John Morita

Title: Artist
Location: Honolulu, Hawai’i, United States

John Morita, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Artists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in photo etchings, photography and videography.

With more than 45 years of experience crafting art, John Morita is an accomplished visual artist and photographer. He served as a lecturer in art at the Windward Community College in Kāneʻohe, Hawaii, from 1991 to 1992. Prior to that position, he worked as a lecturer in art at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa from 1982 to 1983. He has also contributed on the board of directors and the program advisory board of the Kapiolani Community College in Honolulu from 1992 to 1994.

A prolific artist and photographer, Mr. Morita has held numerous one-man shows and solo exhibits. These accomplishments include being featured at the Galerie Marina Dinkler in Berlin, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Soker/Kaseman Gallery in San Francisco, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the Alternative Museum in New York City, the Philadelphia Print Club and the Contemporary Art Center in Hawaii, as well as Gallery EAS and the Cedar Street Galleries in Honolulu. Known for a mastery of his craft, his work has also been displayed in group exhibitions of work at the Wakayama International Print Biennial, the Pacific Rim Invitational, the Honolulu Academy of Arts and the Alternative Museum in New York, to highlight a few.

Before embarking on his professional path, Mr. Morita pursued an education in history at the Chaminade University of Honolulu, earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1965. Between that time and his return to education, he completed service in the United States Army as a military intelligence analyst and an order of battle specialist from 1966 to 1969. He continued his academic pursuits at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he studied photography and obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1974. His academic journey was concluded, and he graduated with a Master of Art in printmaking in 1976 from San Francisco State University.

Aided by the GI Bill, Mr. Morita first became involved in his profession by taking on a new challenge in his earlier hobby of chess and deciding to try photography. He entered the All Army Competition and won First Place Prize All Army in photography and Second Place Interservice in the experimental category. In addition, he was able to place two of his photos on magazine covers before deciding to obtain a degree and gain more influence as a photographer. Starting at photography, he progressed into etching, photo etching and now video art.  Notably, some of his creative endeavors included coverage of the Charles Ware family from 1972 to 2018, a family with whom he remains in touch. Impressively, he was invited by human rights groups in Chicago and New York to go on three tours of Israel and Palestine to photograph the conflict in those countries. Award-winning large photo etchings were created from the three trips.

In recognition of his exceptional undertakings, Mr. Morita has accrued several accolades in addition to the two that jumpstarted his career. In 1987, he was awarded First Prize at the Intergraphic 90’ International Print Triennial in Berlin. The year after, he was the recipient of Print Club Selection Award from the Print Club of Philadelphia, which resulted in a solo show. The Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and Arts presented him with the Fellowship Merit Award in 1995. Mr. Morita was honored as a National Endowment of the Arts fellow in printmaking in 1986. Proud of his craft and driven in his work ethic, he would like to be remembered most as someone who puts humanity above technique. 

Beyond his responsibilities within the field, Mr. Morita has participated in numerous endeavors outside of his professional circle. He has notably contributed to the Honolulu Printmaking Workshop on the board of directors from 1992 to 1994 and as the vice president from 1994 to 1995. In addition, Mr. Morita is a valuable member of the Northwest Print Council and the American Print Alliance. In his free time, he enjoys snorkeling, golf and creating documentary videos. Currently, he is working on two rough cut 40-minute videos on artists Charles W. Ware and Satoru Abe. Vimeo presently has two of his earlier short videos of Hawaii’s art pioneers.

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Lifetime Achievement

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