Dec 01, 2015
Humboldt State University First Street Gallery presents, "I was Born, But...," a solo exhibition featuring 500 small paintings by Tsuya Pratt. The exhibition runs through New Year's Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 31.
Pratt is a native of the island of Hokkaido in the north of Japan who has made her home with her family on California’s North Coast for several decades. She comes from a long line of Shinto priests on her father’s side and from poets on her mother’s side, the influence of which the viewers may discern in her paintings. Her communion with nature in which everything is sacred, the stars, the rivers, ancestors-is present in her paintings.
The gallery will present hundreds of Pratt’s miniature paintings, which measure only eight inches high by six inches wide. Their precious size belie expectations, as within each piece the viewer will find tremendous energy, motion and surprise. The exhibition will feature two distinct bodies of work by the artist. The first comprises portraits of people and the second is filled with abstractions. The viewer of her work will take special delight in her paintings’ titles, which are often poetic and will guide the viewer in the interpretation of the paintings.
The first series is called, “My Neighbors and Your Neighbors,” about which she declares that:
“I have always been interested in observing people. In Japan I watched the Japanese people. In America I enjoy watching the American people, especially their faces. I like drawing people’s face, showing their emotions and personal struggles. I am very interested in line, movement, color and texture. I paint them l like abstractions because I have more freedom to use different techniques. I like to have a lot of freedom in my art.”
The second body of work is called, “Human Mosaic, Including Mother Nature.” She describes the series like this:
“Nowadays, the human species is living as an invasive virus in this world, bringing ruin down on the body of Nature. I hope we can find some solution for humanity in the natural world; that is why I slipped into the abstract theme a lot of nature pictures.Before its too late, and this Nature wipes out completely the human ‘virus’ from her body, we have to do something very quickly; I really hope we do before it’s already too late. Really, we don’t have any time to waste with things such as war.”
“I was Born, But…,” is produced by Humboldt State students. Students enrolled in the Art Museum and Gallery Practices Program participate in the daily management and planning of shows at the gallery. The gallery provides real-life opportunities for the students to develop their gallery and museum skills, which in turn provides them with experience that will help them to enter the job market. Many students who have participated in the program have gone on to careers in museums and galleries throughout the nation.
The exhibition will run through Dec. 31. The gallery is open daily from noon to 5 p.m. A reception for the artist will be held at HSU First Street Gallery Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. during Eureka’s monthly Arts Alive event. The gallery will be closed on Christmas Day and is located at 422 First Street Eureka, California. For more information, call (707) 443-6363.