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Forest of Dreams: Opening Weekend Events

In conjunction with the opening of the Forest of Dreams exhibition, which features the woodcarving of Ainu artists from Hokkaido, Japan, and Native American artists of the Lower Columbia River Basin, please join us for a special weekend featuring musical performances, demonstrations, and lectures from both cultures.

Saturday, June 8

Photo courtesy of Bobby Mercier

(11:00am – 12:30pm)

Musical Performance

The Grand Ronde Singers of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde will present song with drums, and the Ainu Performers of Traditional Arts from the Ainu Foundation, Sapporo, will present song with mukkuri, or mouth harp. These performances, which celebrate the living traditions of indigenous cultures from opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean, will inaugurate a weekend of exhibition-based events.

(1:00 – 2:30pm)

Courtesy of Nibutani Ainu Takumi No Michi

Woodcarving Demonstration

Artists from both cultures demonstrate traditional carving techniques at the Cultural Corner of the Garden’s Japanese Arts Learning Center. Bobby Mercier, artist and Cultural Advisor for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and Ainu artist Toru Kaizawa, woodcarver from the craft village of Nibutani in Hokkaido, will present traditional carving on works in progress and will answer questions. Open to the public.

(3:00 – 5:00pm)

Photo courtesy of Deana Dartt

Art Focus Lecture: Sachiko Matsuyama & Deana Dartt 

Join us for a set of lectures from the curatorial contributors whose invaluable guidance made this project possible. Co-curator Sachiko Matsuyama, a freelance educator and curator of art and craft based in Kyoto, Japan will present on “Ainu Woodcarving: The Artists’ Stories.”

Deana Dartt PhD, Native American curator and Project Manager at Live Oak Museum Consulting will present on the artworks selected for display in the exhibition. She will discuss aspects of history, tradition, and symbolism which carry through to the contemporary artwork represented.

Sunday, June 9

Photo courtesy of Sayaka Kawakami

(11:00am – 12:30pm)


Ainu Performers of Traditional Arts from the Ainu Foundation, Sapporo, Hokkaido will share stories in the form of narrative and in upopo, a traditional singing form. Tony Johnson, Chairman of the Chinook Tribe and one of the exhibition’s contributing artists, will share Chinook story traditions with the audience.

(1:00pm – 2:30pm)

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Ley

Woodcarving Demonstration

Gain a deeper appreciation for these vibrant cultures and the artistry on display in the Garden’s Pavilion and Tanabe Galleries as the artists work and answer questions about their practice. Chinook artist Greg A. Robinson and Ainu artist Mamoru Kaizawa are the creators of the Power Boards commissioned by the Garden and installed on the City Overlook for the duration of this exhibition. Their work is also on display in the exhibition being shown in the Tanabe and Pavilion Galleries. Mamoru Kaizawa, woodcarver in the Ainu craft village of Nibutani in Hokkaido, will carve inaw, or sacred shaved sticks that are traditionally used to convey prayers to the gods.

(3:00pm – 5:00pm)

Photo courtesy of Kenji Sekine

Historical Perspectives Lecture: Kenji Sekine & Greg Archuleta

Kenji Sekine, Language Teacher at Nibutani Ainu Culture Museum in Nibutani, Hokkaido, will present on “The Ainu Spirit World: Current Reflections.”

Greg Archuleta, an educator and member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and one of the exhibition’s contributing artists, will present “Story, Story: A Chinookan Perspective,” an exploration of the lifeways of the Chinookan people.