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Art History

Faculty & Staff Directory

Cynthia Siegel working on large scale figurative ceramic sculpture

Cynthia Siegel, B.S., MFA

Art/Ceramics Instructor

Fine Arts and Communication Division

(650) 949-7584



Foothill campus
Office Hours:
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30 pm -6:00 pm


ART 44
Ceramic Sculpture TTh 6:00 pm - 8:50 pm
Beginning Ceramics: Handbuilding TTh 6:00 pm - 8:50 pm


Award-winning sculptor and 2014-2015 Fulbright-Nehru Scholar to India, Ms. Cynthia Siegel began her work in clay with the expression of her delight in beauty, and in the pleasure of making beautiful objects for everyday use. Soon after an informal five-month apprenticeship in Jerusalem, Ms. Siegel lived and worked for seven years as a full-time studio potter in Bishop, CA. In the making of her pottery, she sought to blend the cultural and natural worlds, inspired by both the rugged local landscapes surrounding her home, and her travel experiences in Asia. In particular, traveling through the temples of South India in the late 90’s sparked an evolution of Ms. Siegel’s work—she began to focus on the expressive possibilities of the figure, exploring how the inner workings of thought, imagination, and longing manifest externally on the figurative form. Ms. Siegel explores the narrative potential of how the physical body might wear its emotional experiences, developing a textured skin of imagery that is fueled by a love of storytelling, anthropology and natural history.

Ms. Siegel exhibits her work nationally and internationally, receiving awards at the Taiwan Ceramics Biennale and the Cheongju International Craft Biennale. Her work is part of many public and private collections, and is included in such publications as Ceramics Today, Ceramic Art and Perception, and 500 Figures in Clay. Ms. Siegel has presented lectures and workshops in India, Israel, Taiwan, New Zealand, and the U.S. She received her MFA from San Jose State University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Siegel teaches in the ceramics departments of Cabrillo College and Foothill College. She lives and works in Santa Cruz, CA.

During her time in Kolkata as a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar, Ms. Siegel observed and documented the sculptural traditions of the artists of Kumartuli, who create works such as the figurative idols used in the Durga Puja celebrations. Concurrently, and inspired by her research, Ms. Siegel developed two temporary, collaborative sculpture projects in which viewer participation was integral to the completion of the projects. Shortly before the end of her grant, in March 2015, a feature article on her was published in Society Magazine (India). Ms. Siegel presented a lecture on her Fulbright project at the March 2016 NCECA (National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts) conference.

Personal Quote:

Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life....

Last update: 2017-03-08
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