Delta State University’s Art Department will open its 2022-2023 season with an exhibition of prints by Yoshiko Shimano titled “Dar Salaam.”
The Art Department invites the campus and the community to an opening reception, hosted in the gallery of Delta State’s Fielding Wright Art Center, from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25.
Shimano is a Japanese-born artist who lives and works in Albuquerque, NM. She creates large-scale prints that are informed by the tradition of Japanese woodcut prints but incorporate a variety of different printmaking techniques.
Shimano believes that an artist has a responsibility toward society that expands beyond the studio and the gallery. Not only does her work address social and environmental issues but she has also collaborated on various outreach projects and produced prints for the victims of natural disasters with her students at the Department of Art at the University of New Mexico.
Shimano’s print series “Dar Salaam,” which means “Place of Peace,” was inspired by a trip to the Kedougou Region in the southeast of Senegal in West Africa. The prints focus on the living condition of the inhabitants of the small village Dar Salaam. While the village suffers from a dearth of resources such as food, water, goods, transportation and education, the villagers have used creativity and empathy to develop a sustainable lifestyle.
The series includes images of women who grow vegetables that they sell at a market an hour’s walk away to supplement their families’ income and others who manage to prepare hearty meals for their families with the limited ingredients available. Other prints show the children of Dar Salaam who lack toys, books, and school facilities playing in and learning from the environment.
In Senegal, as in other parts of the world, the socio-economic gap between rural areas and metropolitan centers is enormous and growing. While Shimano’s series addresses social issues in Senegal, she is concerned about similar socio-economic trends in the U.S.
“I introduce the images of the villager’s everyday lives living with hope and strength in Dar Salaam, to express how human beings can be creative and humble, appreciate what they have and feel fulfilled,” said Shimano. “The people of Dar Salaam made me think of what real wealth and happiness are. I would like to celebrate Dar Salaam’s strength of life, spirituality, and beauty in my prints.”
“Yoshiko Shimano: Dar Salaam” will be on view in the gallery from Aug. 25 to Sept. 22, 2022. The artist will introduce her work via Zoom on Aug. 25 at 4 p.m. The link will be available on the Art Department’s website (www.deltastate.edu/art), or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Light refreshments will be served during the opening reception.
Delta State’s Art Gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed on weekends, holidays, and during semester breaks.
For more information, visit www.deltastate.edu/art/wright-center-art-gallery or call (662) 846-4720. For updates and announcements of upcoming events follow Delta State Art Department on Facebook or join the email list.