Thursday, September 27, 2012

Internationally renowned artist Roger Shimomura presents America Behind Barbed Wire at UIS

The University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery welcomes Roger Shimomura, an internationally renowned and celebrated artist known for his prints, paintings, and performance works.

The gallery exhibit, America Behind Barbed Wire, runs from October 1 through December 1, and offers a varied collection of his prints. Shimomura will present a lecture on Thursday, October 11 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. in the Public Affairs Center, Room F. A gallery reception will follow from 6:30-8 p.m. in the UIS Visual Arts Gallery, located in the Health and Science Building, Room 201. This event is free and open to the public.

Shimomura is a significantly influential and celebrated artist. His work is an aesthetic and political comparison between contemporary America and traditional Japan. As a small child during World War II, he and his family were relocated from their home in Seattle to a Japanese American internment camp in Idaho. Using images from both cultures, Shimomura creates a complicated layering of pictorial information and social observation. He creates work that often pivots on exposing and battling both past and prevailing stereotypes and misconceptions that he encounters as a third generation Asian American. His stylistic representations reflect the aesthetic conventions of comic books, cartoons, and Pop Art. Working in these Western traditions, America Behind Barbed Wire reflects the artist’s long interest in the status of Asian Americans within American society.

Shimomura is a University Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. He is in the permanent collections of over 85 museums nationwide, and has had over 100 solo exhibitions of his paintings and prints, as performance pieces. Select venues include the Franklin Furnace, New York City, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and The Smithsonian Institution. He is the recipient of four National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in painting and performance art, a McKnight Fellowship, the Kansas Governor's Artist Award, a Civil Liberties Public Education Fund Fellowship, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, and was the first artist internationally to be awarded a Japan Foundation Grant, as well as the first in the state to receive the Kansas Arts Commission Artist Fellowship in Painting. His personal papers and letters are being collected by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

The UIS Visual Arts Gallery is centrally located on the UIS campus in the Health and Science Building, Room 201 (HSB 201). Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information regarding America Behind Barbed Wire and future exhibitions, please visit the UIS Visual Arts Gallery website at, or contact the gallery by phone at 217/206-6506 or

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