Japanese Noh theater at Seattle Japanese Garden on Sept. 25

Experience traditional Noh theater in a performance at the Seattle Japanese Garden on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The garden will be open for twilight viewing at 5:30 p.m.

Munenori Takeda and the Takeda Noh Troupe will present three Noh vignettes that will give the audience a glimpse of their upcoming performance at Seattle’s ACT Theatre. The performance, entitled “The Universality of Noh: Crossing Borders on Stage,” will be on the Moon Viewing Stage in the garden with seating in the orchard. Bring a blanket or tatami mat to sit on.

Munenori Takeda was born into a family of pre-eminent Noh actors belonging to the Kanze School, which traces its roots to the 1300s in Japan. He is widely recognized as one of the most talented young Noh performers in Japan today.

Tickets are $10, and on sale now at the Garden, or by phone at 206-684-4725, or at the gate on Sept. 25. The Seattle Japanese Garden is located at 1075 Lake Washington Blvd. S, Seattle WA.

The event is sponsored by the Seattle Japanese Garden Advisory Council, the Japan World Exposition1910 Commemorative Fund, Kansai Osaka 21st Century Association, the Toshiba Foundation, the Asahi Shinbun Foundation, the Japan Arts Connection Lab, and Seattle Parks and Recreation.

Seattle Japanese Garden presents Moon Viewing Sept. 6

From 7-10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, the Seattle Japanese Garden will light up lanterns, luminaries and floating boats to welcome the full moon in keeping with Japanese tradition.

The community is invited to this enchanted event that will take place after-hours in the garden. Traditional Japanese dances will be performed by the Fujima Fujimine Dance Ensemble and music will be played on shakuhachi and koto by James Jennings, Marcia Takamura and Chigusa Kitai.

Evocative movement art will be performed by Kogut Butoh, and Haiku Northwest will host a poetry writing contest.

Visitors can get a special look at the moon through telescopes provided by the Seattle Astronomical Society.

Three tea ceremonies, led by Tankokai, will be held in the Shoseian Teahouse in the garden.

General admission tickets are $15. Admission with a tea ceremony is $25. Tickets must be purchased in advance at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/822035.

The Japanese Garden gates will open at 6 p.m. for the event. The garden is located at 1075 Lake Washington Blvd. E. For more information, please visit http://www.seattlejapanesegarden.org/moonviewingfestival.html.

Get creative in the Conservatory: It’s never too late to learn with Lifelong Recreation

Summer program registration opens May 20

Artist Lisa Snow Lady, left, leads a tour through the Volunteer Park Conservatory where she is teaching a Lifelong Recreation class this spring.


Last year Mary Hsu was traveling in Japan when she came across a woman sightseeing with an open sketch pad in front of her.

“She was making the most beautiful drawings,” Hsu said. “I thought to myself, I want to do that.”

Last week, Hsu was at the Volunteer Park Conservatory for a sketching and watercolor course taught by artist Lisa Snow Lady. The class, offered through Seattle Parks and Recreation Lifelong Recreation, teaches participants how to document their individual journeys through drawings and paintings.

Snow Lady is a visual artist and has a degree in ornamental horticulture. She said teaching a class in Volunteer Park is a perfect way to draw on all of her strengths.

“I want the class to be loose sketching, like you’re traveling,” Snow Lady said. “We have plenty of places to explore right here: the Cactus House, the Palm House. We can pretend we’re somewhere exotic.”

Participant Linda Pauw earned an art degree in college and recently started drawing again.

“I have seen Lisa’s travel sketchbooks, and I’m in awe of them,” Pauw said.

Lifelong Recreation participant Shari Congdon practices sketching a tulip during a warm up exercise.

Many of the students have past artistic experience and are looking to sharpen their skills. Student Pam Generaux taught art for 30 years in Seattle schools but had never received formal watercolor training.

“I love being a part of a class and exchanging ideas,” Generaux said.

Generaux demonstrates that it’s never too late to learn a new skill or improve an existing talent. The Lifelong Recreation course is designed to be a relaxed atmosphere where people can feel comfortable exploring their surroundings.

“It doesn’t matter if you make a mistake,” Snow Lady said. “It’s just paper, and it’s just ink.”

Snow Lady requires participants to use pens for sketching so they’re not tempted to erase and work under the constraints of perfection.

This class, which is also offered in the Japanese Garden, was created three years ago. Lifelong Recreation Specialist Cheryl Brown said she’d like to see participation increase.

“This is one of the few opportunities we have to use these venues,” she said. “This has been a great partnership that has opened up the doors of these beautiful specialty spaces to artists of all kinds.”

Student Shari Congdon said the location was one thing that drew her to the class.

“What a great opportunity to come to a beautiful place and sketch.”

Another art course held in the Japanese Garden and Volunteer Park will be offered this summer.

Lifelong Recreation offers a wide range of fitness and social programs designed for people 50 years or older; however, this specific art class is open to anyone over 18. Summer registration opens on May 20.