Laureate Chris Staley to discuss intersections of art, life

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Distinguished Professor of Art Chris Staley, 2012-13 Penn State Laureate, will discuss creativity, curiosity and other topics during a free public lecture, “Art and Life: Where They Intersect,” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday (Oct. 18), in the Palmer Lipcon Auditorium, Palmer Museum of Art.

“We live in a time of unprecedented change. What has this change done to how we relate to objects, each other and our sense of place?” asks Staley, a ceramic artist.

He will address how this era of change has affected our sense of time, what causes someone to be curious, and other questions, such as: How does spitting in a cup create insights to the powerful corporeal boundaries between inside and outside? How does throwing pots on an iPhone relate to the world of the analog and digital? Why are tears important to learning?

Staley is giving this fast-paced, dynamic talk at Penn State campuses across the commonwealth as part of his laureate responsibilities. He is also coproducing a weekly video series, in which he addresses various topics related to art and creativity. A recent video included an interview with Penn State Head Football Coach Bill O’Brien at

Named a Penn State Distinguished Professor in 2008, Staley joined the University faculty in 1990, teaching ceramics in the School of Visual Arts. Under his leadership, the Ceramics graduate program has been ranked No. 10 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. He received Penn State’s Graduate Faculty Teaching Award in 2007.

His ceramic pieces are included in the International Museum of Ceramic Art, Fuping, China; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C., among others. He is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics, based in Geneva, and serves as chairman of the board of directors at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, an international craft school in Deer Isle, Maine. In February, he gave a talk at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India.

The Penn State Laureate, an honorary position established in 2008, is a full-time faculty member in the humanities or the arts who is assigned half-time for one academic year to bring an enhanced level of social, cultural, artistic, and human perspective and awareness to a broad array of audiences. The individual appears at University events at Penn State campuses and throughout the state at various community programs in hopes of adding a more human dimension to the conduct of the usual affairs and business of these locations.

For more on the laureate program, visit To view Staley’s video series, visit

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Last Updated January 09, 2015