November 05, 2009

SIUC to host specialist in painting, prints, theater

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The School of Art and Design welcomes triple-threat artist Roger Shimomura to Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Shimomura specializes in painting, prints and theater. He presents a free lecture beginning at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9, in the University Museum Auditorium and a free performance workshop beginning at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10, in the Surplus Gallery in the Glove Factory at 432 S. Washington Ave., Carbondale.

Shimomura’s work, by his own description, addresses sociopolitical issues faced by Asian Americans. He takes inspiration, he said, from diaries kept by his late grandmother, an immigrant. The diaries cover more than 50 years of her life.

Shimomura holds a master of fine arts degree from Syracuse University. His bachelor’s degree is from the University of Washington, Seattle. He joined the School of Fine Arts at the University of Kansas in 1969. In 1994, he became the first faculty member from the school to claim the distinction of University Distinguished Professor.

His formal education took him coast to coast, and his art is similarly well traveled. Shimomura has more than 125 solo exhibitions to his credit, in venues including 40-year retrospectives at the Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, Texas; Morikami Museum in Delray Beach, Fla.; George A. Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin, Mo.; and at the University of Central Arkansas. Other solo exhibitions were at such venues as the Flomenhaft Gallery in New York City, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the National Museum of American History in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

His performances of theatrical art appeared at venues at Western Washington University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, N.M., Studio Museum in Harlem, and many more.

He also has a slew of grants and fellowships to his credit, for visual art, installation art, painting, performance art and more from such institutions as the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, Art Matters, Inc., Japan Foundation Grant and Kansas Arts Commission awards.

For more information about Shimomura, visit

The Fine Arts Activity Fee helps fund the School of Art and Design Visiting Artist Program.