Japanese art at GumTree Museum

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Japanese art will be the focus of the upcoming “Cultural Connections” program at the GumTree Museum of Art, thanks to a donation by Toyota.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi presented a $17,350 check to the GumTree Museum on Wednesday afternoon. The “Cultural Connections” events will explore Japanese art through a series of lectures, teacher workshops, hands-on print-making workshops and youth activities.
“This goes to the heart of what GumTree’s mission is all about,” said GumTree Museum executive director Kit Stafford.
Masa Hamaguchi, president of Toyota Mississippi, said he was proud to donate to the museum.
The plant in Blue Springs employs more than 2,000 workers.
“It is Toyota Mississippi’s honor to help you enhance cultural learning in our community,” he said. “I am happy to give you a donation to fund the ‘Cultural Connections’ program.”
The events will begin with a lecture series for adults in late January. From there, the museum will announce more events as they are scheduled.
Stafford said she’s especially excited about the teacher workshops.
“That’s very vital,” she said. “Teachers can incorporate that into the classroom. It will keep giving after the session is over.”
“Cultural Connections” also will present free school programs for up to 50 children later in the spring. There will be plenty of hands-on workshops so both adults and children can create their own Japanese-inspired art.
The adult sessions will be “very low cost,” thanks to the donation, Stafford said.
“Cultural Connections” events will be announced at gumtreemuseum.com and the museum’s Facebook page.