WAH Salon 21st Anniversary Show

Curated by Yuko Nii

February 8 – Saturday April 4, 2020

Opening Reception Saturday February 8th, 4-6 PM

Special Events:

Joel Simpson: Geology & Surrealism [canceled] – Sunday March 15, 3:30 pm – 5 pm

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day at the WAH Center [canceled] – Saturday, April 4, 12 to 5 pm

A full color catalog of the show is available.

WAH Salon 21st Anniversary Show installation view

ARTISTS IN SHOW:

Silvia Aviles, Ayako Bando, Bienvenido Bones Banez Jr., Carole Barlowe, Tomek Bogacki, Beryl Brenner, Orin Buck, Linda Butti, Nan Cao, Leandro Comrie, Christopher Craig, Theresa DeSalvio, Val Dyshlov, Santiago Flores Charneco, Sandra Forrest, Carmen Frank, Glen Goodenough, Susan Handwerker, Richard W. Hatter, Natsuko Hattori, Sachie Hayashi, Halona Hilbertz, Miho Hiranouchi, Judith Eloise Hooper, Susan Jacobs, Sam Jungkurth, Yuko K., Katharine H. Kissh, Frank Krasicki, Eric Kwan Tai Lau, Drew Maillard, Margarita Marfori, Margo Mead,  Mieko Mitachi, Gail Robin Mitchell, Mauricio Morillas, Kenichi Nakajima, Denise Nassar, Mitsuya Okumura, Yasuko Okumura, Charmaine O’Saerang, Joey Ou, Ben Perini, Carmen Porfido, Yupin Pramotepipop, Renee Radenberg, Laurie Russell, Cheryl Safren, Mira Satryan, Larry Scaturro, Jessica Schulman, Gloria Schuster, Tasneem Shahzad, Kayo Shido,  Joel Simpson, Linda Smith, SUPRINA, Larry Szycher, Gayle Tanaka, Yoshimi Tanaka, Rumi Tsuda, Villo Varga, David Vigon, Jeff Watts, Mary Westring, Ellie Winberg, Fumio Yamaguchi


Opening Reception

This 21st Annual WAH Salon Show is the most significant of all the other Salon shows we have had in the past 20 years, because this 21st Annual Salon Show starts at the very beginning of the third decade of the 21st Century, and furthermore the WAH Salon became 21 years old, old enough to start our adulthood. We deserve to celebrate our 21st birth year, which will never happen again in the future.

For that special reason, the true idea I envisioned for this show is a bit different from any other Salon shows we had in the past. In this show it is not necessary to show the members’ latest artworks. If the quality of the works artists are submitting to this show did not match with their normal creative level, they were able to choose some other pieces they’ve created in the past. And also if they could not produce any new works for this show, they could show some other works they have produced in the past. In another words, I do not want to limit their submissions to this special anniversary show, because I would like all of the Salon members to participate with their finest quality artworks. This show is to present their best works available, because I want to show the true strength of our artists.

Yes, the 21st Annual WAH Salon Show brings my memory back to when and how the WAH Salon Art Club was conceived and actualized. Upon founding the WAH Center in late1996, I was determined to ensure an enduring and long lasting high quality art center. To realize my desire, I came up with the idea of forming a membership program in which artists would become members of an art club and participate in an annual member’s group show. The very first meeting took placed in1997 with a small group of a dozen local artists who showed their interest in becoming a member of the “Art Club” as we named it back then. Each artist expressed his or her wish to contribute democratically with shared responsibilities to make it happen. But the more they talked, the more disagreements they had so that nothing worked well. It was impossible to go forward to having the first annual show. So, I decided to take sole responsibility for the annual members’ show with the help of a coordinator. I named the art club the “WAH Salon”, and thus started the “1st Annual WAH Salon” show in January 1998. Ever since the WAH Salon membership program has grown in number and the quality of the annual show has improved gradually over the years. Because many of the Salon members stayed with us for many years during that long period, everybody got to know each other better and we have enjoyed our intimate friendships, which one cannot do with a one time show. The WAH Salon has become a harmonious, healthy and even exuberant art club, of which I am very proud! 

Their consistent, steady support and warm love have encouraged us to keep going. Without doubt their accumulated kindnesses and generosity for this long period have been a sustaining force behind us, without which we couldn’t have survived this far. Because all of the Salon members have generously offered us their talents, skills, time and energy by volunteering to accomplish all the tasks needed for each annual Salon show, we were able to grow together to become today’s WAH Salon Art Club. I am truly happy to be able to celebrate our 21st Anniversary year—old enough to “start our adulthood.” 

Happy 21st Birthday!

WAH Salon Artists’ Comments on the Salon Show

As I have been curating the Annual WAH Salon show for over 20 years since 1998 without a moment to reflect upon how I have been running the program. When one becomes involved with a project for a long time, one tends to lose sight and direction. Entering the 21st year of the program I wanted to hear Salon members’ reflections on the Salon shows. So, I asked them to write their opinions keeping the following questions in mind so that we might improve the future Salon program.

Here are some sample questions I asked them to consider:

1) How did you come to join the Salon? How long have you been a member?

2) How has the Salon helped in developing your art or career?

3) Do you think the Salon is an important vehicle for artists? Would you like to see it continue?

4) What is the best part of the Salon?

5) Anything else you might want to say.

1) Silvia Aviles:

I would like you to know that WAH Center is very important to me and I really like to exhibit there. Yuko, you are very kind and supportive and for all of these I would like do it all my best. 

I joined the Salon, because one of the Salon members invited to apply to join it. I have been a member since 2018.

Having the opportunity to exhibit in this beautiful place with great artist. I feel motivated to work and improve my skills and creativity to reach my happiness and to become a better artist. 

The Salon is a very important vehicle, because artists can exhibit their artwork, connecting with the audience, and promoting their artwork. I would like to see it continues. I feel very comfortable to exhibit in this place. I like the way how the WAH Center operates, because they are very responsible, and professional, and treats all of us equally.

Every exhibition is unique and great, but the Annual WAH Salon is amazing with all of the members together showing their artwork all at once.

I would like to thank you, Yuko and all the great stuff of WAH Center for such a great job during the whole year. I really appreciate everything you do for the artists. 

2) Ayako Bando:

AfterI submitting to the “Art Rescue Team for Japan” show at the WAH Center in June 2011, I joined the salon in January 2012. So, I have been a Salon member for for 8 years.

Because many artists are exhibiting, I am able to get acquainted with many other artists and to exchange information for the next connection.

I would like to continue to say as a Salon member.

This gallery is spacious, and we can exhibit large sized works without worrying about the artwork’s size limitation.

Yuko-san is a positive director who always works hard to move forward.

Thank you so much always!

3) Bienvenido Bones Banéz Jr.:

My first show at the WAH Center was “Brave Destiny” show in 2003. Ever since I have been a Salon member for 18 years.

The Salon helped in developing my art and career because it inspires me so much.

The Salon is very informative and important vehicle in every artist. We should continue our great art inspiration as we are part of New York metropolitan museum of the world! 

Best part of Salon show is the entire building, from first floor, second floor, third floor, and the fourth floor permanent collection. 

I would like to say “Everything is Amazing, Fantastic, and Creativity Empowerment in the WAH Salon! 

4) Carole Barlowe:

Carole Barlowe Supports WAH

Viewing gallery and museum artwork has certainly influenced my joining WHA’s membership of “vibrant” artists. Since 2009, I have eagerly participated in the Annual WHA Salon shows.

Our group of many artists members, diverse in style and age, truly inspire my work. Annual crowded opening receptions, enable members and guests to discuss exhibited works covering the walls of this formerly tall bank edifice. Member exhibiters volunteer in all aspects of hanging the show. If unable to assist, a reasonable contribution is requested.

Friendships prevail! So…it is how we use our lives that determines what kind of people we are. Artists reveal for viewers, the highest degree of our imagination.

5) Tomek Bogacki:

For the first time I came to WAH Center and met with Yuko around 15 years ago. She likes my paintings and we liked each other. 

Since then I participate in exhibitions almost every year. I like atmosphere of the WAH Center, when hanging paintings, opening and closing exhibition with gathering together. Yuko’s spirit makes this exhibition very special. From the start when she is thinking how to hang so many different art together to the end when exhibition is ready and we can enjoy sitting and talking together with Chinese food.

I like variety of artists and their art. It also helps me to see my paintings differently when in company of so many other paintings.

I think this Annual WAH Salon Shows are very important for us, artists and for people who are visiting the exhibitions.  

Thank you Yuko. 

6) Beryl Brenner:

I was pleased to have my very first one-woman exhibition at the WAH center. I had actually applied for an Open Call for another exhibition that was a group show. It featured glass art and fabric art. When I came to the WAH center I told Yuko that I was a glass artist and she saw some of my work. She accepted me into the group show but indicated that she had a small gallery at WAH and asked if I would like to have a one-woman show. I had been working on a series of fused glass pieces that featured hearts and all the emotional ups and downs that I was going through in my life.

Of course I was very excited since WAH had a great reputation and so did Yuko. I spent days speaking with her and hanging the show so that it would look just right. The night of the opening NYC was struck with a terrible blizzard. It was impossible to see in front of your line of vision so driving was difficult. The trains were unreliable as well. Yet, somehow I made it to the WAH center that night and amazingly 300 people showed up for the opening.

Of course I also showed with the Salon as well as other exhibitions with WAH over the years.

I have been a member for 17 years.

I believe that the Salon helped me to mix with other artists. Also, I enjoy the special pleasure that every artist covets and that is to see work displayed in a professional gallery.

I believe that the Salon is a very, very important vehicle for artists. This is a very tough profession and you are constantly facing challenges that creative, financial and emotional. It is wonderful to have a supportive “home” to showcase your work.

The Salon should definitely continue. Every June, the art schools graduate a whole new group of artists who do not have an exhibition resume. This is a wonderful way to get started. However, it is also great for seasoned artists who continue to develop in new and interesting ways.

Yuko is very supportive of the artists that show at the WAH Salon. She encourages them professionally. It is also nice to catch up with many of the artists that you have known for years and to see their new works.

The Borough of Brooklyn and the City of NY owe Yuko and the WAH Center a great debt. She was a fearless pioneer that took the plunge and invested in an old building in a high crime neighborhood. She had the most unlikely vision that art could “blossom” at the WAH Center. There were many, many challenges. The building needed numerous expensive repairs. She told me that she was robbed at one point and that her life was threatened. She had to attract the artists that would be showing at the gallery. None of this was easy.

Somehow she did it all. The Galley grew in reputation and scope. The work got better as time passed. More galleries followed Yuko’s lead in Williamsburg. Finally, the momentum spread throughout the borough and Brooklyn became known for it’s art and it’s hipness.

It was all because of one woman’s dream!!!!!!!!!

7) Linda Butti:

I was introduced to the Salon by one of the WAH Salon members Estelle Levy, who I knew through an arts group called Women in the Arts. Estelle had talked for years about how wonderful this group was.  Though I was intrigued, I was always working a full and part time job, painting and showing in various venues and was too overburdened to join.  When Estelle passed away, I was called by WAH to exhibit in a tribute show to Estelle at WAH. I was amazed at how wonderful Yuko was.  Warm and inviting, sweet and open, I knew I had to join this group. Coincidentally, my work schedule had lightened and I was able to participate! I felt Estelle had given me a gift before she died….and she did- the gift of WAH..

