December News Flash
As we head into the final month of 2017, I cannot help but reflect on what a fabulous year it has been thus far. 122 Conversations
has had four international openings in as many countries! Currently exhibiting in Ohara Isumi-City, Japan, the project has been energetically welcomed at all the sister cities, wonderfully supported by hundreds of volunteers and well attended at each venue. I am grateful for the support and positive response to the project, in particular the many generous volunteers.
Opening on November 2 in Ohara Isumi-City, 122 Conversations will exhibit through November 30, 2017. The opening was attended by myself, a Duluth Sister Cities delegation as well as Japan Sister Cities representatives and the mayor of Isumi City among other dignitaries. Several of the Duluth citizens also facilitated the Rania and Växjö exhibitions! The large, scroll paintings created specifically for Japan were ceremoniously unveiled by dropping each one from a two story balcony to be suspended for the duration of the exhibition. In a show of cross cultural community and friendship, Mayor Hiroshi Ota dropped the Duluth scrolls while I simultaneously dropped the Ohara Isumi-City scrolls.
122 Conversations was featured in their local paper. Click here to view.
I was fortunate to stay with a fellow artist Pavel Bednar and his family who took wonderful care of me! Together, we conducted workshops in conjunction with another fellow artist Daiki Santo at the exhibition venue, community festivals or local schools. It was so much fun to work with Pavel’s Monday evening art students in his atelier! Pavel’s wife, Eiko Ishii provided integral translation services for both written materials and video. All the people of the Isumi City community and sister cities organization I encountered were so kind, generous and thoughtful, it was a privilege to be their guest and friend. The installation, opening and workshops are all chronicled pictorially on Instagram or my website!
Within these workshops held at the venue, in the community or at schools, drawings, stories and words are shared and collected to be part of the archive exhibition in Duluth next year.
Pavel Bednar, Daiki Santo and I collaborated on a piece that will be added to the 122 Conversations archive to be shown in Duluth for the Tweed Exhibition.
My Japan Family
I am humbled and grateful for the help of my team, as they carried the spirit of 122 Conversations forward in a beautiful way. From left to right: Reo Bednar, Eiko Ishii, Nao Bednar, Daiko Santo and Pavel Bednar.
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