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Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival at Pelham Art Center

March 2015

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Gail Heidel, Gallery and Public Program Manager

ph 914-738-2525, fax 914-738-2686, email [email protected]

Pelham Art Center, 155 Fifth Avenue, Pelham, NY 10803


Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival

at Pelham Art Center

Saturday, April 11, 2015, 1:30-3:30pm


Free Ikebana (flower arranging) and Weaving Workshops

Plus a Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony

Part of our Folk Arts Series

RSVP Recommended

Cherry Blossom season returns to Pelham Art Center on Saturday, April 11, 2015 from 1:30- 3:30pm! Join us as we celebrate our fourth annual Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura Matsuri) with hands-on workshops and activities in the traditional arts of Japan as part of our Folk Arts Series. Free and open to the public.

Throughout the event participants can take part in two hands-on workshops. Artist Shoko Iwata will lead two workshops in traditional Japanese floral art from the Sogetsu School of Ikebana. We recommend attendees RSVP for either the 1:30 or 2:30pm workshop as space is limited by calling the Art Center. Running simultaneously, weaving artist Yukako Satone of Loop of the Loom will instruct participants on how to weave a cherry blossom on a SAORI loom, a contemporary Japanese hand-weaving method. Participants will be able to take home their celebratory cherry blossom arrangements and woven flowers. A traditional Japanese tea ceremony will be performed twice during the event in the main gallery by Junko Nanahara. This ceremony is a choreographed ritual focused on preparing and serving Matcha or green tea. Experience a moment of simplicity as you watch a ceremony that dates back over a 1000 years.

About Cherry Blossom Season

Japan does not have an official flower, but sakura, or the cherry blossom, is most certainly its unofficial one. Its delicate beauty has captivated the Japanese for centuries and has long been a primary motif in Japanese art for both its aesthetic quality and its symbolism. The blossom of the cherry tree signifies the arrival of spring and is celebrated as a herald of hope and a bright future. Its small, pale petals are also associated with purity. But the flower’s delicate quality lends it a decidedly melancholy air, as well. After the cherry tree’s buds open, it’s just a few short days before the blooms have vanished entirely — the lovely petals all shed in a spectacular pink flurry. The blossom’s ephemeral beauty has become a poignant symbol of impermanence [in Japanese visual culture].

About the Ikebana Artist

For 45 years, Ikebana has been Shoko Iwata’s life, having been involved in the Sogetsu School of Ikebana since she was 16 years old. Iwata received her teaching certification from the Tokyo headquarters of The Sogetsu Foundation. She once taught at JAL when it was located on 53rd St & Fifth Ave and has since inherited her mother’s students in Westchester and has collected her own.

Iwata’s other love is supporting the YWCA of White Plains & Central Westchester.  Last October they hosted their 32nd Ikebana exhibition at their North Street – 515 North St., White Plains, NY building. Iwata supports their mission of “empowering women & ending racism” and has served on their board a few times. As a way to support the mission, Iwata teaches free Ikebana workshops to the women of the YWCA who reside at the N. Broadway residence, the lowest income housing in Westchester County.  In addition to teaching, Iwata has demonstrated Ikebana at the Hammond Museum, North Salem and the Brooklyn Heights Garden Club.  Most recently she exhibited at the Brooklyn Brewery with the “Gohan Society”, a fundraiser in March 2013 with Ikebana International NY members. Iwata belongs to the Sogetsu NY Branch & Ikebana International NY Chapter.

About Loop of the Loom

Loop of the Loom is the only hand-weaving studio in the New York metropolitan area, offering classes, which introduce the award winning SAORI method for children and adults. SAORI is a ZEN art of weaving from Japan that is dedicated to free expression and self-development. Loop of the Loom has the pleasure of introducing this easy-to-learn form of, what we like to call, “happy weaving” and unique craft classes using fibers from mother nature. Inspired through the experience of living, the art of SAORI encourages self expression, personal growth and healing. SAORI lets us celebrate the beauty of our imperfections by weaving differing colors, threads and textures into a fabric that reflects the masterpiece of our own humanity. Our goal is not to teach, but to lead people to explore themselves through SAORI Weaving Arts. http://www.loopoftheloom.com/


Pelham Art Center   155 Fifth Avenue   Pelham, NY 10803   914-738-2525   [email protected]

Hours: Tuesday–Friday, 10–5pm; Saturday, 10–4pm

Directions: Located 5 blocks from the Hutchinson Parkway exit 12 and 2 blocks from the Metro North Pelham stop

These events and programs are made possible, in part, by the ArtsWestchester with funds from Westchester County Government. Pelham Art Center also receives funding from: New York State Council on the Arts, A State Agency; Westchester Jewish Community Services; hibu; Nurses Network of America; Town of Pelham; New Rochelle Campership Fund; the Rutsch Family; Bistro Rollin; Robin’s Art+Giving; Nycon; Junior League of Pelham, Prospect Hill Lunchtime Enrichment; Strypemonde Foundation; Mark Link Insurance; Broadway Electric, Owen Berkowitz; Members; and Annual Fund Donors. Art+Giving; Nycon; Junior League of Pelham, Prospect Hill Lunchtime Enrichment; Strypemonde Foundation; Mark Link Insurance; Broadway Electric, Owen Berkowitz; Members; and Annual Fund Donors.