About the presenter,
Passion comes to people in different ways and at different periods in one’s life. For some, it comes naturally , others through hard work and dedication, and to a few, it falls into their lap by accident. The latter being the case with Bruce. As a world traveler for his profession Bruce has enjoyed what many peoples and cultures offer our world. With a strong love for history, genealogy, and culture, helped by his love for the Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment periods from the 15th to 17th centuries, Bruce’s love for the artistry of the orient especially for the Japanese art-history-culture blossomed.
The resulting conclusion being this exhibition attributed and dedicated to Ōoka Shumboku, a master artist and woodblock carver (1680-1763) from the Kanō School of Art in Kyoto and Edo, Japan. The Kano School of Art was considered the most important cultural school of art in all of Japan for about 400 years to the late 19th century and was recognized as such by several emperors.
Ōoka Shumboku traveled the region near Kyoto and Osaka, painting copies of famous period works then creating woodblock prints from them. From 1710-1720 he completed his works and published the prints.
In 1998 while Bruce was on a business trip to Kyoto, Japan, he came across a very old handcrafted book full of woodblock prints, at a “garage sale”. The book was in very poor condition and had been abused over its 280 years of history. It turned out that this handcrafted book, printed on Kozo Washi (mulberry bark paper) was printed in 1720, and is possibly the only one of its kind left in existence.
After sitting in a drawer for 13 more years, Bruce started restoring these woodblock prints to their former glory as if first printed in 1720. The original prints were 6 ½” by 9” in size. After cutting through layers of dirt and grime, stains and scribbles, Bruce then increased the size of the prints to 18” by 24” keeping full integrity in the character, texture, inks, and paper. After finding a single source of hand made Kozo Washi at a World Heritage site in Japan, he then reprinted the woodblock works in a larger format to be enjoyed and appreciated by all.
Finally after approximately 2,600 hours of tedious and sometimes microscopic work, the entire collection was restored and is now presented for your enjoyment. One piece alone took almost 125 hours to restore, others 20-40 hours
Bricolage is defined as a construction or creation made from a diverse range of available things. In this unique quilt show from the Montana Bricolage Artists, fabric artists were asked to create tree trunks using whatever inspirations, styles, techniques, and materials they wished.
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