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Office of Economic Development
Office of Economic Development

For Immediate Release


Ceramic Sculpture Installed In Downtown Berkeley


Berkeley, California (Monday, January 27, 2003) – On Monday, January 27, 2003, Berkeley artist John Toki will complete installation of his ceramic sculpture on the corner of Shattuck Avenue and Addison Street near the entrance to the downtown Berkeley BART station.  Toki’s sculpture, “’s-Hertogenbosch” is a 14-foot-tall brightly colored ceramic sculpture named after the Dutch city.  The work is inspired from forms found in nature (mountains and sky), and elements such as water and snow.

“’s-Hertogenbosch” will be the final public art project implemented to enhance improvements to the infrastructure of downtown Berkeley as stipulated by Measure S.  A project of the Berkeley Civic Arts Program, the Measure S public art program began in 1998.  Numerous public artworks now grace the sidewalks of Berkeley’s downtown core and Arts District.  All the Measure S art will be ceremonially dedicated in a public event next month on a date yet to be determined.

Berkeley native John Toki has worked in ceramics for over 35 years.  He is owner of Toki Studio in Richmond, California, and President and Owner of Leslie Ceramic Supply Company in Berkeley.  Toki is an adjunct professor at the California College of Arts & Crafts (CCAC) in Oakland.  His work has been displayed at the Oakland Museum of California and the Dean Lesher Center for the Performing Arts (Walnut Creek) among may other Bay Area and national venues.   In addition to exhibitions, Toki has been artist-in-residence at the European Ceramics Work Center in The Netherlands. Toki has co-authored several textbooks including: Hands in Clay and Make it in Clay: A Beginners Guide to Ceramics.

A selection panel chose John Toki to receive this artwork commission from a competitive field of 59 applicants internationally.  The selection panelists were Kevin Consey, director of the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Robbin Henderson, director of the Berkeley Art Center; Susan Levine, Berkeley artist and Chair of the Berkeley Civic Arts Commission; John Martin, Berkeley business owner; Rachel Osajima, gallery manager; John Roberts, Berkeley landscape architect; and David Snippen, Berkeley architect and currently a member of the Civic Arts Commission.  The Civic Arts Commission approved Mr. Toki’s sculpture and the proposed site, which was finalized with the cooperation of BART’s Real Estate and Operations Department.

For additional information about Berkeley's public art program, please contact Civic Arts Coordinator Mary Ann Merker via email or at the Berkeley Civic Arts Program located at 2118 Milvia Street, Suite 200, Berkeley 94704, or via phone at (510) 981-7533, fax at (510) 981-7540, or TDD at (510) 981-6903.  Information about Berkeley’s public art program is also available from the Public Art page on the City's web site. 


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