U.S./Japan Creative Artist Fellowship Finalists for 2013 Announced

June 15, 2012 

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is pleased to announce the 2013 recipients of the U.S.-Japan Creative Artist Fellowship:

Karl Burkheimer, Visual Artist, Portland, Oregon
John Alberto Jesurun, Playwright, New York, York
Marie Mutsuki Mockett, Writer, Jackson Heights, NY
Bruce Holland Rogers, Writer, Eugene, Oregon
William Thomas Roper, Composer, Altadena, California

Karl Burkheimer is a visual artist residing in Portland, Oregon who plans to travel through Japan and create a tactile outcome of his journey through the creation of small carvings and assemblies. He works mostly in wood. His latest work “In Site,” an site-responsive object shown at the Disjecta Interdisciplinary Art Center in Portland, suggested an unknown or esoteric use and was constructed in a style inspired by Japanese tea houses.

John Alberto Jesurun is a playwright living in New York, New York who will explore the world of writer Ihara Saikaku. The playwright plans to explore the world of Saikaku in his native Japan, by visiting sites and locating cultural references in the 17th century writer’s work. Mr. Jesurun will spend most of his time in Osaka and Kyoto, where much of Saikaku’s stories took place. 

Marie Mutsuki Mockett is a writer based in Jackson Heights, New York. During her stay in Japan, she plans to visit important cultural locations and events associated with Japan’s tradition of death and disaster. These locations include Osorezan, the site of a yearly festival during which mediums communicate with the dead, and Kashima Jinja, a shrine in which the great catfish Namazu, believed to cause earthquakes, is said to reside. The artist will work on a memoir about her family, in which she will explore the religious and cultural frames within which people in Japan cope with death and disaster.  www.mariemockett.com

Bruce Holland Rogers is a writer based in Eugene, Oregon who plans to spend his time in Japan visiting the Tokaido Road, as portrayed by ukiyo-e artist Ando Hiroshige’s prints. He hopes to write a collection of stories that could potentially culminate in a book. Additionally, Rogers plans to collaborate with students from the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies on a bilingual book project on the Tokyo subway system.  www.shortshortshort.com  

William Thomas Roper is a musical performer focusing on compositions for the tuba based in Altadena, California. While in Japan, he plans to stay in Eniwa, Hokkaido, and set poems by Harumi Makino and Leza Lowitz to voiced and mixed ensembles. The artist also hopes to collaborate with Lowitz to arrange a charity concert benefiting Tohoku earthquake victims. In addition, Roper hopes to work with artists Mitsu Salmon and Ryotaro Sudo to create and present a piece in Kyoto. http://roperarts.com