16" X 20" © virginia huber, 2004.

Our show at the Inoue Gallery in the Ginza needed to be dismantled after a few days, the customary length of art exhibitions in Japan. Machiko Kitayama and some of the other Japanese artists had volunteered. While they focused on this, I went sight seeing with friends. Machiko and I agreed to meet again after the artwork was back in boxes. I arrived at the gallery early and witnessed such cooperation among the Japanese artists as they quietly matched artworks with packaging . Then an interesting thing happened. Mrs. Inoue, Owner, and the artists formed a circle to say good bye to each other and to this shared experience. My friend and another artist broke open the circle and reached out their hands to me.


20" x 16" © virginia huber, 2004.

The closing party at Michiko Yanagi's Four Seasons Gallery in Saitama was planned as a Japanese-American potluck. We American artists had packed food and utensils in among our clothes and art supplies. We had prepared it that afternoon in one location and our Japanese hosts prepared food for us in another location. That evening there was food upstairs and down - Japanese dishes and American dishes arranged generously on large tables. Our hosts gave out as party gifts "magic" eye glasses, which made party goers appear enveloped in rainbows. It was an evening to celebrate, relax and enjoy.



14" X 18" © virginia huber, 2004.

The pages of this journal lay protected in plastic bags, in boxes, in my studio for a year. The Japan Information Center has graciously offered to display this SaitamaJournal. Each of the drawings records an event that came as a valued gift to life long learning. Presents need to be wrapped accordingly, so I searched for appropriate, well made framing materials. This sketch documents a visit to a frame warehouse looking for what is called "frame lengths." These come in long strips of differently cut and decorated lumber and they bend and reach toward tall ceilings. The hard part is to find frames that resonate with the art work. The frames, if assembled carefully and well, will protect and present for many years to come.


16" X 20" © virginia huber, 2004.

Thank you notes are personal and have specific destinations. I thank Machiko Kitayama san for watching over me in Tokyo and Saitama. She made sure I was never ever in any danger or feeling lost. Meals were uplifting as well as nourishing. Companionship was such excellent fun. What a gift is a really good friend.


Presentation of Plaque to Conference Co-ordinator, Michiko Yanagi

by Virginia Huber on October 7, 2002

In the art world, we become accustomed to blurred lines between what is personal and what is professional. We make objects from the energy of our deepest feelings and then share them with human beings we may never see. Objects that were created with a playful attitude take their places in professional settings and public art collections.

In a community where personal values are translated into professional events, we want to thank you Michiko Yanagi-san, for your personal vision and professionalism. We want to thank you, Michiko-san, for cherishing all of the personal needs of your guests from Wisconsin -- as well as our professional personalities. We have come far from our homes and are learning so much about what needs to be learned.

Taihen osewani narimashita.

I have been asked to read the following words and to make a presentation to you.

(Presentation of the plaque to Michiko Yanagi.)


Saitama Museum of Modern Art, 2004.

My art actually begins during the times I'm away from my home and studio. If I see a person - or a scenario of people - that catches my attention, I reach into my purse for tablet and pen. When my purse is bulging with drawings, I clean it out and store the drawings in scrapbooks. Only a small percentage of the hundreds of drawings do I develop into paintings. In addition, details which might identify specific individuals are changed.

I grew up in the U.S. during a time when mothers were home without a car, and children wandered the neighborhood. I had lots of free time to people-watch and make up stories about what they were doing and why they were doing it. I also visited many older adult friends to follow them through part of their day. My favorite question for them was, "What are you going to do next?"

Even today, my art speaks to that very question.


This was the image on my business card that served as subject matter for my demonstration:

"Three Children"

© virginia huber, 2002.

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