MAPS (Maine-Aomori Printmaking Society)
MAPS (Maine-Aomori Printmaking Society) is an exhibition of prints by artists from Maine and Aomori, Japan, presented by Friends of Aomori, the non-profit that supports the Sister City relationship between the two states. MAPS is a multi-tiered exchange project developed to share prints, exhibitions, and artist residencies between Maine and Aomori on an ongoing basis. The first phase of MAPS was an exhibition at the Aomori Municipal Art Pavilion in Japan by ten artists from Maine in October 2015. See pictures of that show here.
Coinciding with the exhibition, Pickwick Independent Press — an independent print studio located above the galleries in the Space Studios — will host four Japanese printmakers for a week-long printmaking residency in Portland. This visit is supported by a grant from the Japanese Consulate in Boston to support cultural exchange between Japan and the US, which recently honored Friends of Aomori with the Foreign Minister’s Award. The artists will create work in the studio, visit local galleries and museums, and visit printmaking classes at Maine College of Art to deliver workshops and critiques. The group will be led by Jiro Ono, Director of the Munakata Shiko Memorial Museum in Aomori.
The fascinating relationship between these two states has been in place for 20 years, but the connection goes back to a shipwreck in 1889 (read more here). As part of the ongoing project of MAPS, 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. The exhibition will feature prints by Judith Allen, Kyle Bryant, Clint Fulkerson, Colleen Kinsella, Kazuhiko Kojima, Reiko Kudo, Michael Marks, Pilar Nadal, Mitsuo Ohsaka, Lisa Pixley, Carrie Scanga, Emiko Seki, Carter Shappy, Nobuko Shimazu, Yoshiko Takebayashi, Kouji Tazawa, Yoshimasa Tsujii, David Wolfe, Seizoh Yagihashi, and Koya Yamada. The show will also feature a display of nebuta parade floats, a handmade illustrated book about the Cheseborough by Jeff Badger, and artifacts from the collaborative picture book Hello from the Other Side of the World by Scott Nash and Toshiki Sawada. Director Ono will coordinate the group and meet with Maine museum directors and curators during his visit.
The show opens with a public reception attended by the visiting Japanese delegation on Friday, March 18th from 5-7pm, and is on view through April 1st, closing after the First Friday Art Walk.