Saturday, November 24, 2012

"Suppression of Evidence" Garners Top Award at International Society of Acrylic Painters

I received Best of Show and First Place at the July 14, 2012 reception for the 15th Annual ISAP International Open Exhibition in Paso Robles, CA.  "Executive Order 9066, Series 10:  Suppression of
Evidence" is a painting of the mass incarceration of Americans of Japanese Ancestry from the Pacific Coast during World War II.

At the entry to the Interpretive Center at Manzanar National Historic Site, there is a quote by syndicated columnist Henry McLemore:  "Herd 'em up, pack 'em off and give 'em the inside badlands... Personally, I hate the Japanese."

Those words replayed in my head as I pictured Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly in Arizona.  An Indian guide said that long ago, parents told their children that, if you are bad, you will be sent to the top of that rock.  So, I painted Spider Rock and placed the concentration camps for Japanese Americans on top, replete wth guard towers, barracks, and barbed wire.  I wrote McLemore's quote on the  left, and on the right side, I included part of Executive Order 9066.

I thought I had finished the painting until I read the L.A. Times on May 25, 2011.  On the front page, it said that the wartime U.S. Solicitor General had suppressed the fact that U.S. Intelligence services had determined that we were not a security threat, which in turn meant it was not necessary to imprison Japanese Americans in concentration camps. I was outraged, and I went back to my painting and wrote "Suppression of Evidence" and the summary of the Times articles and my reaction.  That finally completed my painting.

"E.O. 9066, Series 8" is included in the "The Artistic Touch 5" by Christine M. Unwin.  "E.O. 90066, Series 4"  is in "The Artistic Touch 4."  The books retail for $35, but can be ordered from Mary at the discounted price of $20 for TAT5 and $15 for TAT4. The quoted prices include postage, packaging and handling.

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