Linda Okazaki born in Washington has spent almost all of her life in the Northwest. Okazaki earned both a BA and MFA from Washington State University in 1975 where she also taught in the Fine Arts Department for 7 years including color theory, painting and Woman in Art History. Okazaki moved to Port Townsend in 1980, built a studio and house with her husband, Ray Weber, reared three children and maintained a strong studio practice, which continues today.
Port Townsend was a sleepy town then, which provided an idyllic environment for her as an artist. She was represented by Francine Seders Gallery in Seattle and her work is in many collections including Seattle Art Museum, Microsoft Collection, King County Arts Commission, City Lights and Harborview Collection, Sirianni Youtz Meir Spoonemore:Richard E. Spoonemore, Seattle, WA, Washington State Art Collection and Jefferson Museum of Art. Okazaki has created iconic images used for the Port Townsend Film Festival, Centrum’s Jazz, Blues and Fiddle Tunes Festivals, Wooden Boat Festival besides cover images for published book and music CDs. She served on the Port Townsend Arts Commission as Vice-President for 9 years where she assisted with important developments in the growth of the arts in Port Townsend.
Why are you an artist? On both sides of my family, parents, grandparents and great grandparents continually made lovely things with their skilled hands. Painted porcelain, handmade musical instruments, sign painting, quilts in the old-time tradition of women sitting around the quilting frames while reciting poetry, and fine hand work with knitting, crochet and dressmaking I witnessed first hand. I was encouraged to do the same as a youngster and had talents that demonstrated an early understanding of painting, drawing and inventing things for play.
These formative experiences contributed to my earning a Masters of Fine Arts degree at Washington State University, which launched my professional career as a painter and as an educator. I continue to explore contemporary ideas, exhibit new work, maintain a strong studio practice, and enthusiastically share my understanding of art with both beginning and advanced students at Port Townsend School of the Arts.
Why do you think art is important? The creative imagination is probably what separates us most easily from the machine or artificial intelligence. Art is easily as complicated as any science even though it appears that hardly any of the rules of fine art are left standing in the 21st century. We can still reflect upon the rich and complex history, which reaches from our earliest beginnings of civilization to consider the potential importance of art today. Humans have a compelling urge to make marks that speak to their artistic soul. Art making places us directly in our own time with a unique experience of using mind and imagination to reveal illusive parts of oneself or even to illuminate contemporary culture.
LINDA'S WEB SITE
CURRENT CLASSES: Walk in the Woods
Photograph by Chuck Moses ©2017