Fri, 17 February 2017
172: Wally Higgins on teaching at Alfred University and his time as a Tuskegee Airmen – Special guest Roberto Lugo
Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a double interview featuring Roberto Lugo and Wallace “Wally” Higgins. In the first segment I talk with Roberto about his Instagram project "Our Village's Baby," in which he raises awareness of artists of color and their contributions to the ceramic field. In the second segment I talk with Wally Higgins about his military and ceramic career. In his late teens he enlisted in the Army before going on to serve as one of the Tuskegee Airmen in what is now the U.S. Air Force. He served in Saipan and Oakinawa before returning to the states to get a BFA in ceramic design from Alfred University. After a few years working at the Glidden Pottery he came back to Alfred as a teacher, where he taught glaze materials and mold making. He retired as Professor Emeritus in 1985. Among his many laudits, Wally has been awarded the WW-II Victory Medal, New York State Medal for Merit and two Congressional Gold Medals, the highest honor bestowed on a civilian in the United States.
In the interview we talk about his first experience with racism when he traveled to the south to train as a Tuskegee Airman, his expertise as a ceramic designer/mold maker, and his time teaching at Alfred. For more information please visit www.alfred.edu
This episode of the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler is sponsored by Omnus Terra. The exhibition invites seven Australian and seven American artists, including former podcast guests Vicki Grimma, Shannon Garson, Jane Sawyer and Linda Fahey, to create a dialogue between the two cultures through a shared connection to clay. Like the scientific expeditions of the great explorers, “Omnus Terra” reaches out to far flung nations bringing a cargo of exotic, mysterious, and mesmerising objects to a foreign shore. The artists explore their landscape, ceramic history and culture, questioning the historical tropes of the ceramic medium through form and material. The exhibition will take place at Gallery 114 in Portland, OR, March 22-25 in conjunction with the 2017 NCECA conference. For more information please visit www.yondershop.com and look for the Omnus Terra link.