Erie Art Museum (EAM) is approaching the century mark of arts excellence with the upcoming 98th Spring Show – and Edinboro University is once again partnering with the organization to promote and award local artists for their work.
This year, nationally renowned American ceramicist, artist and social activist Robert Lugo was selected as the official juror for the annual Nicole & Harry Martin Spring Show, which runs from March 19 through June 25.
Additionally, Lugo will join the Erie Art Museum and Edinboro’s Art Department for a virtual discussion from 6-7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 9. Dr. Leslie Sotomayor, art instructor at Edinboro, will moderate the virtual chat.
Lugo’s jurying and virtual visit are part of the 23-year partnership between Edinboro University’s Visiting Artist and Speaker Endowment (VASE) committee, which aims to identify and host an arts professional to jury the museum’s annual show.
“We at Edinboro have valued this opportunity to co-host nationally recognized artists, curators, art writers and critics, and give students the greater community exposure to someone who has achieved success and made significant professional contributions to their field,” said Suzanne Proulx, chairperson of Edinboro’s Art Department. “Bringing a high-level art professional to Edinboro and the region is tremendously valuable experience and a culturally enriching opportunity for local supporters of the arts and Edinboro University.”
Lugo, whose medium of choice is ceramics with a social application, illuminates his artwork with images of poverty, inequality and social and racial injustice. He integrates 21st Century street sensibility with classic European and Asian porcelain forms.
Lugo earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute and a Master of Fine Arts from Penn State University. He has been featured in exhibitions across the U.S., including at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Clay Studio in Philadelphia, and Museum of Arts and Design in New York.
His hand-painted, decorative ceramics have featured high-profile historic and celebrity figures including Sojourner Truth, Dr. Cornel West and the Notorious BIG, as well as his own family members and himself.
“It seems like every time folks like me are given a chance to go in front of an audience and share our story, and why a future with artists of color within the field of ceramics is so necessary, people really get behind it,” Lugo said in a 2018 interview with the art blog Artsy. “Just because we’re all artists of color, it doesn’t mean we make work about the same things.”
Lugo is the recipient of numerous awards, including a 2019 Pew Fellowship, a Cyntyhia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsk Rome Prize, and a US Artist Award. His work is found in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, The High Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Brooklyn Museum, Walters Museum and more. He is currently an assistant professor at Tyler School of Art and Architecture.
Erie Art Museum’s Spring Show, in collaboration with Edinboro University’s Art Department, is open to all artists who live, work or study within 250 miles of the City of Erie. A total of $15,000 in cash prizes and sales is expected and will be determined by Lugo as the juror.
According to the prospectus from the Erie Art Museum, the Spring Show is open to all media, including but not limited to painting, photography, graphics, sculpture and fiber.
For more information about the Nicole & Harry Martin Spring Show, visit www.erieartmuseum.org.