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Delta Exhibit Casts Light On Japanese American History
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This piece is titled “Executive Order 9066” and is by artist Jerry Takigawa, one of eight artists included in a special exhibit at Delta College featuring Japanese Sansei artists. President Roosevelt issued the Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942 which authorized the evacuation of all persons deemed a threat to national security from the West Coast to relocation centers further inland. Photo Courtesy Of Delta College

The L.H. Horton Jr. Gallery at San Joaquin Delta College presents “Shadows from the Past: Sansei Artists and the American Concentration Camps,” now open online at

The exhibition presents the work of eight nationally recognized Sansei artists whose work reflects their mutual Japanese American history and the racial injustice of their families’ incarceration during World War II. The term Sansei (“third generation”) is a Japanese word used in parts of the world such as South America and North America to specify the grandchildren, or third generation, of Japanese origin in that country. The Sansei are now the last generation to have heard first-hand the stories of those incarcerated.

To bring this online exhibition to life, Gail Enns, curator of the exhibition and director of Celadon Arts in Monterey, has worked with these artists to include a variety of genres and mediums including painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, assemblage, and fiber arts.

“They demonstrate how contemporary artists have managed their challenging cultural, historical and political place in America,” said Enns. “Each artist uniquely contributes something vital to the collective memory and struggles of the Japanese American people and culture as the events of nearly 80 years ago continue to impact their lives today.”

The exhibition was originated by the Monterey Museum of Art and Celadon Arts in cooperation with the L.H. Horton Jr. Gallery, and will be presented by the Monterey Museum of Art in September 2021. The exhibition for the Horton Gallery is partially sponsored by the Japanese American Citizens League of Stockton, Delta College Cultural Awareness Program, and the Delta College Asian and Pacific Islander American Staff Association.

On Thursday, Feb. 4 at 1:30 p.m., artist Lydia Nakashima Degarrod will discuss the process of paper making used in her work. Those attending an online program will see how she merges the fibers from the herb yerba, known for its healing qualities in Latin America, and mulberry fibers used in Japan for traditional paper-making. She will also demonstrate the process of photographic transfer. The event link is:

Exhibiting Artists include Lydia Nakashima Degarrod, Reiko Fujii, Lucien Kubo, Wendy Maruyama, Tom Nakashima, Na Omi Judy Shintani, Masako Takahashi and Jerry Takigawa.

“I never forget that I was born in a concentration camp — in the USA, for being of Japanese ancestry,” explained Masako Takahashi. “My personal experiences are filtered through the making of artwork. The kimono installation, ‘Generations,’ is in honor of my parents and their courageous endurance. Each of us has much to owe the folks who’ve gone before. I prefer my work to be at once personal and at the same time universal, that is, meaningful to another. So rather than be more documentary about my Camp considerations, I try to be more abstract in execution.”

For further information on this special exhibit, contact