WAH has been instrumental in developing my career. I have met other wonderful artists in addition to Yuko. But most of all, Yuko has boosted my confidence with her appreciation of my work. I joined at a time when my other art venues were closing, and WAH gave me a home that I sorely needed.

I love WAH.  It brings artists together and it is essential that it continues!

I love seeing my work on the beautiful walls in the beautiful WAH building. It is an up and coming neighborhood and I am so pleased to be a part of it!

I so appreciate what Yuko has done for me personally. Her artwork is an inspiration, as she is an amazing artist, but more so, her spirit of giving truly inspires me. It has encouraged me to share WAH, as I have introduced a few quality artists to WAH over the years.  This is an amazing family and I am blessed to be a part of it!

8) Leandro Comrie

I joined the Salon after showing at the QUEER art exhibition in 2015. 

Yuko invited me join the Salon and I gladly agreed. I had stopped showing for a long time and the salon offered a chance to go back into the wonderful world of exhibiting my work. It meant a great way to start my year, every year with an exhibition. The Salon sets up the tone for the whole year.

Yuko has been a great influence and guide to me in this past years. She has given me invaluable advice and feedback. Most of all she shows a genuine interest and respect for my work. 

I am deeply grateful to be part of the WAH Salon and Yuko Nii for all the amazing work she does for all of us.

9) Theresa DeSalvio:

I have been a member of the WAH Salon since 2016 and have exhibited in the Annual Salon Show since then. I first learned about WAH when they had an open call for artwork that related to the theme of Dogs. My work was not chosen for the exhibition (because it was too large) but Yuko Nii contacted me inviting me to participate in the upcoming Salon.  I was impressed with my contact with Yuko and joined the Salon.

The WAH gallery is a beautiful space and the shows are well installed. There is a diverse group of artist representing different cultures that take part in the exhibitions with a wide range of work. I especially love my time spent gallery sitting where I get to spend time looking at the work and reading the statements and resumes of the artists.

The WAH Salon encourages a feeling of camaraderie amongst the artists with the annual potluck dinner that often includes performances by some of the artists. Given the opportunity to exhibit my work in this location along with the warmth of Yuko Nii and the participating artists, I am happy to be part of the WAH Salon.

10) Val Dyshlov 

I joined the Salon several years ago, and this year I am thrilled to participate again. It’s the main art event of the year for me, where I can show my new artworks.

WAH is the gallery where I know my art and new ideas would be accepted.  I also can see the works of other artists, and socialize with Terrance and Yuko Nii. At every Salon, I see something amazing in art, and something that expands my views. The WAH Salon by Yuko Nii is a modern art scene, a fun place to visit, and a gallery where you can find very innovative, often magnificent super modern art. Every year, and this year too, Yuko finds and exhibits a lot of extraordinary ways in art, original ideas in concepts and content of artworks. I’m amazed by how artists master the media, especially finding new materials and ways of presenting their unique ideas. At every Salon, I’ve seen a slice of totally new, non-traditional, thought provoking art. Not to mention how incredibly well it’s organized. I’m thankful to Yuko Nii for creating a warm, open atmosphere where artists can show their work and can openly socialize with other artists, and it’s always a pleasure taking part in WAH Salon, year after year.

11) Santiago Flores:

During the five years that I have participated in the WAH Salon, I have been aware of the variations in title and size of all the paintings that I have sent by mail from Washington DC where I live. The first year I had no problems sending a small painting just two feet wide, whose title appealed to a ‘fortune teller’, but from the following year on the paintings grew and grew to three, four, five feet, and with each size increase there was also a stress increase in the packaging and mailing of such encompassing titles as ‘nightly sky’ & ‘covered with stars’; but it was all worth the effort.

12) Sandra Forrest:

I was introduced to WAH by another member about eight years ago. It has been a pleasure getting to know Yuko and exhibiting my work in such a beautiful setting. Working in art tends to be a solitary activity so it is excellent being able to meet other artists at the WAH Salon show openings and seeing a wide variety of styles, talents, and media. The best part of the Salon shows is that artists can grow and refine their work, and have it showcased in such a lovely setting, and Yuko provides that opportunity. 

13) Glen Goodenough:

My first experience at the WAH Center was when I participated in the “Paper Works, Unbound” show in 2014. It was very exciting to be exhibiting in such a fascinating building in one of the artsy parts of the city. When I arrived, the gallery was bustling but the friendly members working the table approached me right away. In particular, I met the gracious director, Yuko Nii. By the opening day everyone’s work was up and the show looked great.

The following January I became a member and participated in the Salon show. My volunteer work there has been hanging the shows. It’s an interesting way to see the work and I’ve met some nice people. Yuko has cultivated a thoughtful, supportive community there. It’s fascinating to be around such different individuals who have some of the same interests.

I’m glad to have been part of the WAH Center all these years. For me, the Salon show has been an important showcase opportunity and I am grateful for Yuko’s oversight.  It’s been an honor to have ones work recognized in its larger context.

I plan to stay with the club in the future. The foundation has been working energetically to pursue its ambitious goals, and I’d like to be part of it.

14) Susan Handwerker:

I joined the salon in 2014, after meeting Yuko Nii.

Membership in the salon has offered a wonderful opportunity to interact with other artists and advance the development of a critical art community in Brooklyn. This can only serve to help my own career along with that of others, through regular exhibitions and relevant critical feedback.

15) Richard Hatter:

One of my pieces was accepted into a group show, “Forms of Divinity,” at the WAH Center and I met Yuko, who introduced me to the Salon. I’ve been a member of the WAH Salon since 2003.

The Salon has helped me broaden my vision through interaction with other artists. It has also given me a venue to show my work on a regular basis.

The Salon is an extremely important vehicle for artists. I definitely would like to see it continue.

The best part of the Salon is the annual show where you can interact with other Salon members and see their work.

