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Visiting Artist Lecture: Karen L. Ishizuka

September 17, 6:30 pm8:00 pm

Join us for an artist talk featuring artist Karen L. Ishizuka,  an award-winning documentary film producer/writer specializing in Japanese American and Asian Pacific Island history and culture, and museum curator.  The lecture is available to the public via livestream on the Syracuse University Art Museum YouTube channel.

Organized by the Visiting Artist Lecture Series (VALS), presented every semester as a core component of curricular programming within the School of Art, College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University.

For the Fall 2020 iteration of VALS, the School of Art is pleased to co-present the entire series with In Plain Sight, a collaborative artist initiative featuring 80+ artists dedicated to the abolition of migrant detention and the United States culture of incarceration. The series features 13 of the In Plain Sight collaborators, who will present on their own work as socially conscious artists working across disciplines and media at the intersection of art and activism.

Karen L. Ishizuka is a third-generation Japanese American, Jodo Shinshu Buddhist, mother, grandmother, wife, friend, comrade and fellow traveler.  A writer, and currently chief curator of the Japanese American National Museum, she has also made films, plays, clothes, poems, and her fair share of mistakes. Her books include: Serve the People: Making Asian America in the Sixties (Verso Books, 2016), Lost and Found: Reclaiming the Japanese American Incarceration (University of Illinois Press, 2006) and co-editor of Mining the Home Movie: Excavations in Histories and Memories (University of California Press, 2008).  She has produced and/or written 27 films including: Toyo Miyatake: Infinite Shades of Gray, (2002), which was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival; Looking Like the Enemy (1995); Something Strong Within (1994); and Fools’ Dance (1983). She pioneered the establishment of the historical and cultural significance of home movies in the United States and served on the National Film Preservation Board. She received a master’s degree in social work from San Diego State University and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles.  She is currently president of the board of the Okura Mental Health Leadership Foundation.


September 17
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm