Hashi / 橋 Maine Aomori Student Art Exchange Opening Reception

Berwick Academy, partnering with Friends of Aomori, is pleased to host Hashi / 橋, the second annual Maine-Aomori student print exchange exhibit at Berwick Academy’s Jackson Library Gallery in South Berwick, Maine from March 27-April 12, 2019. Hashi means “bridge” in Japanese.

This exhibit will feature over 70 prints made by students in Aomori, Japan. Raegan Russell, Visual Art Chair and art teacher at Berwick traveled to Aomori as a teacher delegate in November, 2018 and that trip sparked this exhibition.

We hope to see you there!

Poster draft aomori abstract feathers

Second Annual Children’s Print Exchange Show Opening in Aomori

The second annual Children’s Print Exchange between the students of Maine and Aomori had its official opening at the Munakata Shiko Memorial Museum in Aomori this past weekend!  Shared below are the newspaper feature and it’s annotated translation.

We hope to see you at the upcoming reception here in Maine at Berwick Academy (see this post for the show details)!

Children's Print Exchange Aomori News

Thank you to our partner Ono-san at the Munakata Museum for this annotated translation of the Newspaper Article shown above:

Chidlren's Print Exchange Aomori New Translation

Teacher Delegate for 2019 Children’s Print Exchange

This past September, Raegan Russell was chosen after an open call for applications from art teachers in Maine who would be interested in both representing Friends of Aomori on a Delegation visit to Aomori, Japan, and leading the creation of the next installment of our Children’s Print Exchange. Raegan’s visit to Aomori was completed this past Sunday (November 18th, 2018) and now her and her Berwick Academy students will soon begin working on their woodblock prints! These prints will be sent to Aomori in February, the same time that we here in Maine will receive the prints from the Japanese students (exhibition location TBA).

Attached below are some pictures Raegan shared from her visit; it certainly seems that a wonderful time was had by all!

You can also read a brief Japanese statement about the Delegation visit on this website: https://www.toonippo.co.jp/articles/-/114623

Stay tuned to this website as well as our Facebook Page for more updates on the 2019 Children’s Print Exchange!

RR Aomori 1RR Aomori 3RR Aomori 2

Fourth Annual MAPS on View in Aomori

The Fourth Annual MAPS Exhibit has received a wonderful reception at the Munakata Shiko Memorial Museum of Art in Aomori, Japan! We will be posting updates on the Fourth annual MAPS Exchange as they come, so stay tuned. There are many exciting things happening here at Friends and we can not wait to share them with you!

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Thank you to our partner Ono-san at the Munakata Museum for this annotated translation of the Newspaper Article shown above:
① Headline: Prints-Exchange Exhibition between Maine and Aomori is to be held this year, too.
② Sub-headline: To be displayed at the venue of Aomori Citizens’ Culture Festival
③ As a part of the Print-Exchange Project between Maine and Aomori, 10 prints by 10 artists in Maine reached the Munakata Museum, in charge of the project in Aomori.
④ The Print-Exchange Project started in 2015 and this year is the 4th. These prints are black-and-white and multi-colored ones. In particular, “Malaga Girl” is accurately carved in detail and precisely expresses cloth-quality as well. And the “Bird” carved in full-frame in size draws attentions of its beautiful grain of wood in print.
⑤ Mr. Ono, Director of the Museum, also makes his efforts in translation of the titles into better Japanese interpretation so as the visitors to understand the Maine artists’ intentions.
⑥ Mrs. Kudo, aged 71, a member of the Board of Trustee and a coterie member of the Japan Woodblock Academy founded by Shiko Munakata, evaluated the prints highly and make her comments, “All the prints are excellent in conveying the strong intentions of 10 artisits, respectively, and each one’s earnest pursuit of techniques in woodblock print.”
⑦ In the exchange project, the prints by elementary-school pupils are exhibited every year and in November a woman teacher from Maine is coming to Aomori under the sponsorship of Aomori Morning Rotary Club. She is expected to promote the printing education in Maine after her visit to the two schools in Aomori and her observation of the print-work classes as well.
⑧ The two, Director Ono(left) and Mrs. Kudo(right), are in the examination of the prints from Maine for the 2018 Exhibition.

Fall Foliage in Aomori

While Maine is in its peak season of fall foliage, and encountering the subsequent stream of leaf-peeping tourists, Hirosaki Castle Botanical Garden in Aomori, Japan is gearing up for its annual Chrysanthemum and Autumn Foliage Festival which runs from October 20th through November 12th. During this event, the Garden is filled with different events for visitors, including craft-making, boat rides, petting zoo, apple pie tasting, and many other Autumn related activities.  There is also an ‘Autumn Foliage Light Up’ where the garden is open late (until 9pm) and the trees are lit-up in the night by outdoor lights in order to accentuate the bright colors.

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Photo retrieved from : Hirosaki Tourism and Convention Bureau 

Of course, the Hirosaki Castle Botanical Garden is not the only place to see the fall foliage of Aomori; in fact, there are many viewing locations scattered throughout the region! Perhaps the most well-known viewing location is the Oirase Gorge, a National Natural Monument and National Scenic Place of Beauty located in Towada-Hachimantai National Park .  With the thick forest and roaring waterfalls of the Oirase Gorge, hikers can experience fall foliage in an untouched, wild environment far away from the hustle and bustle of Hirosaki City.

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Photo Credit: Tak H. at Flickr

For information on more areas to view the Fall Foliage in Aomori Prefecture, or to learn more about the two highlighted here, please click on the links below!

Hirosaki Castle Botanical Garden:

http://www.hirosaki-kanko.or.jp/en/edit.html?id=autumn-foliage

https://www.en-aomori.com/culture-044.html  

Oirase Gorge:

https://www.en-aomori.com/scenery-002.html

Other Places:

https://www.en-aomori.com/tag/autumn

https://www.kyuhoshi.com/2017/07/18/best-places-to-see-autumn-leaves-in-aomori/

Gonohe International Music Festival

If you will be in the Gonohe area, or are planning to make a trip to Aomori this coming Fall, you may want to think about planning your trip around the one-of-a-kind event known as: The Gonohe International Music Festival!

Beginning in 2013, the Gonohe International Music Festival is a free event that takes place annually at Kowataritai Park in the town of Gonohe, which is located within the Aomori prefecture. Started by Dave Herlich and Michael Warren two friends who were English teachers in the town of Gonohe for several years – as a means of intercultural outreach and community, the Gonohe Music Festival has expanded over the years to include a wide variety of musicians, cultural performances, and seasonal/specialty foods from around the world as well as Japan/Aomori. While the festival features many cultural aspects unique to the Aomori prefecture, the Gonohe Music Festival also includes musical acts from a variety of foreign cultures and countries – such as a West African Drum Line (2013), a Reggae group (2015), and Beatles covers (2016) – while additionally showcasing Japanese indie, rock, jazz, fusion, and traditional music groups/bands.

The Fifth annual Gonohe International Music Festival will be held Sunday, October 8th of this year (2017) and is an all day affair – running from Sunrise to Sunset. While the music lineup has not yet been released, looking at the lists from previous years, it is safe to say that 2017 is sure to be a blast!  

All images property of http://www.gonohemusicfestival.com/

To hear samples of the music played at the 2013 Gonohe International Music Festival, click on the link here: https://gonohemusicfest.bandcamp.com/  

A commentary by the founders of the Gonohe International Music Festival on the back story, goals, and future of the festival is available for listening here: http://www.pechakucha.org/presentations/harmony-in-aomori-the-gonohe-music-festival/play  
For more information and to keep up to date on the 2017 line-up, please visit the festival’s main page at: http://www.gonohemusicfestival.com/2017

Cape Elizabeth Middle School’s Festival of Curiosity

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Friends of Aomori had an absolute blast last week at Cape Elizabeth Middle School’s Festival of Curiosity!
FOA held a workshop educating students on the art of printmaking, talked a bit about the influence of Japanese woodblock printmaking on the art form, and posed the question: “How does sharing global art affect our local communities?”
Of course, we also talked to some of them about the unique Sister State relationship between Aomori and Maine that we foster. It was a busy day, but the kids were a great crowd!