International Sculpture Center
Facebook Twitter Instagram

Sculpture cover



      Back to Directory Search

Patricia Lay


More Information

Click image to enlarge.


My Transhuman Personae are hybrid, post-human forms that personify the coalescence of technology and the human spirit.  On one hand they reference the idealized portraits from many cultures including the altar heads of the Ife and Benin Kingdoms in Nigeria, the gods and goddesses of Greek Classical sculpture, Buddha and the Hindu deities. On the other hand, Dada and Surrealism are important sources.  The Transhuman Personae are seen and experienced as metaphors of the human experience in the 21st Century.

Almost every culture has it’s altar heads that reflect the time and culture in which they were created.  Most recently I have been fascinated with the minkisi Power Figures of the Western Congo Basin in Africa.  The accumulation of materials on these figures acts as protection, and give the figures power. In a new body of work I am creating 21st Century power figures that reflect our culture and experience.

The computer has been instrumental in changing our identity as humans.  The new works are adorned with the accumulation of computers parts.  The computer parts harbor intelligent data, imply a function, act as protection and give the figures power. 

Another theme that I have been fascinated by is human adornment and the human skin as canvas.  Adornment and personal decoration in the form of tattooing, scarification, body and face painting has been practiced in many cultures for centuries.  Individuals in contemporary culture have adapted these practices to show not only their individuality but also their power as humans.  I adorn my power figures with a system of signs that reflect our contemporary culture.

A new series of collage works are composed of digital images of the sculptures, digital images of computer parts and actual computer parts.  The works on paper extend the themes in the sculptures by offering multiple interpretations.



Pat Lay has received two grants in sculpture from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and a grant from the American Scandinavian Foundation. She has been awarded three public art commissions including the installation of a large-scale site-specific sculpture in the sculpture park at the Henie-Onstad Kunstsenter in Oslo, Norway.  Her work has been included in group exhibitions in Japan, Austria, Korea, China, Norway and Slovakia and at the Jersey City Museum, Newark Museum, New Jersey State Museum, The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Montclair Art Museum, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Everson Museum, and the 1975 Biennial Exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art.  Lay’s work is in the collections of the Montclair Art Museum, the New Jersey State Museum, Jingdezhen Sanbao Art Institute, Jingdezhen, P.R.China,  Henie-Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo,  Lay's work is featured in a number of books including Lives and Works, Talks With Women Artists, Volume II by J. Arbeiter, B. Smith, S. Swenson; Working in Clay and The Craft and Art of Clay both by Susan Peterson. A graduate of Pratt Institute and Rochester Institute of Technology, Lay is a Professor of Art at Montclair State University in New Jersey.



Abridged Version 2009


M.F.A. Rochester Institute of Technology

B.S. Pratt Institute


1996            The American Scandinavian Foundation

1988            New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship in Sculpture

1983            New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship in Sculpture


1992            Condeso/Lawler Gallery (Project Space), NYC

1987            Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, NJ

1974            New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ

1973            Douglass College, Women Artists Series, Rutgers University, New Brunswick


2008            Rupert Ravens Contemporary, Newark NJ

2008            Mashiko Museum, Mashiko, Japan, East/West 2008

2007            Montgomery Center for the Arts, Skillman, NJ, Science As Muse

2005            Loveed Fine Arts at Gallery Pahk, Madison Ave. @ 77th St., NYC

2004            Loveed Fine Arts at Gallery Pahk, Madison Ave. @77th St. NYC

2004            Noyes Museum, NJ, Altars, Icons and Symbols: Exploring Spirituality in Art,

2004            Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, Rutgers University, NJ, Diverse Directions in Printmaking

2003            Kunstlerhaus, Graz, Austria, Connections: Montclair/ Graz, curated by Olya Shevchenko

2003            Wonkwang Univ./Montclair State Univ. Exchange Exhibition, Iksan City, Jeonbuk, South Korea

2002            Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, NJ," New Jersey Fine Arts Annual" (Juried)

