Saturday, August 8, 2009

Asif Studios - Art of Tea Show, Opening Reception August 28th, 5-8pm!

The Artist's Studio in the Foothills is celebrating the Art of Tea... featuring teapots and tea inspired works by over twenty five Nevada County artists. From traditional functional teapots to tea themed paintings, poetry, and sculptural non-functional works.

With Special guest presentations on Traditional Chinese & Japanese Tea Ceremony, by tea expert, Babette Donaldson, and a tracing of steps from ancient to modern tea culture by local art historian, Kristanne Heaton.

The show will open Friday, August 28th, with a tea - reception for the artists, from 5 - 8pm. A very special tea ceremony grade Matcha will be served for tea ceremony presentations. Iced and herbal teas, tea cookies, sweet tea treats and spiked tea concoctions will be served throughout the reception.

The gallery exhibit will be open to the public daily, 10am-5pm Monday - Friday, Saturday 11am-4pm, and will hang through October 2nd.

Babette Donaldson, a well known local author, student of historic and modern tea culture, and creator of World Tea News...The Art & Spirit of Tea - website & blog, will offer presentations on Chinese & Japanese tea ceremony. Go to Babette's blog at:

Tea In Art Exhibits:
Posted by babette on Sunday, August 23rd 2009 under: Tea culture, tea and art
The connection between the Art World & Tea Land has been one of my main blog themes. It was tea in art that lured me to the leaf. So, it gives me great pleasure to observe how this is being celebrated in at least two different California venues this month. One is Northern California and the other in Southern California. One is a very prestigious exhibition and the other is an intimate studio gathering. But both generate a dynamic conversation between visual arts and the ancient brew.

Steeped In History: the Art of Tea
An exhibition at the Fowler Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles opened this month and will run through November 29, 2009.
The show’s curator Beatrice Hohenegger, has chosen an interesting approach, using art to tell the 5000 history of tea. Beginning with the ancient Chinese legend of Shen Nong, she explores follows the tea routes through Japan and into the west.
“Tea was an exotic novelty, and no one knew what to make of it at first,” Hohenegger said.The survey of tea-inspired art is drawn from three continents and several centuries of art to illustrate the importance of our favorite brew to world culture. Beatrice Hohenegger, author of Liquid Jade: The Story of Tea from East to West (St. Martin’s Press, 2007). Ms. Hohenegger also edited the published show guide for the Fowler Museum, Steeped in History: The Art of Tea (ISBN: 978-0-9778344-1-9).

During the three-month of the exhibit, the Fowler Museum will also be offering numerous special tea-art events for both children and adults.

One other interesting partnership of note is that Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf provided tea service for the opening. Like my own tea service at the Asif Studio show, these are opportunities for tea businesses to make connections with art patrons - quite likely an interested audience in premium tea. Tea businesses and tea educators may want to be alert to possibilities for these types of exchanges.

One Last Word
Tea’s foundation in history and culture is one obvious inspiration for artists. And the wealth of inspired images in art available to the tea lover rewards the passion. But I continue to pin the ‘why’ question to the observation. What is it about tea. . . ?

This summer I joined Dan Robertson’s World Tea Tour to China, traveling with this question in mind. Touring tea gardens, factories, tea schools, tea wholesale markets, meeting tea masters, down to picking our own tea and molding our own puerh cakes encouraged me to continue to ponder. But I’m pleased to say that I returned with more questions.
This is a good thing for a lifelong passion. And I believe it’s good for artists as well.

Gan bei.