Artist Spotlight: Jeannie Ichimura, San Francisco State University

The Bay Area MFA Show is open through Friday, June 15! This exhibition showcases work from the five principal MFA programs in the Bay Area. On the blog, we’re highlighting the participating artists. Jeannie Ichimura, a recent graduate from San Francisco State University, is our third featured artist.


“My work considers how the American female identity is transformed as we grow and change, and the context of my work is based on a blend of my personal experiences and my observations of others. I make objects using textiles, clay, slip, wire, and glass to investigate concepts of domesticity, motherhood, sexuality, and aging. I’m neither young nor old. I have teenage daughters and an elderly mother…I’m somewhere in the middle, and this place informs my art.

Frumpy (2017) porcelain, kiln bricks. 12″x8″x9″

During my first semester in graduate school in 2015, I made a hanging sculpture titled 48 Years. In this piece, many small wheel-thrown porcelain cups sit on a “swing” that I made with old and weathered grape stake fence posts from my grandparents’ home in Sacramento. The piece represents the passage of time, nourishment, stability, and reflection. I’m now in my final semester in school and my research has evolved. Considering how women in families help shape our own sense of self, I decided to revisit 48 Years, with more focus on the concepts of identity and gratitude. This resulted in my performance titled Nourish. Each cup made during the performance represents a woman who has nurtured me, and gradually the cups are unified on the swing. At the end of the performance I emerge from my porcelain- covered clothing to reveal the woman I have become.

Within (2018) porcelain, wire. 8″x8″x13″

To me, the tactile qualities of fabric, clay, and slip often resemble the varied textures of human relationships. The soft, wet clay gradually stiffens and dries, and during a firing it changes from natural to ceramic. Comparing the human experience to the ceramic firing process, the original form remains, yet the material has been altered and strengthened. With this idea in mind, I often say my work is about the process of becoming.”

Queen of Infinity (2018) ceramic, steel. 14″x10″x28″


IG: @jeannieichimura

The Bay Area MFA Show is open through June 15, 2018

Doug Adams Gallery, 2465 LeConte Ave. Berkeley, CA 94709

Gallery hours: Monday – Friday | 10am – 4pm