In this retrospective exhibition, Joyce Yamamoto’s drawings, paintings and mixed media works provide an engaging expression of the thoughts and affections of this beloved Medicine Hat artist (1944-2012.) Over the course of her artistic career, Joyce Yamamoto produced landscapes, domestic scenes and studies of people and places familiar to her, explored Asian subjects and approaches, and rendered natural subjects such as floral studies and birds. Her paintings and drawings on paper and ceramic are characterized by an energetic, gestural quality, a colourful palette that ranges from subdued to daring, and a bold sense of composition. The works also reveal her thoughtfulness, her keen observational powers and her gift for animating line. Many of the works presented in this exhibition are from a generous donation by Joyce to the Esplanade Art Collection in 2012, and others are kindly loaned by private collectors.
Joyce Yamamoto was born in Lethbridge, Alberta and studied education at the University of Alberta. She worked for several years as a teacher and then received training in illustration at The Art Centre College of Design in Los Angeles, USA. After moving to Toronto, she was involved in the music industry and illustrated album covers. Upon her return to Medicine Hat in 1994 she exhibited regionally and provincially in solo, group and juried exhibitions. In her last years Joyce was the Collections Technician at the Historic Clay District and continued to support arts and culture through her unstinting volunteer activities.