Beth Lo is generously donating 15% of all her proceeds from this show to the environmental organization of your choice. In an effort to educate and engage the viewer, Beth asks that the purchaser of her work choose from a list of organizations for her to donate to.
To visit these organizations website and learn more, please click on the names below.
Malden River Works
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI)
Bitterroot Land Trust
Montana Environmental Information Center
Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance
Global alliance For Incinerator Alternatives
Pesticide Action Network North America
Our Children’s Trust
OPENING RECEPTION SATURDAY MAY 20 3-5PM
ARTIST TALK SUNDAY MAY 21, 2PM
Lucy Lacoste Gallery is delighted to present ORIENT May 14—June 10, 2023, a rare solo exhibition with the American born Chinese artist Beth Lo. Here the artist continues to explore themes of family; introduces a new series on Chinese Restaurants of the West; addresses gender identity and strengthens her support of the environment through the medium of ceramics.
As an American born Chinese, much of Lo’s ceramic art draws from themes of childhood, family, Asian culture, and language. In ORIENT through her Chinese Medicine Jars Series, the artist continues to pay tribute to her mother Kiahsuang Shen Lo, a self-taught Chinese brush painter who passed away in 2019 whom Beth credits with being ‘one of the most positive minded people I have ever known’. The large red vessels, often lidded, are hand-formed by coiling and decorated with references to paintings by Kiahsuang, as a continued homage and form a focal point of the exhibition.
Chinese Restaurants of the West is an entirely new series of hand-formed and painted plates in which the artist emphasizes how important Chinese Restaurants were to the survival of the Chinese immigrant in the US. Lo noticed that: ‘during some of my favorite road trips in the Northwest USA, that even some of the smallest towns in the most rural, out of the way places often had a Chinese restaurant, sometimes looking like it had been there for many years.’ The artist looked at the uneven history of early Chinese immigrants to the West, exploited for their cheap labor in the mines and railroads while facing racist exclusionary laws. ‘They all needed to eat, and Chinese typically are chauvinistic about their food.’ Lo is familiar with many interesting side stories about Chinese restaurants, and how these often family-run operations continue to cope with the tastes of Western clients. That her aunt and uncle had a Chinese restaurant in a Chicago suburb bolstered her interest in documenting this facet of the Asian-American experience. The plates, each of which depict a Chinese restaurant in a western town, will be hung from East to West as they exist on the USA map.
Ta and I, You, He/She/It vase and jar
In today’s culture, English language pronouns are getting more attention, with an emphasis on accurately denoting a person’s identity. The Ta series includes a two-sided figurative sculpture with a female face on one side and that of a male on the other; and a vase and a lidded jar both titled I, You, He/She/It addresses this theme. As the artist says ‘the pronoun “Ta” in spoken Chinese is gender neutral. The word can mean He, She or It. After contact with the West in the late 19th or early 20th century, the Chinese developed a different written form for the word but pronounced it the same.’ Therefore, Lo grew up thinking that there was an equivalence between male, female and “other”.
As an artist and human being, Lo is taking an active role in protecting the future of our planet. Thus, she has created the Green Fortune Series which “plays off of the typical fortune cookie format yet suggests ways that our future could be more environmentally responsible.” Beth Lo is generously donating 15% of all her proceeds from this show to the environmental organization of the buyer’s choice. The purchaser of work from this show will get to choose an organization from a list provided. To educate and engage the viewer, she asks that the purchaser of her work choose from a list of organizations to which she will donate.
Beth Lo (1949) was born in Lafayette, Indiana, to parents who had recently emigrated from China. She received her MFA at the University of Montana under the renowned Rudy Autio, whom she succeeded as head of the ceramics department upon his retirement. She has received many accolades, from being Montana’s Potter Laureate to the prestigious USA Hai Award for $50,000. Now retired from teaching, Lo can focus on her studio practice in Missoula, Montana where she lives. Beth Lo is also represented by Natsoulas Gallery in California who published the Beth Lo Monograph and by Radius in Montana.
Recently To Go, a piece made in collaboration with the wood sculptor Adam Manley was acquired by the MFA Boston and will be on display in Tender Loving Care opening there in July 2023. Lo’s work can also be found in the collections of the Alfred Ceramic Museum, the Tweed, Duluth MN and Microsoft, among others.
As Beth Ann Gerstein of AMOCA, Director of AMOCA, the American Museum of Ceramic Art states “Beth Lo has been a quiet powerhouse for more than three decades as an artist, educator, and a children’s book illustrator.”
As Lucy Lacoste says: “The consummate artist and professional, Beth Lo has given us a tremendous body of new work speaking to her primary themes of family, the Chinese experience in America, the Environment and moving beyond. This is her third major show with us and we are grateful to be representing her for so many years.”