This just in… today’s (Saturday, June 18) sumi-e demonstration and workshop at 1 pm is now FREE with admission! Learn how to create a sumi-e painting, an art form that strives to distill the essence of an object in the fewest possible strokes.
On Saturday JULY 9, 2011, Year of the Rabbit: Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo opens to the public.
Admission is also free because July 9th is our Target Free Family Saturday! And for all you Stan Sakai fans–he will be at JANM for a demonstration, talk, and signing of his new book, Usagi Yojimbo Volume 25: Fox Hunt.
The Japanese American National Museum held its 2010 Volunteer Recognition Awards breakfast on June 10 and honored six volunteers for their dedication and excellent service to the Museum, its visitors and supporters. Recognition was also given to volunteers for length of service, including the presentation of the first 25 Years of Service pin to Masako Murakami.
The Museum’s Volunteer Recogntion Awards event is unique in that the recipients do not know they have been chosen for their awards. Only the committee members and Museum staff know the names of the recipients. Museum staff make the presentations and all work very hard to describe the merits of the awardee without revealing his or her name.
The highlight of the event each year is the presentation of the Miki Tanimura Outstanding Volunteer Award, the highest honor given to a volunteer, for exceptional contributions to the Museum. Miki Tanimura was a member of the Museum’s original board in the 1980s and she was in charge of the volunteers. She and her husband were killed in a plane accident. All of their children (Kirby, Teri, Lori and Cheri) attended this ceremony. Kirby spoke for the family and 2009 Tanimura Award recipient Helen Yasuda made the presentation this year. The 2010 recipient (and much to her surprise) was Irene Nakagawa.
Community Awards were given to Fujiko Takeda, who could not attend, and Ruthie Kitagawa. Julia Murakami received the Administration Award, while Wayne Iwahashi was presented the Program Award. James and Midori Uyeda, recipients of the Museum Family Spirit Award, had to be lured to the event by their relative, George Takei, Chairman emeritus of the Board of Trustees. The Uyedas were not intending to come to the event, so Museum personnel told them that it was George who was going to receive a surprise award.
Thanks to Nobuyuki Okada for the photos & thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers for their dedication & commitment to the museum!
One of our neighbors here in Little Tokyo is the The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. They have a wonderful exhibition going on right now Art in the Streets, which is the first major U.S. museum survey of graffiti and street art. It was amazing. Here are some pics we took while in their galleries!
If you’re in LA between now and August 8, make a day of it and check out Art in the Streets, then stop by JANM, and then grab a bite in Little Tokyo!
Last Sunday the National Museum teamed up with Great Leap for a day of environmental performances, workshops, and vendors. Check out some of the exciting pics by one of our favorite volunteer photographers Ben Tonooka!
Saturday (June 11th) is Target Free Family Saturday from 11 am – 4 pm! This month we join our neighbors at MOCA in celebrating Street Art. We have a full schedule of painting demonstrations, sketching workshops, and art making activities. Our friends from the Mixed Roots Festival will be taking part in the fun with some art making too.
I always have so much fun thinking about art activities for Family Day but, sometimes, something seems like a good idea at first but it needs to be tested and tweaked before putting it into action at Family Day. Yesterday I tried things out and made a few samples of our poster making and sticker printing activities for Saturday. Fortunately, everything worked out pretty well so, come on over! We’re ready! I can’t wait to see what the creative minds of our Family Day visitors will come up with. Hope you’ll join us!
Anyone who has ever organized a custom toy show will tell you that when the art starts rolling in, it’s like you are having your own private Christmas. The quality and ingenuity of the work is very high for this show and we are now thinking that some of the pieces may be auctioned off during the run of the exhibition. Details to come!
The task of photographing all these pieces and prepping them for the web store hasn’t gotten started yet, but I wanted to share a few teasers that were created from photos sent to me by the artists.
