Ikemoto’s Work On Display One Last Time
The Last Show will likely be the last time that Ikemoto’s work will displayed publicly and offered for sale. He has been fighting the effects of dementia for a number of years and had relocated to Southern California to be close to his daughters.
Ikemoto recently moved to a Memory Care Facility near his family, and the funds raised at the show will be used toward his ongoing care.
A vast collection of Ikemoto’s art has been stored at his house, which is also being sold. He has always had a strong base of fans and collectors in the Bay Area, and the family wants — and needs — to find permanent homes for all of his artwork.
A second generation Japanese American, Ikemoto was born in Sacramento in 1939. His first drawing that he remembered was a landscape of the internment camp at Tule Lake, where his family was imprisoned during World War II.
In 1946, after the war, Ikemoto went to Lincoln Elementary School in Sacramento … but his first challenge was learning to speak English!
As he learned the language, his art became a great help in communicating with his first grade teacher, Mary Machado, whom he credits with helping develop his interest in art and teaching.
In 1968 he took a two-year sabbatical, living in Japan to find his family roots and to explore the richness of Japanese culture and art.
Ikemoto taught generations of Cabrillo students about art for the next 34 years, retiring in 2000.
“Howard Ikemoto was an extraordinary teacher, I can’t tell you how deeply he influenced at least two generations of Santa Cruz artists,” says Lynda Watson, fellow faculty member and longtime friend. “For us, his colleagues, we are glad to see such powerful evidence of decades of his creative exploration. This exhibition is so intimate and revealing — the workshop of an artistic life.”
The Last Show spans this art life in scores of works, including many small unframed drawings, prints and paintings, powerful calligraphic ink portraits, landscapes and giant expressionistic statements including a characteristic jazz homage to Art Farmer and a curiously disturbing microcosm of the artist’s lifelong fascination for the horse.
The following is an excerpt an article about Ikemoto in the Monterey Bay Weekly “The Art of Remembering” by Ryan Masters published Nov 11, 2004:
Children draw unselfconsciously, Ikemoto says, yet adults frequently lose the ability to create without fear of judgment. In other words, we forget that we can draw. When he says this, the self-effacing Ikemoto is referring to himself as well. “Drawing still teaches me a lot about myself,” says the longtime artist and teacher. “It’s very liberating but at the same time it tells me exactly how uptight I am. I am confronting that same self-consciousness while I work.”
Please plan to attend what promises to be a memorable art event!
Howard Ikemoto – The Last Show at the Cabrillo College Gallery Cabrillo College, Library Building (upper campus) 6500 Soquel Drive Aptos. Friday, June 2 • Saturday, June 3 • Sunday, June 4 – all from 12 noon to 5:00 p.m.