Thank you for all that you do!

16) Natsuko Hattori:

I used to joint another art show called, “J_ Art.” After the “J_Art” show, I participated in the Salon show. It was 4 years ago.

Ms. Yuko-san always gives me advices and comments on my art. It is very helpful and various ideas were born.

And showing my work every year, I can objectively see the changes in my work.

I want to continue to stay as a Salon member. The Salon shows have helped my art grow a lot by seeing other artists’ works every year. It is very valuable for me to see the changes in other people’s work also.

Because I’m not in NY now, it’s sometimes difficult to participate in exhibition, but I would like to continue exhibiting at WAH center in the future.

Thank you very much.

17) Halona Hilbertz:

I learned of the WAH Salon 19 years ago through a friend and fellow artist. I remember my first visit to the building. It was as though I was entering a living breathing creature, the humans within it like cells, running its central nervous system, its limbs, all its vital organs. From the start, the WAH Center has been almost synonymous with Yuko Nii. Anybody who has ever met Yuko is instantly aware of the incredible energy and drive that are contained within her petite frame and quiet demeanor. Yuko, an artist herself, puts her very life force into the WAH Center, and into supporting artists of all stripes; she has also built up a large art collection. Invented, and then improved over the years, the Center as an organization is one of Yuko’s greatest creations. Participation in the WAH Salon has been a regular fixture in my yearly rhythms of producing and showing art. In particular, I appreciate the connections with other artists that I have made through the WAH Center. 

18) Miho Hiranouchi:

Some of my friends recommend the Salon. This year is my first year to show my work in the Salon show.

The Salon can share other wonderful arts and can communicate with artists and people who love art.

Salon is an important vehicle for artists, and I would like to see it continue.

I like the high celling and huge space and I like Yuko

Thank you for organizing for artist and making the chances for showing for people!

19) Judith Eloise Hooper

Yuko had been a patron of BWAC in Red Hook where I had been selling my work for years but it was when I showed my first paper collage relief sculpture at BWAC that Yuko had an interest in my work and asked me to submit to the WAH Center’s juried paper exhibit. That was maybe four years ago and that year I joined the WAH center and became a part of the community to exhibit in the salon show. Yuko’s interest and support of my paper work validated a part of my creative journey and encouraged its growth.

I think any place that gives artist a place to show their work, meet with other artist and form a community is important. The challenge of showing your work to grow as an artist is important. It takes the dialogue out of your head into the community feeding what inspires you as an individual1

20) Susan Jacobs:

I attended Salon Shows at WAH for many years to view the work of artist friends. I always enjoyed the friendly and inclusive atmosphere at these events.

I began showing my work in the Salon Show in 2008 and continue to this day. It is the first venue where I presented my photographs in public.

The salon show remains a continuing delight. In the darkest and coldest part of the year, artists gather on this occasion to renew their friendships and begin a new cycle. Here we find a cause for celebration, an opportunity, an invitation, an appreciation.

Thank you for 21 years of support and encouragement!

21) Sam Jungkurth:

I first became aware of WAH during a Fabric Show in which a friend, Margaret Cusack participated. In 2004 my wife, Linda Smith, and I had a two person show at WAH in the first floor gallery. The space is amazing. I exhibited my “Linear Geometric Abstractions.” filling 90 feet of wall space and Linda showed a series of larger than life ceramic busts. It was an impressive show.

I have been a Salon member ever since 2003. Yuko has been so supportive and is an avid collector, supplying artists with shows, events, and diners for many years, developing a real feeling of family. The best part is knowing Yuko and Terry with their generous support and friendship to artists. The Salon is an event we look forward to every year.  It should live on!

22) Mildred Kaye:

I joined WAH 13 years ago when they advertised “Brave Destiny,” which they advertised as the largest surrealist show in the world. With their usual creativity and sense of the theater, Yuko and Terrance made it an extravaganza. There were performances and what they called living sculptures. These latter were beautiful models sprayed with colors who took poses, moving in slow motion.

I remember that all that summer I waited, praying that I would be a participant in that show, and I was. I felt at home at WAH. I felt it was an honor to be able to participate in the annual Salons. I made some fast friends, especially Atsuko Yuma, with whom I felt a certain meeting of the minds and artistic spirit. We’ve kept our friendship all these years.

Terrance encouraged me to join the London based Art of Imagination. I have been a member of AOI for years. With them I have exhibited all over the world, but I think of WAH as home.

The other galleries with which I am associated go in one of two directions: realism or abstraction. The best thing about the WAH Salon is its diversity. It is the only annual show that puts such an emphasis on visionary art. This is what makes the of WAH Salon so exciting, and why I feel it is a good fit for me.

Over the years I find myself veering in the direction of realism. However, we artists, no matter whatever our subject matter, can’t help but betray the spirit that lives within our hearts and minds. The Salon represents diversity in art approaches which suits me fine.

23) Katharine H. Kissh:

I have been a Salon member for 2 years.

I like to the Salon atmosphere, big, imposing nice place and peoples are kind. 

For me it is important for all artists who exhibit at the Center. I would like to continue to stay as a Salon member. I am proud because you accepted my paintings, which helps developing my art career.

Thank you so much.

24) Frank Krasicki:

I entered a number of Pieces to WAH’s Paradise Lost show in the summer of 2008. I was in the throes of inventing Ready Myths an extension of Duchamp’s ReadyMades. Adam Meet Eve was accepted and shown.

Since then, I joined the WAH Salon Art Club and have participated every year since. In that time Yuko, Terry, and many other artists have become lifelong friends and perennial peers. I feel both lucky and blessed for the opportunity to show my work and to share time with such a talented cohort of artists – some of the very best in New York and on the planet. 

