Tuesday | April 28, 2015
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Artist Israel bound

Hawaii Island artist Amber Aguirre has been selected a recipient of one of three international resident artist programs for 2013 by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. The announcement was made late last month, presenting Aguirre with a one month residency at the Benyamini Contemporary Ceramics Center in Israel.

“This is amazing, to be selected from among thousands of talented artists who competed for one of the residencies in 2013 is really incredible. I’m still pinching myself,” Aguirre said.

As the daughter of a holocaust survivor, the location of the center in Tel Aviv is even more meaningful, she said. Aguirre, a long-time resident of Kailua-Kona and an active member of the Hawaii Island art community, begins the monthlong program in August.

The Benyamini Contem-porary Ceramics Center promotes ceramic art and design in an atmosphere that is vibrant and engaging for professional artists, as well as the public. Through its on-going activities, it creates a dialogue between the various aspects of ceramics and its scope in the broad spectrum of material culture, according to its directors.

Aguirre also was the recipient in March of the NICHE Award (a national arts awards program sponsored by NICHE magazine each year) for hand-built ceramics. Her winning piece is titled “Let Sleeping Wasps Lie.” The awards program, now in its 24th year, celebrates excellence and innovation in America and Canadian fine crafts. This year, some 40 professional artists were presented first place awards in 40 different categories. Aguirre is the only artist from Hawaii to be honored in 2013.

“I was a finalist in the magazine’s contest for the past three years; I’m thrilled to finally be a winner in 2013,” Aguirre said.

Current and upcoming shows and exhibits of Aguirre’s work include:

c “Cycles of Life,” Holualoa Foundation of the Arts, Donkey Mill Art Center, Holualoa, now through Saturday.

c Teapots! Seventh Annual Exhibition, Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery, Pittsburgh, today through June 10.

c 30 Ceramic Sculptors, California Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, Natsoulas Gallery, Davis, Calif., April 26 to 28.

c Ceramics Annual of America, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, Sept. 12 to 15.

c Artists of Hawaii, Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu, Sept. 19 to Nov. 24.

Two of the most recent works completed by Aguirre for these upcoming shows are “the result of my distress about the Sandy Hook shootings,” she said. One is a ceramic teapot titled “Disturbed” and a ceramic figure titled “The Innocents.”

Aguirre received her bachelor of fine arts degree at the University of Southern California, and a master’s degree in art education at San Francisco State University. She moved to Hawaii Island in 2001.

For more information on Aguirre, visit amberaguirre.com.