Joan Takayama-Ogawa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Joan Takayama-Ogawa
Born 1955
Known for ceramic art, sclupture

Joan Takayama-Ogawa (January 1, 1955 – present) is a sansei (third generation) Japanese-American ceramic artist and currently professor at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, California.[1] Takayama-Ogawa's heritage since the 15th Century of Japanese ceramic art influences her work, that usually explores beauty, decoration, ornamentation and narrative while also introducing a dialogue that rejects the traditional role of women in Japanese culture.[2] Her most recent work addresses issues like climate change.

Early life and education[edit]

Takayama-Ogawa began her extensive education at the International Christian University, Tokyo, when she was just 20 years old. While there, she spent a year studying conversational Japanese and with an intent in learning more about her family’s connection with Japanese ceramics.[3] Here she was first introduced to Jōmon pottery by faculty member and expert, J. E. Kidder, which was the beginning of her “life long interest in archeology and geology.”[4] She continued on to receive her Bachelors of Fine Arts in East Asian Studies and Geography from UCLA in 1978.[1] Then her Masters of Arts at the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 1979 and finally her ceramics education at Otis College of Art and Design, LA in 1989.[1] At Otis, Ogawa studied with Ralph Bacerra, chair of Otis’s ceramic department. His teaching focused on material proficiency over concept, his emphasis on form, surface and finish directly influenced Ogawa’s stylistic choices in her early ceramic work.[4]

Artist Career and Style[edit]

When Ogawa signed up for ceramics classes one summer, around the time when she was working as the Academic Dean at Crossroads School in Santa Monica, she discovered that her newly found creative outlet also connected to her personal history.[2] She was previously aware that her mother’s family in Osaka had donated an extensive collection of Japanese ceramics to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the 1960s. Including works by ceramicists Kenkichi Tomimoto and Kenzan Ogata.[4] But now she discovered that her father’s family has a well known history of ceramic production in Tokoname, Japan dating back to the 15th century.[2] Judy Seckler notes in Ceramics Monthly, “Recollecting the Past”, “This talent for claywork lay dormant in her genes until it was given a chance to bubble up to the surface and lay the groundwork for her new life as a clay artist.” Not too long after, she realized her urge to work with clay had “escalated into an obsession,” she left her middle-school teaching career to pursue a future in the ceramic arts.[4]

Takayama-Ogawa’s early works are often in the form of a teapot and tea bowls, referencing the important tradition of tea ceremonies in Japan. Although in Elaine Levin’s Ceramics Monthly article, she mentions, alongside Keiko Fukazawa, that “Both artists admit that they have vigorously resisted the narrow, traditional role of women in Japanese culture, yet the teapot and the tea bowl of the tea ceremony—forms that have an important relation to ceramics tradition, and to women and culture in Japan—have had a significant impact on the work of both.”[3]

Currently, Takayama-Ogawa's work focuses on climate change.

Teaching Career[edit]

After graduating from Stanford, Takayama-Ogawa started her first position in education at the Crossroads School in Santa Monica, CA in 1979, where she worked as faculty, as well as Academic Dean.[5] until she decided to further her education at Otis College of Art and Design in 1985.[5] That same year, she also transitioned to her current position at Otis as a Professor in Ceramics, Product Design, English and Public Speaking. In 2010, she was appointed Ceramics Coordinator, and she was in charge of “bringing clay back to Otis with a focus on 3D printing and clay”.[5] Within that position in 2012, she has organized a corporate sponsored project with Gainey Ceramics, where students designed models to be manufactured and sold through Gainey. She has also organized three faculty development workshops for 2011 Clay in LA Symposium.[6]


2017 73 Scripps Annual Artist Curator, Scripps College, Claremont, CA[7]

2016 Pasadena Design Commissioner at AMOCA

2016 NCECA Speaker

2014 NCECA Speaker, Milwaukee and Kansas City

2014 One of the top 50 American Ceramics Artists by The Marks Project

2010 Otis College of Art and Design, Faculty Development Grant Laguna Clay Company, Lomitas, CA.

2006 Recipient of the Otis Faculty Development Grant

                Recipient of the Otis Faculty Technology Grant

2005 Artist in Residency, Watershed, Maine

2004 Teacher of the Year Commencement Speaker at Otis College of Art and Design

1994 Glading McBean and Co., "Feats of Clay," Merit Award," Lincoln, California.

1993 Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, "Workshop and Lecture Series," Washington D.C.

