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An innovative collaboration of visual and performing arts and education in the unique historic setting of the former DC prison.

Asian Art and Culture Day, National Cherry Blossom Festival 2013

Event Date: 
Saturday, April 6, 2013 - 11:00am to 4:00pm
Campus Wide

Click here for printable version of the detailed schedule of events!
The Workhouse Arts Center presents Asian Art and Culture Day at the Workhouse, National Cherry Blossom Festival 2013. This is the Workhouse’s 3rd annual National Cherry Blossom Festival event. From 11am - 4pm the day will feature demonstrations, performances, participatory workshops, presentations and exhibitions featuring Asian art and culture. Presenters include Japan-America Society of Washington DC, George Mason University, Workhouse Artists and Ikebana International. All activities are FREE.
Follow the Workhouse Blossom Watch on Facebook as our friends at Merrifield Garden Center keep an eye on our Yoshino cherry trees to let us know when they predict the trees will be at peak blossom!


Highlights of the Day:


Ephemeral: Interpretations of the Cherry Blossom

The Asian Art and Culture Day event is centered around the exhibition Ephemeral: Interpretations of the Cherry Blossom. Curated by Laurel Lukaszewki, artist and member of the National Cherry Blossom Festival Board of Directors, and artist Komelia Hongja Okim, the exhibition explores fleeting moments captured in art and celebrates the cherry blossom and Asian and American relations. The exhibition is open from March 2 – April 7, with an exhibition reception on March 9 from 6 – 9pm. Please join us in the McGuireWoods Gallery.


Curators Talk, Ephemeral: Interpretations of the Cherry Blossom

Laurel Lukaszewski and  Komelia Hongja Okim, artists and co-curators of the Workhouse’s Ephemeral exhibition will speak about the work, the symbolism of the cherry blossom and the inspiration for their work. Light refreshments will be served to celebrate the start of the Workhouse’s Asian art and culture celebration event at 11:45am in the McGuireWoods Gallery.

Guest Lecturer, Dr. Svitlana Shiells

The life and art of Gustav Klimt is surrounded by much mystery and controversy. While some people are willing to pay record-breaking prices for his art, others dismiss his paintings as cheap kitsch. During this lecture, Dr. Shiells will provide us with a deeper, more personal look at Gustav Klimt and his work, focusing on the enormous influence of Japanese aesthetics and art, especially ukiyo-e (the art of woodblock prints), kimono and poetry, on his work. 1pm in the McGuireWoods Gallery.

Workhouse Artist Demonstrations

Visit the Workhouse artists in their studios and galleries to enjoy the demonstrations and art work celebrating the National Cherry Blossom Festival and Asian art and culture. 11am-4pm in the Studio Buildings.

Hsi-Mei Yates invites you into her studio for a demonstration of Sume-e Japanese brush painting techniques. W-5, Studio 514.

Fiber Artist Gretchen Klimoski will display sashiko stitched and Asian style garments in the fiber arts studio. W-6, Studio 605.

The gallery in the glass art building will be overflowing with beautiful blossoms, rendered in blown, fused and stained glass, for the occasion. W-7 Gallery. 


Japanese Traditions, Crafts and Activities

The Japan-America Society of Washington DC is bringing their Japan in a Suitcase (JIS) program to the Workhouse Arts Center. JIS teaches participants about the games, dress and celebrations of Japan. This year’s JIS activities include information on Japan’s Girls Day and Boys Day celebrations, and will feature making hina dolls for Girls Day and newspaper helmets and carp streamers for Boys Day. Look for the colorful carp flags directing you to these activities. 11am-4pm in Studio Building W-3, Classroom 303.

Asian Crafts, Stories and Games

Workhouse art instructor E. Anne Cox invites children and adults alike to participate in anesama doll making workshops, to learn about oshie pictures, to enjoy the traditional Japanese story of The Wedding of the Rat told with oshie puppets, and to participate in origami sumo wrestling matches. Activities from 11am-4pm, Story Times at 12pm and 2pm in the Vulcan Gallery.



The Workhouse ceramics program in Building W-8 will host an exhibition featuring ceramic vessels created by the Workhouse artists, and arrangements created by Pamela Rankin, Member of  the American Institute of Floral Design and a Certified Floral Designer. The ceramic artists will host an Ikebana vessel making demonstration at 2pm. Ikebana demonstration will be presented by Ikebana International member Elizabeth Berry. 11am-4pm, Building W-8.


A day-long participatory origami workshop will allow guest to create a paper crane, lucky star, self-folding envelope or a simple elegant swan. Advanced origami demonstrations, National Cherry Blossom Festival mini kite making and flying sessions, and the documentary “Between the Folds” will be featured in the origami workshop studio. 11am-4pm.


Along with the origami workshops, visitors can view the documentary “Between the Folds.” “Origami may seem an unlikely medium for understanding and explaining the world. But around the globe, several fine artists and theoretical scientists are abandoning more conventional career paths to forge lives as modern-day paper folders. Through origami, these offbeat and provocative minds are reshaping ideas of creativity and revealing the relationship between art and science.” Learn more about the film at http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/between-the-folds/film.html

Gong Fu Tea Ceremonies

Workhouse Artist Darlene Kaplan will host two ceremonial tea tastings. The Gong Fu ceremonial tea drinking style is meant to focus one's attention and relax the mind and spirit in a convivial, shared experience.  Paying close attention to the evolving taste and aroma of the tea, slowing to observe the dance of its leaves against beautiful ceramic cups enhances one's appreciation of both the tea and the moment. Participants will experience premium loose leaf estate teas from Sir Lanka, Japan, China, Tibet, India, Vietnam, Taiwan, and more. Teas will be available for purchase. 1pm and 3pm, in Building W-3, Classroom 304.

Space is limited. Participants can sign up outside the tasting room beginning at 11AM on the day of the event.

Ms. Kaplan will also present oriental brush painting demonstrations from the Ling Nan style, which is a fusion of styles from the east and the west. She will demonstrate painting plum blossoms at 12:30pm and chrysanthemums at 2:30PM. W-3, Classroom 304.


Students from George Mason University’s Japanese studies program will present The Magic Fan (mahoo no oogi). This Japanese play will be performed and directed by the students, and there will be a question and answer session after this 20 minute performance. 3pm in the W-3 Theatre.

Prize Drawing and Raffle

Complete a survey during the Asian Art and Culture Day event and be registered for a chance to win art supplies. Raffle tickets will be on sale for two Chinese calligraphy sets!


Asian Art and Culture Day at the Workhouse is Sponsored by Visit Fairfax, Northern Virginia Magazine and SunTrust.

Ticket Required: