posted February 14, 2002

Exhibition of Ceramics from Hope Collection

 The gallery of the De Pree Art Center at Hope College is featuring an exhibition of Japanese ceramics from the college's Permanent Collection.

The exhibition will run through Friday, March 15.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

"The objects are of unusually fine quality and beauty, and illustrate a vital element of Japanese life," said Dr. John Hanson, who is an assistant professor of art history and director of the gallery.

The works were donated to the college by Maurice Kawashima. Some of the pieces, along with others on loan from Kawashima, were displayed in an exhibition in the gallery in 1993.

Kawashima established his own fashion company, Masaaki New York, and from 1965 to 1990 was a professor of fashion design with the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Hope awarded him an honorary degree in April of 1999.

In a collector's statement provided to the college, he noted, "My interest in ceramics stems from my heritage, for the manner in which we Japanese live lends particular importance to this form of artistic expression. Among the variety of art forms that make up the culture of Japan, that of ceramics is a basic expression of our mode of living. This includes the art of flower arrangement, the ceremony of tea, and the etiquette of dining; all of which are inspired by and intimately associated with the beliefs of Buddhism."

On Friday, March 1, at the De Pree Art Center, Michel Conroy, professor of ceramics at Southwest Texas State University, will present the lecture "An Overview of Japanese Ceramics" at 5 p.m. Following the lecture, the Japanese tea ceremony will be performed in the gallery by Mrs. Murakami of of Grand Rapids.

"This ceremony is a profound contemplative practice of meditation fusing spirituality and aesthetics," Hanson said.

The lecture and the tea ceremony are also open to the public.

The De Pree Art Center is located at Columbia Avenue and 12th Street. The gallery's regular hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery is handicapped accessible.