a national organization to show and promote works by professional women artists founded in 1896
In conjunction with the CLWAC’s 125th Anniversary celebration, the Board of Directors has selected Yuka Imata as its Honored Member for 2022. For the past ten years, Yuka has served the Club faithfully as both a director on the board and as co-chair of painting for the Annual Open Exhibitions. She has overseen the hanging of selected work for each year’s Open Exhibition at the National Arts Club and this year at the Salmagundi Club.
Yuka was born in Sapporo, Japan and moved to the United States to study art at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. After earning her BFA degree, she continued her studies at The Art League of New York under Ronald Sherr. Awards that she won at the ASL were the Xavier Gonzales and Ethel Edwards grant that allowed her to live and study in Spain, and the Phyllis H. Mason grant which supported her exhibits.
During her time in Spain, an interesting part of her artistic development was her time at the Prado Museum where she was able to copy an old master four days a week. Her choice was Velasquez’s “Los Borrachos,” a painting of Bacchus in the company of a group of inebriated drinkers. During this excercise she learned how to paint on canvas stretched in the Spanish style and was able to adjust her palette to 17th century pigments that the master had used - experiences that she finds invaluable today.
While in Europe and to her credit, Yuka maintained the discipline of using a sketchbook to record not only interesting sights in museums but also notes on composition, color, and other observations. She then received another grant which allowed her to continue her studies in Italy and further afield - experiencing the glories of Florence, Athens and Istanbul added immesurably to her artistic growth.
On her return to the United States as a young professional artist, she entered her sensitive graphite drawings, many of portraits and figures, and her thoughtful oil paintings of landscapes, portraits, figures, and still life in prestigious juried shows where she continued to win many awards. The Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club awarded her the Anna Hyatt Huntington Bronze Medal in Graphics and Allied Artists awarded her a Silver Medal of Honor. The New York Times, American Artist, and Plein Air magazines all featured her work. The Fall 2016 issue of Drawing magazine had her “Portrait of Tom” on its cover and a step-by-step demonstration on her process of composing a portrait was the featured article. On television, she was featured on ESPN’s Hannah Storm program, “Face to Face.”
Yuka also did Artist-in-Residence stints at both Governors Island and Bryant Park. Her work has been widely exhibited in New York City and throughout the United States, and internationally at the Scuola Lorenzo de Medici Art Exhibition in Florence, Italy as well as in Tokyo, Yokohama and the Museum of Kyoto, Japan. She is now represented by the Good Gallery in Kent, Connecticut.
Yuka’s desire as an artist is to record beauty. This is so evident in all her work and in the classes she teaches. As an art instructor she inspires her students with demonstrations, lectures, critiques, discussions and, in this time of Covid, many of her classes have been taught over Zoom.
With her fully developed talents as an artist and nurturer, Yuka is an important and valued Member of the CLWAC and its Board of Directors. As our Honored Member for 2022, the Club is thrilled to bestow on Yuka Imata this much-deserved accolade.