In celebration of our fifth anniversary, the WAH Center presents
"FRIENDS & MENTORS"

Oct. 9- Dec. 2, 2001 (extended dates)

Yuko Nii's friends & mentors

Opening and Benefit Invitation Wednesday, November 14( PDF)

Donation Form (PDF)

requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

Jack Lenor Larsen
Isamu Noguchi
Jerry Rudquist
Toshiko Takaezu
Ansei Uchima
Toshiko Uchima
Esteban Vicente.

Full color catalog available

OPENING RECEPTION
Tuesday, October 16
5:00–7:30 p.m.
champagne & hors d’oeuvres
$25

BENEFIT DINNER
Wednesday, November 14
7:30 p.m.
with entertainment
$150

We will contribute 20% of the proceeds of the opening reception and dinner to the World Trade Center relief efforts.

This exhibit honors those who have traveled a golden path in the arts with creative insights, energy, strong commitment and endurance, and who can be looked upon as a model of the highest ideals. These people, my mentors, have honored me with their friendship and their spiritual and artistic guidance, and have been essential in the development of my ideals and career, especially in the establishment of the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center.To see others who have gone before and gone through great struggles, and who have overcome obstacles and hardships, helps and inspires the younger generation to pursue their own ideal goals.

The first five years have presented many challenges on the road to creating a new major art institution, accommodating artistic demands within our limited resources. Even during those difficult times, the wisdom I learned from my mentors never escaped me. The accumulated wisdom was a sustaining force behind me.

As Jack Lenor Larsen demonstrated, in order to realize one's vision, one must do much of the work by one's self to make sure that each small detail is in place. From Isamu Noguchi, I learned that one must not limit one's boundaries, but have an open view of the world to face challenges in many new directions. Jerry Rudquist taught me what it was to be a good leader,"never discourage, rather encourage others." From Toshiko Takaezu, I learned that while exploring the bridging of Eastern and Western traditions and the synthesis of many artistic disciplines, one must take only the essentials, and balance them most harmoniously. The wonderful creative couple, Ansei and Toshiko Uchima, taught me that in creating something, "don't waste time arguing; it only results in exhaustion, to no good end. Work lovingly!" And Esteban Vicente taught me, one must work "persistently and consistently, with sureness of heart and mind." And I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to my greatest friends and mentors, my parents, who have provided me comfort and security, as well as deep love and understanding throughout my life, and who taught me human values and open mindedness. So I tried to apply what I have learned from my wise friends and mentors.

IMAGES FROM THE CATALOG

1984may3-YukoNoguchi

1986July12-YukoandTakaezu.jpg

Larsen-Onward-3.jpg

Nii-Flux-1974.jpg

Noguchi-BlackBlue.jpg

Rudquist-BlueSurpriseHIREZ2.jpg

Takaezu-3stoneware.jpg

Uchima-InBlue.jpg

Uchima-TreasureFromHomeland.jpg

Uchimas.jpg

Vicente5-untitled1975.jpg

The WAH Center has survived the first five years thanks also to many kind, generous and understanding people, such as artists, staff, volunteers, local business people, some foundations, local government agencies and political leaders, who had faith in what I was doing, and who supported the Center spiritually and financially. Also I thank the New York City Landmark Commission and the New York Landmark Conservancy for their initiative in helping to preserve our landmark building. I want to especially thank New York State Governor George Pataki, who named me a "Woman of Excellence, Vision and Courage," and Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden, who honored me as one of Brooklyn's Women of the Year, for their spiritual support and encouragement over the past five years.

In 2001 Governor Pataki said in his proclamation: "In the past five years, you (Yuko Nii) have inspired and encouraged the careers of many artists, staged exhibits and performances, created art education programs and nurtured relationships between art lovers and artists through annual Cultural Festivals. Admirers have written of your gifts as an artist, as a creative visionary and as a patron of other artistic individuals."

In 1998 Howard Golden said in his citation: "Brooklyn pays tribute to Yuko Nii, critically acclaimed painter and Founder of the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, a woman whose devotion to her art and commitment to the artist community of Williamsburg/Greenpoint are unparalleled."

This exhibit is made possible in part by grants from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, City Councilman Ken Fisher, and Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden.