Texas, the wild West.
Japan, the Far East.
And the twain shall meet.
In March 2015, eight Japanese artists hosted a group of 14 regional Texas artists and one California artist at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum when they traveled to Tokyo to show their artwork and learn more about art and art education in Japan.
Beginning Nov. 18, that Texas-California group returns the favor.
A group of Japanese artists will be in Wichita Falls to exhibit their work with the American artists for the “Crosscurrent International Exchange Show, U.S.-Japan,” which runs through Jan. 21 at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at Midwestern State University.
The goal of the exhibit is for viewers to experience local art as global art.
The exhibit features works by 11 Japanese artists,14 Texas-based artists and one California-based artist. The show will fill the museum’s galleries and many of the smaller rooms.
The 11 visiting Japanese artists, including three sculptors and eight painters, will teach a traditional Japanese ink and brush workshop 9 a.m. Nov. 18 and then will be at the museum from 6 to 8 p.m. during a reception at the museum. They will talk briefly about their artwork.
Visiting Japanese artists include Katsuyuki Gibo, Hideo Lida, Manami Ishimura, Mari Ito, Yasuyo Maruyama, Sachiko Miki, Yasunari Nakagomi, Noboru Nakamura, Haruyo Nakanishi, Rie Sato and Izumi Tanabe.
Featured American artists include Robbie Barber of Waco, Joe Barrington of Thockmorton, Danny Bills of Wichita Falls, Geoffrey Broderick of Abilene, Erin Cunningham of San Marcos,Gary Goldberg of Wichita Falls, Suguru Hiraide of Wichita Falls, Greg Reuter of Corpus Christi, Catherine Prose of Wichita Falls, Kurt Dyrhaug of Beaumont, Dewane Hughes of Tyler, Lore Eckelberry of Los Angeles, Alexis Serio of Tyler, Tanya Synar of Denton and Elizabeth Yarosz-Ash of Wichita Falls.
Over the 11 days the Japanese artists will be in America, they will install their work and then hit the road with some of the Texas artists to visit museums and galleries in Dallas, Houston and smaller Texas communities.
The 2015 and 2016 exchange shows were arranged by MSU sculpture professor Suguru Hiraide with Japanese artist Yasunari Nakagomi, director of the Association of International Exchange. They met in Los Angeles in 2004, when they had overlapping solo shows.
“In 2007, Nakagomi put together his first International Artists Exchange Show with Japanese and American artists in L.A. Artcore Center in Los Angeles,” Hiraide said.
Nakagomi invited Hiraide to be part of an International Exchange Show in 2009 in the same gallery.
“At the time, I proposed casually to him if he wanted to have an exchange show with artists around Texas that I would be happy to select some artists.”
In 2013, Nakagomi asked the MSU sculpture professor to select Texas artists for a 2015 exhibit in Tokyo.
The visiting Japanese artists will likely bring different work than what they showed in Tokyo
“It won’t be the same show but most of the same artists. He invited four more Japanese artists to show, and one of the original artists had to drop out.”
Most of the American artists’ work also will be different from what they showed in Japan. The four MSU professors include Hiraide, Goldberg, Prose and Yarosz-Ash.
Goldberg said his March 2015 trip was his first time to visit Japan.
“The idea of art is a little different in Japan. It’s in the food you eat, the clothes you see people wear. We even got interested in the designs on the manhole covers. Art and design are so pervasive throughout the country.”
The Texas contingent visited museums and historic places.
“We visited important Japanese art schools in and around Tokyo to see students’ work and what the facilities are like,” Goldberg said.
Goldberg said that as an art educator, it was a rewarding experience, and he hopes to show work again in Japan.
Hiraide also hopes one or more of the Texas artists who showed their work in Japan will exhibit their work again in that country.
IF YOU GO
What: Crosscurrent International Exchange Show U.S.-Japan
When: Opens Nov. 18 and runs through Jan. 2. The reception with visiting Japanese artists is from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 18 with brief presentations
Where: Wichita Falls Museum of Art at Midwestern State University, 2 Eureka Circle