Since the 1970s, the Foothills Art Center has consistently presented the region's most important annual ceramics exhibit. The most recent version, Colorado Clay 2001, lived up to the tradition. Center director Carol Dickinson called on Wayne Higby, a world-class, New York-based ceramic artist with considerable Colorado connections, to help. Higby grew up in Colorado Springs, studying with artist Mary Chenoweth at the Bemis Art School there and, later, with famous ceramist Betty Woodman at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Higby selected artists, and not artworks, for this exhibit, and in line with this philosophy, those who were chosen were seen in depth. His choices -- though made blind -- were predominantly the work of women artists, including Vicky Hansen, Mary Cay and Martha Russo. This isn't that surprising, though, since women have helped mold the field of ceramics for a long time.