American Artist Cynthia Siegel Allison
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American Artist Cynthia Siegel Allison

Ms. Siegel’s ceramic sculpture focuses on the expressive possibilities of the figure, explores how thought, imagination, and longing could be manifested externally on the figurative form. She thinks that the beauty comes from the passage of time and seeks to celebrate the human connection to the natural world. With a lifelong reverence for anatomical structure, she frequently carves deeply into the clay to develop an imagery of textured skin that is fueled by her love for storytelling, anthropology and natural history. She wants to elicit a slight startle, perhaps a smile, and then a feeling of recognition and empathy from the viewer. She offers her viewers inclusiveness and the comfort of a shared experience.

As for the forms and surfaces of her works, she took inspiration from both the rugged local landscapes surrounding her home and her travel experiences in Asia. In particular, traveling through the temples of South India sparked an evolution of her works — she began to focus on the expressive possibilities of figures. She explores the narrative potential of how the physical body might manifest emotional experiences. 

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

With a lifelong reverence for anatomical structure, she carves a diverse range of imageries into the surfaces of her works, from the roughly ridged textures of a tree trunk to the classic swirling of a flowing garment. The link throughout her creation career is rooted in her desire for connection, empowerment and inclusiveness.