Graduation Ceremony - June 18th, 2005
Do you remember your first sumi-e painting class? Do you remember being told that you would spend several years working towards your test piece and seal, and thinking, "I'll never get there." Then somehow you did. You received your seal! Of course, you also learned shortly thereafter that things had not changed dramatically in your life because you would still need to keep on learning - and joined the Sumi-e Artists of Canada.
Two graduates, Kiyoshi Kenzaki and Shigeo Kishimoto, reminded us of those days and we joined them to celebrate that momentous occasion: graduating and receiving a seal. Interestingly, both test pieces from these gentlemen displayed very different styles. Both artist studied under well-known instructor and artist Hiroshi Yamamoto, who teaches sumi-e painting at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and several other institutions in Toronto.
Kiyoshi Kenzaki, shown below with his test piece, used a delicate and detailed painting technique in his pastoral setting of a man in a boat near a secluded cottage.
Shigeo Kishimoto's mountainous landscape was more impressionistic.
The two graduates took time to chat with one of their teachers, well-known painter and instructor, Peter Ito.
The ceremony included the traditional imprinting the seal on the registry of the Sumi-e Artists of Canada.
Like all graduates, they received a free one year membership to the Sumi-e Artists of Canada, which was gratefully received by Kiyoshi Kenzaki.
Shigeo Kishimoto seemed more pensive.
The graduates were congratulated by Marie Ikeda, past president of the Sumi-e Artists of Canada, and Gary Bist, current president.
The ceremony also included the news that the book Oriental Painting would be published. It includes many paintings by artists from the Sumi-e Artists of Canada. The book was written by Mary Beth Southcott. Many at the ceremony signed up for a copy.
The graduation ceremony included sushi and refreshments from Linda Nakatsu and Dianne Kitazaki. A business report from the executive, a group of volunteers who fund and promote sumi-e painting activities in Toronto. A video was shown of the 2004 Sumi-e Artists of Canada art show including a display of shodo (Japanese calligraphy). The video, along with the graduates' wonderful paintings, should encourage all of us to get working on our submissions for this year's show in November: Insights in Ink.