Eizo Nishiura was a talented painter who also taught Mathematicas at Wayne State University. He exhibited at the Red Door Gallery in 1963. His drawing also graced the cover Ten Wayne Poets (1965) published by the AWS press.
He said he’s drawn by two things — simplification and complexity. “I’m just trying to find my voice,” he said.-interview with Nishiura
A simple man, a gentle man, modest, unassuming – this is Eizo Nishiura. Eizo, whose name means “Third Blessing”, is triply blessed – he is an extraordinary artist, retired math professor, and all ’round wonderful human being.
Eizo’s passion and talent for art showed very early in his life. His father, Shingo Nishiura, a formally trained artist born in Mieken Province, Japan, gladly shared his time and knowledge with his eager son, who happily told me, “we sketched together all the time, and I learned most of what I know from him”.
But Eizo also was born with a passion and talent for mathematics and was further inspired by his brother, Togo Nishiura, who later became a math professor at Wayne State in Detroit, MI.
In 1952, Eizo attended San Jose State College, initially as an art major. But after the first quarter, he put his art on hold and changed his major. In 1956, he graduated magna cum laude with his B.A. in math, and went on to graduate school at the University of Illinois, where he studied for his Ph.D. until 1960. At that time, his art called him back, and he spent the next 9 years torn between his two loves, in an odd state of limbo.
Imagine – After leaving the University of Illinois in 1960, he sailed to Europe where he taught math and physics at The American High School in Scheveningen, in Holland, a sea-side resort right next to the Hague. After 6 months, his artistic muse became too haunting, and he chose to put his time and energy into his paintings. So he traveled to Paris to pursue his art. There, he lived on his savings, and supplemented his income with odd jobs such as stretching canvases at Senellier, an art supply store.
In 1961, he returned to the States to continue perfecting his artistic craft and became a math teacher at Wayne State, where he also completed his Ph.D. in math, graduating in 1970.
Since then, he has been seeking his deepest, truest artistic voice. He draws with pen and ink, and paints with oils and water colors. He produces small gems and huge. His subject matter ranges from realism to impressionism to abstraction to geometric abstraction. The one thing all these forms of expression have in common is their exquisiteness. His work is simply stunning!
Eizo Nishiura, born in California, has lived in many places, through many things. For example, when he was 7, his entire family, consisting of his mother, his father and his 5 brothers and sisters, was forced to live in the horse stalls at the Santa Anita Race Track, which had been set up as temporary barracks for the internment of people of Japanese descent during World War II. From there, his family was forcibly moved to Wyoming, where they spent the next 3 years at “Heart Mountain”, one of the infamous, so-called “Relocation Camps” of the 2nd World War.
In 1961, he met his future wife, Ruth, in Detroit, MI. They stayed in and out of touch for 11 years, re-connecting in 1972. They ended up getting married in 1980, in Long Island, NY, where Eizo teaching at the time.
Eizo and Ruth moved here to Los Lunas four years ago. They now live on a quiet little street with a breathtaking vista, in an elegant, spacious home, surrounded by beautiful xeriscaped rocks and gardens, tended lovingly by Ruth, while Eizo lovingly tends his muse.
Los Lunas is a better place for their being here.