Naoko Morisawa’s handcrafted wood mosaics are featured in “Play with Material: Laboratory,” an exhibit on display through March 15 at Edmonds Community College’s art gallery.

Naoko Morisawa’s handcrafted wood mosaics are featured in “Play with Material: Laboratory,” an exhibit on display through March 15 at Edmonds Community College’s art gallery.

The smallest of details matter the most in EdCC exhibit

Naoko Morisawa’s mosaic artwork features thousands of tiny slices of wood chips and cardboard.

From a distance, Naoko Morisawa’s mosaic artwork looks like oil paintings, stained glass or maybe piece quilts.

But the details — and effort that went into them — are best examined up close.

Using thousands of very small slices of natural and oil-dyed wood chips and cardboard on stained wood panels, the award-winning Seattle artist created abstract patterns with vibrant and contrasting colors. Her work is on display through March 15 at Edmonds Community College’s art gallery.

The exhibit, “Play with Material: Laboratory,” features more than a dozen of Morisawa’s mosaics and garden hose sculptures. Her art has been exhibited at Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend, Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle and the Dublin Biennial in Ireland.

Her work can also be found in public art projects in Edmonds, Lynnwood, Seattle, Shoreline and Kent.

Each of her works featured at EdCC took 45 to 50 days to finish. Crafting so many small pieces was slow, tough and painstaking work, she said. She often started over if a piece didn’t live up to her original idea.

How does she know when it’s complete?

“I feel relaxed,” Morisawa said in Japanese, which was then translated into English by her husband Ken.

Morisawa was born in Tokyo and studied design and ceramics at Tama Art University, one of the top art schools in Japan. She was a commercial designer for Godiva Chocolatier and English tea maker Twinings and taught art classes in Japan and the Canadian Embassy for more than 10 years before moving to Seattle in 2004.

She has won numerous awards for her mosaics, as well as for public art projects. Morisawa was named one of Seattle’s best local artists by CBS Seattle News in 2016.

Morisawa has crafted her wood and paper collages for about 25 years. The mosaics are inspired by how the life of a tree, the energy in each grain and patterns in the wood can change with each piece.

Her work is typically bright and playful, but oddly shaped creatures and objects such as mushrooms, jellyfish and waves also are recurring themes in her work.

For the past five years she also been making garden hose sculptures meant for the outdoors with green hoses. She likes to work with the medium because green colors “are soft to people’s eyes” outdoors. The exhibit at EdCC will be the first time her sculptures have been displayed indoors.

Morisawa said her favorite piece in the exhibit is a 60-by-80-inch garden hose sculpture called, “Love Is All You Need,” which is roughly shaped like a heart.

Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427, ethompson@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @ByEvanThompson.

If you go

An exhibit of Seattle artist Naoko Morisawa’s mosaic collage paintings and garden hose sculptures will be displayed through March 15 at the Edmonds Community College art gallery on the third floor of Lynnwood Hall at 20000 68th Ave. W., Lynnwood. An artist reception is set for 3 to 5 p.m. Feb. 22 in the gallery.

The gallery is open 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. There’s no admission charge. More at www.edcc.edu/gallery.

Learn more about Morisawa’s art at www.naokomorisawa.com.

Talk to us

More in Life

After 43 years, Robb Hunt is retiring as Village Theatre's executive producer. (Village Theatre)
The Village Theatre’s Robb Hunt to retire after 43 years

He brought the Issaquah-based theater’s award-winning productions to Everett in 1994.

"Washington Farm," ca. 1934 Oil on canvas, 27 1/2 × 33 1/2 in. Collection of Lindsey and Carolyn Echelbarger, promised gift to Cascadia Art Museum
Edmonds museum spotlights Japanese-American artist’s journey

Kenjiro Nomura’s art ranges from pre-war impressions to post-war abstractions — and images from inside WWII internment camps.

Anya Taylor-Joy, left, and Thomasin McKenzie in "Last Night in Soho." MUST CREDIT: Parisa Taghizadeh/Focus Features
‘Last Night in Soho’ a stylish, blood-soaked ode to ‘60s London

Director Edgar Wright peppers the cast with icons of the era, including Terence Stamp and the late Diana Rigg in her last film role.

Gene Simmons impersonator, Jack Murrin practices on there bass guitar at his storage building on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 in Everett, Washington. Murrin, 51, a firefighter and impersonator, is putting on a 2-hour KISS concert with 19 songs in front of his north Everett home on Halloween.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
The Demon: Gene Simmons imitator hosts a free Kiss concert

Everett firefighter and paramedic Jack Murrin will return to the stage for a Halloween show at his home.

xyxyxyyxyxyxyxyxy
Simple recipes for gluten-free baked goods — even bread — yes, really

“Cannelle et Vanille” blogger Aran Goyoaga has written a cookbook of straightfoward bakes without gluten.

A.J. Croce, son of the late Jim Croce, is scheduled to perform Nov. 20 at the Edmonds Center for the Arts.
All about music: Schedule of concerts around Snohomish County

The listings include Sir Mix-a-Lot, ZZ Top and Bands, Brews and Bowling at Evergreen Lanes in Everett.

The Jimmy Wright Band is scheduled to play a Halloween Party on Oct. 30 at Pub 282 on Camano Island. (YouTube)
Where to hear live music in Snohomish County nightclubs

The listings include Engel’s Pub, Mirkwood Public House and Port Gardner Bay Winery shows.

Peter Rivera, the original lead singer and drummer for Rare Earth, will perform Nov. 6 with his band at the Historic Everett Theatre. (Peter Rivera)
Tickets for sale in Snohomish County and around the region

The listings include Historic Everett Theatre, Edmonds Center for the Arts and Thumbnail Theater shows.

See Dawn Cornell as Judge Laura Wargrave and Bill Kusler as Gen. John Mackenzie in Red Curtain's production of "And Then There Were None," showing at the Marysville theater through Nov. 3. (Larry T. Lisk)
Theater, dance and comedy shows around Snohomish County

The listings include Historic Everett Theatre, Edmonds Center for the Arts and Thumbnail Theater shows.

Most Read