In Focus: The Works of George Tsutakawa and Deborah Faye Lawrence
Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, 2 – 4 p.m.
In Focus:  The Works of George Tsutakawa and Deborah Faye Lawrence
WhereCentral Library
Room LocationLevel 1 - Microsoft Auditorium
SummaryHear Mayumi Tsutakawa talk about her father, George Tsutakawa's visual legacy and Susan Noyes Platt discuss Deborah Faye Lawrence's collage works.
DescriptionJoin us for a two-part series focusing on the lives of Northwest artists whose works can be found in the Central Library and in the Seattle Public Library's Northwest Art Collection.

Learning about an artist's life and artistic journey can be inspirational and informative.  In part one of the series, Mayumi Tsutakawa will talk about her father's artistic legacy and his seminal sculpture, "Fountain of Wisdom", which is sited on the plaza in front of the Central Library.

Susan Noyes Platt will discuss collage artist Deborah Faye Lawrence's life and works, starting with Lawrence's work "Bibliotopia" installed on the 9th floor of the Central Library.

An independent writer and curator, Mayumi Tsutakawa, focuses on Asian/Pacific American history and arts.  She co-authored the award winning "The Forbidden Stitch, Asian American Women's Literary Anthology.

Administratively, she managed grant programs for the Washington State Arts Commission as well as programs focused on building diverse participation in the arts.  A former Executive Directors of the King County Arts Commission and King County Historic Preservation Program, she has served ad Director of External Relations for the Wing Luke Asian Museum.  Tsutakawa worked as a principal research and writer for the American Institute of Architects exhibition "Sanctuary:  Design for Belonging,"  exploring forms of sanctuary cities.  Currently, in addition to independent projects, she is a presenter for Humanities Washington's Speaker's Bureau.

George Tsutakawa's professional art career spanned 60 years.  AT first, he used oil paints to explore abstract expressionist themes.  Later, at the urging of his friend, the internationally recognized artist Mark Tobey, he began to explore his cultural roots and used sumi paint to depict natural scenes and sea life.  After experimenting in wood and metal sculpture, Tsutakawa became known for his more than 70 major bronze fountain sculptures set in public spaces in the U.S., Japan and Canada.

Tsutakawa's career was recognized with two honorary doctorate degrees, from Whitman College and from Seattle University.  He also received achievement awards from the Emperor of Japan and from the National Japanese American Citizen's League.  He died in Seattle in 1997.  Many of Tsutakawa's children and grandchildren have pursued careers in art and music.

Susan Noyes Platt is an independent art historian, art critic, curator and the author of "Art and Politics Now:  Cultural Activism in a Time of Crisis."  She has published numerous articles and papers on social and political aspects of the arts.  Focusing on the local, national and international, her work encompasses individual artists and social and political movements.  Platt has served on the national Women's Caucus for the Arts and was their recipient of the Kathe Kollwitz Award.  In her early tenure, as a professor of art history, she focused on twentieth century art criticism and American art.  After teaching American art on a Fulbright in Instanbul, Turkey Platt turned her attention to contemporary art in the Middle East as well as global art at Biennials.  Presently, Platt devotes her attention on art and artists that address social issues.

Deborah Faye Lawrence's satirical mixed-media artworks have been exhibited internationally.  She received Special Recognition in 2017 from the Betty Bowen Award Committee at the Seattle Art Museum, and was granted the 2015 Irving and Yvonne Twining Humber Award for Visual Art from Artist Trust.  Other awards:  Creative Capital Foundation, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Puffin Foundation, Adolph Gottlieb Foundation, Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Council, WESTAF NEA, Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and California Arts Council.  Her artist's monograph "Dee Dee Does Utopia" was published in 2008.

Lawrence's artistic reputation for penetrating satire extends to her instruction of collage workshops in community settings in Washington, Oregon and California.  A former faculty member in the Arts Leadership MFA Program at Seattle University, she is employed by Path with Art, and organization which offers free art classes to underserved adults in Seattle.  See more of her artwork.

The second program in this series, In Focus: Northwest Artists and Printmakers will be held on Sunday, March 8, from 2-4 on Level 4 in Room 1.  David  Martin will discuss works by Northwest Artists found in the book Territorial Hues: The Color Print and Washington State 1920-1960.  See calendar entry for details.

From February 6 to March 26, The Seattle Public Library will host the exhibit Frame by Frame:  Celebrating Northwest Art and Artists. Take yourself on a self-guided tour through the Central Library and neighborhood libraries using the Art in the Library:  Central Library Art Tour and Art in the LibraryBranch Libraries Art Tour guides.
AccommodationsWe can provide accommodations for people with disabilities at Library events. Please contact at least seven days before the event to request accommodations.
NotesLibrary events and programs are free and everyone is welcome. Registration is not required.
PodcastThis event will be recorded for podcast.
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Contact Phone206-386-4636
Contact InfoQuick Information
Room CapacitySpace is limited at library events. Please come early to make sure you get a seat. Due to the fire code, we can’t exceed the maximum capacity for our rooms.
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