Illges Gallery to Feature Dual Art Exhibitions

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Columbus State University’s Department of Art from Oct. 31 to Dec. 7 will present dual exhibitions: “Places and Smiles” by Japanese photographer Toshie Saito and “Preview, Department of Art Collection,” in the Illges Gallery in downtown Columbus.

A free, opening reception in the gallery is set for 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1.

“Places and Smiles” features 17 black and white photographs from the1950-60 mid-Showa Era of economic growth and prosperity in Japan. “These captivating and beautiful photographs reflect Saito’s memory of that time period, as well as her interest in modernization,” said CSU Gallery Director Hannah Israel.

A self-taught photographer, Saito was born 1939 in Kiryu-Gunma. At age 12, she started taking photographs and learning from her father, who was the leader of a local photography club. After college, she worked as a journalist in Tokyo.

When she got married, her father suggested that she open a small camera shop, which she did to be able to get back into photography. While running the shop, Saito continued to show her work and has exhibited extensively throughout Japan. “Her work has captured the world of ordinary lives of people, the optimism of youth, the innocence of children and the landscape of Kiryu-Gunma,” said Israel. “Today at 68, she is photographing the same places that she captured in the 1950s to show how much has changed.”

Running concurrently, “Preview” overviews the1990-to-2005 acquisitions and gifts to the CSU Department of Art collection. Pieces feature a gift collection of New Guinea art, the permanent loan of Bo Bartlett’s paintings and contemporary ceramic sculptures, prints, paintings and photographs.

“Though small, the exhibition emphasizes the diversity and depth of the collection and its different mediums and historical and contemporary references,” said Israel.

The exhibitions are supported by Friends of Art and CSU student activities fees and Litho-Krome Co. provided the Toshie Saito catalog for “Places and Smiles.”

Gallery hours in the Corn Center for Visual Arts are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 706-507-8300. For directions to the gallery, including a CSU RiverPark campus map, go to http://art.colstate.edu.

Toshie Saito