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Roberto Lugo

Guest Artist - Past

Residence Time: June/July 2016

Country of Origin: United States

Guest Artist-in-Residence


Roberto Lugo has aspired to work with The Clay Studio since college when his ceramic professor told him about the Artist Residency Program. Lugo sees the Guest Residency at The Clay Studio as a pivotal moment in his career. Through his work with students through The Claymobile and personal explorations of the murals and Philadelphia neighborhoods, he will draw inspiration from the city while exploring the question: how does my past make me who I am today? During his time at The Clay Studio he plans to create vessels that portray images of people not commonly found on porcelain vessels, people of color, with a focus on those from the history of Philadelphia.

During Roberto's time as the guest-artist-in-residence he will work with The Clay Studio's Claymobile program at the Pennsylvania Juvenile Justice Services Center (PJJSC). The Claymobile program has been partnering with PJJSC to bring clay classes to the center every Saturday since 1998. Working at PJJSC aligns well with Rob's passion for arts education and bringing awareness to issues around youth incarceration.

Lugo was a lead artist on our Clay & Conversations Project in 2018


As an artist—a potter, painter, and performance artist—my work is a reflection of the diversity of my life experiences,” says Roberto Lugo, who teaches ceramics. Roberto’s life as an artist began in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, where he grew up painting graffiti on abandoned buildings, and has taken him as far as painting porcelain china in Hungary. He still calls himself a “ghetto potter,” reflecting on his inner-city origins, but he equates ghetto with the word “resourceful.” “I juxtapose porcelain with graffiti in the hopes that we can start to see how different cultural histories can work together.”

Roberto Lugo attended Kansas City Art Institute, earning his BA in 2012, and went on to the Penn State University School of Visual Arts to earn his MFA in 2014. He is a Ph.D. candidate in Art Education from Penn State, and is now a tenure track professor of ceramics at Marlboro College in Vermont. He was honored as an Emerging Artist by NCECA in 2015.