with elements of hip-hop. “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 poverty, violence, and drug trafficking. 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 like Kensington 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” (Cincinnati Art Museum).
During his residency, Lugo produced a significant amount of work and invited young creatives to join him to finish the pieces in his studio at the Cincinnati Art Museum. OHHS Art and Design students Molly Lorenz and Corey Willet took advantage of this amazing opportunity to work alongside the artist in this undertaking and spent the day learning and experiencing techniques in the studio alongside the artist.
To learn more about Lugo and the exhibition, visit: https://www.cincinnatiartmuseum.org/art/exhibitions/roberto-lugo-hi-def-archives/