Artful Abode Art Show for Drs Without Borders, reception 11/7

“We had such a wonderful turn out for the Second Doctors Without Borders Silent Art Auction we just have to do it again. The event is getting a reputation for the terrific art and the well attended reception.” said Judy Shintani, artist and organizer of the event.

The show will be exhibited at M Coffee, November 2 – 30, with the reception on November 7, 6-8pm. There will be a silent art auction, refreshments, and live music. Silent auction bids can be placed until November 29.

Judy feels that M Coffee in downtown Half Moon Bay is an ideal location for this show because they have a loyal clientele as well as tourists that come in throughout the day who may want to help out Doctors Without Borders and see some great art.

Doctors Without Borders is an independent international medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural or man-made disasters, or exclusion from health care in more than 70 countries. “I think it is important that they are not affiliated with any specific country so they are not restricted by political issues when they do their work,” said Shintani. Last year the event had 16 artists and donated over $1,300 and this year Shintani is aiming for $1,500 for the Doctors’ organization.

The theme of “home” is being interpreted in many different ways by the artists. For example, Nancy Margulies watercolor reflects the idea that “home is where the art is”. Susana van Bezooijen expresses the idea of loss for many immigrants with her clay figure. John Donohue is carving a redwood altar which celebrates the goddesses of the hearth and artist Carrie Hollister is contributing a miniature fabric quilt.

“Part of my intention in curating this show, is for the artists to engage in art making during the month prior to the opening. It is powerful to have a group of us generating and engaging in the theme together,” says Shintani.

The artists committed to making new art for the show. Those exhibiting are: Carole Brehm, Rashid Bousellam, Kathy Bristol, Mauro Dinucci, John Donohue, Susan Friedman, Carrie Hollister, Clifford Hunt, Leslie Hunt, Judy Johnson-Williams, Richard Kirchner, Margaret Lindsey, Nancy Margulies, Pamela Martin Noyes, Deborah Penrose, Lisa Petrides, Randall Reid, Judy Shintani, Susana van Bezooijen.

There will be a wide variety of art including painting, photography, jewelry, and sculpture on display and available for purchase for a great cause.

History, Healing, and Hope art workshop created intergenerational memories

I had the honor of facilitating and collaborating with Legacies of War on a History, Healing, and Hope Community Workshop at ArtXchange Gallery in Seattle.

I led a workshop exploring how art can be a powerful force in expressing history and personal experiences. Legacies of War is a non-profit that uses art, culture, education, community organizing and dialogue to bring people together and create healing and transformation out of the wreckage of war.

Legacies’ representative Sakuna Thongchanh and I spent a great deal of time on the phone talking about Laotian imagery and icons before settling on a tree to be the framework for the workshop. I constructed the tree in Half Moon Bay in California and drove it up to Seattle in my little Toyota pickup.

The morning before the workshop Sakuna and I collected various materials specific to Laos, to be used for the individual memory art creations – things like banana leaves, tamarind seeds, spices, papers, tea, orchids and rice. These were laid out beautifully on fabulous fabric, along with ribbons, and scissors, and threads, and photos.

Sakuna did a short lecture about her organization and I showed examples of how I use art as a healing and storytelling vehicle for my own family and culture. I then lead a grounding meditation and posed questions to help the participants form their writings and imagery for their memory art pieces. It was very special that different generations came together to work on this creative healing. The created works were hung on a Memory Tree structure.

The entire Memory Tree work  will now travel as part of Legacies’ educational art exhibitions, where more people will have chances to add their stories to its branches.


* 260 million cluster bombs were dropped on Laos during the Vietnam War, 210 million more than have been dropped on Iraq. * More than half of all confirmed cluster munitions casualties in the world have occured in Laos.(Source: Handicap International)

* Each year there continue to be close to 300 new casualties in Laos. About 40% of accidents result in death, and 60% of the victims are children.



Oh yeah…everything is connected

A plan to restore salmon runs on California’s Sacramento River also could help revive killer whale populations 700 miles to the north in Puget Sound , as federal scientists struggle to protect endangered species in a complex ecosystem that stretches along the Pacific coast from California to Alaska . Without wild salmon from the Sacramento and American rivers as part of their diet, the killer whales might face extinction, scientists concluded in a biological opinion that could result in even more severe water restrictions for farmers in the drought-stricken, 400-mile-long Central Valley of California . The valley is the nation’s most productive farm region.

Read the rest of the story by clicking here.

