Beth Lo : At Home, Out of Place
The Summer Invitational : Michiko Itatani, Jane Booth, Marcus Cain, Ky Anderson, Patty Carroll, Laura Fayer, Mike Lyon, Rain Harris, Jun Kaneko, Molly Herman, Carol Stewart, Damon Freed, Curt Hoard, Ethan Meyer
Opening First Friday, June 2nd, 2017 | 7-9 p.m.
“My work in ceramics and mixed media collage revolves primarily around issues of family and my Asian-American background. Cultural marginality and blending, tradition vs. Westernization, language and translation are key elements in my work. Since the birth of my son in 1987, I have been drawing inspiration from major events in my family’s history, the day-to-day challenges of parenting, and my own childhood memories of being raised in a minority culture in the United States. I use the image of a child as a symbol of innocence, potential and vulnerability. Often I include references to water – swimming, drinking, spilling, drowning – as an element which can be at once healing and hazardous.
The work in “At Home, Out of Place” is unified by the idea of being comfortable with being uncomfortable. This neither/nor state reflects my personal ethnic marginality – part American girl, part Good Chinese daughter. I have learned to be comfortable by choosing not to fit into mainstream cultures of either the US or of China. I have sought a hybrid aesthetic that represents a blending of cultures that is becoming more and more common as the boundaries between countries around the globe are blurred. I am combining the brush work of calligraphy with line work of cartooning, juxtaposing images of American t-shirts and Chinese qi pao dresses, and tackling the issues of adoption and immigration. As an extension of the sense of displacement, I have included in this show several pieces about swimming and water. These pieces also describe the sensation of a body being at home in an “unnatural” environment– afloat in a lake or river, simultaneously at peace but in peril.” -Beth Lo
Beth Lo is a Professor of Art at the University of Montana, Missoula. Over her career she has received numerous honors including $50,000 United States Artists Hoi Fellowship in 2009 and a $20,000 National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist Fellowship Grant in 1994. Her ceramics are in the permanent collections of Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art at Alfred University, NY; Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, WA; Microsoft Corporation, Seattle, WA; Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Spokane, WA; the University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA; Yellowstone Art Center, Billings, MT and the Hallmark Card Corporation Ceramics Collection, Kansas City, MO.