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Some lucky people are born with an artistic destiny preordained by an auspicious ancestry.

In the case of ceramic artist Joan Takayama-Ogawa, once this destiny revealed itself, her passion for achieving that destiny was unstoppable. She decided to take a ceramics class and soon uncovered her family’s connection to clay dating back to the 15th century. Her newly discovered love of ceramic sculpture soon became an obsession, and she left her middle school teaching position to pursue a career in the ceramic arts at the Otis College of Art and Design.

Takayama-Ogawa is an internationally renowned artist who uses ancient Japanese ceramic forms as a guide in creating contemporary pieces with decorating and imagery drawn from an American lifestyle. She currently serves as a Professor in Ceramics, Product Design, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Creative Action at the Otis College of Art and Design.  She has served as a Pasadena Design Commissioner and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Museum of Ceramic Art.  Her ceramics are included in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution, DeYoung Museum of Fine Arts, World Ceramic Exposition Foundation, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Oakland Museum of California, Long Beach Museum of Art, and American Museum of Ceramic Art.