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WAM Updates are short, informal posts that put the spotlight on small, but exciting, Museum-related projects, such as the addition of a new painting or sculpture to a gallery. They also serve as updates on staff, new services or programs, and other WAM news.

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Samurai! Murals Live in Lancaster Lobby

When WAM began working with Samurai! guest curator Eric Nakamura, we knew that having a visible public component was a must. Our Lancaster Street Lobby has large, white walls that have been crying out for ART. We decided to take this amazing opportunity to invite contemporary artists involved with the Samurai project to explore the topic in this well-trafficked lobby.

The three artists selected were Andrew Hem, Mari Inukai, and Audrey Kawasaki.

Andrew Hem is a Los Angeles painter who is well-versed in large-scale murals on buildings. Originally a graffiti artist, Hem moved away from this towards street art, studying at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. His final image of the Samurai figure is inspired by Raphael’s The Cowper Madonna, now on display in our galleries.

Mari Inukai is originally from Japan, and also now resides in Los Angeles. She studied at the California Institute of the Arts. She is known for her smaller scale paintings and strong use of figures in her work. Mari demonstrated her deep connection with her daughter by including her in armor on the right side of the mural.

Audrey Kawasaki is originally from Japan, studied art at Pratt in New York, and now resides in Los Angeles. Although she is traditionally known as a gallery artist who creates painstakingly detailed portrait illustrations, this was her first mural.

The most exciting part of this project took place during installation, when school groups, fans of the artists, staff, and general members of the public dropped in to watch the artists work. Going forward, we plan to make the Lancaster Lobby a more welcoming center for visitors that includes art at its core.

 The Samurai murals will stay on view until May 2016.

Learn more about Samurai!
See work-in-progress photos on Flickr

The mural to the story - Worcester Magazine
Majestic murals at Worcester Art Museum - Worcester Telegram & Gazette

- Katrina Stacy, Associate Curator of Education

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