Kona artist featured in California ceramics show

Fallen Angel by Amber Aguirre (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7)


Kona ceramics artist Amber Aguirre will be featured at the John Natsoulas Gallery during the month of July in an invitational exhibition highlighting the legendary rabbit in art.

The most diversely represented animals in world culture and folklore, rabbits may be found variously depicted as tricksters, fertility symbols, luck-bringers, cowards, or cuddly pets.

Now 11 noted ceramic artists share their unique sculptural interpretations as they address the question “What Is A Rabbit?”

Exhibiting artists across the country are making work for this show:
Amber Aguirre of Kailua Kona; Rebekah Bogard of Reno, Nev.; Kelly Connole of Northfield, Minn.; Alanna de Rocchi of Helena Mont.; Susannah Israel of Oakland, Calif.; Joe Kowalczyck of Berkeley, Calif.; Tom Michelson of San Francisco, Calif.; Merry Arttoones of Tucson, Ariz.; Kensuke Yamada of Philadelphia, Penn.; Fred Yokel of Campbell, Calif.; and Wanxin Zhang of San Francisco, Calif.

The John Natsoulas Gallery has a long history of working with innovative and collaborative approaches to ceramic art.

Guest curator, artist and critic Susannah Israel said, “I was inspired both by the desire to see more splendid rabbits from the likes of Aguirre, Bogard, Connole, and de Rocchi, as well as a chance to see how Kowalczyck, Michelson, Yamada, Yokel and Zhang would work with the concept. It’s going to be an exciting show.”

In some parts of the world, mythology involving rabbits and hares associates the animal with fertility and the lunar cycle.

The Hare in the Moon, shown with mortar and pestle, is mixing the elixir of immortal life; but in some stories, he is just making rice cakes.

In early U.S. folklore, (Brother) Brer Rabbit is an adept verbal trickster, always outwitting the pursuing fox. The irrepressible cartoon character Bugs Bunny has appeared in more films than any other character since his invention at Disney Studios in 1940.

Noble rabbits captured our hearts in Watership Downs with their courage and loyalty. Easter Bunnies bring chocolate treats to children. And in the classic Alice In Wonderland, of course, the fantastic adventures begin with Alice tumbling down a rabbit hole.

Merry ArtToones comments “The Rabbit is Fear in several guises – a mass-produced animal oblivious, anesthetized, and removed from the reality of its existence – or Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit, anthropomorphized, frantically worried about time, and in big trouble without a clue.”

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