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About the ArtistMonkey's Spirit House

Raised in the Chicago area, Myra Toth studied at The Art Institute of Chicago during her high school years.  She attended Mills College (B.A.) and San Francisco State University (M.A. in Ceramics) and has studied with Antonio Prieto, Robert Arneson, Peter Vandenberge and Ruth Duckworth, among others. Myra has taught art and ceramics for grades 6-12 and at the university level in Chicago as well as ceramics and design at Santa Rosa Junior College. She is retired from teaching ceramics at Ventura College.

Of particular interest to Myra is the investigation of the infinite possibilities of form, clays, glazes and techniques that are available for the personal expression of the ceramic artist. Her lifelong enthusiasm for the medium is expressed in her teaching as well as in her artwork.

Artist Statement

Clay is my muse and has been my teacher/guiding light throughout my life. Clay is elemental – physically and metaphorically transformative. It is the selection and manipulation of these elements that hold the magic. Clay affords me a window into the mysteries of life and existence interwoven with my interests and contemplation, allowing them to grow and become visible revealing a glimpse of the largest and smallest moments of thoughts and fantasy. My art is a biography of sorts snapshots for the viewer to share the wonders and beauty.


Art Education: Art Institute of Chicago, Mills College, San Francisco State University (M.A.).

Studied with Antonio Prieto, Robert Arneson, Peter Vandenberg, Ruth Duckworth, and others.

Ceramics and Art Instructor: College of Marin, Santa Rosa College, Latin School of Chicago, Elmhurst College, UCSB Extension at Pyramid Studio in Ojai, Ventura College, Beatrice Wood Studio, private instruction in San Francisco and Ojai.
Ongoing "Lusterglazes Unveiled" annual workshop since 2003 at Pyramid Studio.

Editor for three Ceramics Texts.

Founding Member of ARC Gallery (Artists, Residents of Chicago) - the second women's art gallery in the USA), Ojai Studio Artists' Tour, Pyramid Studio.

Gallery Associations: Braunstein-Quay Gallery of Ceramic Art (S.F.), ARC Gallery (Chicago), Fortner Gallery (S.B.), Anca Colbert Gallery (L.A.), Primavera (Santa Barbara and Ojai).

Documented Artist by Focus on the Masters.

Publications: Ceramics Monthly, Craft Horizons, Women Artists of Chicago, Art and Antiques, Taiwanese Contemporary Ceramics Magazine, "Paper Clay" by Rosette Gault, and other articles.

Permanent Collections: City of Ventura Art Collection, Museum of Ventura County, Cuba (two installations).

Private Collections: France, England, Singapore, Croatia, Canada, 14 states in the USA.

Museum Exhibits: San Francisco De Young Museum of Art, Sacramento Crocker Museum, San Francisco Museum of Contemporary Crafts, American Museum of Ceramic Art, Johnson Museum of Art (Cornell Univ. Ithaca, NY), Museum of Ventura County, Santa Paula Museum of Art.

Exhibitions: Ceramic Design Society of Southern California, Ventura County Potters' Guild, Gallery 525, Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts, Buenaventura Art Assoc., Thatcher School in Ojai, Ojai Art Center, The Ojai Valley Museum, New Media Gallery, Gallery2, Pt. Hueneme Cultural Center, ARC Gallery, Springfield Art Assoc. (IL), Craftsmen's Gallery (Omaha, NE), Westwood Ceramics Gallery, Bank of America Headquarters Bldg. (S.F.), Galleria Del Sol (S.B.), Rose Bernardi Gallery (Sausalito), Carleton College (Minnesota), 40 Women Artists of Chicago and NAME Gallery, Chicago, New Horizons in Art, Chicago, among others.

Commissions: Trophies for Ventura County Lima Bean Festival, Altarpiece for church in Thousand Oaks, CA., Baptismal font for St. Joseph's Church (Ojai), Trophy for National Plantation Walking Horse Assoc. Award, Hummingbird Tree sculpture (Whidbey Island, WA), Bronze cast Creation Myth (4 ft. turtle with figures) sculpture for MVC Children's Garden, among others.


Mary Galbraith from the Focus on the Masters wrote:

"Myra Toth, retired Ventura College professor of Ceramics and longtime friend of Beatrice Wood is a bit of an alchemist, at home with hundreds of jars filled with chemicals that transform clay into objects of stunning beauty. These playful, imaginative pieces, some aglow with lustrous glazes, remind us of the essence of an ocean scene, or allow us to eavesdrop on the conversation of two women. To say that Myra draws her inspirations from nature somewhat misses the point. Myra is able, in a most intimate way, to connect twigs, branches, ears of corn or a bird's nest with clay, taking us with her on a spiritual journey. Conical figures, made of clay strips, suggest protection, warmth or isolation. Myra reminds us that the art of ceramics, whether functional or decorative, is a reflection of how the artist feels. Her work has the ability to transfer that feeling to the viewer, to catch us unaware, to help us find our way in the natural and spiritual realms she explores." 



Contact Myra Toth:

Tel: (805) 646-7752


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