by Denny Han
The Art Department at Long Beach City College is to host exhibitions for retiring employees, two exhibits are on display side-by-side in the K building’s art gallery in celebration of former gallery director HK Zamani and ceramics professor Rodney Tsukashima.
Tsukashima retired in fall 2014 after three decades, as a ceramics professor that started in 1986.
His achievement is highlighted by his pottery creations and their decade-long evolution in a style that derives itself from Chinese and Korean vessels.
His 3-dimensional, wall-mounted abstract creations draws inspiration from the works of various abstract artists found throughout the 1970s and 1980s, something in which some students such as Aneesa Brooks, 19, an animation major has noticed, making note of “the color palettes that remind me of ‘70s and ‘80s art while being combined with modern art influences.”
Other students, such Omar Mandozai, 19, a business major, said that some sculptures on display “look like bongs”.
The collection of artworks on display in this exhibit, titled “Something Old, Something New,” is the product of a lifelong passion and over two decades of work and dedication.
Despite such dedication and passion for his craft, Tsukashima admits that he had disregarded ceramics as a career path at one point, favoring the use of paints to express his art instead.
Other career paths he had considered included work as either a medical or science illustrator.
In time, Tsukashima found and developed his greatest talent in the art of ceramics, graduating from Cal State Long Beach as a ceramics major.
In discussing his process of forming new ideas for his work, he explained the development for such creativity was best described as subconscious.
Working with the simplest of forms, he ponders, “How am I going to make these shapes work?”
Tsukashima went on to say at times, he is unaware of the influence he draws upon until the work is finally complete, sometimes realizing the creation had spawned from something as simple as everyday sights and observations while walking down the street.
After a short break since his retirement, Tsukashima has since decided to set up his studio once again to continue his work on ceramic creations.
When offering advice for the next generation of artists, he said, “You do it because you like it.
As a young person, you might not be appreciative of it, but you put in the dues and you will enjoy it.”
The visiting hours for the Gallery are Thursday, Oct. 6, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays and noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.