Exhibits

  • Kites have been the subject of the life of the Japanese for centuries. This collection of 40 Japanese kites from different times and kite makers throughout Japan is one of the most colorfully delightful displays to introduce visitors to the art and culture of the Japanese.
  • The use of paper in kites is not new, but stems from a tradition from many countries of the world. The passion, appreciation and talent of Scott Skinner, Jose Sainz and Nobuhiko Yoshizumi exhibits the beauty and importance of paper in kites as a flying art. In this exhibition of kites, each artist has developed his own style and own expression, taking paper on an interesting contemporary voyage.
  • Greg Kono is a third generation Japanese Ameriacn (Sansei), who grew up on a farm in Sacramento, California. He made his first kites from greenhouse plastic, bamboo or wood dowels, and newspaper; at times he would invest a dollar for a commercial delta kite to fly over the family's twenty-five acres of farmland.
  •  I've always argued that the most exciting aspect of "kites as art" is that the individual almost always shines through. A simple kite form can become magical with unique treatment by a skilled artist. So it is with the kites of Nancy Kiefer, a skilled portrait painter with an almost primitive style. She has artistic tools readily adaptable to the kite-canvas: powerful lines, strong contrast, and an amount detail left to the imagination of the viewer.
  • In the early 1990s, as kite festivals throughout the world became increasingly popular, a parallel movement affected the kite world like a tsunami. Kite pins became the rage and were collected voraciously at kite festivals throughout Asia, Europe, Australia, and the United States. They were an easily transported, inexpensive token that could be traded, sold, or given as gifts to remember of a person, place, or time, be an artist expression, an homage to a kite, or a keepsake from an event.
  • Led by by a handmade paper expert, 8 international artists traveled to Kochi, one of Japan's major papermaking centers. In just under a week, the artists experienced the art of making washi, traditional Japanese handmade paper, and incorporated washi in new contemporary kite works.
  • Like all kites from Japan, those from Japan’s southern island of Kyushu represent a variety of kite-making traditions. Although the different forms and functions of specific kites may vary, what remains consistent is the artistry with which they are crafted.
  • This exhibit brings a masterpiece Japanese print (ukiyo-e) to life for the 21st century. Four interpretive panels introduce twin manias-for theater and for kites-in 19th-century Japan and reproduce a triptych from 1864, Ika Nobori Agaru Serai (Kite-flying Competition in the Blue Sky). The woodblock print, by Utagawa Yoshiharu, shows the faces of 21 leading actors from kabuki (popular) theater on kites, each accompanied by hiragana and kanji boasting of their popularity with their star-struck fans.
  • Worldwide, kites can be made with a variety of materials: a simple leaf, paper and wood, silk and bamboo, plastic and fiberglass or almost any combination of the above. Miniature kites are no exception and serve to test their makers' ingenuity and their materials' limits. This exhibit takes you on a tour of the smaller kite - a collection of the world's finest flying miniatures.