2003-2004 Provost Lecture Series

63 Stages of the Yellow Brick Road
Friday April 9, 2004
10:30am to noon
Ballrooms A & D
Alumni Center

Dr. Roger Shimomura
University Distinguished Professor
University of Kansas

Review of a Previous Lecture

Biographical Sketch:
Roger Shimomura’s paintings, prints and theatre pieces address socio-political issues of Asian America and have often been inspired by 56 years of diaries kept by his late immigrant grandmother.

He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington in Seattle and his graduate degree from Syracuse University, New York. He has had over 100 solo exhibitions of his paintings and prints, as well as presented his experimental theater pieces at such venues as the Franklin Furnace, New York City, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and The Smithsonian Institution. He is the recipient of four National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in painting and performance art, a McKnight Fellowship, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, the Kansas Governor’s Artist Award, a Civil Liberties Public Education Fund Fellowship, and was the first artist internationally to be awarded a Japan Foundation Grant, as well as the first in the state to receive the Kansas Arts Commission Artist Fellowship in Painting. In the fall of 1990, he was appointed the Dayton Hudson Distinguished Visiting Professor at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota. Professor Shimomura has lectured on his work at over 170 universities and art museums across the country. In 1999, he had a scholarship named after him by the Seattle Urban League. Recently, the College Art Association presented him with the Artist Award for Most Distinguished Body of Work for 2001, for his 4 year, 12 museum national tour of the painting exhibition, “An American Diary”. In February, 2003 he delivered the keynote address at the 91st meeting of that association in New York City.

At the University of Kansas where he has taught since 1969 , he was designated a University Distinguished Professor in 1994, the first so honored in the history of the School of Fine Arts on that campus. He has been awarded 20 general research grants from his university, and in 1998, was the recipient of the Higuchi Research Award, the highest annual honor bestowed upon a faculty member in the Humanities and Social Sciences. In the Fall of 2002, he received the Chancellor’s Club Career Teaching Award for sustained excellence in teaching and dedication to students at the University of Kansas.

Shimomura’s personal papers are being collected by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. He is represented by Jeffrey Hoffeld & Company, Inc., New York City, Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami, and Jan Weiner Gallery, Kansas City.

Abstract:
"63 Stages of the Yellow Brick Road" is a brief survey of how Shimomura's
life's artwork has been shaped, not by didactic influences or aesthetic
fashion, but by events that he passed through during his life, as well as how
his visual environment has reflected many of those events and eventually
worked its way into his paintings and performances. He accomplishes this
without showing examples of his own work, in order to maintain focus upon
those influences.