Saya Moriyasu

Saya Moriyasu (  is a Japanese-American artist from Portland, OR who was born in 1966. After graduating with a BFA from the University of Washington, Moriyasu was awarded residencies at Skowhegan and at Pilchuck Glass School. A decade long member of SOIL Artist-Run Gallery, she is also represented by G. Gibson Gallery in Seattle, Washington.  

Saya’s many inspirations include Americana, consumerism, humor, the decorative arts, class, history, Buddhism and a love of beauty. Her work is often comprised of many small pieces that make up a larger piece, in clay, wood, prints, and other materials.



Floating Worlds Installation
Dog Family Meanders Across the Border

What drives your artistic practice? What gets you into the studio?

Usually it starts with an idea for a space or an idea in general. Then I’m off and going, in the studio creating the work.

How did you choose your medium? What medium are you currently working in? Has this changed?

I began in the ceramics department with clay, graduated to installation art and years later upon an impulse I bought a kiln. That launched me back into clay. The last several years I’ve been drawing and painting in oil more and combining them all together.

Who are your creative heroes? and why?

Oh, so many. I draw inspiration from a variety of artists from art history. But I’m draw to oddball and unnamed people over time. I love the decorative arts and naive artists who did their work but nobody really knows their names.

If you could own a work of art by any living artist, what would it be (or whose)?

Charles Burchfield

Describe a single habit/behavior/action/work ethic that you strongly believe contributes to your success.

I think of the Buddhist saying, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” Sometimes the action is the reward.

What is one question you want to be asked about your work?

How can I buy all of your work? ; )

Solo exhibitions:

  • Aqua Art Miami (Miami, FL)
  • G. Gibson Gallery (Seattle)
  • 505 Union Station Building (Seattle)
  • Gallery4Culture (Seattle)

Group exhibitions:

  • Bellevue Arts Museum (Bellevue)
  • Wing Luke Museum (Seattle)
  • Montserrate College of Art (Beverly, Massachusetts)
  • Museum of NW Art (La Conner), Out of Sight (Seattle)

Permanent collections:

  • Henry Art Gallery (Seattle)
  • Seattle Art Museum (Seattle)
  • Tacoma Art Museum (Tacoma)
  • Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle)
  • City of Seattle Portable Works Collection (Seattle)
  • Whatcom Museum (Bellingham)