Michiko Suzuki: Hope Chests

Above image from the Burnaby Art Gallery website

A few days ago we visited an exciting exhibition of mixed media work at the Burnaby Art Gallery, by artist and friend Michiko Suzuki. I really recommend art critic Robin Laurence’s excellent review in The Straight, much better said than I could. We enjoyed the tent-like displays which invited one to step inside to look at the “hope chests”, the framed prints of the girls, and the video. I could not resist purchasing the attractive little catalogue printed by the BAG. Below is one of the better installation shots that I was able to capture with my modest little pocket camera.


We were very sad to have been unable to attend the opening because we had rarely seen old friends from Ontario visiting just on that day! I’m sure many of our mutual artist friends were there, whom I have missed and would have loved to meet. Michiko and I were part of the long-running Art Institute, Printmaking group at Capilano University, which some readers may recall was shut down along with all art programs in 2013. I recall she was working on some of the first pieces in this series back then and told me recently the whole series took her five years. She is one of the hardest working artists I have ever known personally, and one who has exhibited widely. If interested, you may find some of my postings about them here. (Please ignore the other famous Suzuki that comes up in that search.)

Robert Young’s exhibition

Last night husband, daughter Erika and I attended a wonderful opening of Robert Young’s stunning exhibition at the beautiful Gordon Smith Gallery in North Vancouver. It was the occasion of a release of his new print Bebop for the Artists for Kids, along with an exhibition with the theme of Spatial Understanding which included a number of his older prints, paintings and drawings plus a recently completed new painting.

It was a heartwarming evening! I was touched to receive a warm hug from Bob as I congratulated him on his show. We were also pleased to see many artist friends there from our former print studio, the Art Institute. How we have missed each other. (I was a bit watery eyed thinking of the evening later.) I’m sorry I was too busy to take many photos, most of which came out very yellow under the lights but for this of Robert as he spoke about his work to the gallery visitors:


The exhibition continues to January 3rd, 2015. Check here and here for more information about this unusual Gallery and its work. If you are in the area, it is well worth a visit to see this master’s impeccable work.

Some readers may recall a couple of posts I had previously written about Robert Young here and here, where some images of his work may be seen as well as at the links for more.

last print sale


Capilano University’s Studio Art printmaking department is presenting The Last Ever Print Sale!

Monday, December 2nd, 10 am to 4 pm.

Studio Art Building, Room 104

Capilano University

2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver, BC

Directions and maps

Why is it the ‘last ever’ sale? The Print Sale has been a longtime (25 years?) annual event which we are all very sad to see coming to an end. As some readers know, Capilano University has cut numerous programs including Studio Art and the Art Institute. The second-year Studio Art program is running just this school year to allow the current students to complete their diploma requirements.

So, it is wonderful that they are hosting this event and also including the Ceramics class this time (they used to have their own sale). The Art Institute Printmaking alumni, such as yours truly, have been invited to participate as part of that long tradition.

If you live in the Vancouver area, please come and support the students and get some original artworks for some lucky people on your gift list, including yourself. We hope to see many friends there that special day!

More background:
– About the Art Institute Printmaking program, written in 2004
– About the protest against the program cuts

Poster image: etching by Liam Johnstone

Save Studio Art


Just when the school year is finishing and many students in Studio Arts have put up their graduation exhibition, the administration at Capilano University in North Vancouver has announced that they would have to make cuts to many programs because of a shortfall of $1.3 million in funding from the BC government. Studio and Textile Arts are particularly targeted along with other courses. Studio Arts is and has been a very well-respected program for 40 years.

Students and Faculty and Friends of the Arts are fighting this very hard. A Facebook page and a petition have been set up which are receiving lots of support but we need much more. I have personally been part of the excellent studio arts program at Capilano and want to help by asking friends and readers to please sign this petition in support of arts education, ALL education, and to pass it on to others.

Here is one very special and supportive comment at that petition:

I would not be writing this letter of support for Capilano University’s Studio and Textile Arts Program as an Associate Professor at Emily Carr were it not for the incredible education I received there. Having subsequently toured many art and design schools over the years in the United States and Canada, and having been an external reviewer last year of Capilano’s program, I can testify that the program ranks among the best. Simply put it offers a first rate blend of intellectual, material, and technical development delivered by extraordinary faculty in a beautifully equipped, community-friendly studio setting. The program is a major contributor to the high profile for culture and excellence the University enjoys, and its reputation far outdistances its relatively small size. It would be a false economy to eliminate this program as the University’s profile would be greatly diminished on the cultural scene, locally and nationally. – Alexandra Phillips of Vancouver

There is a provincial election campaign going on and we are questioning all candidates on this issue. Why are some universities getting way more funding than others, while others are experiencing cuts? Why any cuts to any kind of education? Coincidentally or not, the University is having their decision-making budget meeting on May 14th which is the very day of the election!

