Hanami Spring Celebration | 5/21, 5:30pm

Join Friends of Aomori for a get-together at Oxbow Blending and Bottling in Portland on Tuesday, May 21st from 5:30 to 8:00 pm. We will celebrate Spring with raffles for local restaurant gift cards, a print sale, and delicious Oxbow beers. All proceeds go to fund our 2019 and 2020 programming, including the Maine-Aomori Printmaking Society exhibitions, student print exchange, high school exchange scholarships, and an upcoming artist delegation visit to Japan! 18121601_10212994009227762_7495576015200541590_o

MAPS 2018 printmaking exhibition series

In 2018, three Maine communities will host a show of prints by artists from Maine and Aomori, Japan.  The traveling exhibition is part of MAPS (Maine-Aomori Printmaking Society), organized by Friends of Aomori as a cultural exchange program, sharing art and artists between the sister states of Maine and Aomori.  The prints will be exhibited in Green Lion Gallery in Bath, Arundel Farm Gallery in Arundel, and the University of Maine in Orono, while the same collection is exhibited at multiple locations in Aomori prefecture, from April to October.

Rebecca Goodale, “Peaches & Tiger Moths”

This 2018 series of exhibitions builds on the successful series of exchanges and exhibitions held since 2015 in both countries, now numbering thirteen shows in varied locations throughout both states. Coinciding with the inaugural 2016 exhibition, Pickwick Independent Press — an independent print studio located above the galleries in the Space Studios in Portland — hosted Japanese printmakers for a week-long printmaking residency. The residencies were supported by a grant from the Consulate-General of Japan in Boston, and included time for the artists to work in the studio, visit local galleries and museums, and deliver a workshop at Maine College of Art.

MAPS is organized by Friends of Aomori, an all-volunteer non-profit that supports the Sister State relationship between Maine and Aomori, Japan. The relationship between Maine and Aomori has been in place for 20 years, but the fascinating connection between the two states goes back to a shipwreck in 1889 (read more here: https://maine-aomori.org/about/). In addition to MAPS, Friends of Aomori supports high-school exchange programs, educational events and programming about Japan, and economic development opportunities such as a delegation visit of Maine fisherman and aquaculture business leaders to Aomori in October 2016.

“Scenery of a Lotus Pond”
田中 定男
Sadao Tanaka

MAPS 2018 features prints by: Jeff Badger, Lyle Castonguay, Julie Crane, Rebecca Goodale, Don Gorvett, Adriane Herman, Charlie Hewitt, Isaac Jaegerman, Junji Kimura, Mitsuo Konno, Yoshiko Takebayashi, Tatsuo Maeda, Scott Minzy, Yoshiko Munakata, Akihiro Sakamaki, Hiroko Shibutani, Sadao Tanaka, Jaime Wing, and Seizo Yagihashi.


MAPS will be on view at Green Lion Gallery in Bath, Maine from April 20th – May 19th, with an opening reception on April 20th; Arundel Farm Gallery from May 26th to June 16th with a reception on May 26th; and at the University of Maine in Orono from Oct 5th – Nov 16th, with an opening reception on October 5th.

Printmaking workshops and social events will coincide with the exhibitions, Please visit the websites and Facebook pages of the galleries and Friends of Aomori for details. MAPS is made possible with generous support from Ocean House Gallery and Frame.

“Scenery in
remaining snow”
前田 龍夫
Tatsuo Maeda



Maine artists display prints in Japan

Prints by ten Maine artists were exhibited in Aomori, Japan, through the MAPS project in March, 2015. This project is a partnership between the Munakata Shiko Memorial Museum of Art and Friends of Aomori. Learn more about MAPS here.

An article about the print exhibition in the local Aomori paper.
Pictured are works by Lisa Pixley, Colleen Kinsella, and Judy Allen.
Japanese partners in MAPS:
Mr. Tsujii, Display Chief; Mrs. Takebayashi, artist;
Mr. Jiro Ono, Museum Director; (left to right)

Maine-Aomori Printmaking Society launches with exhibition in Japan

The Maine Aomori Printmaking Society – or MAPS — is an exchange program of art and artists developed by Friends of Aomori in partnership with the Munakata Shiko Memorial Museum of Art.
Lisa Pixley, Untitled, woodcut, 2015
MAPS is a multi-stage project, beginning with an exhibition of
ten prints by ten Maine artists in the Aomori Municipal Art Pavilion during the Autumn Citizen’s Celebration in the prefecture.
In March of 2016, Friends of Aomori and Pickwick Independent Press will host a group of four Japanese printmakers for a
week-long residency in Portland, which will coincide with a reciprocal gallery exhibition.
This visit is supported by a grant

Colleen Kinsella,
Leviathan I, Octopus

from the Japanese Consulate in Boston to support cultural exchange between Japan and the US.

Throughout the project, both Friends of Aomori and the
Munakata Shiko Memorial Museum will build two matching collections of MAPS
prints in Maine and Japan for future exhibitions of local contemporary artists to support education about the sister-state relationship. The long term goal of MAPS is a regular exchange of art exhibitions, exchanges, and residencies between the US and Japan.

This project was initiated by Jeff Badger – Director of Tetra Projects and Friends of Aomori board member – and developed in collaboration with Jiro Ono, Director of the Munakata Shiko Memorial Museum in Aomori City.

Artists included in the premier exhibition include Judith Allen, Kyle Bryant, Clint Fulkerson, Colleen Kinsella, Lisa Pixley, Michael Marks,
Pilar Nadal, Carter Shappy, Carrie Scanga, and David Wolfe.
Check the back here for updates about MAPS and other Friends of Aomori initiatives.

Walk in U.S., Talk On Japan

Austin, Sacramento, Memphis St. Paul, Cambridge and now Portland.  On October 15th, Maine’s urban center becomes one of several American cities to host five Japanese delegates sent by the Japanese government to enhance mutual understanding between Japan and the U.S. as part of the WALK IN U.S., TALK ON JAPAN Program.

The delegates are headed by former Japanese Ambassador to the U.S., Ichiro Fujisaki.  Other delegates include Keizo Iijima, a retired CEO of the New York branch of Tokyo Mitsubishi Bank, and three young women:  Akiko Takahashi and Karuko Yuda, who work for Japanese companies, and Mai Iida, a graduate student at the University of Tokyo, researching domestic migration. The delegates will each conduct a brief presentation on aspects of the Japanese economy, society, politics or culture from their unique perspectives.  The group will take questions and hold an open discussion at the end of the presentations. One topic of interest in many cities has been the status of women in Japan today.

The program is hosted by the Consulate General of Japan in Boston, the Friends of Aomori, and the University of Southern Maine and will be held on Thursday, October 15th from 2:45 to 4:15 in Luther Bonney Hall on the Portland Campus of the University of Southern Maine. The program is open to the public and is free. For more information contact Pat Parker at patriciaparker@mac.com.