SAMFA Summer Vacation 2021

We're off an art adventure! Join us on our journey through SAMFA's Permanent Collection and Exhibits.  

You can also follow along on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.


SAMFA is taking a Summer Vacation with a tour of some of the works in our Permanent Collection and Exhibitions. Travel with us this summer without leaving home!
Today we're splitting our time between Japan and the California coast with "Landscape Bowl," 1986, by Keiko Fukazawa.
Keiko Fukazawa was born in Japan. For a time, she studied at Mushashino Art University in Tokyo and at the studio of Sotoen in Shigaraki. However, she soon realized that the strict system in place would keep her wedging clay for three years and throwing pots for another ten before she would get to realize any of her own art. Fukazawa decided to move to the United States to pursue graduate studies in ceramics. Fukazawa enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts program at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. She studied with ceramist Ralph Baccera whose own works were Asian-inspired and appealed to her for this reason. In the United States she was able to find her own creative voice and was allowed the freedom and opportunity to pursue her artistic vision. The artist was always resistant to the often narrow and rigid traditional roles of Japanese women. Fortunately for Fukazawa, her mother encouraged her to follow her own interests and ideas. Some of her ceramic wares are inspired by discussions with her mother and on her mother’s excellent culinary skills and presentation of food. The artist desired to make wares that would equal the quality and aesthetic of her mother’s recipes. Fukazawa found further inspiration from the California landscape. The artist found the rocky coastline reminiscent of Japanese Zen gardens. Landscape Bowl is an example of the work that emerged from these inspirations.



Join us on our virtual voyage 2020

Explore the world with art! While we stay home to protect ourselves and others we can still have an adventure.
SAMFA invites you to come along on our vitrual journey, one that doesn't require a suitcase
. Galavant across the coast of Oregon,
find treasures from our permanent collection and exhibits, even join astronauts on their missions in Space!
Anything is possible with art and SAMFA TRAVELS.

You can also follow our journey on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



SAMFA Travels is back with a trip to Hays, KS with Linda Ganstrom's Powder, Ceramic, steel, tulle, 77 x 36 x 36 inches, Photo: Sheldon Ganstrom. 

Artist's Statement: "Powder displays a stereotype of Marie Antoinette, an aloof leader, interested in extreme fashion, make-up and hair, her eyes closed to the problems of her day. Yet Powder’s solemn demeanor suggests her gaiety has faded and in maturity she is becoming critical of falsity. Formed of beautiful brittle porcelain covered in hundreds of thin layers of Golden Fluid Acrylic wash, the material connects the concept to the character. Utilizing the format of figurative ceramics, Linda Ganstrom explores issues that relate personal experiences to big questions."





SAMFA Travels is in San Marcos, TX with Bridget Hauser to take a closer look at how some of the elements we looked at in our video yesterday function in her piece, "Texas Spiny Lizard."

The sharp spines of the lizard and the roughness of the bark contrast the smooth leaves, adding visual interest to the work. The bright green of the leaves and blue sky pop, drawing the viewer's eye, while the brown of the lizard hides it against the bark of the tree. The lines of the branches and the direction the leaves point bring the viewer towards the spot where they will find the lizard. These elements encourage the eye to explore the entire work as we search for the lizard. 

The virtual voyage continues this week as we explore the rules of art and how they function in the works of our Ceramic Competition!


Art Rules! Join us as we explore the elements and principles of design plus share more about the Ceramic Competition with you.




Exhibit B had more theories for us to follow and SAMFA Travels is on the case. We turned to the works in our 23rd San Angelo National Ceramic Competition to see if we could find the answers to our questions. We headed to Topeka, Kansas to see if Tyler Quintin’s “Object Memory 2: Long Summer Days” could help teach us more about the theories in Exhibit B: What is Art Part Two.
“Ceramic objects have held an integral role in daily life throughout humanhistory. Whether actively used or objects of admiration, we as humans have developed different associations with these objects. Through sculptural and functional objects alike, I am considering how ceramics can become a vehicle for discussions centered on identity and culture.I am Korean-American with an entirely American upbringing. Despite this, I grew up with a consistent reminder of my otherness through Asian jokes, stereotypes, and that all to common question of “what kind of Asian are you?” The idea of assumptions based on appearance informs the work that I create. Surface, or lack-there-of, is the primary vehicle for this exploration. Structural recreations of traditional Korean ceramic vessels, devoid of surface, speak to the divide between my appearance and culture. Additionally, I utilize a personal cast of symbols in sculptural and functional work to tell my stories. Using bold pattern work, color, and imagery to recreate the initial recognition of Asian-ness in the viewer, I subtly weave in a personal narrative underneath that asks to be seen. I hope that interactions with my work serve as a reminder to get to know individuals beyond first impressions.” -Artist’s Statement.
Quintin’s work made us think, so maybe the theory from Exhibit B was right. Which theory about art do you think is correct?




