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First Fridays Ventura


Kazuki Takizawa, , Katherine Gray,

Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend, Joe Cariati

  • First Friday Opening: Friday, May 3 from 6-9 p.m.

  • Exhibit Dates: April 27 - May 24

The Vita Art Center is proud to present the work of four glass artist from southern California.  The exhibition presents a diverse array of techniques and approaches to handmade glass including functional, sculptural, and wall mounted. 

Kazuki Takizawa is a Japanese glass artist currently based in Los Angeles, California. He graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with High Honors in 2010. He has since worked and taught at various glass educational facilities including Pilchuck Glass School and Public Glass. For the past decade, Takizawa has been making work in glass to speak about his personal experiences with mental illness. His most recent glass installation project, In Between Light and Shadow, was installed at STARworks Glass Lab in North Carolina to bring awareness on mental illness and suicide. He has traveled to numerous universities in the country such as Columbus College of Art and Design and University of Southern California to speak about his work and his experiences with mental illness. He currently lives and works in West Adams district in Los Angele, California where he runs his glassblowing studio, KT Glassworks

Joe Cariati is an award winning artist, craftsman and educator, Joe Cariati has dedicated over 20 years to the practice of glassblowing. He is a designer, maker and mentor. Joe’s work is an incomparable synthesis of calculated pragmatism and essential beauty. While Joe thrives off of repeatable process and predictable results, it is the fact that during any given piece, he can experience elation, frustration, defeat or discovery that drives his creative spirit. In 2003, Joe established his eponymous studio in Los Angeles, California where he continues to refine his craft and push his boundaries as a glassblower and a designer. Ever evolving, Joe launched the Lighting Collection in the spring of 2015 and is looking forward to venturing even further into new territory with the introduction of the Joe Cariati Home Collection.

Katherine Gray received her associate degree from the Ontario College of Art and her Master of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design.[4][5] Her works are in the Corning Museum of Glass, the Museum of American Glass, and the Tacoma Museum of Glass. Her works have also been exhibited internationally at Glasmuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark and Galerie Handwerk in Munich, Germany. Gray has won several grants and awards, including the Award of Merit from the Bellevue Art Museum in Washington and the ARC Completion Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation in Los Angeles, California.[7][2][8] She created one of her most well-known pieces, Forest Glass, by collecting glass from thrift shops and stores, then assembling the glass into the shape of trees. Gray creates functional art, including chandeliers, as well as works that "defy functionality." She also makes use of transparency in her work. Gray is an associate professor at California State University, San Bernardino and teaches workshops elsewhere.  In addition to serving on the board of trustees for the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts (Deer Isle, Maine), Gray has contributed to Glass Magazine and Glass Gazette.

Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend, a past board member and Honorary Life Member of the Glass Art Society (1982-86), served as the first woman president from 1984-86. She has worked on the Ojai Arts Commission from 2001-2014. Her innovative work in glass, mixed media, and public art is included in private collections and public institutions including the LA County Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of the Arts, Oakland Museum of California, the Museum of Arts and Design, NY, and the City of Los Angeles. “Stinsmuehlen-Amend’s work functions like a visual soundtrack, mapping the unpredictable rhythms of thought.” -Annie Buckley review for Glass Quarterly