September 7 – November 9, 2017
Exhibition Opening: Thursday, September 7
Members’ Preview: 11am – 2pm
Main Event: 5pm – 8pm
Live Music by Sandi Poindexter and Friends
In an exploration of what it means to labor creatively, Guest Curator Yukiko Koide brings together work by six artists from Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, California and six artists from Atelier Yamanami in Shiga, Japan; both creative spaces for adults with disabilities that are renowned for nourishing and producing outstanding artists. Labor of Love includes work by Momoka Imura, Kazumi Kamae, Yumiko Kawai, Masayo Takiguchi, Hideaki Yoshikawa, and Ai Yamamoto from Atelier Yamanami alongside work by Creative Growth artists Susan Janow, Dan Miller, Carrie Oyama, Tony Pedemonte, Barry Regan, and Monica Valentine.
The artists represented in Labor of Love have developed their own creative systems and through their intensive and patient labor, each artist has found their personal means of expression. They practice in various media, from classic art material like pencil, paper, paint and clay to found material such as buttons, pins, threads, and clothing. Mashing a typewriter; drawing circles and waves; flattening, granulating, and piecing clay; twisting and winding thread; undulating fabric; pricking pins: the artists’ individual techniques have yielded distinctive styles.
Susan Janow’s line-based drawings of grid and wave patterns and Hideaki Yoshikawa’s numerous and repetitious pinholes into clay tune us to their focused, steady art-making flow, while Dan Miller’s typing and physical gesture reveal his pulse rhythm. On fabric and on paper respectively, Yumiko Kawai and Barry Regan repeat circles: their actions are reminiscent of Japanese Zen monks who practiced making circles as a symbol of a free mind. Monica Valentine’s radiant spheres and cubes covered with sequins and beads certify her tactile sensitivity, as she claims to feel colors with her skin. Each lovingly crafting their sculptural work, Momoka Imura sews and forms her “Kawaii” buttoned blobs from multiple rolled layers and Kazumi Kamae builds her endearing clay figures from countless rice-sized clay pieces.
In the words of curator Yukiko Koide; “These labor intensive and handmade works of art give us a rare glimpse of inner life of their creators, and provide us with brilliant insight into human creativity and origins of art.”
Yukiko Koide is an independent curator based in Tokyo. A pioneering figure in the field, Yukiko Koide has organized numerous exhibitions on “Outsider Art”, including Bill Traylor (Ginza Art Space, 1992), Art Incognito (Collection de l’Art Brut, 1997), Judith Scott (Shiseido Gallery, 2001), African American Quilts (Shiseido Gallery, 2007), Henry Darger (La Foret Museum Harajuku, 2011), among others. In 2003 she opened a gallery space in her Tokyo office, with an aim to introduce unique yet undiscovered works from home and abroad.
Atelier Yamanami, located in Shiga, Japan, provides adults with disabilities with various services and programs with an aim to enhance the quality of life. The clients choose from a variety of offerings, including lifestyle support, health care, work experience in the community, and creative activities such as painting, clay work, embroidery. Through running a café, a gallery, and an event hall, Atelier Yamanami has built close relationship with surrounding communities. First founded as a small welfare workshop for 3 clients in 1986, Atelier Yamanami now serves 60 clients. More information can be found at a-yamanami.jp.
On the Ramp: Cedric Johnson
Concurrent with Labor of Love, the vibrant palettes, fractured planes, and linear abstractions of Cedric Johnson’s ceramic masks and work on paper will be featured on the ramp.