This week on SAMFA Travels we're sending out our best detectives to investigate. The case of Art v. The Dictionary is heating up and we need evidence, luckily Exhibit A (What is Art Part 1) gave us a few leads to follow. 

Golden, Colorado, Wednesday. Exhibit A gave us a theory. Art tells a story. Is that true? "The Wave Goodbye" by Melinda Laz just might have some answers for us. We took Laz's statement.  

"My recent work is the result of contemplating ideas surrounding memory and nostalgia, home, love and loss. Working in printmaking, collage and hand build ceramics, I approach each art medium with a similar style and point of view. My works are highly textured, intimate and precious, requesting the viewer to stop and look closely to decode the layers of meaning. I am equally interested in surface and mark making, as I am in storytelling and narrative. Graphic and linear elements regularly appear in the imagery, which are used in contrast with amorphous and textural surfaces. My color palette is an exploration of contrast and nuance, often using muted tones. My imagery refers to nature, especially trees and tree roots, which I use as symbols of life, stability and identity. Boats, luggage, houses and vintage photographs also appear regularly in my work. A printmaker by training, I began working in ceramics in 2015.

In this series of wall-mounted ceramic portraits, I reinterpret my own family’s vintage photographs by transforming them into clay. I knew some of these people personally, while others I never met but heard stories about them from my relatives. It is interesting to imagine what their lives might have been like. My choice to leave the faces blank allows the figures to remain anonymous yet universal, where all viewers can imagine their own family stories and histories." -Laz

Is this theory the right one? Could there be more than one correct theory? 

The virtual voyage and our investigation continue!



This week on SAMFA Virtual we’re breaking all the rules. It’s the trial of the century and we need your help. Be on the lookout for videos, activities, and more SAMFA travels as we try to answer the question , what is art? Museum From Home 




We’re continuing our trip across North America with SAMFA travels and the 23rd San Angelo National Ceramic Competition. Today we’re headed to North Hollywood, CA with Matthew Brugger’s “Spheroid,” Glazed ceramic. 

“Ceramics has a loaded history bound to tactile experience and tradition. As pottery that is designed to complement practical gestures, and as unfired objects in their malleable, elemental state, clay provokes bodily awareness. My work examines this sensibility through noisy, kinetic, ceramic objects and devices that insist on audience interaction. Together they cultivate multisensory and participatory spaces that incite a visceral awareness of other bodies. 
Drawing from prehistory’s handheld artifacts and monolithic stone monuments as records of mythos and utility, I imbue ceramic forms with my own mythologies, whimsically blending familiar functionality of contemporary life with kinetic objects of dubious futility and provenance. These awkward and interactive ceramic objects take on lives of their own to arouse self-awareness by connecting lives past and present.” -Brugger’s Statement 
Photos: Courtesy of the artist

Keep following our virtual voyage as we share more of our Ceramic Competition!




Today SAMFA travels is embarking on a new adventure with artists from our 23rd San Angelo National Ceramic Competition! We’re starting on the West Coast with Wyatt Amend in Ojai, CA and “Smoke Goblets Grouping” Stoneware, high fire glaze, low fire luster, epoxy.

Photo: Courtesy of the artist

After graduating from Sonoma State University in 2012, Amend attended residencies at the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts in 2013, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in 2014, took multiple classes and internships at Pilchuck Glass School 2011-15 and assisted Greg Daly in his 2015 summer workshop, "Color and Form" at the Penland School of Crafts, which led to a three month residency with Daly, at the Australian National University in Canberra, AUS in 2016. He has since worked as a production potter, helped many artists in the Ventura Ca area create their work and explored clay in his way, showing in gal- leries and museums across the country and selling wares in markets and fairs to the locals. Every aspect of Amend’s life, except golf, involves clay and he loves it.