25) Eric Kwan Tai Lau

I was attending one of the art show openings in the WAH Center. And as a photographer who is eager to get more feedback and get some showing opportunities, I was talking to various ‘people’ I met in the WAH Center. When I was sharing some photos that I recently took, on my iPhone, with an older, Asian lady, that lady encouraged me to apply for the WAH Salon Show. And of course this lady is Yuko Nii. I was over the moon when I know I was accepted to the show and it was my very first show and a magical experience. I was 6 years since I become a member.

The Salon helped tremendously in developing my art and career?

After my first show, I get a lot of courage to put more into my work and since then, I have participated in over 20 solos and group shows in NYC, Taipei and Hong Kong. I have shown my work in the Sotheby’s New York, the World Trade Center, and the Apple Store. None of these would have happened without the first showing opportunity at WAH Center. The Salon show really started everything.

The Salon is a very important vehicle for artists. Maybe we can change up the format a bit from time to time, maybe we can pack the Salon show in a truck and drive it around the country. The sky is the limit.

The best part of the Salon is the community, getting to know other Salon members, looking at their work, seeing how they evolve and understanding their background had helped me to understand the relationship between artist and artwork.

I just want to say a big thank to Yuko for a few things. First, inviting me to apply to the Salon Show, this really had opened the door for me as an artist and it was very encouraging for me. Secondly, WAH Center bought my piece in 2016 and Yuko is one of the first buyer of my work. WAH Center and Yuko are always at the epic center as I develop as an artist.

26) Margarita Marfori:.

I became a member of the WAH Salon in 2015 after a good friend, Ben Banéz, invited me to submit a painting for a show called Mother Earth (2014), at the Center. This was pivotal. The validation of having my art shown and accepted is beyond any expectation I have ever had. There is no way to quantify the significance the WAH Salon has had on my decision to give my art the fullest attention. The encouragement has had so much influence on me that I now am experimenting on other mediums.

The WAH Salon Annual Show is a major event (for me), every year that comes around. I cannot imagine my creative life without it. So, yes, it must go on! Other artists will benefit from its generosity. Its eye for new things and open-ness to having ideas float freely, an exciting consequence. The best part is how we can all communicate and meet new people. Inviting inspiration in our imagined worlds, exciting us into moving forward and widening the visions we may already have in our heads. 

The Salon has, in effect, empowered my imagination.

Thank you. 

27) Margo Mead:

A friend advised my participation in the 10th Annual WAH Salon 2009. From that day to this I have never missed a Salon exhibit. The reasons are many. Yuko Nii is foremost, a special, unique and professional artist leader. She has drawn together a diverse group of dedicated professional artists. These friendships foster shared creative knowledge and ideas. This has assisted personal development. In 2011 Yuko purchased two of my works, greatly encouraging my energies. The WAH has been most important to my professional life.

As artists we are in constant search, constant adventure and open to freely share. Offering a deeper understanding, a broader view. Hopefully this has value to the world. The WAH has helped make so much possible.

Cheer!!

28) Gail Mitchell:

I don’t remember how I first met Yuko, but I believe I simply walked into the WAH building and started a conversation with her…which led to a studio visit…this was sometime prior to the start of the Salon show. I think the first show I was involved in was a four person show in 2001 and then I became a Salon member in 2008. 

I have met many lovely and creative people through the Salon, some of whom have led me to other artistic opportunities. The Salon consists of artists of all different ages and experiences which makes the show a lively event! A number of participants have become friends over the years and it is great to be able to count on the show once a year to see familiar faces and share new creations. 

The Salon is a very diverse group of artists…I think that is it’s strength, it brings together creative people who might otherwise not have a chance to meet. It is inspiring to see these varied artworks all together.

In a world that has really changed over the span of the Salon show years, it is reassuring that Yuko and Terrance have kept their show going and it remains the same in terms of concept and vision. They are always committed to the artists and to each other and to maintaining a community of artists.

29) Mieko Mitachi:

I started going to WAH Center about six years ago, because I had a friend who had exhibited at the salon show. Then, my encounter with WAH Center was unexpectedly invited March 2015, “Light Show” and exhibited my work.

Later year, the director of the center, Ms. Yuko Nii invited me to participate in the salon show in 2016. I learned for the first time about history of WAH Center and Ms Nii’s vision.

Center is not just providing a place to hold an exhibition. Yuko Nii founded the WAH Center and created a membership program called, the WAH Salon Art club, which offers an Annual WAH Salon show in which salon members can openly share the joy of creation together. I felt her passion of art. The salon is exactly the art of Ms. Yuko Nii. 

30) Mauricio Morillas:

“Being able to borrow and adapt from many cultures has been key to my art and to my development as a person and artist. WAH embodies that ideal for me; it is a glorious and unique space, where artists from many backgrounds who practice art in many different ways and with many different materials can meet and exhibit work together under the guiding influence of WAH director, Yuko Nii. 

 “All this I appreciate and all this is ultimately reflected in the layers I create in my artwork. Even the WAH building itself, which embodies many layers of Brooklyn history, provides an inspiration, just as the architecture and archeology of my hometown of Mexico City does.

“In this day and age of technology, computers and the internet, the WAH salon represents a connection that people do not want to lose. Artists need and cannot survive without a community of fellow artists for support encouragement. At the same time, art lovers and friends value the WAH Center as a welcoming space to enjoy exhibitions.”

31) Kenichi Nakajima:

Yuko-san invited me to join the Salon. I’ve been a member since 2015.

The Salon gives me the precious opportunity every year. It’s good to keep on making art.

I would like to continue to stay as a Salon member.

The annual exhibition is the best part of the Salon.

I am grateful for Yuko-san’s and Terry-san’s great effort and support

32) Denise Nassar:

I joined the WAH Salon thru my colleague Leandro Comrie who has been showing at the WAH Salon for a while. 

