A Living Legacy: Celebrating 10 Years with Toshiko

Saratoga Clay Arts Center

Oct. 9, 2024 - Nov. 13, 2021

167 Hayes Road
Schuylerville, 12871
PHONE: 518 581-2529


This year Saratoga Clay Arts Center is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. To mark this milestone, we are pleased to present A Living Legacy: Celebrating 10 Years with Toshiko and Her Apprentices, an exhibition that honors and celebrates one of our founder’s initial mentors, Toshiko Takaezu, whose influence and legacy at the Center is significant. The exhibition, which features fifteen artists who worked closely with Toshiko as her apprentices, will be showcased at Saratoga Clay Art Center’s Schacht Gallery from October 9 – November 13, 2021, with an opening celebration on Saturday, October 9th from 5-7pm.

When Saratoga Clay Arts Center opened 10 years ago, we launched our Schacht Gallery with a tribute to Toshiko Takaezu (1922 – 2011). Founder and director Jill Kovachick states, “As she was one of the most important clay artists of our time, it was exciting, and we were thrilled to able to show a national treasure in our gallery. To have known her as an artist, teacher, and friend – who she was to all that knew and loved her – it made it even more special. Ten years later, her presence still remains at the center. Photos in every space carry on our tribute to her, remind us of what we learned from her, and inspire us every day.”

For our 10th anniversary exhibition, we will continue our homage to Toshiko by showcasing a selection of artists who worked directly with her throughout her career – her apprentices. A profoundly influential teacher and mentor, Toshiko took each of her apprentices to a new level, and since working with her, each has developed their own vision and exploded onto the clay world. We are honored to present these artists who represent the wonderful connection that we all had with Toshiko. In this exhibition we will see a love for who she was and what she has inspired in Saratoga Clay Art Center’s clay community as well as the participating artists and former apprentices.

Ben Eberle, who was one of Toshiko’s apprentices, remembers, “Toshiko often told her apprentices to ‘stop thinking about it too much. Just play around with it….maybe see what happens.’ What usually happened was something new. Something unexpected. These were defining, indelible moments within the apprenticeship, frequently defining her open but firm grasp on each of us as young makers, curious thinkers, and motivated artists. These moments also highlighted a greater theme for decades of apprentices receiving her guidance. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Everyone is different. Hard work beats a short cut every day of the week and twice on Sunday (ironically the only day we were allowed to sleep in). And above all else, be an individual with your own ideas. Be independent.”

Participating artists, joining us from across the country and abroad, include Bill Baumbach, Geoff Booras, Tim Clark, Ben Eberle, Curtis Fontaine, Fitzhugh Karol, David Kaufmann, Larraine Kisly, Nic Newcomb, Darren Prodger, Andy Rahe, Kate Randall, Martha Russo, Elizabeth Smith, and Skeff Thomas. This exhibition is a cumulative celebration of Toshiko and the significance of her apprentice line that spanned more than forty years. Like the highly diverse work in the gallery, Toshiko’s apprentices represent a singular ethic spoken in a shared language….but has become translated into many individualized and nuanced dialects. It should surprise no one that despite receiving many of the same lessons, her apprentices all branched out as individual artists, each with their own styles, approaches to clay, and personal art practices. The exhibition will feature a wide spectrum of sculptural and vessel-oriented works, as well as a selection of the artists’ memories of Toshiko and their experience with her.

Founded in 2010 by clay artist and educator Jill Kovachick, Saratoga Clay Arts Center is a ceramic art center located just a few miles outside of Saratoga Springs in Schuylersville, NY offering wheel throwing and handbuilding clay classes for youth and adults, studio space and residencies for artists, and exhibitions featuring emerging, mid-career and established clay artists. The Schacht Gallery is open Monday – Saturday from 11am – 4pm and by appointment. We are located at 167 Hayes Road, Schuylerville, NY 12871. Visit www.saratogaclayarts.org call 518-581-2529 or email [email protected] for more information.

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