ART IS IN –– OLYMPIC FANS ARE OUT.
American Art Gains Full Entry to Japan – While Covid Clampdowns Restrict Olympic Fans
20TH JAPAN INTERNATIONAL ART EXCHANGE EXHIBITION
August 3 – August 8, 2021
Chiba City Museum of Art
John Paul Thornton "Three Graces" Oil on Canvas Triptych 40" X90" 2021
“Forty-two Artists have risen to the occasion, to represent America and support our athletes – as the rest of the world watches”, says curator, Julienne Johnson. “My goal for “The USA Exhibition” is to present an intentionally broad body of works in both discipline and narrative, to show the full range of artistic freedom that we take for granted. After over a year of isolation and lock-downs, museum viewers will have an opportunity to fill their loss with a multitude of human experiences. My hope is that the show will contribute to a deeper understanding of our shared humanity and strengthen our sense of connectedness”.
Johnson’s home served as a drop-off point for the crating and shipping of 92 paintings, sculptures and photographs curated from over 850 submissions. The sum-total being a dynamic collection of American’s diverse and complex art scene, including abstract and representational artworks exploring boundary crossing between painting, sculpture and photography.
John Paul Thornton, an artist that Johnson is thrilled to feature in the show states, “Every aspect of global culture has been bottled up since the 2020 shutdown. Now as parts of the world reopen, there is an urgent desire to communicate and participate”. To Johnson’s delight, Thornton created three large ethnically diverse children’s portraits, especially for the Chiba City Museum show.
Although she regularly embraces the expectations and protocol surrounding large-scale museum installations. and curatorial responsibilities – this year, even Johnson will not have access to the mounting of the display, due to Covid restrictions.
Global sports enthusiasts historically fuel the stadiums and arenas with energy during Olympic games – but times have changed. In the name of health and safety, foreign visitors will not be
allowed to attend the Tokyo Summer Olympics. In fact, there may not be any visitors at all.
Excepting the athletes who promise to be present.
Yet in spite of the impact of a lingering pandemic, restrictions will not stop The 20th Japan International Art Exchange Exhibition. The “Art is “IN.”
Other ARTISTS’ OF NOTE featured in the Exhibition include:: Kristine Amerson, Clara Berta, Dan Callis, Suzanne Dittenber, Petra Eiko, Brooke Harker, Linda Kunik, Mela Marsh, Christopher Mercier, Maidy Morhous, Olympio, Terry LaRue, Carl Shubs