Val Cushing is a functional potter, a firm adherent of the wheelthrown, utilitarian vessel. Unlike many of his peers, he has not rejected function in favor of more purely sculptural concerns. He has deliberately chosen to work within the limitations imposed by such conventional formats as bowls, pitchers, casseroles, and storage jars. Respecting function and the traditional materials and processes of ceramic art, he has created a body of work that is artistically fresh and adventurous — an invigorating infusion of the visual and the tactile.
Cushing was born in Rochester, New York, and received his BFA and MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. He has taught pottery at Alfred since 1957 and, in 1962, was a founding member of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. His work has been exhibited widely in the United States and he has been the recipient of a Fulbright grant and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.
“Featured Object at Renwick.” National Museum of American Art Calendar of Events (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, November 1990)