Internationally-acclaimed ceramicist Eva Kwong will present an artist talk on her solo exhibition, Love Between the Atoms, at Summit Artspace on Sept. 17 from 2-3 p.m. Sept. 17 is also the final day to view the exhibition in person in Summit Artspace’s Betty and Howard Taylor Main Gallery.
Kwong is a hybrid of many cultural influences. She was born and raised in Hong Kong, where she lived until she was 13 years old. She then moved to New York with her family. Growing up in two cultures and speaking two languages encouraged her to see things from many points of view.
“In my practice, I want to create forms that are simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar. My work comes from my wonderment of the natural world and where my place may be within it. I look for the interconnections between microcosms and macrocosms, between the inner world of my body and the external world I live in,” Kwong explained.
Love Between the Atoms features organic-inspired sculptures and two-dimensional work. The imagined biomorphic forms created in ceramic and three-dimensional printed sculptures elegantly reference natural specimens, such as cells and seeds, that remind us of the preciousness of life.
Kwong’s late husband, Kirk Mangus, was also an internationally-renowned artist. The couple met at the Rhode Island School of Design and worked side by side for many years, digging up their own clay and even building their own wood kiln in Pennsylvania. The pair was even featured on an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in 1985.
Kwong brought some of Mangus’ work to be exhibited alongside her own at Summit Artspace. The exhibition of Mangus’ work is titled My Favorite People. His drawings and watercolors on view echo the style of the portraits in the 225-foot-wide by 9-foot-high Kings & Queens mural, located in Summit Artspace’s parking lot. Mangus completed the mural in 2006 with the help of Eva Kwong and 25 Summit County teens. Kwong restored the mural in 2022 through an Ohio Arts Council Arts Resiliency Initiative grant, which also helped document the mural’s history and expand upon its original intention through a project called Faces of Akron.