Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani’s Art Showcased at Snoqualmie City Hall

The Snoqualmie Arts Commission invites residents and visitors to an Art Opening from artist Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani on May 22 from 5:30-6:30 pm at City Hall; light refreshments will be served.

The works of Mirikitani, which are on loan from the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle, will be on display through July 7.  

About Artist Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani

Mirikitani’s work is a moving reflection of the beauty and hardship around us. Born in Sacramento in 1920, his family moved back to his mother’s home city of Hiroshima, Japan, when Mirikitani was four. The family returned to the United States just before the attack on Pearl Harbor and was sent to an internment camp soon after.

Later, Mirikitani experienced homelessness in New York City and began selling his art to passersby. He met filmmaker Linda Hattendorf, who produced the 2006 documentary The Cats of Mirikitani about his life and art. This film brought attention to Mirikitani’s work, leading to a first showing at the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle.  

The City Hall exhibit shows both sides of Mirikitani’s work, from playful cats and kittens to memories of his life at the Tule Lake internment camp, the bombing of Hiroshima (where many of his mother’s family members perished), and the attacks on the World Trade Center, which was down the street from the where Mirikitani lived. 

Collaboration with the Wing Luke Museum

In response to survey responses indicating residents favored in-person art exhibits, the Arts Commission is hosting this show by collaborating with the Wing Luke Museum. Snoqualmie Community Liaison and Arts Commission Liaison Nicole Wiebe initiated this partnership with former colleague Jessica Rubenacker, Wing Luke Museum Exhibit Director.

The Mirikitani exhibit honors Japanese American culture regionally, along with its impact on Snoqualmie history. Japanese American workers for the railways and the Snoqualmie Falls Lumber Company have made enduring contributions to our city. 

Exhibit Hours

On Thursday, June 1, from 5-7 pm, City Hall will be open to the public to view the exhibit. View the art in the upstairs and downstairs City Hall lobbies Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 am to 2 pm. The public can also view the exhibit just before City Council meetings – keep posted on these meetings through the City Calendar.

For more information, contact Events Coordinator Nicole Wiebe at nwiebe@snoqulamiewa.gov

[Information provided by the City of Snoqualmie]

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