Mary Brodbeck learned Japanese woodblock printmaking in Tokyo with Yoshisuke Funasaka on a Japanese government BUNKA-Cho Fellowship in 1998. Her landscape woodblock prints – most of which depict the Great Lakes – have received critical acclaim in both Japan and the United States; the SLEEPING BEAR DUNES series, created 2006-2008, is in the permanent collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts and in many private collections throughout the world. She established Mary Brodbeck Productions, LLC, in 2011 and is the producer, director, editor and director of photography of BECOMING MADE: The Artist and a Japanese Woodblock Print.
Throughout his career, Yoshisuke Funasaka has tirelessly created hundreds of print designs that address perceptions of space. His works are in Freer Art Museum & Sackler Gallery (Washington), Brooklyn Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art as well as scores of other prominent museums worldwide. Yoshisuke Funasaka was born in scenic Gifu prefecture – where his 40-year retrospective print exhibition took place and where many of the nature scenes in Japan were filmed.
As a poet and philosopher, teacher and best selling author, Mark Nepo’s finely tuned voice has inspired countless readers and searchers internationally. He is a prolific writer best known for his number one New York Times bestseller THE BOOK OF AWAKENING which has been translated into more than twenty languages. With a Doctor of Arts in English, Mark taught for eighteen years at the State University of New York before moving to Michigan in the late 1990’s. He first met artist Mary Brodbeck in 2005 when he enrolled in one of her Japanese woodblock printmaking workshops in Kalamazoo.
A native of Finland, Tuula Moilanen’s woodblock prints are based upon old stories, myths and mysteries from a variety of sources. She lived in Japan from 1989 to 2012 where she honed her craft in the Japanese woodblock technique. Tuula has exhibited her work in Japan, USA, Europe, Canada, USA as well as in Finland. She is also a published author, who has written about Japanese art and culture since 1995.
Richard Keith Steiner is a Michigan native but has lived in Japan since 1970. He studied mokuhanga with Masahiko Tokumistu in Hiroshima, a relationship that lasted until Tokumitsu’s passing. Richard inaugurated the Kyoto International Woodprint Association (KIWA) in 1997 and teaches out of the Kyoto Mokuhanga School.
Karen Kunc is an artist and professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is renowned for her colorful abstract woodcuts, which employ a variety of techniques and materials beyond the traditional Japanese woodblock oeuvre. A native of Nebraska, Karen’s artwork and scholarly influence in printmaking can be seen and felt the world over.
Employed with the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) since 1978, Carolyn Putney currently serves as the museum’s Chief Curator and Curator of Asian Art. The TMA is home to one of the largest collections of early 20th century Japanese woodblock prints in the United States, and was instrumental in inspiring other US museums to add Japanese woodblock prints to their collections in the 1930’s. Carolyn loves to tell the story behind a work of art. She is known for her accessible manner and good will towards helping people appreciate and understand Asian Art, particularly Japanese woodblock prints.
Kenji Takenaka is a 5th generation printer and master of the techniques of traditional ukiyo-e. He apprenticed under his father, master printer Seihachi Takenaka, in his family’s woodblock printing workshop, which was established in Kyoto over 100 years ago. In addition to recreating Japanese ukiyo-e from earlier times, Kenji also produces prints of his own designs.
Annie Bissett is a Massachusetts based artist working primarily in Japanese style woodblock. She learned this technique from Matt Brown in 2005. Annie’s illustrative style is particularly appealing to storytelling. Her woodblocks prints where chosen with care to weave into the narrative of BECOMING MADE, and are used more often than the other artist’s work.
April Vollmer is a New York artist – as well as educator and writer – who works, teaches and writes about mokuhanga. She holds an MFA from Hunter College, exhibits her work internationally, and conducts workshops across the US. April’s forthcoming book for Watson-Guptill Publications is titled “Japanese Woodblock Workshop”.
At the age of 16, Hiroshi Fujisawa apprenticed with master carver Kikuta Kojiro and has remained dedicated to his craft for over fifty years. As excerpted from the 2011 INTERNATIONAL MOKUHANGA CONFERENCE catalog; “[Fujisawa] carves to ease the way for the printers to do their best work. His own Buddhist beliefs also inform and inspire his diligence and respect for his craft.”
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