 “A native and current resident of southern California, Wyatt Amend's ceramic work revolves around the world of glass. By striving for fine and delicate Venetian forms, Amend has developed a multitude of techniques which allow him to emulate glass goblets and drinking vessels. Working more as a wood- worker does on a lathe, Amend carves down a larger form to create his interpretations of ancient blown glass.” - Artist Statement 

The virtual voyage continues!




We’re headed to Arita in Japan for SAMFA Travels with this Large Fluted Dish (Japanese Imari Ware), c. 1880 by an unknown artist.

Imari Ware is named for the port of Imari where it was shipped. However, these porcelain works were actually made in Arita. Imari is characterized by elaborate decorations derived from textiles and brocades.

This large fluted dish with foliate rim is decorated with variously shaped panels in an array of brocade, figures, birds, and flowers. Vibrant reds and strong blues dominate the color palette.

Keep following us on our virtual voyage to find out where we head next!



Don’t miss all the exciting things we have planned for Flora and Fauna week. See where our virtual voyage takes us on SAMFA Travels and look out for fun new activities on our Mommy and Me Blog!





SAMFA Travels made it to the Moon! For flash back friday we’re looking at Alan Bean’s “Tracy’s Boulder” (1984), loaned to SAMFA for our 2019 exhibit “Frontiers: An Artistic Exploration of Space Travel, Technology, the Age of Discovery and More” from the Collection of J.M. McLaughlin.

Alan Bean was born in Wheeler, Texas and received a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from UT in 1955. Bean was the Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo 12 and the fourth man to set foot on the moon. He had been painting earthbound subjects for many years by the time he returned from Apollo 12 and Skylab 3 missions, but his fellow astronauts convinced him to paint his experiences on the Moon.

In this painting Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt (Apollo 17) have finished their work at Station Six. Although Earth is not visible in this in this painting, it is some 239,000 miles away in the direction the rover antenna is painting.

Gene Cernan wished he’d written his daughter’s name in the dust on the bolder to the left, but he didn’t have the idea until he’d already returned to Earth. Bean gave Cernan a sheet of paper, telling him to write the name the way he would have in the dust on the Moon. To save Cernan the trip back to the Moon, Bean painted the scene at Station Six with “Tracy,” the name of Cernan’s daughter, written in the dust on the boulder.





Welcome to the International Space Station (ISS)! SAMFA Travels is happy you're here. Keep an eye out this afternoon for a fun art activity you can do to help us on the next leg of our virtual voyage! Today we're looking back at our 2019 Exhibit "Frontiers: An Artistic Exploration of Space Travel, Technology, the Age of Discovery and More" with Nicole Stott's "The Wave" (2009), a limited edition print of the first water color done in space. 

A veteran NASA astronaut, Stott’s experience includes two spaceflights and 104 days living and working in space on both the Space Shuttle and the ISS. She performed one spacewalk, was the first person to fly the robotic arm to capture the free flying HTV cargo vehicle, she was the last crew member to fly to and from their ISS mission on a Space Shuttle, and she was a member of the crew of the final flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-133. A personal highlight of Stott's spaceflight was painting the first watercolor in space – the original is now on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in DC.

Stott became friends with Ron Woods, who we featured on Monday, when she was an engineer working with him at Kennedy Space Center. Stott was in awe of the art he created inspired by his work at NASA. Before her first flight, Stott asked Woods if she could take something small of his to space with her. He gave her his paintbrush to take. She had planned on taking a small watercolor kit in the hope of painting in Space and asked if he was ok if she painted with this brush. He was, and she used this brush to paint "The Wave."




 SAMFA Travels can't leave on our virtual voyage through space without the proper equipment! Ron Woods has us covered with "Brand's ASTP" (2009) and "No Exit" (2010) watercolor on Arches cold press paper, which were part of SAMFA's 2019 exhibit "Frontiers: An Artistic Exploration of Space Travel, Technology, the Age of Discovery and More" in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing.

