The following is a brief wrap-up of the 2010 MAJET ALT Art and Culture Show from Jamie Rosenberg, the director of this year's show (with a few photos at the bottom).
We hold the ALT Art & Culture Exchange every year not only to showcase the art of foreigners in Miyagi, but also to strengthen our connection with the prefecture. The Art Show allows us to meet each other and new people in a friendly environment in which we all have something in common – our love of art.
We held the 2010 ALT Art & Culture Exchange at the Sendai-shi Shimin Katsudo Support Center from April 16th – 18th. This was a smaller venue than we were used to, but the location was great (on the same block as the Disney Store) and the layout worked perfectly for the show.
On Friday, April 16th, the first night of the event, we held the opening gala. By 6:30 pm, guests streamed in so quickly that there was a line at the reception desk. This was likely our biggest opening in ALT Art & Culture Exchange history, with over 150 guests, not including performers or staff. We turned the walls (and several other surfaces) into our art gallery, and on the stage, we welcomed performances from several ALT artists, in music and dance styles from all over the world. Our first performance was a double violin concerto, and then we transitioned to a professional Jamaican gospel singer. We returned to European music with a tin whistle, cello, accordion, and guitar group, heard an American folk performance, and then watched a unique duet between a break dancer and a flamenco dancer. The Gaijins, a rock duo, brought us back to Japan with their J-rock, and we finished the evening with a traditional Japanese shamisen and shakuhachi performance.
On Saturday, April 17th, our longest day, we displayed art from 10:00 am until 9:00 pm, and held workshops from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm. The weather outside was cold, and we were surprised to see it snowing so hard in the morning that it blanketed the ground! This did limit the amount of guests that came, but it was warm and bright inside, and by the end of the day, we had over 50 guests. Workshop topics spanned from “European calligraphy” to “Kokeshi Dolls from Around the World,” from Is that Karate?!?” to “Improv Comedy.” We welcomed back “The Mysteries of Scotland,” a popular workshop from last year, and finished the workshops with a break dance workshop, which had the guests on their feet, moving to the music.
On Sunday, April 18th, we opened the gallery at 10:00 am and workshops at 11:00 am again, but closed both a bit earlier than on Saturday, with workshops until 4:00 pm and the gallery until 5:00 pm. Sunday workshops started off with the return of last year’s popular “American Coffee Making” workshop, and continued with the hands-on “Indigenous Australian Rock Art,” “Swing Dance For Beginners,” “30 Minute Beats,” and finally “Caribbean Danzaerobics.” The weather was much better than that of the previous day, and the workshops were equally wonderful, which allowed us to welcome more than 100 guests, even though the day was shorter.
Thanks to the hard work and creativity of those who volunteered their time and their art to the 2010 ALT Art & Culture Exchange, and thanks to the numerous guests, the event was a smashing success. For more photographs of the event, please visit our website at http://artshow.ajetmiyagi.com/.
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