The Salon motivates me to work further on my art and lately to finally update my creative resume! 

The Salon is definitely an important vehicle for artists, curators and collectors.

The best part of the Salon is the Opening night when the excitement and the expectations are high to say the least besides the mingling, the networking and the forging of new relationships.

Thank you Yuko and your team for this yearly gigantic effort and generosity to include as many interesting artists as possible! 

33) Yasuko Okumura:

I was invited to the Salon by my friend, Mieko MItachi, and this is my second year of membership.

My art has benefitted from the encouragement of Yuko-san in broadening my perspective of creation.

I think the Salon is a great society for professional artists, and I would like to continue to participate in the future.

I am proud to show my art pieces among very accomplished artists at the beautiful and elegant space.

Thank you Yuko-san for offering a great opportunity for artists to share their talents.

34) Joey Ou:

2014 was a year of reflection for me. I realized that I needed to do something for myself, something that I enjoyed doing. So I decided to step away from commercial and music production, and picked up my camera. I felt like a student all over again. 

Like many others, I put my hands on many different brands, lenses and tried out different formats, especially after I doubled fractured my left forearm in a motorbike accident, I went through a FOMO mental state. Soon then I realized that the equipments and gears weren’t the concerns. It was all about perceptions and perspectives. So I started shooting more and travelling all over the world finding that perfect shot. When the perfect shot was never found, naturally I stopped. 

I started to do some soul searching and went through over 30,000 shots that I have taken over the years, and realized that I needed new ways of thinking. That meant new ways of seeing things. Instead of focusing on street photography, I migrated back to nature photography. It was a great change up for me. I started to feel the peace and serenity shooting inside the woodland while listening to the songs of birds and insects. I was able to compose and to paint with my camera. I began to see new light.

And the other major stepping up for me was to join WAH Center. WAH is truly a great institution. And I was so lucky to have known a wonderful person. Yuko- san, let me thank you once again from the bottom of my heart, for all your encouragement, and most importantly, your unconditional love

35) Ben Perini:

This is my third Salon at this wonderful Gallery in a great old and historic Brooklyn building. Yuko invited me to join after seeing my work at a gallery in Red Hook. I’ve helped hang the last three Salons and Yuko does an amazing job planning where each work of art is hung. Recently I told her she must be the hardest working woman in Brooklyn. The artist reception is another highlight, meeting the diverse group of participating artist, hearing about their work, and being inspired. A Brooklyn treasure. 

36) Yupin Pramontepipop: 

A friend of mine started to exhibit at WAH center and I began to join the Salon exhibitions in 2001. It has been beneficial experience for being part of this annual event. It helps improve confidence as an artist. I definitely would like to see it continue to give opportunity for artists to exhibit. 

The Salon includes lots of artists with diverse styles, disciplines, mediums and art forms. It is great to be able to be in such a mixed exhibition. 

37) Renee Radenberg:

I came to know about the WAH Center, through another art organization, in 2003 and 2004 when I was asked to exhibit my glass art. It was an exciting time for me because I had just changed my medium to glass in 2001 and was grateful to have a venue to exhibit my glass creations. Due to construction at WAH I did not exhibit until 2011. Since then I have participated in the annual Salon shows.

The WAH Center has helped increase my exposure as a glass artist and my artistic refinement as I improved my techniques of glass art.  The Salon show has played an important part in showcasing multi venues of art and artists to the communities of Williamsburg, Brooklyn borough, and NYC area in general. I deeply appreciate WAH Center’s support in helping my development as an artist.

Kind regards,

38) Laurie Russell:

I came to join the Salon after Yuko Nii purchased one of my works from an art show at the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition. I had not known about the WAH Center until then. I was excited to be invited to submit works to the Salon show beginning in 2014.

The Salon has been a regular source of encouragement for making and showing new works. It gives the artists more exposure in a beautiful space.

The Salon has been an important way for artists to show new works and to be part of an art community. It contributes to the well being of the surrounding neighborhood by encouraging more interest in the arts. It should continue as a vital part of the Williamsburg cultural scene.

My favorite part of the Salon is when I first walk into the room and see the generous open space filled with artworks that have been arranged with great sensitivity, where clusters of works complement and enhance one another. I also enjoy the sense of community that Yuko Nii strives to promote.

Showing in the annual salon show has been an honor for me. I enjoy meeting the other artists and seeing the new and different shows every year. The range of works is always fascinating—from the traditional and figurative to the abstract and experimental. 

39) Cheryl Safren:

Nineteen years ago, I heard that artists were moving into Williamsburg and I wanted to see for myself because I was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. My husband and I were wandering around the neighborhood and the front door facing Broadway was open. The building fascinated my husband, an architect and Terrance Lindall kindly showed him around. We luckily saw Terry’s fantastic artwork as well. I mentioned that I was an artist and Terry suggested that I show my portfolio to Yuko Nii. That was the beginning of my connection to the WAH Center.

What I find so compelling about the Salon shows is the high caliber of the artwork and the diversity of styles and media. Most galleries do not accept unsolicited materials. But then how do they find their artists? The answer is through recommendations from people they know. This suggests that networking is more important than art making. The Salon stands as a beacon for artists who work hard and are focused on refining their craft.

40) Mira Satryan:

I learned about the Salon from another artist, a friend of mine who recommended it to me. I am already a member for about 8 years. This confrontation of art from different regions of the world is very informative and creative. Salons have always been held at accompanying events in another field of art, such as dance or music, which I believe is inextricably linked to painting, sculpture and photography. There is a great inspiration for artists. The possibility of direct contact, conversation with the artist is not without significance. Salon is an interesting and artistically developing event, it should continue and develop

41) Larry Scaturoo

I have been a WHA member for many years, and in that time I have had the pleasure of being in many shows. The WHA center is a very beautiful and spacious venue.

