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