Manitoga is thrilled to announce year five of our Artist Residency Program with the installation INK: The Color of Manitoga by Japanese artist Kazumi Tanaka who will create natural inks from plant specimens she collects in Manitoga's woodland garden. From the color inks, a series of paintings will evolve.
Tanaka will employ her technical skills as a woodworker and antique furniture restorer to create a visually compelling Lab within the main House west gallery where she will experiment and make natural inks with distilled water from Manitoga's Quarry Pool. A large-scale map will plot her collecting points over the property's seventy-five acres, and a journal will record dates, times and the changing seasons. Visitors are invited into the Lab to experience the physical transformation from actual landscape to paintings.
The installation will be on view during seasonal public tours, beginning May 18, as well as for special programs and events. A Member Opening Celebration is planned for Saturday, June 9, 5-7pm.
Executive Director Allison Cross observes that "the project lies at the intersection of art and record-keeping, science and nature, ideas and handcraft - moving between the tangible and the conceptual as it engages Russel Wright's legacy as a craftsman, designer, naturalist and visionary."
The work also evokes Wright's relationship with Japan - a place that deeply influenced the creation of Manitoga and his later professional work. Tanaka was born in Osaka in a house made of wood, stone, bamboo and paper, and her work often involves her childhood memories there. "When I first visited Manitoga, I was very taken with its quiet beauty, which reminded me of some of the most beautiful landscapes I experienced while growing up in Japan. The architecture has both translucent and tranquilizing qualities and is part of the landscape that Wright cultivated over many years from a broken land."
Tanaka adds that "Wright was one of the most popular American designers of his generation. He had so many ideas that were witty, practical and simple, yet many of his designs carry traits of Nature's complexity - for example, the color glazes he meticulously created for his American Modern and Iroquois Casual dinnerware. Inspired by his work, I will create color from the landscape created by him at Manitoga."
Installation Design: Kazumi Tanaka / Furniture Maker: Jon Richert / Graphic design: Randall Martin
Registration for public tours and other programs and special events at