The Salon Show is a very special show to participate in.  I get to share my art with friends and other artists, and it is always a delight to see the other artists and their work.

I hope to be exhibiting in the Salon Show for many years to come.

Thank you, Yuko, for your tireless efforts to make the Salon Show always a success.

42) Jessica Schulman

I joined the WAH salon last year primarily  because I was urged to by my fellow artists. This is my second year in the salon. The salon allows me to see what my fellow artists are creating and whets my appetite to produce more work. I believe that the salon is very important as it allows the sale of ones work as well as providing give and take of ideas. I would definitely like to see the salon continue.

Without creativity there is no life

43) Gloria Shuster:

A friend told me about the “Glass & Thread” exhibit in the fall of 2011.  Yuko saw my work, and invited me to become a salon member.  I have been a member since 2012.  Every year I try to put it something different from the wide spectrum of glass art: stained glass and hot twist fused glass plates, drop-out bowls and vases, roll-ups, sculptures.  The Salon is important to me, because it pushes me to do some thing unusual each time.  

I really enjoy the opening. Lots of people you only see once a year, and welcome at drop-off, but all the hugs and mutual admiration is at the opening. It is crowded, but that is a testament to the successful nature of the Salon. I hope to see it continue, so I continue to grow artistically. I also hope that is gives other artists the opportunity to join in this special exhibit.

44) Kayo Shido:

I have been a Salon member since 2015. I believe I came to know WAH Center and the Salon via Internet. I have participated in “Over the Edge: Paperworks Unbound Part 1 and Part 2” shows in previous month.
I have been participating in the Salon Show for 5 years.

At the first Salon show in 2015 I was invited to the other group show in Dumbo in the same year. 4 years later, the curator of the Dumbo exhibition invited to other exhibition in St. Paul the Apostle Church in Manhattan.
WAH member, Cornelia Jensen has invited me to her curated exhibition, “Life on Earth” at WAH Center in 2017.
I am very grateful that showing at the Salon let me to many other opportunities.

The gallery is very spacious that there is no size limit like other exhibition spaces facing. The Salon has no particular title to the exhibition—artists have freedom of showing any form or style of art in any size.

To meet the members at least once a year to see how their work evolve, and to receive valuable feedback from those professional artists. I have met many valuable friends here.

Founder, Yuko san is fiercely enthusiastic about providing the environment for the members to exhibit and record the history of the Salon and the current art scene. She also emotionally supports the members.

I really appreciate WAH Center’s dedication to keep the space and organization.

45) Joel Simpson:

The Members Show at the WAH Center (normally in January) keeps getting better and better. What started out as an enhanced neighborhood art club, welcoming advanced amateurs as well as imaginative professionals, has become a high-quality and extremely diverse collection of advanced creatives, full of original vision, all masters of their technique. A walk around the second floor gallery of this imposing 1867 bank building-turned-art-center administered by its visionary director, Yuko Nii (a brilliant artist herself), one encounters revelation after revelation: in painting, sculpture (including glass mobiles and assemblages) and photography, some of them on a grand scale.

This year the attending crowd was larger than it had ever been. Talking to many of the attendees I was surprised to find how many of them were not in the show! Most of these people were friends of the artists, but the word is spreading. Also, the editor of In the Art World, a guide to New York galleries, Brendan McInnis, was there.

If the WAH Center does its publicity correctly, this winter opening could become a major event on the New York art scene, further enhancing—along with the Williamsburg galleries, Saatchi’s twice a year Other Art Fair, and of course, the iconic Brooklyn Museum—the status of Brooklyn as a major world-class art destination.

46) Linda Smith:

I first discovered the WAH Center when invited by a friend to see an exhibit of fabric artists. The magnificent exhibition space highlighted the elegance of the artworks. To my surprise, I quickly learned that Yuko Nii was the founder of this impressive art center. How wonderful it was to find her after so many years. When I first met Yuko she was a young artist attending Pratt Institute’s MFA program. Yuko was my sister’s friend and neighbor who often joined us on my visits. Our conversations were animated and always filled with laughter. Yuko admired a painting of mine that hung in my sister’s home. She said a person with that much talent should be painting. I appreciated her encouragement. We visited her apartment where her monumental ethereal paintings of boulders impressed me with their power and profound sense of peace. Yuko choose to call her art center WAH which is the Japanese word for peace. The monumental, historical building, like her painted boulders, makes us imagine beautiful possibilities. Artists from all cultures are welcome. And so, I was drawn in.

I have not missed a Salon Show since I joined in 2003. Sharing exhibitions with fellow artists is how we communicate and inspire each other to explore and grow. I treasure this marvelous space where I can show even my largest work. Yuko Nii continues to encourage all of us to do our best. When I mentioned an idea I had for a show, Yuko gave me the opportunity to curate “Creative Couples.” That was a challenging but rewarding task. Being a part of this warm and loving community nourishes artists. Here friendships deepen. The life of an artist is not always easy, but at WAH we gain strength to chase our dreams and celebrate life together.

47) SUPRINA:

I have been a member of WAH for many years, at least 10. I actually don’t remember how I found out about the WAH Center.

The Salon show at WAH has helped my career in many ways, it has challenged me to create, it has given me an expressive outlet, and a supportive community.

The Salon is a very important part of an emerging artist’s development. It’s educational, and helps an artist develop not only their creative side, but the logistical and business side of the arts. I hope the Salon continues to grow as it offers so much to the artist’s and the surrounding community.

The best part of the Salon is the community element.

It has also been an honor to have my work acquired by the Yuko Nii Foundation’s permanent collection.

Thanks for all you do!

