The exhibition was well designed and we owe kudos to Dr. Barbara Thompson (Vice President of Hawai'i Craftsmen and an experienced curator), Jackie Mild Lau and Chris Edwards. As in the past, the selection of ceramics was especially strong. Daven Hee, one of my teachers and one of the best ceramicists in the state, was an invited artist this year. His exhibition of four clay toys included a truck, a car, a spaceship, and a toy box. As of this writing, two of the pieces have sold, one to the Honolulu Museum of Art. I have three pieces in the show, including one that won the Merit Award in Ceramics Arts so I feel pretty lucky. I suppose I should feel proud about the award but opening night I felt more sheepish than anything since I couldn't help comparing my piece to others and wondering how I won.
Amber Aguirre won the highest award in the show, the Award of Excellence in Honor of Charles E. Higa, for her ceramic sculpture entitled Disabled. I saw her at the reception and noticed she had a medical boot on her left leg and was walking with a cane. Both of her pieces in the show dealt with themes about illness and she told me she'd been in and out of the hospital because of complications with surgery on her leg and was still doing physical therapy twice a day. Her struggles with illness and pain were reflected in her art. My conversation with her made me think about how many artists use their art to work out personal issues. I took a course with Joey Chiarello this past spring and he told me he used his clay work to literally work out his demons or at least start some type of rapprochement. Every demon he makes is a self portrait, something I hadn't noticed until he pointed it out to me. Maybe I like my designs to be more controlled because so many parts of my life feel like they're out of my control!
Below you'll find photos of all the ceramics in the exhibition. If you're in the Honolulu area, I hope you'll stop by the gallery at the Honolulu Museum of Art School at Linekona. It will be up until November 13. It's closed on Mondays but is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 to 4:30 and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00.