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i’m having postcards and posters made to promote my show, titled “personal”, at the mendel art gallery. the image is my favorite drawing from this show, called “new heartbeat”. i wanted to have this work as the focal point of the show, so it’s displayed in the center of the main wall, with my other drawings in a symmetrical layout surrounding it. the secret of the show is that it’s all about poko-chan, one way or the other. i hope that poko-chan will be happy to see its visualized heart in the gallery.

the postcards and posters will be ready by the end of this week. i’m planning to walk around downtown and broadway this weekend to put up posters and invite people in person to come to the opening. i’ll also be leaving some postcards in shops, so if you find this somewhere please feel free to take it home with you.

the mendel has also invited me to put some of my art prints and postcards up for sale in their gallery shop. i chose a few of the same ones that are available as prints in my online shop, plus i’m also making art prints of “new heartbeat” for the first time. “new heartbeat” will also be added to my online shop, as soon as i have time.

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(click any image to enlarge)

i’ve been keeping a secret for the last little while. i’m pregnant! no wait, i told that news already. something else…

i’m doing a show at the mendel art gallery! this is really exciting for me — i’ve never had a show in such a serious gallery before. the mendel gallery is famous in saskatoon and known across the country, so i didn’t want to write about it here until everything was in place.

the show is part of a program called “artists by artists”. it matches an established artist, david geary, with me, an emerging artist. it’s funny, because last month i was happy to find out that the women’s art festival didn’t think i was “emerging” anymore, since i got accepted as an established artist there. so i emerged already, but now i’m “emerging” again. maybe i’m really a “floating artist” in the art world.

i met alexandra badzak, who coordinates the artists by artists program, at the opening of my first drawing show in saskatoon, last february. at that time, i didn’t know many people in saskatoon, so i made a bunch of postcards and posters and gave them to people who might be interested in coming to my opening. i went to shops along broadway and downtown to drop off postcards and invite people in person.

it was -20 that day, and i felt cold and miserable walking around with my bag full of postcards. i thought, “since i’m working this hard and feeling this miserable, i might as well go to the mendel art gallery to invite the staff.” so i went, even though i didn’t really expect anyone from the famous art gallery would come to my little show. i walked into the gallery and went to the back and up a staircase because i thought the offices would be upstairs. there was someone sitting at a desk looking suspiciously at me when i walked in (the door was open). i gave her my postcards and a poster. when she saw them, she got enthusiastic and said she’d definitely give them to the staff.

i still didn’t think anyone would show up. but when my opening started (i was still setting up the food i made), alex was there and she came up to me and gave me her card. i just couldn’t believe she was one of the curators at the mendel. i was touched.

the show title is “personal :: political”. my part of the show is “personal”, and david geary’s part is “political”. dave and i met in the summer of 2005, just after i moved to saskatoon. i was selling my drawings on the street at the fringe festival. he stopped by my section and we chatted for awhile. he told me that he was doing a show at the mendel that summer, so i went to check it out.

dave makes propaganda posters for modern life and politics in saskatchewan, based on actual soviet propaganda posters. he imitates the colors and figures and text layout, but the message is about saskatchewan. i love the propaganda motif. he does a drawing and then makes a poster from it. he uses his images to make greeting cards and t-shirts and he also shows his work at street festivals.

so dave and i have a lot in common in the way we like to work, even though our styles are quite different. he invited me to do this show with him, and he’s been a great mentor to me. he’s very relaxed about the idea of art, so he helped me keep my confidence and have fun getting ready for our show.

my part of the show includes many of my favorite drawings (17 of them). i’m also showing some of my useless toys, including the decapitated version of the maximum team power duck. i’ve shown most of it online here already, but one of the toys is new. i’ll be making a mendel show collection of images and putting it in my online gallery.

it was so exciting to see everything on display today. the drawings are all framed and the toys are in clear plastic cases. for my previous shows, i put up drawings with thumbtacks, so i’m not used to seeing them this way. the layout and the hanging were all done according to my plan by professionals (not just paul and me), and i’m really happy with how it looks.

the show is up now and will be available for viewing at the mendel art gallery, saskatoon, until june 3rd. the opening will be friday april 13th, starting at 8pm. please come if you can, even though it’s friday the 13th. i’d be very happy to meet some of the people who are reading my blog!

david geary and i will also be doing an open studio for “something on sundays” this weekend: sunday april 1st, from 2 – 4pm. please come if you can, even though it’s april fool’s day (i won’t play a trick on you). at the same time, the “children’s art adventures” will have a workshop on how to make pala-pala flipbooks. maybe the most amazing thing for me about this show is seeing the word “pala-pala” on a art gallery website in canada.

the mendel has also invited me to have some of my prints and postcards available for sale in the gallery shop. i’m still arranging this, but i’ll give an update with what i have available there.
anyway, that’s my latest secret. i hope many of you can come and enjoy our show.

show details

personal :: political
david geary
yuka yamaguchi
march 30th to june 3rd

something on sundays (open studio)
sunday april 1st, 2-4pm

opening reception
friday april 13th, 8pm

the mendel art gallery
950 spadina crescent east
open daily 9am – 9pm

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(click the image to view the close up)

the fringe festival has begun! from august 3rd to 13th, there’ll be performances, shops with original art and lots of fun. i’ll be busking on broadway avenue again this year. i don’t have many tricks to show you, but i’ll be showing some prints and small originals and they’ll be for sale. i’ll bring the spencer book too :)

my two original drawings (the one above and this) are shown at off broadway theater for fringe optix exhibition. they’re both for sale. there’ll be more of beautiful artworks by local artists. so go check it out.

last year, i was busking for the first time. it was just a month after paul and i moved to saskatoon. i didn’t know anybody. so it was nice to meet new people. i met many talented artists. it was tamara bond who dropped by at my booth, suggesting to contact phonographique for a show. i also met felt birds! (their fashion is awesome. i’m looking forward to seeing their new works.) i met so many friendly locals that i felt like i was already a part of the community. it was so much fun. it looks like there’ll be a lot of talented local artists again this year. so come on down to broadway avenue and have fun!

street busker
weekdays: 6pm ~ 10:30pm
weekends (incl. holiday monday): noon ~ 10:30pm

fringe optix~ the visual art exhibition
gallery: The Off Broadway Arts Centre – Lower Floor
hours 1pm – 9pm
opening saturday, aug 5th @7:30

*i’ll start busking tomorrow night.

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(click the image to view close up)

freshly drawn today.

the japanese writing on the left says, “i-ro-ha”. it’s the beginning of a japanese poem, the iroha. nihongo (the japanese language) has a syllabary, not an alphabet. the iroha poem contains each syllable exactly once. it was written sometime in the heian era (794-1192, when kyoto was the capital), and was used as an ordering system for the japanese syllables (kana) until the meiji era (late 19th century).

the original japanese poem:

(in translation:)
Though fragrant are the colors,
Yet shall the flowers scatter.
Who in our world
Could forever endure?
Over the mountain of transcendence
Let us today cross,
And there will be no more shallow dreams,
No more drunken illusions.

(translation from here)


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