Amber Aguirre

ceramics and glass

"Throughout history artists have functioned as social commentators. I see this as a sacred calling in my work."

Global Warming:
Face the Facts

glass, naked raku

Pain at the Pump
ceramic, wire, naked raku

Duck and Cover
The O'Neill Award of Excellence, Hawai'i Craftsmen 41st Annual Statewide Juried Exhibition

Artists Statement

"Throughout history artists have functioned as social commentators. I see this as a sacred calling in my work. My inspiration comes from watching humans and attempting to bring my view to people's attention. My view of the world is biased by my own personal experiences, as are most people, but I hope to plug into experiences that many people have and can relate to. I am looking for that connection of humanity and that often means seeing the flaws that are within all of us or that we create in the world. I often show the negative experiences, not as a comment on the bad in humanity so much as to humor, mock, and cajole us to accept our imperfections and fix the faults that we may see within us. I see it as my way of contributing to 'Ttikkun O'Lam' (a Jewish call to make the world a better place). I attempt to make visual statements that are strong enough to elicit emotions in the viewer that make them stop, think, and perhaps even take action. My visual language uses narrative sculpture, often figurative, combined with various surface treatments. I often use naked raku because I feel the harsh cracked look conveys a painful feeling. I enjoy contrast and will often combine naked raku with glossy glazed colors in moderation that accentuate the monochromatic nature of the naked raku." - Amber Aguirre

Artist's Bio

Amber received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Southern California, and then continued her education with a Masters Degree in Art Education at San Francisco State University. At that time she also received her California teaching credential and went on to teach art in the public school system. Amber taught ceramics, jewelry and drawing for many years. Eventually Amber felt the desire to go back to school and she obtained another Masters Degree, this one in Library and Information Sciences from San Jose State University.

When Amber’s daughter left for college, she moved with her husband to Hawaii where she was determined to allow her creativity to flourish. She gave up teaching and began to work on her own art in earnest. Soon, her work was being featured in many Big Island galleries and she also began to enter her work in national shows. She has won awards and exhibited in many states and continues to pursue her career from her home studio in paradise.

Amber is inspired by the various textures she sees while living in Hawaii. She enjoys the feel of the harsh rough lava contrasted with the glossy green leaves of the rainforest, and these are often reflected in the textures in her work. Low fire raku is her method off choice because it connects her to the living earth and particularly the island. She often ventures to Kilauea to view the molten lava flowing from the earth. Taking her raku gloves with her, she will make an offering to the Hawaiian goddess Pele of the volcano, and then “play” in the molten lava with kitchen whisks, metal kitty-litter scoops and whatever else she thinks of. Molten earth makes her happy, whether it’s clay coming out of a kiln at 1850 degrees or lava pouring from the earth.

San Jose State University, San Jose, California: Masters Degree (MLIS)-1996 Teaching Credential in Library Info Science, 1996

San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California: Masters Degree (MA)-1990, Teaching Credential in Fine Arts, 1987

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California: Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (BFA), 1981

Related Experience:
Private Lessons and Workshops, 2003-present (ongoing)
All facets of ceramic art

Kollage Art and Ceramic School, Sept. 1993-Feb. 1994, Art Teacher: Kindergarten through 3rd Grades

Woodside High School, Sept. 1988-June 1991 Art Teacher, Full Time, Tenured

San Mateo High School, January 1988-June 1988 Art Teacher, Part Time

Recent Exhibits:
41st Hawai’i Craftsmen 41st Annual Statewide Juried Exhibition, Academy of Arts, Honolulu, Hawai’i

Oct. 10th-Oct.31st, 2008

It’s a Honu World, Parker Ranch Center, Waimea, Hawai’i
Sept. 19-21, 2008

Solo Exhibition: Hot Flashes, Volcano Art Gallery, Volcano National Park, Hawaii  
June 7th-July 20th, 2008 

Artists of the Big Island, Firehouse Gallery, Kamuela, Hawaii
May 2nd-30th, 2008 

Coffee, Ti or Chi? 4 artist show, Pau’ole Art Gallery, Holualoa, Hawaii  
Oct. 25th-Dec. 31st, 2007

Hawai’i Craftsmen 40th Annual Statewide Juried Exhibition, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu, Hawai’i  
Sept. 29-Oct.28th, 2007

Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, Drawing used for official poster, t-shirt, and buttons, Kailua Kona, Hawaii November 3rd -12th, 2006

Big Island Portrait Exhibition, East Hawaii Cultural Center, Hilo,Hawai’i
August 4th -August 25th, 2006

Ka Ho 'Ike Wa'a (the Hawaiian Canoe Art Exhibit), East Hawaii Cultural Center, Hilo,Hawai’i  
July 7th -July 28th, 2006

The Art of Tea, Firehouse Gallery,
Waimea, Hawaii
May 1st - 29th, 2006

Artists of the Big Island, Annual Juried Art Show, Firehouse Gallery, Kamuela, Hawai’i May 6th-27th, 2006

Gevalia Kona Coffee Art Exhibit, Ohana Keauhou Beach Resort, Keauhou, Hawai’i November 11th & 12th, 2005

Hawai’i Craftsmen 38th Annual State Wide Exhibition, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu, Hawai’i
Oct. 6th-30th, 2005

16th Annual Teapot Show “On the Road Again”, Chiaroscuro Galleries, Chicago, Illinois April 3rd –May 15th, 2005

War, Peace & Civil Liberties, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, California
Nov. 14th-Dec. 18th, 2004

Gevalia Kona Coffee Art Exhibit, Ohana Keauhou Beach Resort, Keauhou, Hawa’ii November 10th & 11th, 2004

Self Portraits 2004, Northwest Cultural Council, Rolling Meadows, Illinois
Nov. 1st-Dec. 31st, 2004

Hawai’i Craftsmen 38th Annual Statewide Juried Exhibition, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu, Hawaii
Oct. 7th-31st, 2004

Fish Follies, Cordova Historical Society and Museum, Cordova, Alaska
Aug. 30th -October 31st, 2004

Ka Ho 'Ike Wa'a (the Hawaiian Canoe Art Exhibit), East Hawaii Cultural Center, Hilo,Hawai’i
July 30th -August 27th, 2004

Mugs, Jugs and Bottles, Saratoga Clay Company, Wilton, New York,
July 15th -Sept. 6th, 2004

2005 Clay Lovers Calendar Show, Greensboro Artists League Gallery, Greensboro, North Carolina
July 2nd - July 20th, 2004

Cambridge Art Association National Prize Show, Cambridge, Massachusetts  
May 4th -June 24th, 2004

Ink and Clay 30 Exhibition, Kellogg Art Gallery, Cal Poly University, Pomona, California January 8th -February 14th, 2004 

Gevalia Kona Coffee Art Exhibit, Ohana Keauhou Beach Resort, Keauhou, Hawai’i November 12th & 13th, 2003



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