Keiko Hara

* consigned work


Keiko Hara was born in Japan in 1942. After studying in Japan at Gendai Art School, Tokyo, and Oita-Kenritsu Art College, Oita, Hara earned her BFA Degree in painting at Mississippi University for Women, Columbus, Mississippi. In 1983 she was granted United States permanent resident status as an artist. Hara also earned graduate degrees in printmaking: an MS at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and an MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Hara currently lives and works in Walla Walla, Washington. She is a Professor Emeritus of Art from Whitman College.

With over thirteen one-person exhibitions to her credit since 1976 (North America & Europe), Hara has also been included in numerous invitational group exhibitions throughout the United States. Among museums that include Hara's work in their permanent collections are the Art Institute of Chicago, IL, the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Charles A. Wustum Museum, WI, the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Muskegon Art Museum, MI. Corporate collections representing Hara's work include IBM Corporation and Marshall Field & Co., Chicago IL, Cray Research Co. and the St. Paul Company, MN, the Council House--Johnson Wax Co., Racine, WI and Sony Co., Washington, D.C.

Hara has been awarded grants from the Washington State Centennial Commission of Washington/Pacific Cultural Connections at Centrium (1989), and Artpark, NY (1983), and the AKP Teaching Fellowship (1987). In 1984 she won the Philadelphia Print Exhibition Selection Award and in 1976 the first prize in the Michigan Print & Drawing Exhibition, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI. Hara has been active lecturing and leading printmaking workshops in the United States and Japan over the past two decades. She has also curated a number of exhibitions including the 1984 traveling exhibition, Current Japanese Printmakers and the 1997 exhibition Water, Ink, Paper at Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA.

Hara's prints are abstract compositions executed in vibrant color as evidenced by her first print works at Stewart & Stewart in 1980. The subtle references to water, fire, midnight skies, and fertile grasslands offer rich metaphorical images. Her work incorporates real light into pieces already aglow with color. For example, a series of "banners" are printed on sheer handmade paper and attached back to back allowing sunlight to layer the images. Her paintings leave the walls and are mounted in free-standing screens. Hara emphasizes flickering light, radiant colors, and active forms in her fine prints.