Saturday, September 27, 2008

Spending Time with Ando Shinji

I had the pleasure of getting to know an amazing artist from Japan. I must admit I was a little nervous about meeting Ando. I am a student at the University of New Mexico studying Fine Arts and Art Education. I am still trying to find my path in life and Ando is an established working artist and professor. All I knew about him before we met was his beautiful artwork. I was not sure what to expect when I first met him and when I finally did his presence was comforting.

Ando came to the gallery during the day before the reception to do a practice run of his demonstration. Ando’s friend and fellow artist Hayashi was translating as much as he could for Ando, Regina, and I. Once I met them my nerves calmed down. Ando and Hayashi are kind and respectful people. Ando seemed a little shyer than Hayashi.

Later, I took them to Chef Jim White’s for lunch. Hayashi ordered a green chile cheeseburger (good choice!) and Ando ate a chicken burrito. I stuck with one of my favorites - green chile chicken enchiladas. At the restaurant I was talking with Hayashi and I noticed that Ando can speak a little bit more English than he lets on. He understood some of the things I said, although it was still pretty minimal. I found out that Ando and I are both parents of three-year olds!

After the reception I realized how inspiring they are to me and that I can reach my dreams as long as I keep making art. Ando and Hayashi have been printmaking for 20+ years and travel all over the world. I am grateful I had the opportunity to spend time with them and learn some new printmaking techniques along the way!

Gallery Intern/Assistant

Here I am explaining the process of etching to the people watching Ando's demo.

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