Roberto Lugo: Contemporary Reflections On 1 West

Ceramicist Roberto Lugo finds continued inspiration in the Walters’ collection.

Roberto Lugo is a potter, activist, culture-maker, rapper, poet, and educator. The Walters commissioned him to create works of art and participate in programming as part of the first installation at 1 West Mount Vernon Place. Lugo has been inspired by specific works at the Walters; in his ceramics, he combines traditional techniques and forms with contemporary color palettes and subject matter that reflect his experiences as an artist of color.

The elegant shapes of Sèvres vases from the Walters are echoed in works that feature figures like Frederick Douglass and Freddie Gray, the Baltimore man who died in police custody in 2015. Lugo has also created works that are inspired by Sybby Grant, who was an enslaved cook at 1 West Mount Vernon Place.

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