For Immediate Release: April 5, 2013
BLOOMSBURG — Ceramics by famed artist Toshiko Takaezu will be exhibited in Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Haas Gallery. The exhibit, running April 17 to May 1, will include 19 ceramic works that Takaezu gifted to the university.
A reception for the show will be held Wednesday, April 17, from 4 to 7 p.m. Karl Beamer, professor emeritus of art and art history and a close friend of the late Takaezu, will give a lecture at 4:30 p.m.
Takaezu’s relationship with Bloomsburg University began in 1958 through a friendship with the late BU art department chair, Percival “Bob” Roberts. Her relationship continued through a friendship with Beamer, who was BU’s ceramics and sculpture professor. In addition to the many ceramic works she donated to the university, Takaezu cast the bronze bell, her first created in North America, which hangs in the Academic Quad outside the Andruss Library. She also donated a large painting by famed Japanese artist Sawada, which hangs in the lobby of Mitrani Hall. In addition to her contributions of art to BU, she visited campus many times to work and speak with students.
Takaezu’s ceramic art focused on poetic expression rather than practicality. She drew from nature, such as her vertical closed-form pieces modeled after the scorched trees along the Devastation Trail in Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park. Her glazing technique, in which she brushed, dripped or poured color onto the clay, brought a spontaneous element to her work.
“I see no difference between making pots, cooking and growing vegetables,” Takaezu once said when asked about how art ingrates itself into everyday life.
Takaezu was born in Pepeekoo, Hawaii, in 1922, and died in March 2011. She studied at the University of Hawaii, Cranbrook Academy of Art and traveled to Japan to study Zen Buddhism. She taught at the Cleveland Institute of Art and at Princeton University. Her works are included in the permanent collections in many major art museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Smithsonian Institute.
Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.