Dordt College News

John Kohan presents Sadao Watanabe exhibit, September 17

September 14, 2014

Dordt College presents “Beauty Given by Grace,” a Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) traveling exhibition of Japanese printmaker Sadao Watanabe. The collection of 50 original stencil prints, calendars, and Christmas cards is now on display in the Dordt College Art Gallery, located in the Campus Center, through October 16. The gallery is open free of charge to the public every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Department of Art and Design will host a reception Wednesday, September 17, from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m., with a 50-minute program at 7. Refreshments will be provided and all are invited.  Journalist, essayist, and collector Mr. John A. Kohan (The Sacred Art Pilgrim) will be present to discuss the work of Sadao Watanabe.

On Thursday Kohan will be attending the Art Senior Seminar class which will be open to anybody who's interested. The class meets from 9:25 to 10:40 in CL1303.

Watanabe (1913-1996) converted from Buddhism to Christianity at 17 years old. He desired to express his new faith while preserving the traditional Japanese folk art of stencil dying, or katazome. “I have always aspired to portray stories and episodes from the Bible,” said Watanabe. “In this disturbed world, I would like to be able to heed the voice of heaven.”

John A. Kohan was born in Pennsylvania in 1952. He has a Comparative Literature from the University of Virginia and an M.A. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Columbia University. Kohan was on the staff of TIME Magazine for 22 years, spending the last eight of them as Moscow Bureau Chief during the period of Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms. He settled on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus in 1996, where he began collecting and writing about sacred art. He now lives most of the year in the U.S. He owns the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection and directs the Art in the Sanctuary exhibition program at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Delaware, Ohio.

Watanabe's work is highly regarded throughout the world and has been displayed at the British Museum, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, and the Vatican Museum. Watanabe’s desire was to create art that could be enjoyed by everyone and displayed in ordinary settings.

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