This month's exhibit, "Playworks," will run from July 2 through August 3. The show draws on the centuries old heritage of Japanese pottery, but also reflects the American experiences in the life of artist Kazuko Matthews, who was born in Southern California and then moved to Japan as a young child.
Japanese ceramics provided the discipline and sensitivity that formed an important foundation for her work. However, Ms. Matthews points out, "The vast space and carefree atmosphere in America has given me a sense of unbounded freedom to explore and play with my pieces." This fusion of East and West distinguishes this clay artist from her contemporaries.
After growing up in Japan, Kazuko returned to America to complete her education at Mount San Antonio College and Chouinard Art Institute, now known as the California Institute of the Arts. She continued her education at Santa Monica College and Scripps College. She studied with Otto and Vivika Heino and with Paul Soldner.
Beginning her artistic career as a graphic designer, she soon chose to dedicate herself to ceramics. For over thirty years her work as a clay artist has evolved from molding functional pottery to an exploration of diverse forms and innovative expressions. Currently, she uses slabform construction to create ceramic sculptures.
The form of her pottery expresses a process of interpreting fleeting experiences that bring both joy and excitement. Each piece is a new opportunity for a passage, a restatement of her response to these meaningful moments. Her selections of color and design reflect traditional Japanese influences. Examples of sculptures, teapots, and wall hangings are posted on her website at kazukomatthews.com.
Kazuko Matthew's work has been well received. She has had seventeen exhibitions both in the United States and in Tokyo, Japan as well as at north coast venues in Ukiah and Mendocino. Works from her eight commissions are mostly located in Southern California, but can also be seen at The Bank of Boston in Cambridge, MA, and at Chubb Insurance headquarters in New Jersey. Her pottery is in six collections including Los Angeles County Museum and the Oakland Museum of California. Now the Dolphin Gallery will be added to this impressive list.
You can meet the artist at the opening reception on Saturday, July 2, from 5 to 7 p.m.
The Dolphin Gallery is located at 39225 Highway One in downtown
Gualala, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please call
707-884-3896 for more information.