Kaz Oshiro

Last week I decided to put an asterisk by “my loved ones*”, realizing that it only takes me about three seconds to love you. Since I launched, I keep meeting amazing people to write about. Complete strangers are quickly becoming acquaintances that I’m proud of. It’s like those ‘new age’ concepts, thoughts become things or what you focus on is what you see in the world; I keep seeing people doing brave acts that should be celebrated.

Artist, Kas Oshiro and one of his brilliant art pieces created with third, fourth and fifth grade Students from Charles White Elementary School. photocred@tamaraham

Artist, Kas Oshiro and one of his brilliant art pieces created with third, fourth and fifth grade Students from Charles White Elementary School. photocred@tamaraham

This is the case with KAZ OSHIRO, who I met on a tour of his LACMA satellite exhibition at Charles White Elementary School. The exhibit is brilliant! If you have a chance to go, then run, skip, make a date to see KAZ OSHIRO: CHASING GHOSTS.
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Artist Kaz Oshiro works with a student on a collaborative painting project.

Artist Kaz Oshiro works with a student on a collaborative painting project.

Over a year ago, Oshiro, was chosen by LACMA Onsite , the museum’s art’s program within the community, to share his creative process with the third, fourth, and fifth graders of Charles White Elementary. Oshiro picked the theme “Chasing Ghost” as a nod to all of the abstract painters that inspired him.

Black and white inspiration mural of pioneering abstract painters. It gave me goose-bumps!

Black and white inspiration mural of pioneering abstract painters. It gave me goose-bumps!

Oshiro taught the students about movement in abstract art, by encouraging them to experience painting with different tools: a broom, a bike, a slingshot to name just a few. The pieces created with these students are breathtaking. Joyful energy, and a sense of authenticity, allows vulnerability to jump off the canvas at you.

Bike and Umbrella become necessary tools in creating this Collaboration between Kaz Oshiro and Charles White Elementary Students. photocred@tamaraham

Bike and Umbrella become necessary tools in creating this Collaboration between Kaz Oshiro and Charles White Elementary Students. photocred@tamaraham

Students operate a stationary bicycle to create paint splatters on the wall.

Students operate a stationary bicycle to create paint splatters on the wall.

I feel incredibly lucky to have spoken with Kaz after his tour. When I asked him about collaborating with the students, he revealed that prior to this experience, he’s always worked alone, no assistants or assistance. He is a lone wolf, so when LACMA reached out to him about the program, Oshiro asked for a couple weeks to think about it. The commitment would mean teaching and collaborating with hundreds of kids. I love that he took that time. Kaz’s thoughtfulness is part of the integrity of this beautifully executed exhibition.

Charles White Elementary Students Collaboration

Charles White Elementary Students Collaboration

I also love knowing that he took time to think about it because who can’t relate to feeling fearful about trying something new?

CHASING GHOSTS tells us stories: a story of Oshiro’s gratitude and reverence towards the groundbreakers that came before him, a story about an artist empowering the artistic spirit of children, about creating a space to instruct, learn, and encourage the creative process. It’s a story about a deeply contemplative and wildly talented person who made a decision to move out of his comfort zone and shake things up a little.

I love that LACMA has this program!

Kaz, I’m soo proud of you!

The Exhibition is open to the public Saturday April, 6th and Saturday April 12th. It’s located just less than five miles east of the LACMA on Wilshire Blvd, at Charles White Elementary School. Once the Otis School of Design, the site became an Elementary school in 2004 after Otis relocated. The school was name after Charles White, a local artist who taught at Otis. While the school transformed to house young minds, the gallery space was untouched. LACMA took it on as a satellite gallery in 2007

Huge thanks to Audra Gold for inviting me to KAZ OSHIRO: CHASING GHOSTS and to the exhibition co-curator Sarah Jesse, LACMA’s associate vice president of education. You’ll be hearing more about both of these inspiring women soon!

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