Roberto Lugo

Contact Information

Please contact artist for purchases, commissions, etc.


Artist's Statement

My work is intended to be a biographical narrative that tells the many stories of my life. The objects I create speak of personal subjects - my experiences with obesity, racism, and class division. I use the associations with ceramic material and forms of pottery, such as elite fine china and porcelain, to discuss these issues with humor and irony. My strongest concepts are influenced from the juxtaposition of cultural elements in the form of mass media and current events. Using historical ideology within pottery as a vehicle to introduce a modern theme is of great importance because it allows me to add more dimensions to my artwork.

Clay is where I begin because it helps me to think in a way no other process can achieve. Whether it is throwing a pot or making an impression into wet clay, I get an instant satisfaction when making that constantly keeps me engaged and this relationship sparks new ways to convey my intention. When what I make reaches its completion I get to capture its life by firing it and I revisit this relationship when I glaze and china paint.

Sometimes my concepts take the form of a drawing, performance and any form of expression that suits what I want to convey. Ceramics in particular has a history of creating objects that are exclusive to high society. I use this relationship society has with ceramic objects and create work that has both the elegance of ceramics made for the rich in contrast with imagery that represents where I am from.

I don’t know what my work will look like in a year because it will be different. It is important to me for my work to constantly change because I want my work to be a direct reflection of myself. There are always elements of my past that follow me. When I throw a pot, pulling the wall reminds me of writing a tag on a wall. When I perform a spoken piece, I am reminded of my father preaching in church. I want the things I do today to be in my work tomorrow. I put my life on display because it is what I know best. I see injustice in the world and art has given me a way to speak in a way words can not.

Selected Exhibitions

Juvenile In Justice, Ice Box, Philadelphia, PA

Marge Brown Kalodner Graduate Exhibition, Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA

Small Favors VIII, Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA

Imperfect Ten, Zoller Gallery, State College, PA

Secret Salon, SPYN Gallery, Kansas City, MO

Digital Debut, Red Star Studios, Kansas City, MO

Expo. 82-2012, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO

Mutual Space, Crossroads, Kansas City, MO

XOXO Salon Show, Spray Booth Gallery, Kansas City, MO

Watershed Cup Show, Fuel, Seattle, WA

Strata, Kanasas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO

Home A Juried Exhibition, The Writers Place, Kansas City, Mo

American Now and Here, Cocoon Gallery, Kansas City. Kansas City, MO

NCECA National Juried Student Exhibition, Centre Gallery, Tampa, FL

Visual Territories, Harry Krug Gallery, Pittsburg, KS
Juror: Sherry Leedy

Rare Earth, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO

Take the Streets with You, Betty Rhymer Gallery, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Artist's Bibliography

“Students Unite for a Cause,” Centre Daily Times, April 2013

“Undergraduate Showcase,” Ceramics Monthly, September 2012

Ross, Richard “Roberto Lugo: from north Philly to the art world,” October 8, 2012

Schulman, Blair “Breaking Bread: BREAD! KC as a Model for Community-sourced Arts Funding,” Art Practical, March 10, 2012

Schulman, Blair “Ceramic Bowls for Food and for Raising Funds for Those in Need”

Jackowitz, Jenna “Soup is Good,” The Ptich, October 2011, p. 18

Schulman, Blair “Portfolio: Roberto Lugo,” Kansas City Magazine, August 2011, p.48

Mull, Maggie “Bread KC Gives Both Kinds of Dough at ANH"

Awards and Honors

NCECA Graduate Fellowship, Houston, TX

Penn State Assistantship, State College, PA

Merit Award, Home: A Juried Exhibition, Kansas City, MO

Ken Ferguson Scholarship, Ceramics Department,

Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO

Hispanic Scholarship Fund Recipient, Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Kansas City, MO

Competitive Merit Scholarship Recipient, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO

Excellence in Drawing, Seminole State College, Sanford, FL

Scholarship Recipient, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Merit Award, Seminole State College. Sanford, FL

Volunteer of the Year, JP Morgan Chase, Lake Mary, FL

Creative Writing Award, Mastbaum A.V.T.S, Philadelphia, PA


Ken Ferguson Teaching Collection, Ceramics Department Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO

The Belger Collection, Kansas City, MO

Department of Fine Arts, Seminole State College, Sanford, FL


Institute for the Arts and Humanities Grant Recipient, State College, PA

Recipient, Bread! KC Grant, Kansas City, MO

Winner of competitive grant to fund residency with a production potter in Alabama

Recipient, McKeown Grant Award, Ceramics Department, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO

Winner of competitive grant to design and purchase digital decals to inform studio practice


Artist in residence, International Ceramics Studio, Kecskemet, Hungary

IAH resident artist, Penn State University, State College, PA

Artist in residence, International Ceramics Studio, Kecskemet, Hungary

Tom Jones Residency, Clay City, Foley, AL

Lectures and Talks

Presenter, “Wheel to the Wall,” NCECA conference, Houston, TX

Presenter, “Activism Through Ceramics,” NCECA conference, Seattle, WA


2012 - present
Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA
MFA Candidate

2008 - 2012
Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO
BFA, Concentration in Ceramics

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Concentration in Interdisciplinary Arts