Kayo Nakamura’s “Supersonica” gallery comes to Whitworth

By Hannah Foster | Staff Writer

Students, staff and guests alike came to see Nakamura’s galleries, which opened on Sept. 14th.

On Wednesday, Sept. 14, Whitworth welcomed artist Kayo Nakamura onto campus to celebrate the opening of her gallery “Supersonica” in the Lied Center for Visual Arts’ Brian Oliver Gallery. Nakamura followed the opening reception with a lecture where students were able to learn about her past work, as well as the pieces currently being featured on campus. 

“We attempt to bring in artists from a broad range of backgrounds who work in a wide variety of media to give the students a bigger picture of what is going on, and what is possible, as they navigate their time here at Whitworth,” said Lance Sinnema, director of the Brian Oliver Gallery. 

Nakamura currently lives in Seattle and teaches at Seattle Pacific as an adjunct professor. She has worked in many mediums including video, sculpture, stained glass, fabric and installation. Nakamura’s exhibit on campus consists of her drawings, a medium to which she returned during shutdowns caused by COVID-19. 

During this time, she focused on making her drawings less literal, instead showcasing abstraction and leaning into her instincts. Nakamura talked about her experiences working in different mediums and and fulfilling her artistic vision. For example, she discussed taking old tea bags and turning them into a chandelier.

Nakamura named her exhibit “Supersonica”. The title is meant to reference speed and the exhibit showcases Nakamura shifting her process to thinking less about her art and allowing herself to create more organically.

In her lecture, Nakamura talked about her creative process and her attempt to capture the “broad and beautiful, but also embarrassing” human experience. Nakamura strives to convey the human experience in her art without glamorizing it in order to create more captivating pieces.  

While divulging her creative process and how it shifted during COVID-19, Nakamura found that “it’s easier to steer a ship when it’s moving.” In her creative process, she tends to start a project without knowing where it’s going with the desire to see where that takes her. While being unique in themselves, Nakamura’s drawings come together into a cohesive gallery. 

To see “Supersonica”, make an appointment to visit the Brian Oliver Gallery located in the Lied Center for Visual Arts. The exhibit will run from Sept. 14 to Oct. 29, 2021. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information, call 509.777.3258 or email wuart@whitworth.edu.

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