People The Arts

“Art From The Lakes” Shiga – Michigan Arts Exchange Project

July 1, 2014

“Art From The Lakes” Shiga – Michigan Arts Exchange Project

Art From The Lakes exhibit in LansingAFTL exhibition in Lansing, Michigan

Are you a fellow Michiganian? Have you ever visited, stayed there, or made it your “second home”? Or, are you simply an art-lover or into international and cultural events? If you match any of these profiles, then keep an eye out and mark your calendars for upcoming events and exhibitions of the Art From The Lakes project scheduled over the next several months, all in Shiga!

Art From The Lakes WorkshopTomoko Hirao shows workshop audiences her woodworking techniques

Art From The Lakes (hereafter AFTL) is an exchange program between artists of Shiga Prefecture and its American sister state, Michigan. Last year the program held it’s first official exchange exhibition in Lansing, MI, during which Takayuki Fukuyama and 5 other local Shiga artists displayed works while staying in Michigan.

This coming September at a gallery in Otsu, AFTL will have its second major exhibition, and the first for Michigan artists to exhibit in Japan. In addition to this Otsu exhibition, the local Shiga artists will also exhibit works concurrently at a separate location in Aisho town, on the second floor of old Sake brewery. Both exhibitions will last about two weeks, following an opening reception at the Otsu exhibition. Besides these main exhibitions, they are also organizing a couple more workshop events.

The project is predominantly self-sustained, with some administrative support from the broader sister-state program administrators, and some sponsorships from local businesses. This year, they gained support from local social service groups, one of which also funds art education programs for the mentally disabled. However, this still doesn’t cover all the project’s expenses, so we’d like to see more local recognition and support both here in Shiga and in Michigan to help the program establish itself and continue supporting our local artists.

Upcoming AFTL events and exhibitions in 2014

  • Jul. 21 – Fundraising Party at Sugimoto restaurant, Hikone. Join via Facebook event page.
  • Sep. 19 – Opening day at Gallery Karahashi (ギャラリー唐橋)in Otsu
  • Sep. 20 – Opening Reception at Seinen Kaikan (滋賀県青年会館) in Otsu
  • Sep. 21 – Opening day at Fujii Honke (藤居本家) in Aisho Town
  • Sep. 23 – Art workshop at Mizuho handicapped care facility in Otsu

If you’re interested in learning more about the exhibition or workshops, please contact them at

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