To open the Spring Semester, Hartnell College Gallery presents Pam Murakami; Memories, Spirits and Heroes, an exhibition of ceramic vessels and sculpture by this noted clay artist and longtime Hartnell College instructor. Her work approaches this age-old material in a wide variety of ways in both technique and subject matter. The scale of these works varies from very small and delicate objects composed of small hand-built and wheel-thrown components, to larger constructions from slabs and coils of clay.
Murakami uses imagery from history or popular culture applied to common objects that are reconfigured in surprising, perplexing and often humorous ways. Especially prominent in these subjects are the demons and ogres from folk tales she recalls hearing as a child growing up in Hawaii from her Japanese-born grandparents. These fleeting memories and vivid figures appear on toasters, dustpans, a 1950’s lunch box, or cans of Spam. The range of her vision seems endless.