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Marie Okuma Johnston

County: King County




Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) 2021
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Marie is an emerging visual artist who approaches her work on connecting her lens of being a first generation Japanese American to tell stories to the viewer and reclaim tokenized Japanese traditional imagery. She was born in Kitakyushu City, Japan and at the age of four, she moved from Japan to the U.S. Three years later, she began spending her summers in Japan to visit family and attend school. Her binational experiences are the foundation to who she became as an artist and a creator. Marie’s art has now become a safe space for herself where she explores what it means to navigate a world where she is not quite American or Japanese. Her biggest influences have been around her love for my Shinto/Buddhist faith and reading about Shinto/Buddhist legends and customs and she ties them together with modern-day experiences.

Marie serves on the Minidoka Pilgrimage Board and Planning Committee to assist with organizing the annual Minidoka Pilgrimage and developing artwork. She has also worked with Minidoka National Historic Site, Tsuru for Solidarity, Japanese American Museum of San Jose- Hidden Histories of San Jose Japantown, From Hiroshima to Hope, Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimages, Nikkei Rising, and Japanese American Confinement Sites Consortium. In August 2020, Marie was awarded the Kip Tokuda Memorial Civil Liberties Public Education Grant from the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop artistic educational materials on the Japanese American Incarceration.

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Artists' Panel: Minidoka WPA-Style Poster

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