PITTSBURG, Kan. – Mayumi Kiefer, assistant instructional professor of ceramics in the Pittsburg State University Department of Art and an award-winning artist, is showing her work in the University Gallery through Aug. 18 in an exhibit called “The Night Before.” It is free and open to the public.
The gallery is located in Porter Hall and is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Kiefer grew up in Japan, where ceramics were part of everyday life, but creating art with clay was something done by men, not women — and certainly not young girls. Kiefer recently took on the role of heading up the university’s ceramics program and studio.
“My journey began with the message, ‘Girls don’t do that’,” she said, “and it seems I have spent a lifetime proving ‘them’ wrong.”
Now a Japanese-American, Kiefer is a clay artist with a passion for passing on to others what she has learned in hopes of making a difference.
Her exhibit includes signature pieces for which Kiefer has become known in the world of ceramics. One of them, a life-sized Samurai warrior in armor with helmet and boots, is a nod to Kiefer’s mother’s family and the civil war between their clan and a dominant rival hundreds of years ago.
She has an associate’s degree in engineering, a bachelor’s degree in 3D studio art, and a master’s degree in ceramics, has done artist residencies abroad, and her awards are lengthy and varied.