Kirk Mangus received his BFA at the Rhode Island School of Design. After graduating, he was a two-year resident of the Clay Studio in Philadelphia. Mangus received his MFA at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington in 1979. In 1980, he was a resident at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts. Mangus has been the Head of Ceramics at Kent State University since 1985. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, four Ohio Arts Council Fellowships, a Pennsylvania Council of the Arts Fellowship, and a McKnight Foundation Fellowship. Mangus exhibits his ceramics and drawings nationally and internationally.