Executive Director's Message

Art Beat, Spring, 2001

LVAM's new director assumed her duties on March 15, 2001. Her previous position was Executive Director of the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Montana


It is a great pleasure for the Las Vegas Art Museum to be host to Asian Art Now:2001. This exhibition gives the museum an opportunity to showcase a group of artists whose work reflects the complex relationship that Asian artists have not only with their own historic traditions, but with a host of other cultures as well. Art has always benefited from outside traditions; and cross-pollination is as vital to the survival of art as it is to certain plant species. As so ably outlined by Curator James Mann in his essay, the artists in this exhibition have benefited greatly from the new "world culture" and their work (whether successful or not) demonstrates well the extent to which East and West now share common artistic ground.

Communities such as Las Vegas understand well the strength of diversity and of learning (even borrowing) from a wide variety of cultural, social and ethnic traditions. In an effort to reach out to a broad audience and enrich the lives of all Las Vegans, The Las Vegas Art Museum strives to present an exhibition program that balances its goals of service to its diverse audiences with the often challenging and somewhat arcane world of art and art history. Asian Art Now:2001 gives us a unique opportunity to increase and enrich our understanding of contemporary Japan, Taiwan and Korea, and to foster connections and cross-cultural dialogue with our neighbors to the East.

This exhibition would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of many people on both sides of the Pacific, and I would like to thank them now. Etsuko Abe, Masahiro Suzuki and Letsu Sugiyama of the Asian Cultural Exchange Association have proven again their expertise in the many details of organization and production of the exhibition and accompanying catalogue. Without them and their many hard-working colleagues at the Asian Cultural Exchange Association, this exhibition would not be here for all of us to enjoy. At the Las Vegas Art Museum, Curator James Mann and former Executive Director Joseph Palermo were instrumental in forging the initial contacts and relationships with our Asian partners and to them we must give full credit for the exhibition's presence in Las Vegas. Immediate Past President of the Museum's Board of Directors, Jerry Ehrens, was an early supporter of such a cultural exchange and his extensive experience in living and working in Japan has made our job considerably easier. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I would like to thank our Board of Directors and Dave Carver, President, without whom our exhibition program would not be possible