Letter to the Editor

“Kimono as Art: The Landscapes of Itchiku Kubota” has concluded a record-breaking 11-week exhibition at the Canton Museum of Art. Fifty-six thousand awestruck visitors from as far away as Boston and Denver visited “Kimono”, but especially gratifying is the incredible attendance by the Stark County community.

In addition, 46,000 people attended 80 related events, lectures and workshops. These events created a true cultural experience by introducing the community to textile art at its finest, as well as Japanese cuisine, music, horticulture, film, sport and other related art forms.

The Timken Foundation’s decision to bring “Kimono” to Canton was the easy part. The hard work and challenge of creating the blockbuster exhibition was met by a talented, creative and ambitious committee led by Jane Timken, Heather Fisher and Carole Savastano. The dedicated staff of Arts in Stark and the Canton Museum of Art worked tirelessly to create a first-class exhibition of textile art about which little was known by most visitors to the museum.

Our local business community once again answered the call and provided valuable support to the exhibition.

Fred Olivieri Construction, Hammond Construction and Sandy’s Landscaping transformed the Great Court of the Cultural Center and the Wilkof Courtyard in the museum into a Japanese landscape. The contributions of PPI Graphics, Allen Schulman & Associates Attorneys, and The Timken Co. helped ensure success.

This monumental effort was driven by Robb Hankins, CEO of Arts in Stark. The Timken Foundation offers him special thanks for his three-year commitment. For many, Kimono may have been the first adventure into the blossoming world of the arts in our community. Hopefully the experience was rewarding enough that the arts will continue to draw everyone in for continued enjoyment.