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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

Japanese Poetry & Art

Exhibit April 1 - April 29
Gualala Arts Center:   Coleman Auditorium

In celebration of April as Poetry Month, there will be an exhibit of works combining poetry and art. For this year, Japanese art and poetry will be the focus, and the works will be one of the highlights of the Poetry & Jazz event on April 11, as one part of the Whale and Jazz Festival with the theme of International Flavor.

Japanese Poetry & Art For this exhibit, works in any media which can be hung on the walls are accepted. Artists can combine Japanese motifs with any kind of poetry or Japanese poetry with any graphic. The exhibit will run from April 1 - 29 in the Coleman Auditorium.

The Japanese have a long history of combining their artwork with the written word. Because they employ brushes and ink for both methods of expression, it seems a natural combination. Very often screens were painted and dedicated to certain poems or the events about which the poem was written. The poem then became part of the painting in fact and spirit.

Later the shortness of the haiku made it even easier to add to a simple drawing. Often these were like sketches or even cartoon renditions of a few well-placed strokes. Though both the poem and the drawing seem simple, great worth and consideration was given to the combination of poem and graphic and their relationship on the page.

Though many of us no longer write with a brush or create our art with one, the tradition remains, and today there is a growing interest in Japanese haiga - a combination of haiku and any kind of graphic. With the advent of the computer, now almost anyone can now take a photo, and add a haiku to it. However, a small but dedicated group of artists are exploring different kinds of graphics and different ways of integrating the words and visuals. A web search of haiga may surprise you with the extent of haiga online.

In the four previous years of Gualala Arts poetry month art shows, several local artists, already adept with the brushes, have shown authentic haiga. Still there is lots of room for exploration and innovation and it is hoped that new ideas will inspire new works of art with a Japanese flair.

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.