James C. Watkins is a ceramic artist who has worked with clay for over 40 years. His work is held in 23 permanent collections, including the White House Collection of American Crafts at the Clinton Library in Little Rock, Arkansas, the Shigaraki Institute of Ceramic Studies in Shigaraki, Japan, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, the Everson Museum in Syracuse, New York, the Tweed Museum in Duluth, Minnesota, the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, Indiana and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in Houston, Texas. Watkins’ work has been widely exhibited in 45 solo exhibitions and 170 group exhibitions.
Watkins is a Texas Tech University, Horn Distinguished Professor Emeritus. The Horn Professorship is the highest honor Texas Tech University may bestow on members of its faculty. Horn Professorships are granted to professors in recognition of national and international distinction for outstanding research or other creative scholarly achievements.
His awards include the Texas Tech University President’s Excellence in Teaching Award and the third recipient of the Art on the Llano Estacada Legacy Award, presented by Texas Tech University Museum Association. He was a 2005 Senior Fulbright Scholar, teaching in Vietnam at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Architecture. Watkins is the recipient of the 2023 Texas State Visual Artist 3D Award presented by the Texas Commission on the Arts and the 2019 recipient of the HCCC Texas Master Award presented by the Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts in Houston, Texas.
Watkins is the author of the self-published book, “Reflections Made of Memories.” He is also the co-author of two books; “Alternative Kilns & Firing Techniques” published by Sterling Publishing, co-authored with Paul Andrew Wandless. “Alternative Kilns & Firing Technique” has been translated into both German and Chinese. His second co-authored book is “Architectural Delineation: Presentation Techniques and Projects” published by Kendall Hunt Publishing, co-authored with James T. Davis. His work is the subject of a book entitled “A Meditation of Fire: The Art of James C. Watkins” by Kippra D. Hopper published by Texas Tech University Press. He received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA from Indiana University.