On foot in my town

What’s a lovely evening? Walking 3 blocks from my art studio to experience culture, music, art, and cuisine.

First I went to the grand opening of the Ayudando Latinos A Soñar, A Latino Cultural Arts and Social Services Program in Half Moon Bay. I met founder and director Belinda Hernandez-Arriaga, when artist Ellen Silva and therapist Roberta Gelt invited me to work on a mural for the organization. It was a community building effort at the beginning of the Trump election and his blatant discrimination against Mexicans and undocumented immigrants. Today was a special evening because the mural is now in a permanent home on the walls of the ALAS new office. Hurrah!

“Ayudando Latinos A Soñar, A Latino Cultural Arts and Social
Services Program in Half Moon Bay is dedicated to supporting the youth and families of our beautiful coastal community in Northern California
We are proud of the cultural wealth and strength of the families and
children of our community. Every day we witness youth in our program
rise as leaders and soar above with dreams for a future of achievement.”

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Next I went to the Odd Fellows women’s clothing swap. though I was a bit late, I still got a bag ‘O clothes and some cool boots.

Next door, I stuck my head in to hear the smooth live jazz playing at Cafe Society. Everyone looked blissed out with wine glass in hand.

I circled around to go back to the studio and was welcomed by sounds of piano, trumpet, and sax wafting into the parking lot. It’s not every night that one gets greeted by live music.

Later the musicians walked across Highway One to Tres Amigos to fill their bellies and even remembered to bring me back some food – a chili relleno and some left over beef fajitas. I count my blessings I live in Half Moon Bay on this gentle, pleasant evening.

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Judy Shintani and Healing Art

Anyone who has lost his home to a climate of fear has a deep understanding of mankind’s capability for blind betrayal. The father of artist Judy Shintani was an American teenager when he and his family were interned at Tule Lake Incarceration Camp during WWII. Click here to read more.

 

 

Experiences ripple through all families, interview by Anna Vaughan

 

“Ultimately, I’m working with the idea of how experiences ripple through generations. The red line that traces us is like a lifeline that connects us. Experiences ripple through all families. It just so happens that in my particular family, a big experience was the internment. And I wanted the viewers to relate to that experience, by relating to their own family experiences,” Judy Shintani. Continue here: http://abramsclaghorn.com/?p=2596

Growing little librarians

This is the first toy I’ve seen this year that I’m considering buying for my niece!

“Little Librarian will provide book lovers with everything they need to transform their book collection into a library. Kids can practice the important skills of organizing, sharing, borrowing, and returning. Book pockets, check out cards, library cards and bookmarks are just like the ones from a real library. Little Librarians will issue overdue notices and awards. Favorite book memories can be stored in your reading journal and shared with friends. To get started, just add books! ”

Check it out here.

My mother’s gifts

As some of you know my mother, Doris Shintani, left this earth on August 13, 2009. She had Alzheimer’s disease for about 12 years leading up to her death. Recently I spoke about the many gifts she gave me at a community memorial and at the United Methodist Church in Lodi.

As a healing and an honoring of her, I decided to make art around these gifts.

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The first small piece I made was a red chair drawn and sewn on to a piece of birch bark. I wove the red thread hanging from the chair into a braid and at the end of this I tied a red envelop. Inside the envelop I placed 3 needles. I wanted to convey my sadness and the empty place in my heart. And I wanted to convey the gift she gave me – the ability to always create my path and to stand on my own two feet.

The other piece I am working on is a real meditation. When I was going through my mother’s photos I found my mothers childrenthe pictures of her classes. She taught first through fourth grades. I thought about those 23 years she had been a teacher. She was very dedicated to her students. My mother had touched so many of their lives. Some students even sent her letters through the years. I decided to make a bead of each student’s face and to string them together. I have made about 150 beads and have 500 more to go. The core of each bead is made of joss paper which is used for funeral rituals. The art making has helped me through my grief. I made beads sitting in waiting rooms during my father’s surgeries. I made more beads on plane trips. I continue to make beads in my studio. They are keeping me connected to the impact my mother had on my life and on the lives of others. The gift to make a passionate difference in others lives is a gift I want to keep giving.

minimal art by preschoolers

I love the shape placement and simplicity of these collages done by 3 and 4 year old artists in my preschool class. It doesn’t take a lot of expensive materials for kids to come up with terrific art – cut up colored paper , glue sticks, and colored pens. I provided them with already cut shapes in different colors and showed a couple of examples and they went to it.

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“Dirty Wow Wow”, and other love stories

I have to say I just LOVE this book. From the title “Dirty Wow Wow” you may wonder what in the heck is this about?

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It’s a lovely collection and stories about love affairs with childhood toys, mostly the cuddly threadbare kind we carried around with us and slept with. The images of these well loved animals are so heart touching that you have to take a look. Not only can you purchase the book, but you can also go to a site to check out the gallery http://www.dirtywowwow.com/index.html

So the question is, what about your own stuffed friend? I had a humpty dumpty that my mother said I carried on whole baby talk conversations with in my crib and Ander had a Winnie the Pooh (but don’t tell him I told you so!)

Hina Matsuri, Girl’s Day, March 3

girls-day

When I was a young girl, my mother and I would set up my Girl’s Day dolls on March 3. My grandmother purchased these for me and to this day they are one of my most prized possessions. The Castle came all packed in a box and had to be assembled and the dolls unwrapped and set-up. I felt a little guilty for having such a lavish set of dolls because my mother’s dolls had been burned during the war because they could not have any Japanese materials.

In Japan they have quite large doll displays, which makes mine look minuscule. We never got into all the other rituals around Girl’s Day, but I found out that “it is a day that Japanese families pray for their daughters’ happiness and prosperity. Families with daughters display special dolls arranged to reflect social order. Peach blossoms, cube and diamond-shaped rice cakes, and white sake are part of this celebration. The peach blossoms are symbolic of several ‘feminine’ traits as well as happy marriage. They are used in Hinamatsuri rituals to remind the participants that girls should aspire to these qualities.” via trendhunter. I’m glad we didn’t go through all that since it sounds so sexist!

Next year I plan on having a Girls Day celebration in my new, larger art studio for all us gals and any little girls that want to show up.