Ceramic Arts Program

Program Head: Christopher Miles

The Ceramic Arts Program, overseen by Professor Christopher Miles, is an academic unit focused on instruction in the ceramic arts. The CSULB Center for Contemporary Ceramics (CCC), overseen by Professor and CCC Director Tony Marsh, is a special ancillary unit—a combined entity and site housed within the CSULB Ceramic Arts studios—focused on education and experience beyond the curriculum, supporting special projects, and bringing visiting artists and scholars, and artists in residence, to work, present, and teach among our community. The Ceramic Arts Program and the Center for Contemporary Ceramics operate in conjunction and constant collaboration. We also enjoy close and collaborative relationships with the School of Art’s other material and spatial arts programs including Fiber, Metal & Jewelry, Sculpture/4D, and Wood, as well as regular exchange with all discipline areas within the school.

The Ceramic Arts Program is dedicated to the mission of fostering advanced production and dialogue, an expansive understanding of ceramic arts and contemporary art, and an inclusive, diversity-embracing community of learning, teaching, making, and exchanging ideas. We are committed to assisting, challenging, and propelling students toward fully realizing their individual voices and visions via working in clay as well as other media, and toward achieving full agency in critical/analytical discourse. The program is intent and equipped to get students making, thinking, discussing, and writing in ways that are:

  • more ambitious, more intentional, and more informed;
  • more specific in both conceptualization and crafting;
  • more considered with regard to matters of form, material, genre, style, presentation, and contextual engagement;
  • and more conscious and deliberate regarding the artists’ participation, propositions, and positions within the fields and discourses of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary art in general.

Students work with a faculty comprised of active artists and scholars who also are engaged, committed, and generous teachers. Core faculty members maintain studios in the ceramic arts area and work alongside our students. Part-time faculty also are encouraged to work on the premises, and students benefit from being able to work alongside artists in residence who are invited to our campus as part of our Center for Contemporary Ceramics programming.

Together, the Ceramic Arts Program and the Center for Contemporary Ceramics have evolved into a special institutional presence in the field of higher education in the ceramic arts. We strive to embrace and engage a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, visiting artists and scholars, and community participants in the production and discourse of the arts – empowering the artists, scholars, educators, audiences, and advocates who will shape the culture of the twenty-first century.