Here are a few of the many reports in the news media:
THE TYEE by Crawford Kilian
Alliance for Arts and Culture
Thank you for reading and for your support!

ADDED May 3rd: In the Straight: Capilano University needs to hit the pause button on its budget plans, by Reg Johanson. Excellent comments too.

UPDATE May 20th: After weeks of petitions, protests and meetings, the University board has agreed to delay the cuts for another month to research and possibly propose a new plan.

Michiko Suzuki: A Feeler


Michiko has a solo exhibition of her latest prints coming up at the Bellevue Gallery in West Vancouver. The opening is on Valentine’s Day, Feb 14th, 6 to 8 pm. and the exhibition continues to March 16th, 2013.

Read about Michiko’s current theme and view some of her older works on Bellevue’s pages.
Michiko’s name and numerous exhibitions have appeared often on these pages — here are links to the most recent:
~ A four person exhibition in the Embassy of Canada in Tokyo
~ Our Institute group’s exhibition in Tokyo
~ Michiko’s previous solo exhibition at the Bellevue
Hope to see you on the 14th!

Japanese exchange exhibition


You may recall that our Art Institute printmakers had a wonderful exhibition in Tokyo, Japan in May/June of this year. As an exchange, we are hosting an exhibition of works by Japanese printmakers in the Studio Art Gallery at Capilano University, North Vancouver. Several artists are traveling here and will be at the opening on Thursday, October 4th, 2012, 7 to 9 pm. Everyone is welcome. The exhibition continues to October 20th, open Monday to Friday 8:30 am – 4:00 pm.

Also, one of the artists, Professor Hiroshi Maruyama of Tama Art University, Japan will give a lecture on Friday, October 5th at 12 noon in the gallery. I understand he will be giving a demonstration of traditional Japanese woodblock printing with watercolours. It will be an exciting week!

If you need directions to the campus and the Studio Art building, please check out these maps.

B-Gallery exhibition photos










As I wrote in the spring along with a poster image, our Art Insitute printmakers group had an exciting exhibition at the B-Gallery in Tokyo. I was lucky during the show to capture one photo from the gallery’s site before it was gone so I’ve been eagerly looking forward to seeing more, as have all the artists who were not there. Today Michiko Suzuki, one of the artists who was there in person, wrote that the exhibition was successful, well attended and well received. She kindly sent many opening and installation photos to share here. Enjoy!

I want to add the artist’s names under their images, and though I know many of them, I’m not sure of all, so shall add that information sometime later when I get to see the catalogue.

print show videos

A while ago, I posted about a printmaking exhibition by several friends at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, Japan. Michiko Suzuki, one of the artists, has kindly emailed me that she has put up two videos on YouTube. One is of their exhibition opening. The second shows the installation process and one can see more of their amazing work. The gallery space is fantastic. Congratulations to the artists!

Added later: Michiko has also created a video of her exhibition ‘Flicker of Life’, shown in the Penticton Art Gallery in 2009. I wrote about it back then with a link to a slide show she had created. Wonderful work!

photo: Japan exhibition


Perhaps you remember my earlier post about our Art Institute group’s print exhibition in Japan? Here is a screen shot of the installation at the B-Gallery in Tokyo. My piece Fragments IV is second from the left. I can hardly wait to hear reports and see more photos from the artists who were present at the exhibition opening!

Added later: Here are more photos of our exhibition.

Printmaking, eh?


Printmaking, eh?: Four Artists Expanding the Boundaries
May 25 – July 20, 2012
Embassy of Canada Prince Takamado Gallery, Tokyo

Four of the artists in the previously announced exhibition are also showing concurrently and for a longer period at the Embassy of Canada Prince Takamado Gallery in Tokyo.

The Exhibition Announcement states in part:

The Embassy of Canada is pleased to present an exhibition in its Prince Takamado Gallery entitled Printmaking, eh?: Four Artists Expanding the Boundaries featuring works by Western Canada based artists who take experimental approaches to printmaking.
Steven Dixon of Alberta together with Wayne Eastcott, Davida Kidd and Michiko Suzuki of British Columbia share the common thread of consideration of the human condition in the 21st century. Dixon explores the consequences of human endeavour via the artefact/archival landscape while Eastcott pursues the interconnection of contemporary technology, humankind and nature. Kidd dwells on the internal – the dreams, guilt and passion of the inhabitants of our culture and Suzuki is concerned with the fragility and future of young women.

All of these artists are or have been associated with the Art Institute, Printmaking at Capilano University, three of them in a teaching capacity. All have been mentioned on this blog in the past regarding some of their exhibitions so if interested in learning more about them, please do a search, located at the bottom of the left bar.

(The above image is not in the exhibition, just a crop from a proof of my own to provide a decoration here.)

Updated Aug.3rd, 2012: Please see the videos.