Kansas State University


Beach Blog

Category: Education

Guest Blogger: Miki Loschky

The Forever Museum of Contemporary Art (FMOCA) is located in the heart of Kyoto, Japan’s historic entertainment district, the Gion. The museum is now showing “My Soul Forever,” through Feb. 25, featuring the work of pop artist Yayoi Kusama.  The museum’s name is closely linked to a main theme of Kusama’s work: infinity.  By the end of a visit to FMOCA, one may come to appreciate Kusama’s use of the repeated patterns of dots and nets to represent the world in terms of its limitlessness and timelessness.  Pictured below is a 1992 work by Kusama (Yellow Trees, acrylic on canvas) in which a seemingly infinite number of tree root-like figures are intertwined in a seemingly endless manner.

As you enter the museum site, a giant pumpkin with polka dots greets you (Pumpkin, 2007, mixed media). This 5-meter-tall 3-D art seems to clash with the traditional Japanese architecture behind it. The building that houses the museum was originally a performance theater for geiko (the better known word geisha is referred to as geiko in Kyoto), and was built in 1873.  Inside the museum, her colorful, surreal style may look out of place in the subtle tonality of a traditional tatami (straw mat flooring) room to many eyes.

Without a doubt, the highlight of exhibition is A Boat Carrying My Soul (1989, Mixed media), which sits on the former Miyako dance stage.  Kusama used a life-sized wooden boat filled with fabric covered objects resembling colorful fruits.  As the title suggests, she created the boat as if it were a vehicle to ride to the next world or into eternity -certainly a departure from the current world.  For a short video filmed by Les Loschky, please click here. https://youtu.be/i0aHZqulCWc

For those who wish to enjoy Kusama’s work both inside and out, the museum offers light meals and desserts in the cafeteria, where they serve Kusama-inspired sweets, including strawberry roll cakes with polka dots.

My whole experience at FMOCA has led me to realize that even traditional Japanese art forms (e.g., Miyako dance, the traditional performance art of Kyoto geisha) were part of pop culture at one time. Thus, the installation of Kusama’s work at the former Gion Kaburenjyo Theater makes perfect sense. Like the art of Miyako dance these artworks transport the viewer to another place and time.

The photos above are of the only things visitors are allowed to photograph in Kusama’s exhibit.  Here is the link to additional views from their website. http://www.fmoca.jp/

Reported by Miki Loschky, Beach Museum of Art


Museum Collaborates with Local Programs to Inspire ARTFul Living

Current research shows that participation in the arts can help people develop and retain skills and live happier lives. From improving memory and cognition to stimulating our brains to produce the “reward” hormone dopamine, arts activities can enhance well-being. Under the heading Artful Living, educators at the Beach Museum of Art lead a number of arts activities tailored to adult audiences, including those with special needs. They collaborate with local organizations to provide to senior living facilities and the following programs:

  • The museum provides space and programs serving senior facilities for OSHER, a nation-wide life-long learning program for those aged 55 and older, and participates in K-State’s Center on Aging Lecture Series at Meadowlark Hills Retirement Community.
  • SPEEDY PD Art is part of the community-wide Parkinson’s Support Group program which meets at Meadowlark Hills. The Museum provides an annual art talk and weekly art classes during the summer. One benefit of making art for those with Parkinson’s is the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that becomes depleted in Parkinson’s patients.  Many of the artworks produced over the summer serve as prizes for the Speedy PD benefit race held in August.
  • ARTFul Memories at Meadowlark Hills Retirement Community is a Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) based program.  On the fourth Wednesday of the month persons with dementia and their care partners are invited to attend an interactive facilitated discussion of art images.  The Meadowlark Memory Program is free and open to the public.
  • Museum educators provide outreach and tours for Big Lakes Developmental Center.

Please contact Kathrine Schlageck or Kim Richards at the museum for more information at 785-532-7718. If you are interested in learning more about Meadowlark Hills public programs for memory and Parkinson’s support contact Michelle Haub at 785-323-3899.

Family Holiday Workshop 12/2/17 1:30-3

Don’t miss!
Family Holiday Workshop 
Saturday, December 2, 2017, 1:30-3 p.m.
Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art 
701 Beach Lane (14th and Anderson), Manhattan, KS 66506.
Create holiday cards and decorations inspired by Mexican traditions. Cost is $5 per child and must be accompanied by an adult. Special half price for Military families. Reservations are not required.

– Alibrijes-style animal ornaments
– Mexican mirror ornaments
– Paper lanterns and luminarias
– Nochebuena flowers (poinsettias)
– Holiday papel picado
– Woven paper stars
– Refreshments served: Mexican hot chocolate, Jumex, and Mexican treats

Major programming support is provided by the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation’s Lincoln and Dorothy Deihl Community Grant Program.

This program is inspired by the exhibition “Fronteras/Frontiers” on view October 7, 2017 – April 1, 2018.

Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art
701 Beach Lane (14th and Anderson), Manhattan, KS 66506
785-532-7718 | beach.k-state.edu
Tues., Wed., Fri. 10-5; Thurs. 10-8; Sat. 11-4