VA Guests are awesome and I love them but each year attendees keep asking for more "hands on" workshops. So with that in mind take a look at the Guests we have lined up this year.
Lynita Shimizu -Moku Hanga Artist
Lynita has been creating woodcuts using the Japanese techniques of Moku Hanga (woodprint) since the mid-seventies. Originally from Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, Lynita graduated with a Fine Arts major from Westminster College in 1974. Following a year at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, she moved to Japan to concentrate on woodblock printmaking. During her four-year stay, she studied in Kyoto with an elderly master of traditional woodblock printmaking, Tomikichiro Tokuriki, and in Tokyo with contemporary printmaker, Yoshisuke Funasaka. From Japan, Lynita and her husband moved to River Edge, NJ, where they raised their three children. Today Lynita’s studio overlooks a beaver pond on the edge of Yale Forest in Northeast Connecticut.
From scenes of Edo Japan to Connecticut hens flaunting kimono patterns, join Lynita Shimizu for an hour immersed in the of art of the Japanese woodblock print. After a brief history of traditional printmaking, you’ll see a print come to life using the same techniques and tools used by the artisans of ancient Japan
Saturday 4 pm to 5 pm in the DIning Hall
UConn Kodama Taiko
UConn Taiko is a traditional Japanese drumming group formed in 2004, striving to master the rhythm and form of Taiko while learning about Japanese culture. Uconn Kodama Taiko will be on hand for live performances as well as hands on instructional panels that will teach you the history of Taiko and the basic techniques involved in the art.
Saturday 11 am Pop's Lodge, Saturday 7 pm Baseball Field, Sunday 11 am Pop's Lodge, Sunday 1 pm Pop's Lodge
Victor Eng-Bonsai Tree Instruction
Victor Eng has been teaching, creating, and marketing bonsai since 1972. He founded and was president and CEO of Bonsai Dynasty, Inc, a retail bonsai store in the wholesale flower district of New York City from 1976-1991. Bonsai Dynasty was the first bonsai store of its kind in New York, and one of the largest in the country.
Prior to starting Bonsai Dynasty, Victor studied bonsai as an apprentice under bonsai master Frank Okamura, the former curator of the magnificent Brooklyn Botanical Gardens' Bonsai Collection. Victor has also set up special bonsai displays, and given seminars at the annual New York Horticultural Society Spring Flower Show, and the annual Long Island Flower Show.
In addition to being a bonsai specialist, Victor is a certified lawn and garden expert, and has served as the manager of many Frank's Store Nurseries. Bonsai Gardens has been exhibiting in a booth at the annual Connecticut Flower and Garden Show in Hartford, CT, every February.
Victor will join us once again teaching the history of the Bonsai and pruning/maintenance techniques. Bonsai trees and pruning kits packages will be available again this year for a price of $15.
Saturday 6:15 pm to 8 pm at the DIning Hall
A 28 year old American Electrical Design Engineer and Tea Practitioner who lives in Warwick, RI and has been study tea since the summer of 2014. He has been interested in Japanese pop culture from a young age and has especially loved the language. This then lead to studying Japanese with a private tutor after graduating college. His tutor recommended the Black Ships Festival in Newport, RI where he was first introduced to chado by Kaji Aso Studios, who he for a short time did tea with. In March of 2015 he met his teacher Allan Sosei Palmer Sensei who has been studying Urasenke Chado for over 45 years. Since then he has studied in Kyoto twice for a short time at Urasenke with the non-Japanese students division, Midorikai, and has also been studying with Glenn Sorei Pereira Sensei at Urasenke Boston. Chado is a big part of his life and he takes any chance to share his passion for tea and Japanese culture with others.
Saturday 2 pm to 3:30 pm in the Boathouse
A model and extraordinary cosplayer who brings a touch of elegance to every con she attends. Not only is she willing to share her knowledge of costuming to anyone who asks she is also one of the extraordinarily kind and helpful people in this world. She generously hosts our Cosplay contest, Karaoke contest and a plethora of outdoor activities each year. So if she's not busy helping us pick her brain for cosplay tips and tricks, you won't be disappointed.
...and more to come.