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Winton and Rosa Eugene

Winton and Rosa Eugene

Work available for purchase in the Museum Shop at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA.

The Eugenes are self-taught potters who have been creating award winning stoneware pottery together in South Carolina for over thirty-four years. Winton first learned to turn pots on a traditional kick wheel. A decade later, Rosa began coiling and glazing in collaboration with Winton. Today Winton creates pottery using an electric wheel and does most of the decorative work, while Rosa specializes in customizing and applying glazes and her repertoire includes a diverse range of types and colors. Rosa also produces large pieces of pottery including large bowls, vases, and decorative forms using the coiled method. Most of the Eugenes' pottery incorporates detailed decorative work including painted scenes and carved relief work. These decorative elements involve images from nature and the surrounding Carolina environment. 

The couple received honorary doctoral degrees in Fine Art from the University of South Carolina. Their work has been exhibited in museums across the globe including China, Germany, and throughout the South. Their rare and highly collectible Eugene Tribute Jugs were a part of the ground breaking traveling exhibit The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse, organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) and curated by Valerie Cassel. The art exhibit proposes that the culture of the African American South, as defined by music and vernacular art, is the bedrock of American culture itself, with a strong influence on new art today. Their Tribute Jugs were inspired by face jugs created by David Drake, also known as "Dave the Potter," who was an American potter and enslaved African American who lived in Edgefield, South Carolina in the 1820s and the 1870s. The Eugenes decided to create jugs that would resemble and subsequently honor family members and close friends who had passed on from each of their childhood memories. Each piece created by Winton and Rosa Eugene carries a message. Whether reflecting on the past or exploring a concept such as dignity and pride, their works cause the viewer to be captured by their remarkable ability to speak through the clay medium. 

As Winton says, “In two hundred years, I want these things about my daily life to stand out, so others will know this is where I worked and lived.” 

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