My desire to create art comes from my search for the meaning of our existence. I use my artwork as a key to understand others and myself. The most precious thing in my life is the growth process. Art is my guide and mentor....

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Family Roots

I am happy to announce a book presentation and an exhibition related my recent "Family roots" workshops in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Bookmaking Collaboration Project 
We are all artists and all family

Book Presentation and Exhibition 
 Thursday April 30th
6:30 PM to 8 PM
FREE and OPEN to the public.

125 South Washington Street  Gettysburg, PA 17325

"Family Roots" bookmaking workshops were held and featured in collaboration with students of EDUC 299 Language, Culture, and Immigration and  English as a Second Language students and teachers at Casa de la Cultura in February, 2015. 
These workshops provided the participants with opportunities to examine their own ethnic and family roots and share stories of themselves and their family with other participants. 
Now we are sharing our experiences with you. ESL students of Casa de la Cultura, teachers, and Gettysburg college students will display their books. There will be a reading and Q & A session by students at Casa. 

I will talk about this project and show my art work. 

Workshops Report 

With the support of Gettysburg College education professor Kaoru Miyazawa, I created "Family Roots" workshops to collaborate with students of education, English as a Second Language students, and their teachers. This workshop provides the participants with opportunities to examine their own ethnic and family roots and share their stories of family and self with other participants. Through examination and sharing of one's own stories, participants develop understanding of their own individual and collective identities and how our lives and identities are interdependent on others. Based on this understanding, they will further develop an understanding that they can all learn from each other. To teach is to be taught.

I asked the education students and their teacher to research and write about their family roots, choose a related image, and create their book together. The workshops had a friendly atmosphere in which students and teachers shared tables, tools, ideas, and life experiences. There was a situation where their teacher used the wrong paper but the students comforted the teacher. All their books were made well without any failures. I learned better ways to make books from this workshop.


A student told me he still has the "information egg" he made from news clippings and flour in my workshop last year. After a conversation with him, I understood that he didn't have much hands on art experience and that this opportunity was a precious thing to him. I also heard that he was happy to show his book to another teacher. Many schools have cut their budgets for art classes. He reminded me of this situation. I would like to continue collaborating with teachers from different disciplines in hands-on art projects.

I had “Family Roots” workshops at Casa de la Cultura with ESL students and education students. The education students paired up with the ESL students, shared their “Family Roots” book, and dialogued about identities, communities, and families. These workshops aimed to help ESL students prepare and express their ideas in English. I think that some mutual understanding was born between students by translating their language into English. 

During one of the workshops a student who is usually silent, began to talk since the topic was family. From conversations with them, I noticed the feeling that they want to learn English in order to have a better life here. At the same time, they have strong feelings for their hometowns. Their essays were written about their feelings in words that resonate in their minds. There is the same feeling beyond the country.

Their ESL teacher, Matthew Lowenthal taught English by using the description of how to make a book. Education students had a chance to review the book binding methods when helping ESL students. When their books were completed, I began to hear that ESL students started to read their books to people who helped them make their books. It was very moving and reminded me of myself when I came to this immigrant nation 20 years ago. I have been thinking about what family is, and the possibilities of what art can do. Their books spoke to me.

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