Texas Tech University

Retired Horn Professor Opens Exhibition of Life's Work at Museum of Texas Tech University

Anna Hedges

January 16, 2020

Headshot of Professor James C. Watkins, surrounded by his ceramic work. Photo by Bonni Oakes.

James C. Watkins's exhibition, "Reflections Made of Memories" will open Jan. 18.

James C. Watkins, renowned ceramicist and Horn Professor Emeritus, will open an exhibition of his work at the Museum of Texas Tech University on Saturday (Jan. 18.) The exhibition is titled “Reflections Made of Memories” and features selected works Watkins created during his teaching career in the Texas Tech College of Architecture (CoA.)

Watkins's work is included in the White House Collection of American Crafts, which is now housed in the Clinton Presidential Library, and the Shigaraki Institute of Ceramic Studies in Shigaraki, Japan. During his time at Texas Tech, he taught architectural ceramics and architectural delineation in the CoA. Watkins has co-authored two books, “Alternative Kilns & Firing Techniques” and “Architectural Delineation, Presentation Techniques and Projects.” He has also written a book of the same title as the exhibition, “Reflections Made of Memories.”

Image of Watkins's work - a piece of shimmering rainbow pottery
Double-walled basket, 12 inches tall, ceramics, 2019. Photo by James C. Watkins.

“‘Reflections Made of Memories' consists of more than 100 selected works created during my teaching career at the Texas Tech College of Architecture between 1983 and 2018,” Watkins said. “Throughout my 35 years of teaching, it was important for me to set an example for my students by being both a practicing artist and a creative researcher. The aspiration for any conscientious art professor should be that their enthusiasm and passion for creating becomes contagious for their students. That was always my goal.

“Throughout my years of making art in Lubbock, my many experiences involving travel, interactions with students, environmental influences and happy accidents inspired me. Within this exhibition, I share these influences and experiences with the viewer.”

“Reflections Made of Memories” opens Jan. 18 and will run through April 12. Watkins's book of the same title will be available for purchase at the museum.