2002            Medium Gallery, Academy of Fine Arts, Bratislava, Slovakia, "Clay: Common Experiences"

2000            Ceres Gallery, New York City, "Lives and Works, The Exhibition"

1999            Soho 20 Gallery, New York City, "1999 East & West"

1999            Mi Qiu Modern Art Workshop, College of Fine Arts, Shanghai University, China; "Transcending Boundaries"

1996            New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, N.J.; "Six Artists: The 1990's"; George Segal, John Goodyear, Gary Kuehn, Bill Barrell, Emma Amos, Pat Lay

1996              Douglass College, Rutgers University,  "25 Years of Feminism, 25 Years of Women's  Art."

1995-            Traveling Exhibition, Norway: "N.Y, N.Y: Clay; curated by Judith Schwartz; Rogaland

1996            Kunstnersenter, Stavanger, Hordaland Kunstnersenter, BergenNordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum, Trondheim, Ostfold Kunstnersenter, Fredrikstad.

1992            Robeson Gallery, Rutgers University, "New Jersey Project Invitational"

1991            Aljira. A Center for Contemporary Art, Newark, NJ

1990            The Gallery at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ; "Two Generations of Sculptors." (Edwards, Ewing, Fay, Graves, Kuehn, Lay, Seawright)

1989            New Jersey Center for the Visual Arts, Summit, NJ,  "Material Forms"

1989            The Noyes Museum, Oceanville, NJ.  "1989 Visual Arts Fellowship Exhibition"

1984            Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ;  "Structures: 13 New Jersey Artists" (Anuszkiewicz, Bannard, Blair, Craft, Harms, Lay, Pietrucha, Rafoss, Rosen, Savage, Sisco, Teller, Walkingstick)

1984            The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, NJ; "New Jersey Arts Inclusion Program 1978-84"

1983            Hunterdon Art Center, NJ;  "Directors Choice"

1981            A.I.R. Gallery, NYC, "Women Artists"

1981            Douglass College, Rutgers University, NJ, "Retropective Show. Women Artists Series"

1979            New Jersey State Museum;  "1979 Biennial"

1978            Graduate Center, City University of NY, NYC, "Women's Caucus For Art Juried Show"

1978            New Jersey State Museum, "Sculptures and Constructions From the Twentieth Century '

1977            Newark Museum, NJ, "1977 Biennial of New Jersey Artists"

1975            Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC, "1975 Biennial of Contemporary American Art"

1974            The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, CT, "Contemporary Reflections

1968            Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY, "25th Ceramic National" (Juried National)


1997            Montclair State University, Fine Arts Building, exterior ceramic tile mural

1996             Henie-Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo, Norway; an environmental, site-specific sculpture for the Henie-Onstad sculpture park

1985            Montclair State University, College Hall, the Class Gift, Class of 1984


Montclair Art Museum

Jingdezhen Sanbao Art Institute, Jingdezhen, P.R.China

Novohradska Gallery, Lucenec, Slovakia

Henie-Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo, Norway; a site-specific sculpture

Rutgers University, Aidekman Center, Newark, NJ,  (3 sculptures, 1991)

Montclair State University (two public commissions)

I.B.M., Gainesville, VA.

New Jersey State Museum, (2 sculptures:  museum purchase, and 1 sculpture: the L.B.Wescott Collection)

Rochester Institute of Technology


2006            Just My Luck, a major movie by Lady Luck Productions, Inc., starring Lindsay Lohan, release date May, 2006


1972 – present

Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ; Professor, Department of Art and Design, Founding Director of MFA Program 1999-2001


2004            Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute, Jingdezhen, P.R. China

2002             Institute of Fine Arts, Modinagar, Utta Pradesh, India

2002            The Birla Academy of Art and Culture in Kolcata., India

2002            Central Academy of Art and Design at Tsinghua University, Beijing

2002            East China Normal University, Shanghai, PR China

1998            Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ


1997            The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, “Lives and Works: Conversations with Artists”, Joan Snyder, Jackie Winsor, Miriam Schapiro, Ce Roser, Cathy Billian, Pat Lay, Nancy Azara, Charlotte Robinson, Mimi Smith


1986            New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Sculpture Grants for 1987



2009            Peterson, Susan; WORKING IN CLAY; 3rd Edition, Overlook/Viking Press, NY, (photos of my work)

2006            Yushan,Zhang; WORLD CONTEMPORARY PUBLIC CERAMIC ART; Hunan Fine Arts Press, P.R. China. Photos of my work, 130 international artists included.

