WMU News

Visiting artist Jun Kaneko offers free ceramics workshop

Oct. 4, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Visiting artist Jun Kaneko, one of the world's foremost contemporary ceramic artists, is presenting a ceramic workshop at Western Michigan University Oct. 8-12. The workshop will be held daily in the Knollwood Art Annex from 9 a.m. to noon and 1:15 to 5 p.m.

Since the beginning of September, Kaneko's ceramics have been on exhibit at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. Kaneko will be present at a reception and viewing of his KIA exhibit Wednesday, Oct. 9, and will give a slide lecture at 7 p.m. in the KIA auditorium. The exhibit continues through Oct. 27.

The workshop, reception and slide lecture are all free and open to the public.

Sponsoring the Kaneko WMU workshop and the reception and lecture at the KIA are the University's Department of Art, The Martin Luther King Jr./Cesar Chavez/Rosa Parks Visiting Professors Program and the WMU Visiting Scholars and Artists Program.

Kaneko's work has been exhibited in a variety of galleries, including the Klein Artworks Gallery, Chicago; Lew Allen Contemporary Gallery, Santa Fe, N.M.; Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica, Calif.; and Gallery Kasahara, Tokyo. Kaneko's work is in such major museum collections as the DeYoung Museum, San Francisco; Detroit Institute of Arts; Arabia Museum, Helsinki, Finland; Shigaraki Ceramic Museum, Shigaraki, Japan; and the Museum of American Crafts, New York City. Kaneko is an honorary member of the National Council on Education for the Ceramics Arts (NCECA), is a Fellow of the American Crafts Council, and is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts awards.

Born in Nagoya, Japan, in 1942, Kaneko emigrated to Los Angeles at the age of 21. During the mid-to-late '60s, he met and worked with California potters Ralph Bacera at Chouinard Institute, Peter Voulkos at the University of California-Berkeley and Paul Soldner at Claremont College. Moving to the East Coast in the early '70s, he taught at the University of New Hampshire and at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 1975, he moved to Japan to build a house and studio in Aichi Prefecture. Kaneko returned to the United States in 1979 to accept a teaching position at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., a position he held until 1986.

Kaneko's home and studio since 1988 is a four story, 38,000 square foot factory building in downtown Omaha, Neb., where he draws, paints and builds large scale stoneware sculpture and expansive and colorful ceramic murals which challenge commonly held perceptions of the clay medium.

For additional information, contact the Department of Art Exhibitions Office at 269 387-2455.

Media contact: Jackie Ruttinger, 269 387-2455, jacquelyn.ruttinger@wmich.edu

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