|Kingfisher by Eiji Matsui of Nagoya|
Each year, the event draws participants and visitors from around the globe. Some 50 carvers from cities across Japan were expected to attend.
Following recent earthquakes and tsunamis, many will not, but Ward is planning a photography exhibit to honor them. Images of carvings provided by the absent Japanese artists will be on display throughout the three-day event.
“Many of these competitors have attended in the past and we wanted to showcase their work and invite them to continue to be part of the show,” said Lora Bottinelli, the museum’s executive director.
SU graduate assistant Daisuke Sekine, who is from Saitama, north of Tokyo, has been translating e-mails from the Japanese artists. Former SU student Kaori Morris, who is from Yokohama and has family in Sendai shelters, will be onsite to support those who do attend.
Seiichi Mizukami, vice president of the Japan Bird Carving Association, is among those who cannot participate, but hopes to in the future. Artist Tominaga Yasu still plans to come with others from Nagoya and is looking forward to a Robert Guge master class on carving warblers.
The competition and art festival are April 29-May 1 at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City. The American Red Cross will collect donations for Japanese relief efforts during the event.
Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, and free for children 12 and under. Also available are an $18 three-day pass and $6 group rate.
For more information call 410-742-4988 or visit the Ward Museum Web site at www.wardmuseum.org.