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Arts Council to host Ikebana International for illuminating demonstration

By From page A7 | April 19, 2017

PLACERVILLE — El Dorado Arts Council complements its exhibition Tea/Silk/Gold: The Enduring Legacy of America’s First Japanese Colony with an Ikebana demonstration at the historic Fausel House. The Arts Council will organize the event in collaboration with Ikebana International, Sacramento Chapter 26, at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 22. The demonstration is free and open to the public.

Natasha Liu, chapter member and past president, was expressly invited to demonstrate the art of Ikebana for this event. Joining Liu will be chapter members Ellen Nishimura, Janet Goehring and Julie Fong. Visitors to the Gallery at Fausel House will have the chance to help assemble a Friendship Bouquet with direction from the four members from the Sacramento Chapter. In addition there will be demonstrations of several different flower arrangement styles from traditional to free-style. The creation of a large structure arrangement will act as the finale of the event, created by all four members before visitors’ eyes.

“Ikebana is from the principle of Buddhist philosophy,” said Natasha Liu, Ikebana workshop coordinator. “It is a form of meditation and an art that uses everything nature provides such as plants, flowers and branches in their natural forms and all stages of their lives.”

All flowers chosen for the arrangements will be related to Japanese culture and donated by Flowers on Main, located on Main Street in Placerville. Additionally, docents at Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm have agreed to provide branches from the property to use in some of the arrangements.

Arrangements created during the demonstration will be donated to the Arts Council as a gift, “In Friendship through Flowers,” which is the Ikebana International slogan. These works of art will be displayed at the Fausel House Gallery following the event.

Ikebana, literally translated, means “flowers kept alive” and became a distinct art form in Japan in the mid-15th century. It is now practiced throughout the world. The choice of plant material and container and the placement and relationship between them and the surrounding environment distinguishes this as an art form from simply using flowers as decoration. The artistic skill and creative approach gives spiritual and aesthetic pleasure to viewers and practitioners alike. Through Ikebana flowers are transformed from simply decorative to true art.

Tea/Silk/Gold, an exhibition of Japanese arts and culture, celebrates Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm, the first Japanese settlement in North America as colonists fled shogun-era violence in mid-19th century Japan. The exhibition includes a special collection of Japanese woodblock prints from the period 1931 to 1957, lent by Charles Downs, AIA, and never before seen by the public. The exhibition is presented in partnership with the American River Conservancy.

The Fausel House Gallery is located at 772 Pacific St. in Placerville.

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