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Joan Takayama-Ogawa
Professor / Contemporary Clay Minor Area Head
Teaches In
Interdisciplinary Studies
Liberal Arts and Sciences
Product Design

Master of Arts, (Education), Stanford University, Palo Alto, California
Bachelor of Arts, (Geography and East Asian Studies), University of California, Los Angeles

Otis College of Art and Design, (Ceramics), Los Angeles, California
International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan


"Creative people know that what is 'work' is nothing of the sort. To understand what an artist does is to consider the whole of his/her existence. The dedication borders on obsession."  Joan Takayama-Ogawa

Since the 15th century, JoanTakayama-Ogawa’s family has been creating ceramics in the ancient kiln city of Tokoname, Japan. Her father studied ceramics with Glenn Lukens, while  enrolled in USC’s School of Architecture.  She studied with Otis’ renowned artist, Ralph Bacerra.  Despite her historically significant lineage, Takayama-Ogawa’s technically diverse ceramics blend unexpected methods to create contemporary environmental, social, and political commentary.She sees beauty held in check with playfulness and appreciation for the absurd.  As a teacher, she pushes students beyond traditional boundaries by integrating clay with digital and rapid prototyping technologies. She was honored as Otis Teacher of the Year and Commencement Speaker, and Crossroads School “Teacher of the Year.”  She served as a Pasadena Design Commissioner, the Board of Directors for American Museum of Ceramic Art and  received a Center of Cultural Innovation Investing in Arts Equipment Grant to purchase a large, new front-loading energy-efficient kiln.   



Otis Faculty Development Grants: Fall 2015, Fall 2013, Spring 2010, Spring 2006
Otis TLC Technology Grant: 2006

Professional Accomplishments/Exhibitions:  

Permanent Collections:                                                                                                                                                                                                             

  • Smithsonian Institution, Renwick Gallery, Washington DC.                                                                                                                             
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California                                                                                                              
  • DeYoung Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California                                                                                                      
  • Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California                                                                                                                       
  • Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, California                                                                                                                         
  • American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, California                                                                                                                                
  • World Ceramic Exposition Foundation, Icheon, South Korea                                                                                                             
  • Princessehof Leeuwarden Nationaal Keramiek Museum, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands                                                                   
  • Newark Art Museum, Newark, New York                                                                                                                                        
  • Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin                                                                                                                                          
  • Stanford University Cantor Art Center, Stanford, California                                                                                                              
  • Utah State University, Logan, Utah                                                                                                                                                           
  • Hallmark Collection, Kansas City, Kansas                                                                                                                                        
  • George Ohr Museum, Biloxi, Mississippi

Public Art:

Orange County Sheriff Department Officer Memorial, Tustin, California   

Recent Solo Exhibitions:
2021  Craft in America Study Center, LA, CA., Survey                                                                                                                                  
2020  Craft in America Study Center, LA, CA, Climate Change;  Monterey Museum of Art, Joan Takayama-Ogawa.                                                                                                2019  Themes and Projects Gallery, San Francisco, CA, Mimbre Inspired Vessels                                                                                                      
2018  Themes and Projects Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Global Warming

