13-17 November 2017

This exhibition features ceramic works by Martha Longenecker Roth and celebrates the launch of the Longenecker Artist in Residence Endowment at the Department of Visual Arts. This program will bring high caliber artists to the department; renowned artist, Anna Sew Hoy, has been selected as the inaugural Longenecker Artist in Residence. Click here to read a feature in thisweek@ucsandiego and learn more about this residency.

This exhibition celebrates the life and legacy of Martha Longenecker, and her historic impact on the visual arts in San Diego and beyond. Martha's passionate commitment to meaningful cross-cultural exchange, long before it became widely fashionable, led her to found the Mingei Art Museum and established its permanent home in San Diego's Balboa Park. The stated mission of the museum - to bring the "art of the world, art of the people" to everyone - came from Martha's own lived experience.

The name of the museum Mingei was taken from a word coined by the Japanese artist and scholar Soetsu Yanagi, with whom Martha studied when she was pursuing her MFA in painting at the Claremont Graduate School. The word, which combines the 'Min' Japanese term for 'all people', with ' Gei', the word for 'art,' was used by Yanagi to explain the value and promote the preservation and practices of traditional craftwork in Japan. The Mingei ethos and aesthetic proposed by Yanagi, resonated deeply with Martha and led her to change the direction of her artistic practice. Choosing to pursue training in the craft of ceramics, she traveled to Japan to study with the renowned potter, Shoji Hamada, a major figure in within the Mingei movement. He instructed Martha in traditional ceramic production techniques and stressed that beauty can be found in the ordinary, the cornerstone of Mingei philosophy.

Adopting the Mingei philosophy and techniques as the cornerstone of her own art and life, Martha became an exemplar of cross-cultural practice in the art of ceramics. This exhibit, inspired by old photographs found in Martha's belongings, is our homage to Martha's own aesthetic values and is built to resemble a previous showing of her ceramics. Not only is this exhibit a tribute to her artistic talents as an artist but also her skills as a master curator. Wherein, it is because of these, her fervent advocacy of cross-cultural art and practices and the excellence of her own Mingei ceramics, that she was recognized by the Emperor of Japan who in 2003 awarded her the esteemed Order of the Rising Sun.

The Visual Arts Department at UC San Diego was chosen for the Longenecker Artist in Residence program because of its historic commitment to the cross-cultural exchange, the diversity of artistic practices, and the broadening of the scope and impact of art that Martha held so dear. The Longenecker Artist in Residence endowment will enable the Department to bring an artist to campus every year whose commitment to art education, material craft, resonates with ethics of Martha's life and career from her beginning as a painter to her fine art ceramics, and her work as a museum founder and director. We are honored and grateful to be given this opportunity to support significant artists who will share with our students' practices and ideals that engage with the kind of principles that were so important to Martha.

Through the Longenecker Artist in Residence program, the vision of art, culture and the world so dear to Martha will make a lasting impact on interdisciplinary art education in the Visual Arts Department at UC San Diego. As a lifelong learner, Martha Longenecker regularly attended exhibitions and lectures organized by and for UC San Diego faculty and students. She was fascinated by technology new and old, and believed in the importance of interdiciplinary education. Thus, it is our honor to inaugurate the residency fellowship program of the Longenecker Artist Residence Endowment which will bring to campus artists whose practices are grounded in an understanding of the power of art to connect diverse peoples. It is toward this commitment to diverse traditions and cultural interconnectedness that the Longenecker Artist in Residence program is founded and inspired through the impact made to the visual arts through the life of Martha ongenecker.


The Longenecker Artist in Residence Endowment was established in 2016 to extend Martha Longenecker's legacy as an artist and educator. In the spirit of her historic impact on the visual arts in both local and global communities, this endowment brings to the Visual Arts Department of UC San Diego artists of international stature who will inspire our students to broaden the scope, appeal, and range of art and will enliven our art community through exchange with the faculty, local artists, and campus and community audiences.

Donations to the Martha Longenecker Distinguished Artists in Residence Endowment (F-86Q06A) can be made online at http://givetoucsd.edu.

Related Link:

Anna Sew Hoy Selected as Inaugural Artist in Residence at UC San Diego
By Anthony King for the UC San Diego News Center on November 9, 2017

Gallery Hours:
Monday and Friday, 2:30 - 6:00 pm; Tuesday 3:30 - 6:00 pm

Image Credit:
Martha Longenecker Roth, ceramics installation view, detail.
Photo by Sheena Ghanbari.

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