Exhibit first of GumTree’s Cultural Connections

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – A collection of Japanese wood blocking prints, kimonos and bonsai trees are on display now through the month of March at the GumTree Museum of Art.
The exhibit is the first part of the “Cultural Connections” program, made possible by a donation from Toyota. The program will continue in March with lectures at lunch for adults and then again in July with hands-on Japanese art workshops for adults and children.
An opening reception for the exhibit is 5 to 7 p.m. tonight at the museum and will include Japanese-inspired hors d’oeuvres as well as information on the upcoming lectures in March. The reception and exhibit are both free, and information about the lectures also will be posted at gumtreemuseum.com.
“What’s so fascinating about these wood block prints is that they were all made by a family of wood blocking printers,” said the museum’s executive director, Kit Stafford. “This art form was passed on from generation to generation.”
The artists were inspired by the West.
“This is a traditional Japanese process heavily influenced by Western landscapes. It’s a fun blend of East and West,” Stafford said.
The lectures in March will focus on Japanese arts including Japanese landscape and floral design.
The lectures are free, and lunch will be provided for $15.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi, Inc., presented a $17,350 check to the GumTree Museum in December to pay for the “Cultural Connections” program.
The summer workshops will be announced at a later date.
sheena.barnett@journalinc.com