Flow Gallery honors Mary Shizuka Bottomley

By Alec Clayton on October 9, 2012

The next art exhibit at Flow is a special in honor of Mary Shizuka Bottomley, co-founder of Puget Sound Sumi Aartists who recently passed away.

"We all have such a special place in our hearts for her and I wanted to celebrate her work," says Flow owner Andrea Erickson. "She was co-founder of PSSA and devoted her time and taught calligraphy to countless members of Puget Sound Sumi artists over the years."

The show is called "Beautiful Shining Flame, " and it is clear that the title was chosen because to members of PSSA and to Bottomley's friends and family that - a beautifult shining flame - is precisely what she was and will always be.

Mary Shizuka Bottomley (1925-2012) was a beloved calligrapher, artist, and teacher in the Puget Sound area. She was born in Fukuoka, Japan, and moved to the United States in 1953. Since her family in Japan operated a printing and seal carving business, she was exposed to many styles of Japanese writing from an early age. In 1974 she began studying calligraphy with Yukei Aoki, a master calligrapher from Japan. She also studied sumi-e and collage with Fumiko Kimura and Chinese watercolor with Betty Ling inTacoma. 

She exhibited her work widely and was honored with many awards. Since she believed that calligraphy practice was essential to strong, expressive brushwork, she donated her time and taught calligraphy to countless members of Puget Sound Sumi artists over the years. Bottomley and Fumiko Kimura were the co-founders of Puget Sound Sumi Artists. According to Kimura, Bottomley was the spiritual foundation of Puget Sound Sumi artists in building the organization and helping to foster it into the organization it is today. She helped Kimura with outreach programs that PSAA is still heavily involved in. She was also very proud of the two degrees she obtained from Pierce College, in Arts, Science and English, she also took many art courses during her time at Pierce.

The exhibition of Bottomley's art will run Oct. 18 to Nov. 3. The opening will be during the October Art Walk, Thursday, Oct. 18 from 5-8 p.m. Thereafter the gallery will be open by appointment and on Saturday, Oct/ 27, 2-4 p.m.

Flow Gallery and Studio is located at 301A Puyallup Ave. Call  253.255.4675 for an appointment or email flowstudio301@hotmail.com for further information.

Thanks to Andrea Erickson for the biographical information on Mary Shiuka Bottomley.