Sister City Art Exchange at the Mendocino Art Center – The Mendocino Beacon

MENDOCINO, CA – Eight artists from the Omachi-Miasa region of Nagano Prefecture, Japan, joined by twelve artists from the Mendocino Coast, exhibit their works as part of the biennial Mendocino Sister City International Art Exchange Exhibit, from July 1 to September 11, at the Mendocino Art Center. Works include woodworking, functional and sculptural ceramics, textiles, paintings, glass works, photography, jewelry, encaustics, basketry, prints, and multimedia works.

“The Mendocino/Omachi-Miasa artist exchange, which began in 2008, turns 15 this year. Unfortunately, 2021 was a year of the Coronavirus and the mutual visit that had been going on for a long time could not take place”, explains Tokio Oda, artist of Omachi-Miasa. “However, the desire to continue this meaningful exchange will not change at all. This exchange is a process of mutual respect and understanding while presenting each other’s works. It is also a source of inspiration for artists to continue to create a free and peaceful world while promoting the links between peoples and regions. I look forward to seeing you all again in the near future.

Mendocino Art Center founder Bill Zacha and artist Toshi Yoshida formalized the sister city relationship in 1980. In 1993, Miasa and Mendocino began annual youth exchanges that have continued over the years. The Art Exchange Exhibition opened in 2008 at the Mendocino Art Center, featuring works by artists from Omachi-Miasa, followed by screenings in even years through 2018. Artists from the Mendocino Coast have exhibited their work in Omachi, Japan in odd years, 2009 until 2019. Due to the Covid pandemic, art exchange exhibitions were exhibited online in 2020 and 2021.

There will be a second free gallery reception on Saturday, July 9, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., with the opportunity to meet the artists of the Mendocino Coast. Sister City Association President Jim Jackson will deliver a keynote address, Mike Evans will talk about being one of the founders of the Art Exchange, and Carolyn Zeitler will explain how the Art Exchange is coordinated between Japan and the Mendocino coast. The Japanese artists will also make a brief welcome via video.

Admission to the gallery is free. For more information, call 707-937-5818 or visit The Mendocino Art Center is located at 45200 Little Lake Street (at Kasten Street) in Mendocino. The gallery is open every day, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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