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Amy Nikaitani's sketch of the Wing Luke Museum building

By David Yamaguchi,

THIS SUMMER, I was pleased to meet two interesting artists. One was a well-dressed, elderly lady who was quietly sitting by herself at a wedding I had the pleasure of attending.

When I introduced myself, she said,

‘I know your parents. My name is Amy Nikaitani.’

Amy Nikaitani Photo by David Yamaguchi

At once, I recognized her name as that of the local Nisei artist whose pen and ink sketches I have admired for years. For example, I knew that gifts featuring her work are for sale in the gift shop of the Wing Luke Museum.

“Are you still making art?,” I asked. Mrs. Nikaitani replied that these days she is doing nudes. Twice a month she attends a downtown studio to draw models there.

A shoulder bag with the same image Photo by David Yamaguchi

A second, up-and-coming artist is Stacia Burrington, who was holding down a booth at the Redmond Arts Festival. Her cute neko [cat] pictures are also on sale at Wing Luke.

Stacia Burrington Photos David Yamaguchi

Stacia, who grew up viewing anime, focused on wabisabi— the Japanese concept of imperfect, ephemeral beauty—in art school. It is interesting how ‘Japanese’ Stacia’s art is, for a young person who has yet to travel to Japan.

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David Yamaguchi has written for the NAP since 2006, at first as a volunteer, then as a paid freelancer (2016-2020),then as a staff writer/editor (2020-2023). He is presently executive director of the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington (JASSW).