2004            Peterson, Susan; Jan Peterson, THE CRAFT AND ART OF CLAY; 4th Edition, Prentice Hall, NJ (photos of my work)

2002            Bai Ming, Fine Arts College of Tsinghua University, Beijing, P.R. China, Overseas Contemporary Ceramic Art Classics, by Bai Ming, Forward by Susan Peterson, Jiangxi Fine Arts Publishing House of China,  a book of International contemporary artists, one of 86 featured artists from 20 countries.

2002            Peterson, Susan; WORKING IN CLAY; 2nd Edition, Overlook/Viking Press, NY, (photos of my work)

1999            Peterson, Susan; THE CRAFT AND ART OF CLAY; 3rd edition, Prentice Hall, NJ (photos of my work)

1999            Arbeiter, Joan; Smith, Beryl; Swenson, Sally; LIVES AND WORKS, TALKS WITH WOMEN ARTISTS; Volume II, Paperback, Scarecrow Press (one of 14 chapters, each is an interview  with a woman artist: Miriam Schapiro, Jackie Winsor, Joan Snyder, and others.)

1998            Peterson, Susan; WORKING IN CLAY, Prentice Hall, NJ (photos of my work)

1996            Arbeiter, Joan; Smith, Beryl; Swenson, Sally; LIVES AND WORKS, TALKS WITH WOMEN ARTISTS; Volume II, Scarecrow Press  (Patricia Lay, Joan Snyder, Kay Walkingstick, Jackie Winsor, Miriam Schapiro, and others)

1995            Peterson, Susan; THE CRAFT AND ART OF CLAY; 2nd edition, 1st edition1992; Prentice Hall, NJ (photos of my work)

1986            Nigrosh, Leon; CLAYWORK; Davis Publication, Mass.; 1975 (1st Edition); 1986 (2nd Edition) (Photos of my work)

1980            Nigrosh, Leon; LOW FIRE: OTHER WAYS TO WORK IN CLAY; Davis Publication, Mass. (photos of my work)

Selected Reviews and Articles:

2002            William Zimmer; The New York Times, January 27

2002            Prescott Tolk, The Jersey City Reporter, January 20

1997            Art in America,  April issue, Sculpture Portfolio  section,  full page color

1996            Ceramics Monthly, May issue, New York Clay by Judith Schwartz, photo

1996            Cotter, Holland; The New York Times; Weekend; July 12 (Photo)

1996            Skouen, Tina;  Arbeiderbladet, Oslo, Norway; July 19 (Photo)

1996            Törngren, Av Ylva; Budstikka,  Oslo, Norway, July 20 (Photo)

1992            Watkins, Eileen; Star-Ledger, Sunday, March 8

1992            Raynor, Vivian; The New York Times, Sunday,NJ, March 15

1991            Watkins, Eileen; Star-Ledger,

1991            Point, George; Gold Coast, Hoboken,NJ, Jan.3

1991            Point, George; Jersey Journal, JC,NJ, Jan.4

1990            Watkins, Eileen; Star-Ledger, Aug.3

1989            Raynor, Vivian; The New York Times, Sunday,Sept.3

1989            Raynor, Vivian; The New York Times, Sunday Oct.1

1987            Fitzgibbons, Mary; The Jersey Journal,   Feb.13

1984            Watkins, Eileen; Star-Ledger, March

1984            Zimmer, William; The New York Times, Sunday,March 18

1984            Raynor, Vivian; The New York Times, Sunday, Feb.5

1983            Watkins, Eileen; Star-Ledger, August 28

1981            Raynor, Vivian; The New York Times, Sunday, Feb.8

1979            Schjeldahl, Peter; The New York Times, Sunday, Nov,25

1978            Women Art Magazine, Spring

1978            Lubell, Ellen; The Soho Weekly News, Feb.9

1976            Shirey, David; The New York Times, Sunday, Dec.19