Gloria Kagawa is an established printmaker, painter and mixed media artist who has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions across North and South America, Europe and Asia. Her professional art practice began in 1982 after earning an Honours B.A. in Fine Arts at the University of Waterloo. Kagawa's works are in public, private and corporate collections across the world. Locally her work is part of Kitchener, Ontario's Kilometre of Culture Public Art Collection and is on display at Kitchener City Hall. Her work has earned her several awards, including the Waterloo Region Arts Award in Visual Arts. In 2018 she produced her 35-Year Retrospective Exhibition for the JCCC Gallery at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto. Kagawa lives and works at her rural farmhouse studio near Stratford, Ontario.
A common thread throughout these works, created over nearly four decades, is humanity's powerful life force and determination to thrive and survive, no matter the conditions and consequences (The Pollen Question). My art explores our beliefs (Offerings No.1), our drive to move forward (Halls of Progress), our concepts of self (Hold Fast) and our relationships with others and with our earth (Sea Friends, It's Only The Air). I like exploring the human condition by depicting architectural structures we build that shelter, but also represent us (East Side Morning, Urban March). A favourite practice of mine is to overlap transparent, dissolving images from various times and places in and outside the world (Once Upon A Time, Storm Watch), adding mystery to the story. I enjoy optical illusions that question reality (Ministry). My work often deals with communication struggles (Language Class - Discord) and social and environmental issues, both positive and negative (Break Time and Hope), often in subtle ways. Even in the face of overwhelming challenges, the themes and tensions of joy and love (In The Mood), fear and isolation (Night Passage Series - Dusk), chaos and order (Slip Sliding, The Powers That Be), represent a drive to persist under all circumstances. The life force will not be denied - in the past (Rain Please), for today (Last Call) and into the future (Space Dance) - artistic perceptions provide unique ways to contemplate ourselves.