Cheery Blossoms

April 20th, 2011

“Over the past month I have been both horrified and saddened by the natural disasters and nuclear situation ongoing in Northeast Japan (Tohoku). In an effort to do something personal and collective in response, I am inviting you to participate in a collaborative drawing effort dedicated to the affected communities,” said Anne Eastman in the open invitation, posted on Facebook, to join in Kagayake: Drawing for Japan.

And so last Saturday, hundreds of generous artists descended upon CANADA gallery, despite that day’s rainy, fussy weather.  “At least it isn’t a devastating earthquake,” is how I roused myself.

On 60 expansive feet of coated Tyvek, participants were “free to add as much or as little as they choose to this collaborative drawing effort.”  It would be like an indie F-111 jam session.  The pace for most seemed to be: arrive, converse with familiars, draw a bit, take a break to chat with new arrivals, draw a bit more.

“What did you draw?” was a common starting point, though most participants realized that commenting on individual entries didn’t get one very far, compared to studying the complete form and the parallel trends that it contained (cats, rainbows, flowers).  “Did you try those?” also bounced from conversation to conversation, in reference to the desserts donated by Russ & Daughters, so good that my stomach flutters just thinking of them.  Honey roasted pecans. Is Sugar Toxic?  No!  Artists need fuel!

Incoming donations helped produce the banner, and outgoing donations helped preserve Tohoku.  Artists and the people that love them were able to donate money through the benefit’s PayPal account, and every dollar spent at the afterparty, held at The Wooly, would go toward the benefit fund.  No pics here from the afterparty, however: after intense drawing, pigging out on candied pecans, and getting drenched by the April showers, I needed my own benefit.

(l-r) Artists Noah Sheldon, Sadie Laska, Maggie Peng, and friend

As you read this, Anne is on a flight to Japan to deliver the banner – all 60 feet of it – where she will partner with relief organizations in Miyagi Prefecture and Tokyo to find the best site(s) to house it.

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3 Responses to “Cheery Blossoms”

  1. Vence says:

    You can find an article on Sadie Laska who participate to the exhibition Canada at the Bernard Ceysson exhibition in Paris on

  2. David Thisby says:

    I just stumbled upon this blog. I have to say I’m truly inspired by your effort in helping Japan. Something so simple yet it brings people together on a massive scale. It really is a beautiful symbol of humanity. I hope Annie’s trip goes well or indeed has gone well.


    D. Thisby.

  3. Nanette from portable wheelchair ramps says:

    I have to say I am blown away about the reasons behind this project. Some of the art work is really out of this world… Keep the donations flooding in!