Patti Warashina (born 1940) is an American artist known for her imaginative ceramic sculptures. Her works are in the collection of the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
She was instrumental in bringing the Seattle ceramic scene to prominence, heading up the department at the University of Washington, Seattle, as well as producing pieces that took inspiration from the Funk movement in the Bay area but with their own interpretations. Warashina is best known for her figurative sculpture – pieces that tell stories which are often dreamlike or fantasies – and ranging in size from very small to larger-than-life. She works in low-fire polychrome ceramics, the colors and surface decoration both vivid and animated. While her primarily female figures clearly emerge from her own experiences, Warashina says, “They aren’t me exactly, or any version of me….they represent what I know and what I’m curious about. When I’m curious about something else, I’ll move on.”
Statement from Patti Warashina
“The human figure has been an absorbing visual fascination in my work. I use the figure in voyeuristic situations in which irony, humor, absurdities portray human behavior as a relief from society’s pressure and frustrations on mankind. At times, I use the figure in complex arrangements so that it will be seethingly alive. I like the visual stimulation of portraying human energy, as a way to compare it to any biological organization found in nature.”
1958-62 University of Washington, Seattle, WA B.F.A.
1962-64 University of Washington, Seattle, WA M.F.A.
2016 “2016 Patti Warashina Award for Emerging Artists,” Museum of Northwest Art, LaConnor, WA
2013 50-Year Retrospective Exhibition, Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA
2012 50-Year Retrospective Exhibition, American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, CA
2007 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Oral History Interview, Nanette Laitman
Documentation Project (Interviewed by Doug Jeck).
2006 Elected Honorary Member of the National Council on the Education for Ceramic Arts (NCECA)
2005 Artist Images Series Featured Artist, University of Washington Libraries, Seattle, WA
2001 Invited to give a series of presentations as part of a cultural exchange sponsored by China Worker’s
Center for International Exchange (CWCIE). Traveled to Shanghai, Yixing, Beijing, Xian, Hong Kong.
1994 Elected Member to American Craft’s “Council of Fellows,” New York City, NY
1994 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Personal “lifetime” papers collected.
1991 29-Year Retrospective Exhibition, Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA
1983 Elected Member, International Academy of Ceramics, UNESCO, Geneva, Switzerland
1980 Governor’s Award of Special Commendation for the Arts, Olympia, WA
GRANTS & AWARDS:
2018 USA Fellowship Award, United States Artists, Chicago, IL
2014 Distinguished Educator Award, James Renwick Alliance/Smithsonian American Art Institution, Wash., DC
2012 National Endowment for the Arts Award
2012 Timeless Award, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
2011 Legends Award, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, ME
2009 TriMet Public Art Program, Award for Northwest Sculpture Collection, Portland, OR (“City Reflections”)
2009 Regis Masters Award & Exhibition, Northern Clay Center; Minneapolis, MN
2008 Voulkos Fellow Award, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT
2008 PONCHO Artist of the Year Award (Northwest Artist), Morrie & Joan Alhadeff, Seattle, WA
2003 Distinguished Alumna Award, University of Washington, College of Arts and Sciences, Seattle, WA
2001 Lifetime Achievement Award/Woman of the Year (Twining Humber Award), Artist Trust, Seattle, WA
2001 Invited as visiting artist for a cultural exchange, as part of the World Ceramic Exposition in Incheon, South
1992 Honor Program Award/Commission, King County Arts Commission, Seattle, WA (“Mercurial Miss”)
1992 Arts/Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty Scholar Award, University of Washington, Graduate School
1986 Northwest Special Collections Award Commission, Seattle Arts Commission 1% for the Arts, Portable Works
Collection, Seattle, WA (“A Procession”)
1986 National Endowment for the Arts Award
1980 Governor’s Award of Special Commendation for the Arts, Olympia, WA
1978 World Craft Council Travel Grant, Japan/United States Friendship Committee, and Ford Foundation Grant
(traveled to Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Bali, and Philippines).
