I was born in Newark, New Jersey, USA in 1952 of Italian immigrant parents. I graduated cum laude with a BA in art education from Montclair State University in 1974. In 1977, I received my MFA in ceramics from Louisiana State University. Teaching in higher education since 1978, my first position was at Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, then at State University of New York at Brockport.
In 1994, I was appointed Head of the Art Department at Kansas State University and served in that position for 6 years. From 2007-2010, I served as Director of the School of Art and Art History at the University of Florida and am currently a Professor of Ceramics.
I exhibit on a national and international level, having work in shows in Italy, France, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, South Korea, China and Australia. Most notable of my exhibition awards is the Gold Medal for the 46th International Exhibition of Ceramic Arts, Faenza, Italy in 1989. As an artist in residence I have worked at the Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China, the International Ceramics Studio in Kesckemet, Hungary, Australia National University, Canberra, A.I.R. Vallauris, France, the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana and Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Maine.
In 1997, I was honored as a Fellow of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) for my accomplishments as President. I am an elected member of the International Academy of Ceramics since 2002.
My new work comes from experiences in recent artist residencies and travel. On at trip to Jingedzhen, China, a visit to the “decal store” was a new experience, which opened up unique possibilities. I experimented with these Chinese decals while on residency at the International Ceramic Studio in Hungary. I also improved my mold making skills there and learned to work with china paints and lusters. The Herrend porcelain available for my use was exceptional for its whiteness, offering me a pristine surface for decoration. Once back in my studio at home, I started working with vintage and digital decals, which are more accessible.
I use the decals in a collage-like fashion, cutting and “pasting” them to fit the areas and concept I am interested in. The shift from two-dimensional to three-dimensional as well as from negative and positive space, becomes critical to the composition.
Recently, I am using commercial plates as an immediate and readily available neutral surface for these decal explorations. All this is in an effort to engage the viewer in the visual shifts and relationships formed.