When I read this article it really reminded me how much everything is connected to everything else and how that connection makes the world go around. I guess this is an obvious concept yet it is not that often that I think about it. What makes it even more relevant to me personally is that I am connected to all these different locations that they are talking about in the article.

I grew up in the Central Valley, working the summers in vineyards, my cousins grew rice and tomatoes, my brothers worked in the packing sheds. Restoring the rivers for salmon affects the lives of farmers. Now I live in Half Moon Bay – a big salmon fishing town, so I hear about the worries of our local fishermen. And my father is from Washington and I just was there visiting cousins, and played on Orcas Island in the San Juans.

I can hear all these different voices with their concerns and arguments. Everything is connected, for better or worse.

Brazilian city makes food a basic right, ends hunger

I am very inspired by what this small town was able to do. Belo Horizonte, Brazil declared that food was a right of citizenship. What a novel yet obvious action!

At that time, the city of 2.5 million had 275,000 people living in absolute poverty, and close to 20 percent of its children were going hungry. Since the declaration the city has all but wiped out hunger and only spends 2% of the city budget to do so. It’s all about working with the local farmers and the community. Why not here in Half Moon Bay?

Read more about it at

Gifts of peace are worth seeing

You can still see The 2nd Annual Doctors Without Borders Silent Art Auction at MCoffee in Half Moon Bay until December 29 at noon. At that point the bids will close. We are at around $1,500 so far, up $500 from last years event. Even if you are not in the market for art, please go take a gander at this terrific showing of 21 local coastside artists. Most of them took on the challenge to create a new piece over 30 days which focused on the idea of a “gift of peace”. Below you will see an art sampling slide show.

And just to give you an idea of what your donation to Doctors Without Borders can buy:

  • $35 buys 2 meals a day for 200 children
  • $50 buys vaccinations for 50 people against meningitis, measles, polio or other deadly epidemics
  • $100 buys infection-fighting antibiotics to treat nearly 40 wounded children
  • $500 buys a medical kit containing basic drugs, supplies, equipment, and dressings to treat 1,500 patients for three months
  • $1000 buys emergency medical supplies to aid 5,000 disaster victims for an entire month

Two pieces on immigration

I (Judy Shintani) just finished up two pieces which had to submit today to the Women Artists on Immigration Show. The show is organized and presented by Women’s Caucus for Art with the Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles.


This piece is called Motion. I am conveying the push pull nature of immigration. Events which may push some one to move to another location are: natural disasters, wage rates, war, genocide, abuse. Education, relationships, jobs, self expression are things that could pull one to move to another country, state, town. I wanted to convey these different motivations that cause a stream of people to move small distances or around the world. I think about my grandparents who moved from Japan to the USA. People have been immigrating for a long time and they will continue to do so. The deteriorating propeller gives that sense of time.

This piece is called Bottom Drawer. While I was working with my friend Carla to remove overgrown plants from their pots, all these lovely, crawly, dark, roots appeared. They were completely root bound and had to be pried out. They had grown around and around into a big ball in the bottom of the pots. It made me think of unsaid, unseen things. For example what were the experiences of my grandparents immigration? I know some of their hardships. I know they were imprisoned on American soil during the war, but these experiences I did not hear about from their lips. They either died before this could be communicated or were not discussed. Bits and pieces have been expressed by their children but I do not have the whole story. My life goes on and I acknowledge I am here because of their desire to leave their homeland and explore something else. I don’t think about it that often. We put a lot of things in the “bottom drawer” and they see the light of day when we decide to pull it open.

Thousands of clay figures in Aptos cemetery memorialize dead Americans and Iraqis

Standing in a sandbox on the lawn of the cemetery at Resurrection Catholic Community in Aptos are thousands of figurines representing Americans and Iraqis killed during the war that began in March 2003.

The 4,190 small white clay figures, each holding a U.S. flag, represent dead American soldiers. The 92,000 dark clay figures, behind the Americans like a shadow, represent Iraqis.

The installation’s creator, artist Kathleen Crocetti, started the project 41/2 years ago, and thought it would be an appropriate memorial on Veterans Day.

“I’m doing this to help people visualize the number of people killed in the Iraq war. We need a physical connection to that number,” said Crocetti, a Watsonville resident. “I thought we went into the war under false pretenses, and I can’t sanction pre-emptive war.”

Each figure is handmade and fired in a kiln that Crocetti, an art teacher at Mission Hill Middle School in Santa Cruz, has at home.

The war memorial will stay up at Resurrection until Dec. 7.

Read more about it by clicking here.