Building Exterior

1.  Man from White River

2.  Gordon Hirabayashi, American Patriot

3.  Illuminating History

4.  Ai

5.  In Gordon's Words

Building Interior

6.  Interior Historic Exhibit

7.  Stand Up for Justice

Gordon Hirabayashi, American Patriot

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Roger Shimomura has been commissioned to paint a mural depicting the life of Gordon Hirabayashi. The painting, measuring 10’ tall by 8’ wide, will stand at the building’s main entry, facing outwards, in clear view for all who pass by.

Artist Statement By Roger Shimomura, February, 2015

This mural is dedicated to the historical events and achievements of the American patriot, Gordon K. Hirabayashi (1918-2012).

Central in the mural is the arm holding the scale of justice that weighs the egregious actions of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and General John L. DeWitt, and the courageous decision of Judge Mary Murphy Schroeder, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The upper left quadrant of the mural depicts a young Hirabayashi and his parents who emigrated from the Mt. Hotaka area, Nagano prefecture, Japan. The lower left portion represents Hirabayashi’s college years at the University of Washington, the outbreak of the war, camp and two subsequent jail sentences. The upper right quadrant represents Hirabayashi’s academic teaching years in Alberta, Canada after living abroad and teaching In Egypt and Lebanon. The lower right portion refers to the years of waiting for justice and ultimately the posthumous awarding of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

The mural is dotted with incidents, objects, logos, structures, and other details that tell a more complete story of this American patriot.

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American Patriot Website

Artist Bio

Roger Shimomura

Roger Shimomura’s paintings, prints, and theater pieces address sociopolitical issues of ethnicity. He was born in Seattle, Washington, graduated from Garfield High School, but spent two early years of his childhood in Minidoka (Idaho), one of ten concentration camps for Japanese Americans during World War II.

Shimomura received a BA degree from the University of Washington, Seattle, and a MFA from Syracuse University in New York. He has had over 130 solo exhibitions or paintings and prints, and has also presented his experimental theater pieces at venues such as the Franklin Furnace, New York City; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. He is the recipient of more than thirty grants, of which four are from the National Endowment for the Arts. Shimomura has been a visiting artist and has lectured on his work at more than two hundred universities, art schools, and museums across the country.

Shimomura began teaching at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, in 1969. During his teaching career there, he was the first faculty member ever to be designated a University Distinguished Professor (1994), and receive the Higuchi Research Prize (1997( and the Chancellor’s Club Career Teaching Award (2002). In 2004 he retired from teaching and started the Shimomura Faculty Research Support Fund to foster faculty research in the Department of Art.

Shimomura’s work is in the permanent collections of more than one hundred museums nationwide. He is represented by Flomenhaft Gallery, New York City, and Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle.

Artist Bio from Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner: Poetry and Artwork Inspired by Japanese American Experiences by Lawrence Matsuda and Roger Shimomura

 

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