By Jorge Vasquez
Skilled ceramic artist and professor Joan Takayama-Ogawa was the last to lecture for the fall as part of the visiting artist lecture series held by the Art Department.
Takayama-Ogawa’s experience and expertise stems from her family’s involvement in ceramics, that reaches back six generations, as well as her extensive educational background.
Most of the inspiration for her ceramic work, whether it be a statement or decorative piece, comes from her love of the environment and her stance on political matters. She also mentioned her family being relocated to internment camps during World War II having a big impact on her work.
She also spent 12 years working with the Rose Parade and has her work on display in museums and at friend’s homes around the world.
One of the pieces from her Tea Tower collection, however, was destroyed on September 11, 2001 during the terrorist attacks.
Takayama-Ogawa earned her Bachelor of Arts in Geography at UCLA, her Master of Arts in Education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, and received her ceramics education at Otis College of Art and Design.
“Study English, History, Art History, Science, Biology, use it all,” said Takayama-Ogawa to the group, as different aspects of her education can be seen in her ceramic pieces.
Takayama-Ogawa stressed the fact that students should live their lives but should always get their education. “Education will get you places. Take a break, grow up, but get your education.”
She then admitted she was 30 years old when she created her first piece to show the group that age doesn’t matter when it comes to education.
“Artists need to be leaders and leaders need to be artists,” she concluded.
The series began in September with guest speaker, painter, drawer, printmaker, and animator Stas Orlovski. In October, ELAC welcomed painter, sculptor, and installation artist Shergin Guirguis.
The Art Department is budgeted each year to allow five speakers, three in the Fall and two in the spring, said Assistant Professor Christine Frerichs.
The last two speakers are still unconfirmed for the spring semester, but the Art Department is looking to invite a photographer and art historian/art critic, said Frerichs.
Each lecture is about an hour long and the artists provide insight into their individual artwork, their education, and their diverse upbringing.
After the lecture, the floor is open to questions to allow student-artist interactions.
The lecture series is open to everyone with an interest in the trade and work of the guest.
“The events are free and meant to enrich our campus environment,” said Frerichs, encouraging students to attend the lecture series.