I’m not sure what order these will come up in, but the artists are Konatsu, Mark Nagata, and Stan Sakai. I’m sure you will be able to figure out who did what!
I work in Visitor Services, so I open and close the galleries a few days each week. Lately, I’ve noticed that whenever I walk into X-Lab, something is always different–whether it’s the rifled-through laminated newspapers at the 1940s radio or new drawings on our “Only What You Can Carry” magnet board.
The following post-it activity is the one activity that has changed the most over time. You see–I’m all about conscious dialogue, so this activity in particular is one of my favorites. When the exhibition team put X-Lab together, they posed a question on our wall. In several weeks’ passing, the question became so hotly debated, it was as if our visitors themselves were evolving the activity. It reminds me of a some sort of crazy online comic book message board, except that it’s all about civil rights–not so much Batman vs. Superman.
Red post-its mean “NO”, yellow post-its mean “UNDECIDED”, and blue post-its mean “YES”. Our question was:
“Is it important to OBEY government rules in times of national crisis even if it means LOSS of privacy and civil rights?”
Some responses were:
YES, because… “in times of crisis, governments tend to react drastically, and I need to keep my family and I as safe as I possibly can.”
UNDECIDED, because… “in a time of emergency, you look to your government for help; however, privacy is highly important for anyone and so are a person’s rights as a human!”
NO, because… “if the rules go against the basic fundamentals of equality and freedom, then it goes against what it means to be a U.S. citizen.”
I received my preview copy of Allen Say’s upcoming book yesterday and can’t wait to carry it in the Store. Drawing from Memory is based on his 1979 novel, The Ink-Keeper’s Apprentice, which was essentially a biographical account of the defining moments of an artist as a young boy. I read Ink-Keeper’s Apprentice after buying El Chino for my four-year-old child. (I really bought it for myself, because I was blown away by the story of a Chinese American bullfighter!) I wanted to know more about the author and to find other books by him. The story captivated me in its stark, straight-forward examination of life of a pre-adolescent living in post war Japan. It was a story that was at once very extraordinary, yet surprisingly familiar.
Drawing from Memory, the new book, is a fleshing out of Say’s story with the the talent which he has become best known for—his achingly beautiful paintings. He tells the real stories behind the novel, shares pictures and details of his friends and beloved sensei, Noro Shinpei, and also frames a picture of life in post-war Japan.
The visual look of this book shows the versatility of Say’s art—his command of color, line, framing, and storytelling—along with his keen sense of zen spareness. He knows how much is enough.
Here’s a link to the promotion Scholastic is doing with 65,000 librarians. Click on non-fiction. You’ll have to wait through two other promos, but you’ll be rewarded with a sneak peak at Drawing from Memory.
And mark your calendars because Allen Say will be here on September 17 for a Public Program and booksigning. (We will also have some of the original artwork on display that weekend!)
Nikkei newspapers like The Rafu Shimpo in Los Angeles and the Nichi Bei up in San Francisco have served important roles since the early Issei immigrants began establishing communities across the United States.
Last spring, our Discover Nikkei team began working on a project to share stories about some of these publications and organize a public program. On April 2, 2011, we presented “From Newsprint to New Media: The Evolving Role of Nikkei Newspaper” in the Tateuchi Democracy Forum in partnership with The Rafu Shimpo, Nichi Bei Foundation/Nichi Bei Weekly, Cultural News, and Nikkei Nation.
The program included a historical overview by Gil Asakawa and presentations by panelists Gwen Muranaka (Rafu Shimpo), Kenji Taguma, (Nichi Bei Foundation/Nichi Bei Weekly), Shigeharu Higashi (Cultural News), and George Johnston (Nikkei Nation). The presentations were followed by a moderated discussion and questions from the audience covering topics such as the coverage of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, as well as local relief efforts; the viability of Nikkei media and the closing of some longtime newspapers in recent years; how can Nikkei media change to be relevant to younger demographics without alienating older generations; and the use and role of social media.