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Gather by Risa Iwasaki Culbertson

Gather by Risa Iwasaki Culbertson

We are thrilled to welcome artist Risa Iwasaki Culbertson to the Rare Device gallery with her new show, Gather. Gather features new fabric art from the artist, illustrator, and creator of Papa Llama. 

Gather is inspired by Risa's great aunt and grandmother, both survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima, where her family is from. "Growing up, I had clear memories of sitting at our family gatherings, in total amazement of these women who had seen and experienced horrific things, sitting next to me, laughing and bringing mountains of my favorite sushi onto my plate. It’s something I think of often, especially during challenging and isolating times. The hope that, no matter how difficult things are, there will be a day when we can all gather, laugh, and share a meal together."

Show Dates: Friday, September 16th - Sunday, November 6th

Reception: Friday, September 16th, 6-8pm

Felted art work of a blue and white striped bowl of ramen filled with noodles, char sui, greens and eggs by fabric artist Risa Iwasaki Culbert


Artist Statement: The abundance of my work seems silly and playful which is visually approachable at face value but there is a personal story behind each of these quirky creations. My aim is to utilize the power of play, as a vehicle, to replenish one’s emotional energy, and inspire stronger connections within and between us. The playful nature of my art is my way of working through deeper emotions that comes with relationships, my cultures, a sense of belonging, and desire to connect with others. 

Artist Bio: Risa Iwasaki Culbertson is a multimedia artist, illustrator, and owner of Papa Llama; a playful stationery company based out of San Francisco. Biracial and born in Japan, she grew up creating art as a way to bridge the gap between her two worlds. Inspired by the healing and connective power of humor and play, she creates her wacky, whimsical, and colorful work as a way to process grief, deep emotions, and create a place of belonging.

Risa is constantly experimenting with a wide variety of mediums including paper art, felting, sculpting, illustration, stop-motion animation, and more. Her artwork is all about being playful as a way to recharge the creative spirit and find ways to stay connected to those we love.

Her work can be found in stores nationwide through her stationery company, Papa Llama, galleries, workshops, and published works with an upcoming product release with Chronicle Books. 

Head to our blog to read Big Hugs: A Studio Visit with Risa Iwasaki Culbertson

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