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Japanese Children's Artwork Visits Michigan

Published: Wednesday, 04 Aug 2010
Author: Katie Walquist
Department: Japan Center for Michigan Universities

An exhibit of paintings and ceramic works by children from Shiga, Japan will travel throughout Michigan in celebration of the Michigan-Shiga sister-state relationship.

In 1968, the State of Michigan and Shiga Prefecture, Japan signed a sister state agreement. Now, Michigan and Shiga share 17 sister and friendship cities. In 1969, the Shigaraki Fine Arts Society for Children was established by preschool, elementary school, and middle school art teachers to promote an education in fine arts for children.

Recently, Shiga Prefecture expressed a desire to introduce the artistic creations of the children of Shiga to Michigan residence. Approximately 30 of the best works by elementary school pupils in Koka City were selected. Koka City is a sister city with DeWitt, Traverse City, and Marshall.

Koka City is also a famous center for the production of pottery in Japan, with rich deposits of high-quality clay. It has earned a reputation for incorporating this clay into an education in fine arts, with "earthenware studies" starting in childhood through the teen years.

The display of 28 works of art and 11 display panels is being shown at the International Center on Michigan State University's campus and at the East Lansing Public Library from August 4th-31st. An opening reception for the display will take place on August 12th, 2010 from 5-7pm at the East Lansing Public Library located at 950 Abbot Road.