48) Larry Szycher:

I have been a member of the Salon for nine years, joining in 2011, and submitted work to that year’s annual member’s exhibition at the WAH Center. I was introduced to Yuko Nii, its founder, by a student of mine (Julie Saypoff) who was already a member and working for the Center at the time. Julie told me of this incredibly energetic artist who founded the Center, organized exhibitions, art talks, and much more. She said the exhibition space was extraordinary and I should come see the Center and participate in their annual exhibitions.

It was soon after that I met Yuko, who was very warm, highly enthusiastic about her center for the Arts in Williamsburg, and exhibiting a unique and diverse collection of artists and artwork to the greater NYC community. Yuko, an artist herself, seemed to care about the many talented artists taking up residence in the Williamsburg area, showcasing their work, as well as curating special exhibitions exploring the multicultural international flavor of the contemporary artworld. I remember helping with that first 2011 exhibit, meeting the artists, arranging the works, and seeing how exacting and involved Yuko was with the details of the presentation. Real hands-on for a founder I thought. I was also touched by her graciousness and love. Something I feel each time I see her at the WAH Center. She cared for all her artists and their work and they all cared for Yuko.

My work is primarily of the representational landscape and a few years after 2011 I moved away from the metro area to be closer to the natural beauty I love to paint. Still I feel the experience of remaining and exhibiting at the Center is invaluable, and so I continue to do so. Exhibiting at the WAH has allowed me to be a part of the wonderful diversity of art Yuko presents to the public, and her special insight, world view, and aesthetic. For the many artists, who have exhibited at the WAH, whether early in their careers or long-standing and established, it is a cultural resource showcasing the diversity of their work under the mindful eye of its founder. The WAH Center is an important cultural landmark in Williamsburg, an anchor for many artists in the ever-changing and very turbulent world of the arts.

With Gratitude,

49) Gail Tanaka:

I am a new member of the WAH Salon, having just joined in December 2019. I was introduced to WAH by another Salon member, Linda Butti.  Linda and I both have studios at Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island.  She generously shared her wonderful experiences with WAH and encouraged me to submit an application for membership.  I am excited to have been admitted to this community of artists and am looking forward to my involvement with WAH.

50) Rumi Tsuda:

I’ve known Ms. Nii  ever since I moved in Williamsburg 20 years ago. I did a performance at WAH in 2000. Because I joined the WAH Salon Art Club this year, I cannot say too much about my experience of the Salon, but I think it is a very good experience for me to know the salon members and their art works. Unfortunately due to the Corvid 19, the WAH Center has been closed. I am missing some chances to get to know the Salon members. I am looking forward to seeing members after this disaster.

51) Villo Vargo

A fellow artist told me, there was a great Art Center in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with annual Salon shows and other exhibitions; Yuko Nii invited me first to see an exhibition there, that happened to be her show! I was very impressed both by her artwork and her personality, when she introduced us…

I found the building very grandiose and attractive, reminding me a bit of Europe where I’m from originally; although I’ve been living in New Jersey, I fell in love with Brooklyn because of its sizeable, colorful artists community and its spontaneous  internationality . Therefore the Art Center’s basic idea, existing like a cultural bridge between communities  was very valid and important to me.

Luckily Yuko accepted my artwork in three consecutive year already for the Salon exhibition.

Each time I felt truly honored to be able to display my paintings or photographs on those beautiful, tall walls and meet the very talented fellow artists whom Yuko choose.

Each time I was amazed by her masterfully curated arrangement of all those very different artworks both in style or size! Yet at the final result they always form a harmonious unit.

I also have to mention that each time I go to the Center, I cannot wait to be there: the atmosphere there is truly unique, Yuko spread your love, everybody is happy there and we can be inspired and spread that love of  ” bridge”.

52) David Vigon:

It is my pleasure to express the virtues of the WAH Salon and its importance to me as an artist and to the greater community. As a member for three years, the Salon exhibition provides a venue vital to my continuation as a practicing artist and continued presence in the local Brooklyn, and larger NYC art world.  I look forward with great expectation each year to the season of this exhibit.  While it is a challenge to produce the updated written material for each year’s show, I find myself more organized and prepared for having met these requirements.

I am grateful to you and the WAH Salon exhibition for the ability to show my work, have valuable relationships with other artists, and enjoy the lovely large and historical building that WAH provides.  The greatest part of WAH though, is you, Yuko.  It is your dedication, commitment, attention to person and detail which makes the WAH Salon successful and an event which I hope will continue for many years to come.  Thank you.

53) Jeff Watts:

As a long time member artist, I have witnessed first-hand, the continual growth, depth and importance of WAH’s Salon Show. A hallmark of WAH, this annual show presents a diverse quality of artwork in a warm and inviting gallery venue. Yuko Nii, WAH’s founder, is the driving force behind each show curating with an innovative and eclectic eye. With such a steady, experienced and inspirational hand at the helm, each show is both fresh and exciting for artists to participate in and for WAH gallery visitors to behold.

54) Mary Westring:

I have been a member of the WAH salon since 1998 and during that time I have witnessed the steady growth of both the institution and the individual artist members. Yuko’s hard hard work, her good eye, her wide knowledge and her faith in the artists have encouraged us to challenge ourselves in the caring and nurturing environment that she has created.

55) Ellie Winberg:

I love the unusual. The unusual gives me inspiration for my art and for my day. That is what I find appealing about the WAH Center and the WAH Salon. As an artist, I am excited to be asked to participate in the Salon exhibition. There is no other space like it anywhere with it’s high ceilings and towering windows, exuding history and character. It is always a thrill to walk in for the Opening and see one’s art shown in such an amazing, one-of-a-kind historical building filled with artwork from so many fine, diverse artists. There is something special how it all comes together, with so many different expressions, and so many different backgrounds and experiences represented by the artists. At the same time, there is a feeling of harmony and serenity. Despite being a huge space, it is quiet and peaceful; a place to meditate and reflect.   The WAH Salon exhibition is an event I look forward to each year.

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