Boy in Red Cap and Shoes, 2010 Stoneware with underglazes 47 x 15 x 11 inches Courtesy of the artist and James Harris Gallery, Seattle.

CNAA Artist Feature: Akio Takamori

Akio Takamori was born in Nobeoka, Miyazaki, Japan in 1950. As a resident artist in Seattle, Washington, Takamori recently focused on an autobiographical approach to his work that recreates villagers, school children, and infants, among other subjects, all from memory. Growing up in postwar Japan, Takamori experienced a range of cultural influences. He was the son of a dermatologist, and was exposed to diversity from an early age. Takamori’s inspiration to pursue art started with his father’s extensive library of various art texts where he enjoyed learning about the reproductions of Picasso. After graduating from high school, Takamori’s love for art persisted as he apprenticed for a master folk potter in Japan, and learned about the craft of industrial ceramics. Takamori began to question his own career as an industrial ceramist when he met Ken Ferguson, a renowned American ceramist.

Takamori and Ferguson instantly had a positive rapport, which led Ferguson to invite Takamori back to the states to study with him at the Kansas City Art Institute. Takamori accepted Ferguson’s invitation, and graduated with a B.F.A at the institute, then attended Alfred University in New York for his M.F.A. He moved to Seattle, Washington in 1993, and took his current teaching position as associate professor of the ceramics department at the University of Washington. Takamori’s progression as an artist commenced after working with Ferguson where he found new ways to express himself through the clay. His work has always been figurative, and emphasizes the expression of the human body’s emotions, and sensuality.

Join Takamori and fellow CNAA artist Helen O’Toole on April 2 from 2:00-3:00 for a lively conversation with Bonnie Laing-Malcomson, Curator of Northwest Art and exhibition organizer.