1975 National Endowment for the Arts Award
1972 University of Washington Graduate School Research Fund.
2019 Patti Warashina: Approaching a Clay Narrative, Otterbein University, Westerville, OH
2018 Patti Warashina: Transitory Conversations, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, Mesa, AZ
2016 Thinking Clearly, Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art, Seattle, WA
2014 Patti Warashina: Scrutiny, Davidson Gallery, Seattle, WA
2013 Patti Warashina: Wit & Wisdom, 50-Year Retrospective, Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA
2012 Patti Warashina: Wit & Wisdom, 50-Year Retrospective, American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, CA
2010 Patti Warashina: Conversations, Howard House Gallery, Seattle, WA
2009 2009 Regis Masters Exhibition, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
2006 Northwest Print Center, Portland, OR (2 person)
2006 Bridge 9, Society for Contemporary Crafts, Pittsburgh, PA (3 person)
2004 Patti Warashina: Real Politique, Howard House Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA
2004 Patti Warashina, Loveed Fine Art, Gallery Pahk, New York City, NY
2004 Patti Warashina: Recent Works, Jundt Art Museum, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA
2001 Patti Warashina: Mile Post Queens, Howard House Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA
1991 Patti Warashina: Ceramic Sculpture 1962-91, 29-Year Retrospective, Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA
2018 On The Edge, works from permanent collection of the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
2018-19 Familiar Faces & New Voices: Surveying Northwest Art, from permanent collection of Tacoma Art Museum,
2017 From Funk to Punk: Left Coast Ceramics, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY
2017 BC to BC: Contemporary Ceramics from Baja California to British Columbia, San Diego Art Institute, CA
2017 Bodies & Beings: An Invitational Exhibition of Figurative Sculpture, Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art, Seattle, WA
2017 Women Working With Clay, Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University, Roanoke, VA
2016 NCECA Honors & Fellows Exhibition” (50th Anniversary). Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, Kansas City, MO
2016 Ceramics A to Z: AMOCA’s Permanent Collection, American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, CA
2016 Seattle Art Fair, Century Link Field Event Center, Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art, Seattle, WA
2016 Matched Makers: Northwest Artist Couples, Museum of Northwest Art, LaConnor, WA
2014-17 Inciteful Clay.. Three-year, nine-city tour of the work of 26 ceramic artists who use their medium “to issue
provocative critiques of current social and political inequities.”
2015 Divergent Currents: The Ripple Effect of Japan on American Ceramic Artists, Clay Art Center, Port Chester,
2013 The Price of Freedom, Walkers Point Center for the Arts, Milwaukee, WI
2012 ArtPalmBeach, Loveed Fine Arts, New York, NY, West Palm Beach Convention Center, Palm Beach, FL
2012 Marks: Sculptors in Two Dimensions, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, WA
2012 Around the Bend and Over the Edge: Seattle Ceramics 1964-1977, Henry Art Gallery, University of
Washington, Seattle, WA
2012 Without Boundaries: Transformations in American Craft, Craft Alliance Gallery, St. Louis, MO
2011 Seattle As Collector: Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs Turns 40, 40th Anniversary Exhibition at the
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
2011 From the Center to the Edge: Celebrating 60 Years of Creativity and Innovation at the Archie Bray
Foundation, Helena, MT
2010-11 First Biennial Clay Throw Down, Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA
2010 ArtPalmBeach, Loveed Fine Arts, New York, NY, West Palm Beach Convention Ctr., West Palm Beach, FL
2010 L.A. Art Show, American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, CA, LA Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA
2010 Show of Hands – Northwest Women Artists 1880-2010, Whatcom Museum at the Lightcatcher,
2009 Tell Me a Story: Contemporary Narrative Ceramics, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA
2009 International Ceramics Invitational 2009, Armory Art Center, West Palm Beach, FL
2009 Large Ceramics: Selections from the Permanent Collection, Arizona State University Art Museum &
Ceramics Research Center, Tempe, AZ
2007-09 Craft in America: Expanding Traditions (seven-city traveling museum Exhibition).
2007 Form and Imagination: Women Ceramic Sculptors, American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, CA
2006 Natural Elements: Selections from the Permanent Collection, Contemporary Crafts Museum, Portland, OR
2006-07 Human Form in Clay – The Mind’s Eye, international exhibition, Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park,
Shigaraki, Japan. Also traveled to Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo, Japan.
2005 Diverse Domain: Contemporary North American Ceramic Art, Yingge Ceramic Museum (YingKo Museum),
Taipei County, Taiwan.
2004 Contemporary American Ceramics (1950-1990). Traveling exhibition sponsored by the National Museum of
Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan.
2004 Bare Clay: Ceramic Nudes in 20th Century Art, Garth Clark Gallery, New York City, NY
2003 The Legacy of Modern Ceramic Art, Part II: Modern Ceramic Art from an International Perspective,
Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu, Japan and Ceramic Cultural Park, Mino, Japan.
2003 21st Century Ceramics in the U.S. and Canada, Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH
2002 Clay Body Rhetoric: Ceramic Figures of Speech, Beach Museum of Art, Kansas State University,
2002 Northwest Masters: Selections from the City of Seattle Portable Works Collection, Bank of America Tower
City Space/Seattle Art Gallery, Seattle, WA
2002 Shaping the Future with Earth, World Contemporary Ceramic Exposition 2002, Incheon, South Korea.
2001 USA Clay, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC. Selections from the
Allan Chasanoff Ceramic Collection, Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC.