Meet the staff at the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum.
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.
Curator of Collections and Director of Research
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.
Operations and Programs Manager
Bill Giese accepted the position as Operations and Programs Manager at the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum in 2019. Prior, he was the Museum Associate at the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum. Bill studied fine art at The College at Brockport State University of New York where he graduated with his BFA concentrating in sculpture. He moved back to Hornell after graduating from Brockport and currently resides there with his family where he continues to make, experiment and grow as an artist.
Ashlin is a multidisciplinary artist holding a BFA in Ceramics from Towson University. Originally studying structural engineering at Penn State, these influences present themselves through angles, precision, and balance shown by pushing the boundaries of various materials–ceramics, wood, metal, and human hair. Ashlin has an adaptable practice and life where she explores conventional and unconventional ways of creating and living, allowing her the opportunity to work in a place such as Alfred Ceramic Art Museum.
Bryce is a writer and storyboarder from Arkansas. He received his BA in English from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. His education featured a special focus in creative writing and philosophy, which has directed his creative works toward collective storytelling. Bryce moved to New York from Los Angeles, California after a brief stint in the television industry to help his partner pursue their graduate degree in painting from Alfred University.