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All classes are cancelled beginning at 3:00 pm today. Normal schedule will resume on Saturday.  

Art Professor's Work Showcased at Three Houston Galleries

Houston artist, Mari Omori is a full-time professor of art at Lone Star College-Kingwood, but that's just a small portion of her busy life!  This nationally recognized artist juggles her teaching schedule with her full-time work as an artist and her involvement in the national art community.  Currently, she is busy with three separate shows in the greater Houston area. 

Omori exudes passion when she talks of art, even the planning and execution of her shows.  "I love doing projects because I meet so many people," she says.

Her art has been seen in galleries around the nation, including Florida, California, Colorado, Texas and Oregon, as well as in Japan.  She is currently the Artist-in-Residency at The Morikami Museum in Delray Beach, Florida.

Locally, Omori's work can be seen along with six other artists at the Poissant Gallery, 5102 Center Street, through August 25, 2007.  The show, titled Kyomei: Resonance-An Exhibition of Contemporary Japanese-American Artists, highlights the concept of "ma."  "Ma", translates from Japanese to mean an interval of time or space, and is present in each artists work.   

Next, Lone Star College–Montgomery will host a show September 24 through October 19, 2007 titled "Intersection: Asia/America."   That show will feature Omori along with nine other Asian American artists.  Then, the O'Kane Gallery at the UH Downtown campus will feature Omori's work alone for four weeks beginning October 25.  She describes that show as a site specific installation where she uses the building as an "anchor" for her art.

Omori was born and raised in Japan and started out as a painter.  While in the Master of Arts program at UCLA, she was influenced by her traditional art professors, but also by the up and coming conceptual artists of the time.  She's very happy that she got to experience both.  "There is something beyond what painting can do, it's two dimensional, and I wanted to explore space," Omori said.

Around 1997 she stopped buying the usual trappings of artists: paint, paintbrushes, canvases, and started paying attention to the inconsequential items around her.  The simple tea stain and tea bag became her medium after a visit from a fellow artist.    During that visit, she felt shame because she had to use tea bags to serve her guest because she was out of "good" tea.  That incident got her thinking about the ritual and culture of tea and how she could use it to explore her identity, memory and notion of time.

In the fall, Omori will teach Design I, Painting I and Painting II at Lone Star College-Kingwood.  Omori says she loves to teach because she wants to be part of the community and use art as a tool for educating the public.

Her students come from all walks of life: art majors, architecture, gaming, graphic design, and interior design students, as well as retired people and those who want to enrich their lives through art.  "My classroom includes a very diverse student population and I love that because I'm able to teach them but also to learn from them."

To learn more about her work, visit her website www.mariomori.com or for class information, visit kingwood.lonestar.edu.

Choose from daytime, evening, weekend or online classes. Credit classes are available on the weekend at the EMCID Center or in the evening at Atascocita or Cleveland High Schools. Lone Star College-Kingwood has a full lineup of exciting courses ready when you are. Whether your future includes training for a new career, updating job skills or transferring to a four-year university, we can help guide you on the road to success.

Register now for best course selection. Fall credit registration continues through Saturday, Aug. 25 with classes beginning Aug. 27. For more information on Lone Star College-Kingwood, visit kingwood.lonestar.edu or call 281-312-1600. 

The Lone Star College System is among the largest and fastest growing community college districts in Texas. It comprises Lone Star College-North Harris, Lone Star College-Kingwood, Lone Star College–Tomball, Lone Star College–Montgomery, Lone Star College–CyFair, six satellite centers and The University Center. For more information about Lone Star College System and its programs, visit www.lonestar.edu or call 832-813-6500.