Years ago I worked in clay and eventually made casts in handmade paper from molds of my clay pieces. I wanted to engage the viewer in thinking about the origins or inspiration of my stele-like forms and fragments that were inspired by objects I’d contemplated for years in museums and historic sites.
My subsequent non-linear career path led me away from making things, to helping others make art. But I never stopped being an artist…I just took a 30 year sabbatical. Fast forwarding a few decades, I resumed making objects in earnest several years ago, this time primarily in fused glass. I’m intrigued with the interplay between various colors and patterned shapes in my pieces. I like the way light passes through the glass and casts colorful shadows on walls and shelves. Some of my designs are inspired by maps which have fascinated me throughout my life. Others incorporate biomorphic and sometimes textured elements prompted by organic shapes I see throughout the natural world.
I am indebted to Sue, Jungle and Bud for introducing me to this wonderful if occasionally exasperating medium.
Mark Mitsuda grew up in Honolulu Hawaii, and was introduced to glass during high school at Punahou School. Mark went on to art school and graduated with a BFA from Alfred University in 1992. He has studied with numerous glass artists at Pilchuck Glass School and has worked as a studio assistant for Rick Mills at the University of Hawaii. In the mid 90’s he co-found Glass Design Group, a limited production studio glass studio in upstate New York. In 1998 he returned to Honolulu to teach glassblowing at Punahou School where he is currently the head of the glass program. He has taught at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina and has been a resident artist at the Appalachian Center for Craft in Smithville Tennessee and is a board member of Hawaii Craftsmen.
Board of Directors
Rod Bengston is an arts administrator, curator, educator and an artist practicing painting and drawing. He joined UHM in August of 2012 after serving as director of The University of Akron Art Galleries system since 1992. He has curated dozens of exhibitions in contemporary art and many with historical themes, featuring artists such as Xu Bing, Jenny Holzer, Yoko Ono and James Siena. Bengston has also organized cross-disciplinary exhibitions, performances and events involving Polymer Science, Computer Science, Anthropology, History, English, Psychology, Archives, Libraries, Modern Languages, Biology, Music, Dance and Law. Bengston has taught courses in 2D studio foundations, arts administration and museum studies for over twenty years.
Francisco Clemente, born and raised in Huelva, Spain, traveled throughout Europe before he settled in the continental United States. Becoming a general contractor, he was able to begin working with his hands and helped build many custom houses in Las Vegas. After a successful vacation to Hawaii, he made it his new home.
His progression from general contractor to artist was a natural one. Following a client’s request for round posts for a four poster bed, he purchased a book on woodturning, a lathe, and taught himself new techniques. He began creating candle holders, then turned boxes that he would sell at local craft fairs, catching the attention of local galleries.
Always challenging himself to engage the media in different ways, he began stepping away from the confines of round forms and incorporated carving into his work. “The wood guides you—tells you what form it wants to be,” says Francisco. He appreciates the freedom that creating an abstract form provides, utilizing every piece of wood, every scrap, capturing the innate beauty and essence of Hawaii’s woods.
Francisco allows the logs to season and dry—often for years—which enables the colors and spalting to develop. He enjoys the challenge of working with different species of wood to create form and complements each with a finish that best suits the piece. Recently, Francisco began experimenting with surface textures, dyes, and color to bring life to plainly colored woods. “I am always looking for new or different ways to do my work—always in search of the ultimate expression,” says Francisco.
My name is Evan Jenkins ( Hawaii Island ) and I live on the Big Island of Hawaii where I own and operate a private glass studio with my wife Fair Jenkins. I have a Masters of Art in Teaching from the University of Hawaii in Hilo, and currently teach Drawing and Painting at Keaau High school. I am an active community member, volunteer, and father of three young children. The organizations I support and offer my service to are the Special Olympics Hawaii, Volcano Art Center, Hawaii Artist Collaboration, AYSO, and of course Hawaii Craftsmen! My goal is to develop and provide more art education opportunities for the Big Island community as a whole.
Patti Pease Johnson
Patti Pease Johnson ( Hawaii Island ) teaches art workshops in three mediums: liquid dye on silk, soft pastel, and watercolor at various locations around Hawaii Island. She has home and fashion accessory lines in galleries and gift shops around the state and her original paintings are found in many international collections. She has had nine solo exhibitions, been in numerous juried art competitions, and has been curator of four major multiple artist exhibits. She has been a long time board member of art organizations. Mrs. Johnson is a self-taught artist who relishes taking intensive art workshops when available, and is enjoying learning to work with clay. She says she is very grateful to her parents for instilling the art of noticing nature's greatness.
