LETTERS: A JAM Workshop Gem

Editor’s Note: This letter was sent in response to the “Close-knit Japantown artists reconnect” article that appeared in the May 2-15, 2013 issue of the Nichi Bei Weekly. Dear Editor, I read with interest in Heather Ito’s story about (JAM), the Japantown Art and Media Workshop that made “poster, logo and brochure designs for various […]

AN OUTDOOR URBAN GALLERY: The San Jose Japantown mural

SAN JOSE — Described as an “urban gallery,” the artistry, color, and vision of designer/artist Tamiko Rast and a number of local artists shines through the 60 uniquely crafted panels reflecting images of San Jose’s Japantown, both past and present. After two years, the mural project, which is fixed to the city’s Corporation Yard fence […]

Obama intends to nominate farmer to Nat’l Council on the Arts

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate David Mas Masumoto as a member of the National Council on the Arts on June 20. Masumoto is an organic peach and grape farmer, author, and columnist for The Fresno Bee. Masumoto’s books include “Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on My Family Farm,” “Harvest […]

‘Phantoms’ takes a modern look at ancient Asian cultural beliefs

Exploring themes of life, death and beyond, “Phantoms of Asia: Contemporary Awakens the Past” is the Asian Art Museum’s first large-scale contemporary art exhibit. Examining timeless themes and questions of the cosmos, “Phantoms” features more than 150 artworks, combining 60 new works with objects from the museum’s current collection. This exhibit blends new perspectives of […]

How Allen Say found his way: His journey to becoming an artist

DRAWING FROM MEMORY By Allen Say (New York: Scholastic Press, 2011, 64 pp., $17.99, hardcover) Here is the personal story of acclaimed artist/storyteller Allen Say. In this memoir he tells us how he found his way to become an artist. He includes photos, sketches and drawings. Born in 1937 near a fishing village near Yokohama, […]

An artst’s life — interrupted

SIGNS OF HOME: The Paintings and Wartime Diary of Kamekichi Tokita By Barbara Johns (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2011, 272 pp., $50, hardcover) The new book “Signs of Home,” edited by Barbara Johns, brings the life and art work of Issei painter Kamekichi Tokita (1897-1948) back into public view. In a sense, it is […]

Japanese American centenarian donates life work and more to Vermont college

NEWBURGH, New York  — In the 1920s, Tokyo high school student Hideichi Oshiro was moved by a haiku poem he never forgot. In it, Edo era poet Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) described coming across the subtle beauty of a wildflower during a walk in the mountains. “I wanted to make this kind of haiku in my […]

NEA presents 2012 grants

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) announced its 2012 grant awards recipients for Art Works on Nov. 17. According to the NEA, its grants are awarded to support the creation of art that “meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the […]

Shop at home! Web-based gifts for the holidays

The holiday season is officially here, so of course, that means that it’s time to start shopping. The crowds at the malls, the lines at the post office and of course, the craze of Black Friday — we’ve all been there before. Want to avoid the stress? Get a head start on the holiday shopping […]

A legendary artist’s lifetime of loneliness

THE EAST-WEST HOUSE: Noguchi’s Childhood in Japan By Christy Hale (New York: Lee and Low Books, 2009, 32 pp., $17.95, hardcover) Always having been curious about the life of biracial artist Isamu Noguchi, I was pleased to receive this book to review. Palo Alto, Calif. author and illustrator Christy Hale has created a lovely picture […]

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