Portrait of an Issei Artist

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Chiura Obata was known for his landscape paintings of Yosemite Valley and the Eastern Sierra. (Photo by Cedric Wright)

Chiura Obata was known for his landscape paintings of Yosemite Valley and the Eastern Sierra. (Photo by Cedric Wright)

Manzanar National Historic Site hosts a special program on Saturday, June 27, at 11 a.m. highlighting “The Life and Art of Chiura Obata,” presented by Obata’s granddaughter, author/historian Kimi Kodani Hill.

Chiura Obata (1885-1975) was an Issei artist and art professor at UC Berkeley. During World War II, he and his family were confined at Tanforan racetrack and later at Topaz, Utah. Obata established art schools in both camps.

Obata had a special bond with Yosemite and the Eastern Sierra. His works, showcased in “Topaz Moon” and “Obata’s Yosemite,” illustrate human hardship as well as natural beauty.

The program is free and open to the public. After the program, Kodani Hill will sign books in the Manzanar History Association bookstore (www.manzanarstore.com). Proceeds benefit Manzanar. For more information, call (760) 878-2194, ext. 3310.

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