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Artist Toshiko Takaezu, whose exquisitely glazed closed-form stoneware and porcelain pieces are on display at the Williams Center for the Arts Gallery, will attend a reception in her honor 2-5 p.m. Sunday in conjunction with First Sunday Easton. She will give a lecture at 3:30 p.m. in Williams Center room 108.

Toshiko Takaezu: Selected Works, which opened Sept. 1 and runs through Oct 10, combines Eastern traditions with Western techniques and aesthetics. The documentary Toshiko Takaezu: Portrait of a Ceramic Artist is being screened 3 p.m. each Sunday during the exhibition period in Williams Center room 108.

Takaezu also displayed her art at Lafayette in 1974. Born in Hawaii of Japanese descent, she has been working with clay for over six decades. The outcome of her works, fired in either a precision gas kiln or an unpredictable wood-fire Anagama kiln, relies on Takaezu’s experience and instinctive understanding of each method. The exhibit will feature “tree forms” of seven to eight feet made in the 1970s; moon shapes, which are closed circular pieces; and tall and small closed forms including “Homage to Cobalt,” which was fired in early August.

Since retiring from teaching at Princeton for 25 years in 1992, Takaezu continues to create some of her most vital and creative work, which is included in numerous museum collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Renwick Gallery Smithsonian American Art Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the National Museum in Bangkok. She has displayed her art internationally and nationally, including an exhibit that opened this month at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Among her many honors, she has been named a Living Treasure of Hawaii, received the Human Treasure Award from the University of North Carolina and Gold Medal of the American Craft Council, and has been awarded several honorary doctorates for her lifetime work.

Following her studies at Cranbrook in the 1950s, Takaezu has regularly exhibited her ceramic pieces while steadily evolving her forms from utilitarian vessels to abstract sculptural forms. After experimenting with traditional ceramic forms — bowls, vases, and plates — in 1958 Takaezu closed the openings in these useful objects, creating the domed columns and spheres for which she has become famous. Takaezu has explored the expressive potential of these “forms,” as she calls them, for more than 45 years, subtly modifying shape and scale and painting on glazes in infinite variety, to produce ceramic sculpture of compelling mood and presence.

“You are not an artist simply because you paint or sculpt or make pots that cannot be used,” she says. “An artist is a poet in his or her own medium. And when an artist produces a good piece, that work has mystery, an unsaid quality; it is alive.”

The works in the exhibit are loaned courtesy of the artist and Charles Cowles Gallery, New York.

Gallery hours are noon-5 p.m. Monday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday; 2-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, as well as noon-5 p.m. the first Sunday of each month for First Sunday Easton; a half-hour before Williams Center performances; and by appointment. For more information, call (610) 330-5361, email, or visit, and choose Quick Links, then Performing Arts/Williams Center.

The Williams Center gallery is funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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