"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
I have found that traveling is a very exciting way of getting lost. Getting lost is like falling through the looking glass. Everything is changed with a new light on it. It is a way of getting in touch with all of your senses.
My work as an artist has always focused on transition. How can we do it? How can we look at things in a new way that makes change attractive? We know it is inevitable. Traveling can introduce one to a new reality. I want to relate visually across borders to create the most potent and cogent work that I can. I need to understand if red is the color of death, marriage, fire, or communism.
Going to a foreign land is a special way of making everything new. When you can't read the writing or talk to anyone on the street, you see things as if for the first time. Materials, color, scale, the song and cadence of a language can take on new meaning. We speak a language without words.
Befriending other artists, working towards a common goal, and exchanging ideas, expands and enriches a life. A byproduct is that we understand other cultures better. We can put a face on America that is not what is seen in the news. We can help people understand that we know democracy is a responsibility, not a new washing machine. Possibly the greatest thing that Americans have to offer is our great sense of optimism, the idea that we can accomplish our goals.
I think artists can be great ambassadors. We can break down barriers and promote world peace, culture, and cooperation.
- Linda Lighton, Founder
Lighton is interested in the life force, a dangerous beauty that entails seduction, sexual prowess, moaning hormones. Her work celebrates the spirit of life, edging toward figuration, beckoning seductively, shouting, singing opera for recognition, beckoning the viewer to come closer, come hither.
She received a BFA with honors from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1989. She studied painting and ceramics, 1976-1978, at the University of Idaho and was on the Mortarboard Society. From 1974-1976 Lighton lived on the Colville Indian Reservation in Eastern Washington State. She attended The Factory of Visual Arts in Seattle, Washington from 1971-1974.
Lighton has had more than 54 solo shows since 1974 and participated in more than 150 group exhibitions including the 1st World Biennale in Icheon, Korea, 2001; International Bienal de Manises, Valencia, Spain, 2006; World Clay, Latvian National Museum, Riga, Latvia, 2006; Fule International Ceramic Museum, Fuping, China, 2008; and Ariana Museum, Geneva, Switzerland. Lighton received the Missouri Arts Award in 2008. In 2011 she was honored to receive the Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts and Education from the Kansas City Art Institute. In 2016, Lighton received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the National Council for the Education of Ceramic Arts (NCECA) and theDistinguished Alumni Award from Pembroke Hill School.