After coming back from a city that is truly a smorgasbord of eccentric people – foreigners, lolita girls, otaku’s, salarymen, death metal musicians, seniors, gangsters, students business owners, comedians, housewives, etc. – I was prepared for some dullness when I came back to Chillicothe.
In a big city like Tokyo, it is easy to take diversity for granted. Tokyo accounts for ten percent of Japan’s total population, not to mention that it draws around seven million visitors each year. Just in the university that I attended alone, more than eight percent of the students population was composed of international students from over ninety countries.
So when I came back to Chillicothe, I was ready to be the only minority in the town. Surprisingly, on my first day back, I met a woman from Fayette county who told me about her admiration for the Chillicothe downtown area. She marveled about the work small business owners did to keep the city alive and interesting. When I pressed to hear more, she told me about an impressive exhibition opening she attended to celebrate her artist friend’s work. “Which gallery?” I asked. “The one on Water Street,” she said.
And she was right about how impressive the gallery was. When I attended the August gallery stroll at the PVG, I immediately felt at ease and was excited to see a community of people talking to each other while enjoying art, live music, and food. What surprised me was not only the number of people who were present, but also the mix of people. There were students, people of different races, people from other cities, teachers, artists, musicians, business owners, dancers, veterans, and couples. The art world is often marked by pretension; so it is such an honor to work at a gallery that puts a strong value in uniting everyone. As they they in Austin, Texas, let’s “KEEP CHILLICOTHE WEIRD.”
Posted by Connie
久しぶり！Long time no (cyber) see! Today, I’m going to post some photos of the museums I visited in Nagano, Japan. I lived in the “snow wonderland” for a month and a half before going to Tokyo for a semester-long study abroad program. Now that I have different perspectives on living in different cities in Japan (Tokyo, Nagano, and Fukuoka), I am determined that Nagano is the best place to live like an American. There is so much more freedom, but less bureaucracy in Nagano than in Tokyo. I definitely felt less constrained and stressed in Nagano.
The two most well-known cities in Nagano Prefecture are probably Nagano city and Matsumoto city. The two pictures above and the four pictures below are taken at the Matsumoto City Museum of Art and The Japan Ukiyo-e Museum, respectively. Both are located in Matsumoto, and both are excellent museums to visit if you are in the area.
Unfortunately, I do not have many photos from the Matsumoto City Museum of Art, but it is seriously worth visiting given its awesome exhibitions and permanent collections (See: 草間彌生, Yayoi Kusama). As the museum website indicates, Matsumoto is a beautiful city to wander around either before or after your museum visit. I cannot recommend it enough.
Another museum worth visiting is the Japan Ukiyo-e Museum, located on the outer edge of Matsumoto. The Ukiyo-e Museum originated as a private collection of Sakai Nobuo, a wealthy businessman who collected over 100,000 ukiyo-e’s (Japanese woodblock prints that depict the picture of “buoyant and joyful, or floating world”). Here, you will see the original version of famous prints, such as The Great Wave off Kanagawa or the 36 views of Mount Fuji series. Not many people know about this hidden treasure; so you will be able to look at each piece slowly without much distraction. The architecture of the building is made with a lot of open spaces and intricate designs. The sun shining through the large window panes was a fantastic view for the cold but beautiful February.
The last picture is unfortunately the only picture I shot at the Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum, which boasts an impressive collection of paintings by Higashiyama Kai. The serene setting of the museum perfectly complements the soft and dreamy paintings of Higashiyama. I once asked a Japanese student who she thinks the most famous painter in Japan is. Without hesitation, she answered Higashiyama Kai. Go take a look at his masterpiece, 緑響く(echoes of the green).
Posted by Connie
Around this time last year, I was yawning on my bed and grasping my blanket for the last gulp of warmness. This spring, I wake up around 6AM, and do two things I never thought I would do before: exercising before noon and eating breakfast. How things have changed! The only thing that hasn’t changed is my cacti plant, which is sitting near the windowsill. Its color, size, and shape remain as what I saw a year ago; but on a microscopic level, even cactus are going through some significant changes that are invisible to the naked eye.
Park View Gallery has evolved a lot since I first stepped into it doors. Just when I visited the Gallery at the beginning of the month, I noticed a metamorphosis in the set-up of the Gallery. Tables and sofa exchanged their spots; artworks were updated and moved around; and there was a box of BBQ beef pizza in the back room. Mmmmh!
Nothing quite ushers in spring like an explosion of warmth and color. From the feminine silk scarves to the sleekly framed photographs to the tiny whimsical shoulder bags, be ready to be charmed by the artists’ ability to convey seasonal characteristics. Sometimes I am amazed by how art can manifest your deepest thoughts and feelings.
Some two weeks ago, I was trying to pick a few gifts for an important occasion at the PVG, and before I realized what time it was, I had already spent over thirty minutes deciding. In economics terms, I have a tendency to generate an excessive search cost, an economic disaster. But thanks to Cindy’s help, I was finally able to pick a pair of dazzling earrings (made by Angie Terry), Autumn Woods Herbal Soap (can be found here), and a photograph by Jack Burns out of a delectable selection of art, jewelry, and accessories. I’ve met a man who bought his wife a surprise gift one night, and a couple that selected each other’s anniversary gift from the gallery. Aside from cheesy romantic thoughts, I recommend you to check out the lovely exhibition by Lynn Carden happening how at OU-Chillicothe (photos here). Here’s my favorite part of her artist’s statement:
“I’ve dug and planted many gardens… When I begin a painting, I select a bloom to bring into the studio — then I hold it in my hand, smell it, turn it this way and that while beginning the meditative experience of drawing.”
“…A Walk in the Garden”
Ohio University- Chillicothe
Bennet Hall, Patricia Scott Gallery
March 11-April 8, 2011
Gallery Hours 9:00AM – 7:30PM
Posted by Connie
As I am sitting in my dorm room, trying to figure out my Programming assignment, my thoughts shift back to the summer I spent at the Park View Gallery. At 4:00AM in the morning, my mind travels through time and space. I think of the comfy sofas laid nicely against the wall, the artistic universe that surrounds you, and the meditative quality of the gallery space. Once you surrender, you begin to wish that you can make this your home. You wish that the painting hanging on top of the sofa could somehow be on the wall of your bedroom. Then, something catches your eyes; you muse over it and contemplate. Someone comes over and tells you a story. You feel a connection.
But let’s return to business. PVG is starting the New Year with lots of goodness. Abdala Faye (read his interview here)’s new exhibition, EXILE IN POVERTY, will be held in the Multicultural Center Art Gallery from January 6th to February 11th, 2011. Here is the information on the reception this Friday night:
Date & Time: January 21st, 2011, 5-7PM
Artist Drumming at 4PM, light refreshments will be provided
Location: Baker Center Ohio University, Multicultural Center Gallery 2nd Floor, Baker University Center
Athens, OH 45701
Please come and show some support!
Posted by Connie