Selected Group Exhibitions:                                                                                                                                                                                      
2020   Craft in America Study Center, Democracy, Making Waves.Los Angeles, CA,                                                                                                                   
Department of Cultural Affairs,Climate Change, LAX Southwest Terminal, Los Angeles, CA,                                                                               
2016   Flint Art Institute, Function, Form, and Fantasy: Ceramics from Dr. Robert and Deanna Harris Burger Collection                                                     
2015   Long Beach Museum of Art, Small Treasures,Long Beach, CA                                                                                                        
2014   Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin. "White Gold: The Appeal of Lustre"                                                                                                                                                     2011   American Museum of Ceramic Art, "Post-Digital Ceramics," Pomona, CA                                                                                                                        
2010   OBJECT Gallery, "Design Process, Mentors and NexGen Makers" Curator: Jo Lauria, Claremont, CA                                                      
2007   DeYoung Museum, "The Diane Sandy and Besser Collection: A Gift to the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco," San Francisco, California                                          2006   Holter Museum of Art, "Yixing Effect," Helena, Montana                                                                                                                                                  
Kentucky Museum of Art and Design, "Life Insight: The Human Experience," curator Gail Brown, Louisville, Kentucky                                  
2005   3rd Ceramic Biennale Korea, "Delightful Teapot," Icheon, South Korea Garth Clark Gallery, "Homage to Ralph Bacerra," NY                                                            2004   Princessehof Leeuwarden Museum, “Deliciously Decadent,” Leeuwarden, Netherlands                                                                    
2003   Lancaster Museum of Art, "Crafts National,"  Lancaster PA                                                                                                 
2001   Mint Museum of Craft and Design, "Mint Condition the Rare, Unusual and Unobtainable," NC                                                                                                                     2000   Los Angeles County Art Museum, "Color and Fire," Los Angeles, CA                                                                                               
1998   Carnegie Museum of Art, "Pittsburgh Collects Clay," Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania                                                                                       
1997   Northern Arizona University Art Museum, Color and Lowfire Processes Color and Image, Flagstaff, Arizona                                  
Ceramics Arts Foundation, "Night of 101 Cups," New York, New York                                                                                       
The Sybaris Gallery, "Cup as a Metaphor: Works in Clay," Royal Oak, Michigan                                                                                                           
1994   Islip Art Museum, "I'm a Little Teapot...," East Islip, New York                                                                                                           
Nancy Margolis Gallery, "Extravagant Teapots," New York, New York                                                                                                
1993   American Craft Museum, "Tea Party," New York, New York                                                                                                                 
1992   Pasadena Armory of the Arts, "Transformed in Clay," Pasadena, CA                                                                                                    
1990   San Angelo Museum of Fine Art, "Monarch Tile Competition," San Angelo, Texas                                                                                     
1989   Downey Museum of Art, "Ceramics Now," Downey, CA


American Craft Magazine. “Joan Takayama-Ogawa,” Portfolio, April/May 1996.
Clark, Garth. The Artful Teapot, Thames and Hudson, Great Britain, 2001.
Clayton, Peirce. The Clay Lover’s Guide to Making Molds. Lark Books: Asheville, North Carolina. 1998.
Ferrin, Leslie. Teapots Transformed., 2000.
Flint Institute of Arts. Function, Form, and Fantasy: Ceramics from the Dr. Robert and Deanna Harris Burger Collection, Tracee J. Glabb and Janet Koplos essays, 2016.
Lauria, Jo. Color and Fire Defining Moments in Studio Ceramics 1950-2000, Rizzoli International Publications, New York. 2000.
Levin, Elaine. "Keiko Fukazawa and Joan Takayama-Ogawa: A Confluence of American and Japanese Cultures," Ceramics Monthly. December 1994.
Lovelace, Joyce. "The Ubiquitous Teapot." American Craft. April/ May 1994.
Ostermann, Matthias. The Ceramic Surface. A & C Black Publishers Ltd. London, England.
Ostermann, Matthias. Masters: Earthenware Major Works by Leading Artists, Lark  Books. New York. 2010.
Perry, Sara. The Tea Book. Chronicle Books: San Francisco, California. 1993.
Peterson, Susan. The Craft and Art of Clay, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.1992.
Peterson, Susan. Contemporary Ceramics. Watson-Guptill Publications, New York. 2000.
Peterson, Susan. Smashing Glazes., 2001.
Peterson, Susan. Working with Clay, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. 1998.
Seckler, Judy. "Recollecting the Past Joan Takayama-Ogawa's Wit and Whimsy." Ceramics Monthly. February 2005, pp. 37-41.
Seckler, Judy. “Tea Time.” Pasadena Weekly. July 15, 1999. p.11.
Snyder, Jeffrey B. editor. Ceramics Today. Schiffer Publishing, Pennsylvania. 2010.
Triplett, Kathy. Handbuilt Ceramics. Lark Books, North Carolina. 1997.
Watabe, Hiroko. "Joan Takayama-Ogawa: Japanese Inspired, American-Fired." Pronto. May 1990. (in Japanese English translation available)

Clients/Employment History:  

1979-1985: Crossroads School, Santa Monica, California; Academic Dean, faculty.                                                    
1985-Present: Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California; Associate Professor, Ceramics, Product Design, Ceramic Coordinator, English, Public Speaking       1990-Present: Themes and Projects and Ferrin Gallery