Wayne Higby Director and Chief Curator, Alfred Ceramic Art Museum
Wayne Higby is an internationally renowned ceramic artist whose work is held in the permanent collections of numerous art museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and the National Art Museum of China. In addition to being the Director and Chief Curator of the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, he is a professor and the Robert C. Turner Chair of Ceramic Art at Alfred University. Higby is a member of honor of the United States National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), a Life Trustee of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, the Vice President Emeritus of the International Academy of Ceramics, Geneva, Switzerland and an honorary citizen of the “Porcelain City” of Jingdezhen, China. In 2014 the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. presented a retrospective of Higby’s work accompanied by the book Infinite Place: The Ceramic Art of Wayne Higby.
Susan Kowalczyk Curator of Collections and Director of Research email
Susan Kowalczyk is responsible for all aspects involving the museum’s collection including care and preservation, documentation, handling and movement, photography, loans and public interface. Susan was hired through a national search as the first registrar of the museum in 1996. During her tenure she has worn many hats and has facilitated or curated 36 exhibitions, produced 25 Ceramophile newsletters and three museum catalogs. She has held positions at the Rockwell Museum in Corning, New York and the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History at the University of Oklahoma. Her education includes a BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and an MFA from Wichita State University. She has taught ceramics, design and foundations courses at the university level, managed a community ceramics studio and maintained a home studio and business. Her own work has been exhibited nationally.
Caitlin Brown Operations and Programs Manager email
Caitlin Brown received a BFA from the Hartford Art School in 2000 and an MFA from the University of Nebraska Lincoln in 2007. She has been a resident artist at the Mendocino Art Center, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and Clay Art Center. Prior to moving to Alfred, Caitlin was the Program Manager at Clay Art Center in Port Chester, NY. Caitlin has taught ceramics, drawing, foundations and professional practices at SUNY Cortland, Penn State, Queens College, Marymount Manhattan College, 92Y, Clay Art Center and at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Caitlin maintains a studio practice from her studio in Alfred, NY.
Mahlon Huston Chief Preparator and Exhibitions Specialist
Mahlon Huston, born in Bryan Ohio in 1985, received his Bachelors of Fine Arts from Ohio University in 2008, followed by his Masters of Fine Arts from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2011. Mahlon maintains an active studio practice as Chief Designer and Principal workman at Huston Projects, a wood design studio based in Hornell, New York.
Bill Giese accepted the position as Museum Associate at the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum in 2016. Prior, he studied fine art at The College at Brockport State University of New York where he graduated with his BFA concentrating in sculpture. Bill is one of three artist working out of Sommerville Pottery in the finger lakes region of New York where he continues to make, experiment and grow. Bill moved back to Hornell after graduating from Brockport and currently resides there with his family.
Emily Krutsch Museum Attendant
Emily received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from Grand Valley State University with an emphasis in Illustration in 2014. She recently spent two years working as a Jeweler in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Currently she works as a Freelance Illustrator and Graphic Designer in Alfred Station, New York. She specializes in portraiture using oil paint and digital painting with Photoshop.
Grant Akiyama Museum Attendant
Grant graduated in 2017 from Alfred University. He obtained two degrees, a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts and a Bachelor’s of Science in Art History. Originally from California, Grant is now a local resident of Alfred, NY. In addition to work at the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, he assists local artists and continues to advance his own artistic practice.