The Shirley-Jones Gallery continues its fall exhibition schedule with print works by the west coast artist Mayumi Oda.
A native of Japan, Mayumi Oda was born in 1941. Raised in the suburban area outside Tokyo, she witnessed the fire bombing of the capital during World War II. Despite growing up in a male dominated society, she was fortunate to have, along with a gentle father figure, two strong and highly creative female role models embodied in her mother and grandmother. They encouraged her to observe closely the world around her and to practice recording it through drawing.
After graduating from Tokyo University of Fine Arts, Oda emigrated to the United States in the late 1960s settling in New York and Princeton. In response to the Viet Nam war, she produced her first series of Goddess images in the form of silk screen prints. It was her thought with these works to counter the negative presence of the war with robust affirmations of life through a celebration of the female energy.
In 1978, Oda spent a year in Tokyo during which time she began to practice Zen meditation. Upon returning to the U.S. Oda settled just north of San Francisco in Marin County and continued her Zen practice at the San Francisco Zen Center's Green Gulch farm. During this time, her imagery broadened to include exuberant depictions of gardens, vegetables, and insects as a way to describe the natural world which Buddhism encourages its practitioners to live in harmony with.
Simultaneously witty and compassionate, all of the works in this exhibition reveal the fluid and deft hand of an accomplished draftsperson. The show will present approximately fifty works from a twenty-five year period, mostly silk screen prints along with some etching. Mayumi Oda's work is represented extensively in museum collections in the U.S.
The exhibition runs from October 29 through December 11. The gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday 2-6pm and by appointment. For further information call (937) 767-1711.