Mary Ann Leigh & Ted Loberg
In the 38 years Mary Ann and Ted have been together, they have run several businesses in the Midwest, including an antique store, a 160-acre farm, a supper club, a plant nursery, and designing and installing gardens all over the Midwest. After visiting Maui in 2000, they began settling in the islands, spending summers in Illinois and the rest of the year in Maui. By 2006, Mary Ann was selling her ceramic art in six Maui based galleries. In 2012, they made the permanent move to Maui, where Ted was voted in as a Lahaina Arts Society Board Member, and after being a member of LAS for six years working in Ceramics, Watercolors, and Jewelry, Mary Ann became Head of the LAS Jury. After years of volunteering with Art Maui, in 2012, both were nominated to become Art Maui Board Members and have been the Co-Show Chairs for the last three years. With us here full time, that gave Mary Ann the opportunity to participate in Hawaii Craftsmen Annual Shows and after helping with events on Maui, both became members and now are in their second year of participating as Hawaii Craftsmen Board Members representing Maui.
Juvana Soliven is a mixed-media artist born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. She received an MFA in Metalsmithing at Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2016, a BFA in Sculpture at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2013, and also studied Art Restoration and Conservation at Lorenzo de' Medici International School in Florence, Italy in 2012. Work from Soliven’s MFA Thesis Exhibition had recently been acquisitioned by the Cranbrook Art Museum.
Soliven is a Lecturer in the Department of Art and Art History (Sculpture) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and an Art Instructor at the Honolulu Museum of Art School. Her work examines the human condition through her mixed media studio practice, which includes working with metal, beeswax, fur, textile, wood, silicone, human hair, and animal remnants.
Tanyah Tavorn is a fiber, mixed media and theatre artist, with a BA in Art and Theatre from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She has enjoyed supporting a variety of community organizations and campaigns with graphic design, event management, and community engagement. She is currently working with Hawaii Craftsmen, Hawaii Fashion Incubator, Kipuka Theater, and Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative. She has participated in shows for Hawaii Craftsmen, UH Art Gallery, Trash2Fashion, Pacific Arts League, UHM Kennedy Theatre/Earle Ernst Theatre and Kipuka Theater.
Barbara Thompson received her PhD in art history from the University of Iowa and taught African art history and anthropology at the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa. She served as curator of African, Native American, and Oceanic collections at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College and the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University before becoming an independent scholar and curator in 2012. She has curated over forty exhibitions, received multiple grants, awards, and fellowships, published widely on historical and contemporary arts from Africa and Native America, and conducted original field research on artistic practices of indigenous peoples around the world. Her exhibition catalogue, Black Womanhood: Images, Icons, and Ideologies of the African Body (2008), is now used as a textbook on African women and the arts. Her most recent scholarly contribution appears in Shangaa: Art of Tanzania (2013, edited by Gary Van Wyk). She is currently preparing a manuscript on the history of body arts in northeastern Tanzania, where she has lived at various times since 1996.
Barbara returned to her birthplace on O’ahu in 2014, where she continues to consult with museums, private collectors, and arts organizations nationally and internationally. In her free time, she creates wheel-thrown porcelain and stoneware vessels, which have been displayed in art galleries in northern California and on the island of Oʻahu.
Liz Train has a BFA in ceramics and an MFA in Fiber Arts from the University of Hawaii. She first joined Hawaii Craftsmen in 1979 and served as President in 1981 and 1982. Liz founded the Fiber Hawaii exhibit in 1982 and has continued to serve as chairperson of the exhibit for many years including the 2012 exhibit. She taught fiber arts at the University of Hawaii from 1980 - 1987 and was a museum educator at The Contemporary Museum from 1998 - 2005.As a Teaching Artist she currently works with the Hawaii State Art Museum on the ArtBento outreach projects and Artist in the Schools program at various elementary schools. Liz also teaches adult classes in Fiber art and Weaving at the Honolulu Museum of Art School and children's classes after school at Noelani elementary. In addition to fiber art Liz enjoys working with ceramics, fused glass, printmaking and mixed media.