Yesterday a colleague, on his way to install our Fighting for Democracy exhibition in Wisconsin, sent us this iPhone photo of the newly opened “That’s So LA” section at LAX.

We have been waiting (since July) for Hudson Group to open three LAX stores featuring product from local museums. We were picked, along with LACMA and the Peterson Automotive Museum to be part of a new series of stores at the Los Angeles International Airport that would feature a section called “That’s So LA!” It would represent products from local businesses that would serve as an introduction to the varied culture scene found in our fair city.

To tap the rich museum landscape here was a brilliant idea and we are very fortunate and honored to have been chosen to participate. And of course, being able to display and sell our award-winning DVDs and our mission statement to thousands of new eyeballs is priceless. The original plan was for a store in one terminal, but the idea caught on and is now being included in THREE. The terminals (unconfirmed) are supposed to be Terminal 8, 7, and 4.

Admittedly, the section is small at this point, and could use some display finessing. I’m thinking of booking a flight somewhere and doing a merchandising blitz in the store before I board my flight! (BTW–the stores are after the security check so you can’t just drop in and shop. For that you will have to come to the Museum!)

Courtyard Kaeru at LAX


Tomorrow: Megumi Inouye at Dwell on Design

Went to the Dwell Expo at the LA Convention Center today. They used to have a Japanese section with intresting designers from Japan, so I never know what I might find. Unfortunately they did not have that international section this year, but I still made some relevant connections for the Museum Store, so it was worth the price of admission (which admittedly for me, at least, was free–non-trade folks have to pay admission.)

One of the people I met was the editor of an online craft and design magazine called Handful of Salt (handfulofsalt.com) Tomorrow they are sponsoring A JA artist who does very cool packaging. She will be incorporating tanabata wishes into hand-crafted bows for packaging tomorrow. Unfortunately I didn’t get the time (I think around 1 PM), but go to booth 1709 and they’ll know.

Read about Megumi here.

It’s M.A.D.ness, I tell you, M.A.D.ness!

Yes, today is the first day of our Spring Member Appreciation Days (May 11-13), and we are fielding the online orders that you members were all saving for the special 20% discount (certain restrictions apply!)

But don’t forget the other benefits of May M.A.D.ness–your current/valid JANM membership card will also get you free admission and a 20% store discount (certain restrictions apply) at 19 other Southern California cultural institutions! That means a whole weekend of cultural inspiration and shopping at places like LACMA, MOCA, Pacific Asia Museum, the LA Public Library Store, and MORE! We even have a few partners further south–Orange County of Museum of Art, the San Diego Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. You can find a complete list of our partners here.

Not a member yet? You can join today at the Museum and receive a temporary membership card that will be valid at our partnering institutions.

With three days, you can visit different places in Downtown LA, the Westside, Pasadena, and points south!

Take Mom on a special date this weekend or buy her a gift membership that will be good through our next MADness in November too!

Ben Sakoguchi show in Culver City

Just wanted to spread the word that Ben Sakoguchi has a show up at Cardwell Jimmerson Gallery in Culver City until April 21 (ends next week!) I finally got over to see it yesterday and want everyone to go see his complete “Postcards from Camp” series. The paintings from this series was my first introduction to Sakoguchi’s work and this is the first and probably the last time it will be shown publicly in its entirety for awhile. It was purchased by a private collector (who hopefully, someday will donate it to the Museum?)

Ben Sakoguchi was one of the artists in “Drawing the Line” (he’s interviewed on our DVD). Go gaze with awe at his paintings and then come to the Museum Store to buy one of his prints!

The gallery is at 8568 Washington Bl. at Cattaraugus.

New Hours for Museum Store

As of this week, the Museum Store is OPEN on Tuesdays again! Due to staffing concerns, for the past two and a half years we cut our open hours by one day during the non-holiday season. But we are very pleased to announce that we are back to being open the same days that the Museum is open!

This will be good news to all the school groups who come for tours during the week, as well as the many visitors who are coming to see the Folding Paper show.

To reiterate: Museum Store Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11:00AM-5:00PM. Thursdays 12:00-8:00PM.

NEW! Just in! Hinamatsuri Blend Tea

I wanted to post this yesterday for the actual Hinamatsuri Day, but in our family Hinamatsuri lasts all of March, so this is as good a time as any! We are proud to be offering another tea collaboartion with Chado, this time a very light and Spring-y offering of green bancha tea with safflowers, marigolds and peach pieces.

The signature flower for Hinamatsuri is the peach blossom. In fact the celebration is also know as Momo no Sekku (Peach Blossom Festival–For a beautiful vision of this, check out Akira Kurosawa’s “Dreams” movie.)

One whiff of this tea and you will want to picnic under a flowering peach tree! (This item will be online in about 24 hours!)

Welcome Dr. G.W. Kimura!

Tried postinbg this earlier on the JANM FB page, but it seems to have disappeared. Just wanted to give a shout out to our new CEO who we officially welcomed at an All Staff meeting yesterday. He was given the grand tour of our messy office (we are working on tidying it up, really…) and has been chatting with staff here and there. Hope he is finding all the cool places to eat downtown and isn’t too homesick for Alaskan cuisine.

Happy New Year from a WaterDragon

And I’m letting my Chinese side take over here so this won’t seem like a belated New Year’s greeting!

Well, I’m off to the New York Gift Show this weekend and I’m hoping to find new and exciting things there. For many of my vendors this is the only time we get to meet in person. I know that the world has changed and we are all getting used to shopping online (and believe me, I’m glad you do shop online!) but sometimes I just have to see stuff in real life to be assured that it is of good enough quality to offer to all of you.

New York is also a great place to check out other museum stores and see what’s happening on the other side of the country.

If I can get my technology to cooperate, I will try and post photos of some of the people that make and sell the items you have come to love in our store!