Meet Yoshimi Hayashi

The Soul of an Artist

Yoshimi Hayashi is bringing MiraCosta College to the world.

Hayashi, chair of the MiraCosta College Art Department, has seen his work exhibited in Japan, has escorted students to leading Southern California galleries, and has invited acclaimed artists to MiraCosta College.

Not bad for a former clinical therapist who was knee-deep into a doctoral program when he decided to switch gears and follow his true love. “I was sitting in a class one day in my Ph.D. program for clinical psychology and just realized I didn’t have the passion for this anymore,” Hayashi said. “My interest was in art. So I switched gears, and here I am.”

The epiphany came as a student at the University of New Mexico some 20 years ago. At MiraCosta College, where he has been teaching ceramics and sculpture since 2001, Hayashi–who once apprenticed under internationally renowned ceramics sculptor Hiroshi Ikehata–has completed residencies and been featured in exhibitions at Japan’s Koumi Kougen Museum of Art’s Art Rally in the summer of 2017, at the Shiga Kougen Museum’s Core Exhibition last summer, and at the Nagano Prefectural Museum’s ‘Shinbism’ last fall. He’s also curated exhibits around the country, as well as being involved in a project with the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

His students, meanwhile, are treated to tours of Los Angeles art museums and field study programs to the Laguna mountains, the Anza-Borrego Desert, and the Southern California coastline as part of his Landmarks of Art program.

Hayashi’s dedication to his craft, and even more so to his students, has yielded a pair of Outstanding Tenured Faculty of the Year awards.

Born in Tokyo, raised in Palos Verdes, and having earned degrees at University of California, Los Angeles, California State University, Stanislaus, and the University of New Mexico, Hayashi is clearly at home at MiraCosta College.

“I’ve found my path,” he said. “I enjoy what I’m doing. And I enjoy getting my students inspired about art.”