My work in ceramics revolves primarily around issues of family and my Asian-American background. Cultural marginality and blending, tradition vs. Westernization, language and translation are key elements in my work. Since the birth of my son, I have been drawing inspiration from major events in my family’s history, the day-to-day challenges of parenting, and my own childhood memories of being raised in a minority culture in the United States. I use the image of a child as a symbol of innocence, potential and vulnerability.
— Beth Lo
Beth Lo was born in Lafayette, Indiana, to parents who had recently emigrated from China. She received a Bachelor of General Studies from the University of Michigan, and an MFA from the University of Montana where she studied Ceramics with Rudy Autio. Lo assumed his job as Professor of Ceramics there when he retired, and was twice honored with the University of Montana Provost’s Distinguished Lecturer Award. Lo retired from the university in 2015.
Lo has exhibited her work internationally. She was invited to make a new work for the Main Exhibition of the 7th Gyeonggi International Ceramics Biennale in Korea. She has received numerous honors, including the United States Artists Hoi Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist Fellowship Grant, a Montana Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship, and an American Craft Museum Design Award. Her figurative sculpture and pottery has been acquired by the Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art at Alfred University, Harborview Medical Center, Microsoft Corporation, Cheney Cowles Museum of Art, the University of Washington Medical Center, the Permanent Collection of the Yellowstone Art Center, and the Hallmark Card Corporation Ceramics Collection.
Beth and her sister, Ginnie Lo, have collaborated on two children’s picture books: Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic and Mahjong All Day Long, which won the 2005 Marion Vannett Ridgeway Award. She has also collaborated with her late mother, Chinese brush painter Kiahsuang Shen Lo. Lo is active as a bass player and vocalist for several musical ensembles including The Big Sky Mudflaps and Salsa Loca.