MITSUO & TSURUYE
Schaefer Portrait Challenge 2012
Scrimshaw on mammoth ivory on Goncalo Alves wood
with ivory, ebony and
6 5/8"W x
3 7/8"H x 1 1/4"D
This engraving was juried into the
prestigious Schaefer Portrait Challenge 2012.
This statewide, juried triennial exhibition features artists from the
islands of O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i along with portrait subjects
who live and work in the state and have a significant connection to the
artist. The 2012 Challenge comprises 59 works from 57 individual artists.
Those familiar with the history of this exhibition look forward to each
new incarnation, anticipating a group of new faces who represent the
remarkable people of Hawai‘i.
The artists whose works were selected for the 2012
Challenge are bonded by the desire to transpose the human likeness and
interpret each sitter through paint, pastel, graphite, watercolor, stone,
clay, wood or mixed media into the final result of a finished portrait.
The exhibition runs through March 11, 2012 at the
Maui Arts and
Cultural Center in Kahului, Maui, and then
will travel to the Honolulu Academy of the Arts on Oahu,
opening in May and running through September 2012.
Mitsuo and Tsuruye Hamasu are my
in-laws of 25 years. Mitsuo is a member of the famed 100th Infantry
Battalion. Originally I thought to portray only him, but soon realized
that without Tsuruye the picture would be incomplete. The piece was
designed with a strong Japanese influence in mind. In Japanese culture
cranes symbolize peace, longevity, good fortune and prosperity. Bamboo is
also a symbol of longevity. Mitsuo and Tsuruye have been married for 63
years. They raised seven children; all have become exceptional adults. The
Hamasu family crest, or mon, is engraved at the lower right. In this
portrait of Mitsuo and Tsuruye I’ve attempted to convey their strength of
character, their quiet dignity, their generosity of spirit, and by doing
so express my deep love and respect for them both. Domo arigato.