In Memoriam – Peter Yamaoka

In Memoriam Peter Yamaoka (May 14, 1948 – January 30, 2022)

Artist Peter Yamaoka studied at Rhode Island School of Design and the Royal College of Art in London. Initially trained as a painter, later in his career he specialized in printmaking. He met his wife Gerda Van Leeuwen, also an artist, in the 1980s while vacationing in Provincetown, Ma.

While in New York City, Peter and Gerda ran a company that published limited edition fine art graphics. After moving to the Catskills in the 1990s, and then full-time in 2007, they opened a ceramics studio. “We cannot help but be influenced by one another,” Peter used to say.

Peter’s work was inspired by ancient mythology: “Myths are a way of explaining natural phenomena. They’re part of our cultural heritage. You can see the power of myth in every culture.”

The couple was featured in our book “How Art Is Made: In The Catskills” published in 2017.

Peter is survived by his wife Gerda. We will never forget his ceramic cities.