Santa Barbara’s Westmont College to host Japanese Family Festival, Mar 6

Satana Barbara Westmont College Japanese Family Festival Taiko

Japanese Family Festival at Westmont College on March 6, 2010 (Courtesy of Westmont College)

Santa Barbara  (2010) – Westmont College’s Reynolds Gallery hosts the Japanese Family Festival: A Celebration of Arts and Culture, on Saturday, March 6, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in and around the gallery.

The free, public event will feature performances, demonstrations and craft activities for all ages centered around two exhibitions, Kiyoshi Saito Prints and American Viewing Stones, on view through March 11.

Admission is free; some crafts have a small materials fee, and there will be food and beverages available for purchase.

Taiko drummers will highlight the Japanese Family Festival, along with a kimono fashion show, karate demonstrations, a bon odori dance performance and traditional storytelling with masks and kamishibai.

Bob Sedivy will play Shakuhachi and Kyoko Sweeney will do an Ikebana Demonstration.

Linda Mathews will have a table for Toba Sister City and Virginia

Gardener will talk about the ShinKanAn tea house as well.

The  kimono dressing teacher from Los Angeles, Mrs. Fumi Akutagawa, will perform her kimono show at 12 noon.

At 11:30 a.m., Jan Dependahl, a geologist from Santa Barbara City College, will present “Rock Talk,” a look at the processes that formed some of the pieces in the American Viewing Stones exhibition.

Activities for children include workshops in suiseki, the tradition of Japanese scholars rocks on which American Viewing Stones is based, led by collector James Greaves.

Space in the workshop is limited. Children and adults can also paint clay masks and fish kites, try several kinds of printmaking and fold origami or decorate paper kimonos.

The festival is sponsored by an anonymous matching gift and the membership of Reynolds Gallery.

The event will be held rain or shine. For more information or directions to campus, call Reynolds Gallery at (805) 565-6162.

Westmont College is located at 955 La Paz Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93108,

Traditional suiseki are stones that evoke landscapes, animals and other natural forms. The American adaptation expands these criteria to include stones that suggest weather, celestial bodies or even abstract art with unusual colors and textures.

The stones are prepared and presented in a careful meditative manner, similar to the art of bonsai trees. James and Alice Greaves founded the American Viewing Stone Resource Center, and James will give a more in-depth perspective on the art form during his lecture.

Kiyoshi Saito (1907-1997) was an exceptional Japanese printmaker who brought traditional woodblock techniques into the 20th century with his unique aesthetic approach. Named a Japanese national treasure in 1998, he is one of the most recognized printmakers of his time.

A decade ago, Ted and Dorcas Hatlen gave 23 Saito prints to Westmont, providing the nucleus for a new permanent college collection of art from the Pacific Rim.

Ted Hatlen is professor emeritus of dramatic art at UC Santa Barbara, where he taught for 33 years. Hatlen Theatre is named after him.

Reynolds Gallery is open weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed on Sundays and school holidays. For information or directions call (805) 565-6162 or visit

Santa Barbara Westmont College Japanese Family Festival Kanji

Japanese Family Festival at Westmont College on March 6, 2010 (Cultural News Photo)

Santa Barbara Westmont Colleges Japanese Family Festival Poster