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October 11, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

Fiber artist Akiko Kotani returns

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Akiko Kotani, Slippery Rock University art professor emeritus recently named the 2013 Pittsburgh Artist of the Year, will return to campus for a 12:30 p.m., Oct. 15, lecture about her work.

Kotani, best known for her work with fiber and paper, including a major 1984 piece measuring 41-feet commissioned for the Pittsburgh International Airport, will offer her talk in 107 Art Building.

Her art embodies the surprising power and attraction of simplicity, according to critics. "The diversity of her influences and her training comes together in her distinctive imagination, which enables her to create original works. With whatever materials and whether the images are playful, serene or serious, her work contains a depth of feeling within an economy of means."

The diversity of her influences and her training - which includes two years working with a Mayan Indian weaver in Guatemala - come together with her imagination to create original, distinct works of art.

She received her bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Hawaii, and her masters of fine arts degree from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia.

Kotani's works are included in numerous private, corporate and museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. She has also displayed at Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey; Kyoto Municipal Museum in Japan; the Cleveland [Ohio] Museum of Art; and the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. She has displayed her work in a number of art galleries, including the contemporary gallery mx espai 1010 in Barcelona, Spain.

The award as Pittsburgh Artist of the Year includes an exhibit at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, 6300 Fifth Ave., that continues through Nov. 7.

The Pittsburgh display includes a diverse range of current Kotani works, including two large-scale installations and numerous other 2D and 3D pieces made from plastic, silk and glass.

Her artist statement, including a video, is available at:

Kotani's online website offers samplings of both old and new works along with a demonstration of her artistic process. It is available at:

The PCA's Artist of the Year award recognizes a significant artist with a body of work that has had an impact on the region.

Kotani was on the SRU faculty for more than 20 years before retiring in 2000.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.