Long Beach, California
Anthony J. “Tony” Marsh (born May 26, 1954) is an American contemporary ceramic artist who lives and works in Long Beach, California. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1978 from California State University Long Beach. From 1978 to 1981, Marsh studied as an apprentice under Japanese potter Shimaoka, in Mashiko, Japan. Marsh also worked with Shimaoka’s shokunin, or craftsmen, on a daily basis and was notably influenced by the traditional culture of the community. Shimaoka’s method provided an example for Marsh that contrasted with his experience of art-making in the United States. After leaving Japan, Marsh received a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1988 from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. In 1989 Marsh was hired to teach at his undergraduate alma mater, Cal State Long Beach, where he continues to be a professor of art and head of the ceramics department.
Marsh is known for making vessel-like forms that challenge assumptions about what a vessel can be. Although he does not describe himself as a potter, he acknowledges the influence of the vessel on his practice:
“I am still as preoccupied as ever with the vessel as my primary vehicle of expression. My work is anchored in global cultural history of pottery and the transformational forces of nature. While the vessels that I make are not utilitarian, nor do they specifically refer to a historical pottery type or style, I use them as a device to address the primal. On a simple level they pay homage to what pottery has always done; hold, store, serve, preserve, commemorate and beautify.”