Ron Woods has been interested in art and technical drafting since his teenage years and thought of becoming an architect, hut his work as a parachute rigger in the Army landed him a career as a survival technician and suit test subject for the Apollo missions, Skylab (1973-1974), and Apollo Soyuz Test Project at Kennedy Space Center. Woods was assigned to support the crews of Apollo 8, 11, and 15, even suiting up Buzz Aldrin for his historic voyage to the moon. Woods went on to support the first two space shuttle missions, was the Johnson Space Center flight crew equipment representative at Kennedy Space Center for each shuttle mission and the early International Space Station (ISS) missions 

One of the missions Woods worked on, the Apollo Soyuz Test Project, was the first joint U.S. - Soviet spaceflight and involved the docking of an Apollo Command/Service Module and the Soviet Soyuz 19 capsule. The Apollo Soyuz crew and NASA astronaut Vance Brand, the Apollo command module pilot, inspired the watercolor of Brand's suit. The banners and posters on each side of the garment reference his flights. Each was painted with a magnifier to obtain the finest detail of the spacecraft flown and commanded. 


SAMFA Travels treks into the final frontier on our virtual voyage this week! Join us as we flashback to “Frontiers: An Artistic Exploration of Space Travel, Technology, the Age of Discovery and More” our 2019 exhibit celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing. Learn more about astronauts and art then help us on our journey by completing the space themed activities from our Mommy and Me Blog. We’re counting on you to help us make it to the moon and back! 



Our virtual voyage finds us strolling around "New Mexico Adobes, Taos Pueblo" (n.d.) with Altha Leona Edge for SAFMA Travels

Born December 23, 1895 in Brazos County, Texas, Altha Edge was a painter and consultant for the Waco Public Schools. She was also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She attended the College of Industrial Arts in Denton and the College Industrial Arts Painting School in Taos, New Mexico. Her work has been exhibited across the state of Texas and this painting is part of the Special Loan Exhibit at the Official Residence of the European Union's Ambassador to the United States, Washington, D.C.

This colorful American Regionalism style painting depicts three joined adobe structures. A female figure is shown walking through the gate in front of the foremost adobe. The bright blue of the gate also trims the windows and door. Two pots with flowers sit in the window to the right, their blooms a vibrant red-orange. Chickens scattered around the yard peck at the ground as a rooster looks on. The scene is nestled in a mountainous setting under a bright blue sky.

This adventure is only getting started!




Making waves with "Steamboat" (1940) by Don Brown for #SAMFATravels. Don't forget the sunblock!

At the age of five, Brown announced to the world that he was going to be an artist. That determination never left him. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago after high school. He spent two years in the Army before earning his degree from Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana. He moved to New York where he studied with Boardman Robison, Thomas Hart Benton, Kenneth Hayes Miller, and John Sloan at the Art Students League of New York. Between 1923 and 1926 he lived in Pars where he attended the Academy de la Grande Chaumiere. In late 1934, he took a job as the head of the Art Department at Centenary College. He was a member of the "Dallas Nine" which were a group of painters, printmakers, and sculptors who renounced European trends, looking instead to the land and people of the Southwest for their inspiration.

Regionalism reigned in 1930s and 40s America. This movement focused on local, representational subject-matter. The steamboat here dominates the image, as steam billows from twin pipes. A figure is visible at the wheel in the wheelhouse and two figures lounge on the lower deck. A landscape is hinted at in the background where moss hangs from a tree on one side and brush is visible on the other.

Keep following us on our #virtualvoyage to see where we go next!




SAMFA Travels needed a little R&R after our virtual Highway 90 road trip so we are hanging with Ruth Blanks Matlock in "Backyard Christoval"

This pastel on paper work was likely completed before 1937.

Matlock was born in Wills Point, Texas and raised in San Angelo, Texas. In 1926 she attended the Texas Artists Camp at Christoval where she studied under Xavier Gonzales and Sally Haley Russo.

During the early twentieth century a number of committees set out to create a more welcoming atmosphere for artists in Texas. Art organizations began forming in Houston and Austin. Public libraries in cities such as Fort Worth sponsored exhibitions. The Baptist Encampment Grounds in Christoval, Texas hosted the Texas Artists Camp from 1921 until 1927. The camp emphasized the opportunities of the West as a new field for art. This drawing possibly depicts the artist’s colony in Christoval where Matlock spent time

Stay tuned to see where this virtual voyage takes us next!



Jeri Salter


SAMFA Travels is on a road trip with Jeri Salter today "Staring Down Highway 90" (2011). Anyone else feel like playing the license plate game?

