By Filipina Lippi
May 3, 2015
Virginia-based Filipino artist
Hadrian Mendoza is a potter with an exemplary expressionist style. He is known
for his strikingly poetic functional pieces and expressive sculptural art works
-- done since he decided to go full time into pottery in the late 1990s, after
he saw a very active ceramic art scene during a visit to the Philippines.
Looking for roots to anchor his exploration of ceramic arts in his original
homeland at the time, Mendoza mastered the art and science of manipulating clay,
glaze, and firing techniques with new found mentor, Jon Pettyjohn, another Fil-American
based in the Philippines Mendoza developed a peripatetic eye for ever morphing
shapes. He continues to experiment with earth, wind, and fire as precious,
creative partners in the kiln. Under his hands, the ancient medium has bloomed
into surprising creations in the past 20 years; raising the bar each time to
more challenging levels in a post-modern expression that puts viewers in other
artistic media in awe.
Mendoza’s one-man show entitled
“Earth Fire Stone” at the 37-year old Zenith Art Gallery on Pennsylvania Ave,
NW, Wash, DC, opens from April 28 until August 23, 2015. It showcases the
various art works he has done with Philippine images, and their shifting
transformations since he came back to the US with his wife and two children in
The multi-awarded ceramic artist
organized the first networking of Southeast Asian potters in 2009, after he
received the Network Program Grant of the Toyota Foundation in 2007. It led to
the holding of a first group show of 38 Southeast Asian potters at the Ayala
Museum, Makati City, Philippines in 2009. A second group show of Southeast Asian
potters was held at FLICAM Museums in Fuping, China in 2012, after Mendoza
received the FuLe International Ceramic Arts Museum Grant” which included
a one-month art residency for him and 22 other Southeast Asian potters in Fuping,
China. Mendoza also organized the third Southeast Asian Ceramics Festival and
Exhibition at The Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Virginia in October 2014,
after he received the “Humanities Fellowship Grant” of the New York-based
Asian Cultural Council. He has been a resident-artist at the Workhouse Arts
Center in Virginia since March 2010.
Mendoza grew up in Virginia from the
time his mother and two other siblings moved when he was seven years old. He
finished business management at the University of Mary Washington in 1996 before
embarking on art studies at Corcoran School of the Arts and Design also in 1996.
He received the “Anne and Ronald Abramson Award for Excellence in Ceramics”
from the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC in April 1997. He honed his
love for pottery in the Philippines from 1997 to 2009.
Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia and his wife Maria Victoria are special guests at the opening night of Mendoza’s show at Zenith.