clay leonard headshot

Clay Leonard, M.F.A.

Assistant Professor of Art and Design,
College of Human Sciences and Humanities

Contact number: 281-283-3477
Office: Arbor Central 1307.12


Clay Leonard currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Ceramics at the University of Houston – Clear Lake in Houston, Texas.  Prior to his appointment at UHCL, he was the Area Head of Ceramics at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH for three years. He earned his Master of Fine Arts in Art with a focus on Ceramics from Bowling Green State University and was nominated for an outstanding thesis award for his thesis exhibition.  He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 3-D Studio Arts from Adrian College in Michigan in 2006. 

Clay has also been an Artist-in-Residence at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas; the International Ceramic Research Center: Guldagergaard in Denmark; and in the summer of 2019 at C.R.E.T.A. Rome in Rome, Italy. 

His current research focuses on the important ritual of sharing a meal, utilizing ceramic serving forms as a catalyst for interaction and communication.  His work has been featured in various international and national exhibitions and publications including the May 2009 issue of Ceramics Monthly, where he was featured as an Emerging Artist.  His work has also been included in various public collections including the International Museum of Dinnerware Design in Michigan, Guldagergaard: International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark, and in the National Museum of Slovenia.

Curriculum Vitae


Recent Exhibitions

International Exhibitions
Beyond the Brickyard, Archie Bray Foundation, Bray North Gallery, Helena, Montana
Juror: Kristen Morgin, 2017 Voulkos Fellow, Archie Bray Foundation, Studio Artist

Dish; International Exhibition, Yuill Gallery, Medalta, Alberta, Canada
Juror: Julia Galloway, Professor, University of Montana

Ceramic Innovations, Wayne Art Center; Wayne, Pennsylvania
Juror: Chris Gustin, Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth

Selected Group Exhibitions
Carbondale Clay National XIII, Carbondale Clay Center; Carbondale, Colorado
Juror: Andrea and John Gill, Professor (retired)

Fahrenheit, American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA); Pomona, California
Juror: Patti Warashina, Artist

A la Carte: From the Studio to the Table, International Museum of Dinnerware Design; Ann Arbor, Michigan
Curator: Margaret Carney, Director

Collective Transference, Stephen F. Austin State University; Houston, Texas
Curator: Jeff Foster, Ceramics Chair, Museum of Fine Arts Houston/Glassell School of Art

CAMEO Emerging Artist Exhibition, San Jacinto College; Pasadena, Texas
Curator: CAMEO Committee

CraftTexas 2016, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft; Houston, Texas
Juror: Paul Sacaridiz, Executive Director of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts
Juror: Nicole Burisch, Core Fellow Critic-in-Residency, Museum of Fine Arts Houston/Glassell School of Art
Juror: Sandie Zilker, Department Chair of Jewelry and Enamel and 3D Design, Glassell School of Art

Designed to Dine, Tea + Art Gallery; Houston, Texas
Juror: Tea + Art Committee

6th Contemporary Clay Biennial, The Art Center, Western Colorado Center for the Arts; Grand Junction, Colorado
Juror: Steve Hilton, Assistant Professor, Midwestern State University

ClayHouston Biennial, The C.G. Jung Educational Center; Houston, Texas
Juror: Garth Johnson, Curator of Ceramics, Arizona State University Art Museum

After All These Years, Eastern Michigan University; Ypsilanti, Michigan
Curator: Diana Pancioli, Professor, Eastern Michigan University

Courses (Current Academic Year)

ARTS 3320, Ceramics
ARTS 4320, Advanced Ceramics
ARTS 4391, Special Topic: Social Clay--Food, Community, Action
ARTS 5231, Sculpture and the Ceramics Studio

Awards and Accomplishments

Recent Accomplishments

Artist Residencies:
2019 Artist-in-Residence, C.R.E.T.A. Rome; Rome, Italy
2016 Artist-in Residence, Guldagergaard: International Ceramics Research Center

Public Collections:
2016 Guldagergaard: International Ceramics Research Center, Denmark
2016 International Museum of Dinnerware Design; Ann Arbor, Michigan
2015 National Museum of Slovenia; Slovenia