Salter is primarily a self-taught artist but has taken classes at the Collin Community College in Plano and the Alfred Glassell Art School in Houston. She is a landscape painter, drawn to the wide open spaces, big skies, and rolling plains of the west, particularly Texas. Born in Richmond, Virginia, she has spent her adult life in Texas. She worked in oil for many years before discovering pastels. They became her favorite to work with for their immediacy and vibrancy. Roads have been a major theme for her since 2007, she feels rural roads ". . . capture feelings of wanderlust as well as portraying internal searching."

Highway 90 reaches from Van Horn, TX to Jacksonville Beach, Fl. The stretch depicted here is lined with telephone poles to the right and dark fencing to the left. The highway vanishes into the distance.

Our virtual voyage continues.


Robert Wood


SAMFA Travels is on the road with Robert Wood's "Mexican Street"(ca. 1935)

Wood was born on March 4, 1889 in Sandgate, Kent, England, the son of famous home and church painter, W.L. Wood, who recognized his son's talent and forced him to paint rather than going out to play with friends. In 1910 Robert Wood came to the United States after serving in the Royal Army and never returned to England. He traveled all over the U.S., and often painted in Mexico and Canada. From 1923 to 1941 he lived in San Antonio, Texas and was exhibited in the San Antonio Art League’s 1928 “Texas Wildflower Competition.” During his time in Texas he gained a reputation for strong colored, dramatic paintings. Some of this prestige is linked to his association with prominent Texas artist José Arpa.

Buildings line this street which appears to turn in the background. Several people walk along the sidewalks. In the street a figure walks with two animals, possibly donkeys, hitched together. The buildings in the middle of the work and to the viewer's right are bathed in light. Flowers spill over an arched opening of the one to the right. Through this opening we see a door and more flowers. The orange of the large pot they reside in echoes the orange in the garments of the woman on the viewer's right and the man on the viewer's left.

Join us tomorrow to see the next stop in our virtual voyage!





Our virtual voyage with SAMFA Travels has taken us to Mexico. Today we join Laura Ann Taylor at a "Church Near Mexico City" (1939)

Laura Ann Taylor was born in Smithville, Missouri in 1906 and lived in Oklahoma as a child before moving to Dallas. She earned a Bachelor of Art (1926) and a Bachelor of Science (1930) from Southern Methodist University. In 1937 she earned her MA from Texas State College for Women in Denton. Her first exhibition was in 1929 in Dallas. She was a founding member of the Texas Printmakers, a guild formed in 1940 after Bertha Landers was not allowed to join the all-male Lone Star Printmakers.

The church is depicted on the left side of the image, rising behind a scallop-edged wall. The wall cuts across the middle of the image, obscuring the base of the church. A large, curving tree dominates the foreground on the right-hand side. Women gather here, leaning against the remains of a crumbling wall. Across an opening in this wall, a man in a hat reclines.

Our voyage continues tomorrow!




We're on the "Road to Alamogordo, New Mexico" (ca. 1955) with Dwight Holmes today for SAMFA Travels

Holmes was born in Albany, Oregon. He came to Texas in 1910 when his father became pastor of a church in Galveston. In high school he trained under William de Leftwich Dodge. He entered the Texas Christian University (TCU) Art Department in 1918. There Holmes studied under E. R. Cockrell and Mary Sue Darter, who were art instructors during that time. He graduated with a Certificate of Art and a Bachelor of Arts before joining the TCU Faculty. In 1946 he moved to San Angelo where he remained until his death in 1986.

Over the course of his career, Holmes used various mediums and methods; sculpting, painting, designing, carving, gold leafing and more. However, he preferred painting landscapes in oil. Traveling across the United States, Holmes brought vistas to life on canvas. Here we see a road disappearing behind the trees that change from green to vibrant orange. A hill rises in the background, rendered in brown, green, and orange. 

Follow us on our virtual voyage to see where we go next!



Childe Hassam


Why is it that wanderlust is hardest to ignore when you have to stay inside? We have the remedy. Join SAMFA on a virtual voyage through our Permanent Collection and Exhibits. 
You won't even need to pack a bag! 

Today we’re taking a virtual visit to the “Oregon Coast” with this plein air sketch by Childe Hassam done in 1904. Hassam was considered by some to be the leader of the American Impressionists. He drew this during a trip to the Oregon coast likely in August of 1904. Notice the glimpses of paper and the looseness of the sketch as Hassam captured an ephemeral moment in time. We can almost feel the ocean breeze.