1978 UCLA President's Undergraduate Fellowship, researched the history of Little Tokyo.

Permanent collections[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  1. American Craft Magazine. “Joan Takayama-Ogawa,” Portfolio, April/May 1996
  2. Clark, Garth. The Artful Teapot, Thames and Hudson, Great Britain. 2004
  3. Clayton, Peirce. 1998. The Clay Lover's Guide to Making Molds: Designing, Making, Using. 1st ed. Asheville, N.C;New York;: Lark Books.
  4. Ferrin, Leslie. 2000. Teapots Transformed: Exploration of an Object. Cincinnati, Ohio;Madison, Wis;: Guild Pub.
  5. Flint Institute of Arts.  Function, Form, and Fantasy: Ceramics from the Dr. Robert and   Deanna Harris Burger Collection, Tracee J. Glabb and Janet Koplos essays, 2016
  6. Lauria, Jo, Gretchen Adkins, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art & Design, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Tucson Museum of Art. 2000. Color and Fire: Defining Moments in Studio Ceramics, 1950-2000. New York;Los Angeles; LACMA.
  7. Larry Wilson: Fired Up About Artists. 2007. Pasadena Star - News 2007.
  8. Lovelace, Joyce. "The Ubiquitous Teapot." American Craft 1994.
  9. Ostermann, Matthias. The Ceramic Surface. A & C Black Publishers Ltd. London, England.
  10. Ostermann, Matthias. Masters: Earthenware Major Works by Leading Artists, Lark     Books. New York. 2010.
  11. Perry, Sara. The Tea Book. Chronicle Books: San Francisco, California. 1993.
  12. Peterson, Susan. 2000. The craft and art of clay. 3rd ed. Woodstock, N.Y: The Overlook Press.
  13. Peterson, Susan. Contemporary Ceramics.Watson-Guptill Publications, New York.     2000
  14. Peterson, Susan. Smashing Glazes., 2001
  15. Peterson, Susan. Working with Clay, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. 1998.
  16. Seckler, Judy. “Tea Time.” Pasadena Weekly. July 15, 1999. P.11
  17. Snyder, Jeffrey B. editor. Ceramics Today. Schiffer Publishing, Pennsylvania. 2010.
  18. The Artful Teapot 2002. Vol. 50. Columbus: American Ceramic Society.
  19. Triplett, Kathy. Handbuilt Ceramics. Lark Books, North Carolina. 1997.
  20. Watabe, Hiroko. "Joan Takayama-Ogawa: Japanese Inspired, American-Fired." Pronto. May 1990. ( in Japanese English translation available)


  1. ^ a b c "Biography Joan Takayama-Ogawa Ceramics". Retrieved December 3, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Seckler, Judy (2005). "Recalling the Past: Joan Takayama-Ogawa's Wit and Whimsy". Ceramics Monthly. 53 – via ebscohost. 
  3. ^ a b Levin, Elaine (1994). "Keiko Fukazawa and Joan Takayama-Ogawa: A Confluence of American and Japanese Cultures". Ceramics Monthly. 42: 49–53 – via EBSCOhost. 
  4. ^ a b c d Willette, Jeanne. "Joan Takayama-Ogawa: "A Sense of Place"". Visual Art Source. Retrieved December 3, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c "Digication e-Portfolio :: Joan Takayama-Ogawa :: Biography". O-Space. November 5, 2015. Retrieved December 3, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Clay in LA: A Ceramics Symposium". Otis College of Art and Design. March 1, 2011. Retrieved December 3, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Scripps 73rd Ceramic Annual: A Sense of Place". Scripps College. 2014. Retrieved December 3, 2017. 

External links[edit]