Miller Family Free Day: Poetic Imagination In Japanese Art

November 17, 2018 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

The Museum celebrates a community free day as part of its Japanese Poetry, Art, & Culture Weekend Series. Spend some time going deeper into some of the themes, materials, and creative processes represented in Poetic Imagination in Japanese Art. The day will feature a variety of calligraphy and ikebana demonstrations, music performances, poetry reading and writing opportunities, artmaking, and more.

  • 11-4 p.m., Poetic Imagination exhibition galleries
    Self-Guided Poetry Writing with Write Around Portland
    Pick up a card that introduces Waka, Found, Acrostic, or Sensory poetry and try your hand and writing creative verses inspired by works of art in Poetic Imagination.

  • 11-4 p.m., Hoffman lobby, 1st Floor, Main Building
    Tea Tastings with Jugetsudo Teas

  • 11-4 p.m. Kinney Classroom, Lower Level, Main Building
    Calligraphy Art-Making
    Drop-in to try your own hand at calligraphy and learn more about how to use traditional tools of brush, ink, and paper.

  • 11-Noon, Schnitzer Court, 1st Floor, Main Building
    Ikebana Demonstration with Ikebana Portland Chapter 47
    Learn more about ikebana, the traditional Japanese art of flower arranging.

  • Noon-3 p.m., Stevens Room, Lower Level, Main Building
    Origami Art-Making with Yuki Origami
    Drop in to celebrate the fall season by making either a leaf, leaf notecard or toadstool origami

  • Noon-1 p.m., meet in the Park Avenue lobby
    Drop-in Renga Poetry Workshop with creative-writing professor, Gillian Parrish
    In this 30 minute session participants will learn about the collaborative poetic form of traditional Japanese renga and will explore a fun and generative contemporary form that Parrish calls “renga essays,” dipping into some freewriting to kickstart your own.

  • 1-2 p.m., Schnitzer Court, 1st Floor, Main Building
    Calligraphy Performance with Sora Shodo
    Sora Shodo is a Portland-based artist who will share her approach to Japanese calligraphy (“shodo”) that is at once traditional and also very contemporary. She will perform with musician Mitch Iimori.

  • 2:30-3 p.m., Schnitzer Court, 1st Floor, Main Building
    Zen Calligraphy Demonstration with Kihachiro Nishiura
    Kihachiro Nishiura ask us to think of Japanese calligraphy for a moment as “inaudible music.” For him the dots, lines, shadings, movements, and spaces combine to compose a certain melody in our minds or an unheard music.  His approach to calligraphy draws on both traditional and innovative brushwork methods.

  • 3 p.m., Meet in the Park Avenue lobby
    Docent Tour of Poetic Imagination

  • 4-4:30 p.m., Schnitzer Courtyard, 1st Floor, Main Building
    Japanese Music Performances by Takohachi’s TakoQ with Yumi Torimaru and Kirin Kapin on Taugaru Shamisen and Shinobue (Bamboo flute).

Family programs are generously supported in part by Sharon L. Miller and Family, the Gordon D. Sondland and Katherine J. Durant Foundation, the Lamb Baldwin Foundation, and the Joseph E. Weston Public Foundation.


The Portland Art Museum is pleased to offer accommodations to ensure that our programs are accessible and inclusive. All spaces for this program are accessible by wheelchair. Assistive listening devices are also available for lectures. All restrooms have accessible stalls but no power doors. There are single-stall all-gender bathrooms available. Please ask staff for directions.

We will do our best to accommodate your needs when you arrive, however, we need 2-3 weeks advance notice for some specific requests. Please email requests to, or call 503-226-2811.

Shōkadō Shōjō, calligraphy; Tawaraya Sōtatsu, painting; Waka Poem by Kakinomoto no Hitomaro, One of the Thirty-Six Poetic Immortals, early 17th century
Shōkadō Shōjō (Japanese, 1584–1639), calligraphy; Tawaraya Sōtatsu (Japanese, died 1643), painting, Waka Poem by Kakinomoto no Hitomaro, One of the Thirty-Six Poetic Immortals, early 17th century, shikishi mounted as a hanging scroll, ink on gold- and silver-decorated paper. Courtesy of Mary and Cheney Cowles, L2017.67.4