Posted on November 17, 2017 by Scot Allen
Mid-Pacific School of the Arts certificate students recently visited the home and studio of internationally recognized contemporary artist, John Koga. Mr. Koga is known for "not going with the normal flow of things," as he describes his endeavors to exhibit in non-traditional methods and locations. He regularly creates work for, and exhibits in, the Ralph Pucci gallery in New York, NY.
Visiting the studio space, the students observed many paintings and sculptures crafted in his unique abstract style. Koga is currently commissioned to design a cast bronze piece for the Honolulu rail project. He shared aspects of his design and fabrication processes with the students. He spoke about some of the most influential experiences and people he's encountered in his like, namely a meaningful internship he held in Italy, and his ongoing relationships with gallery owners. Koga shared about his experiences, artistic philosophy, processes, or challenges, but was also interested to hear from the students.
He asked, "Where do you want to go, and do? What are you thinking about for the arts in your life?" The students spoke about their colleges of interest (many of them being liberal arts universities with an emphasis in fine art), or their interest in arts-specific colleges. Koga emphasized the importance of communicating and making relationships in the art community.
Without hesitation, Koga gave his contact info. to the students, saying, "no really, bug me anytime, it's all about meeting people," offering to be a connector in finding professionals in the arts for the students.
The students and I were grateful for the open invitation, casual conversation, and the time he set aside to meet with us. This is a true gift of encouragement, as all young artists search to professionally engage with the arts community.
-- Jill Johnson