Alumna to run UH art gallery
IT WILL BE a homecoming for Lisa Yoshihara when she returns to the University of Hawaii at Manoa as the next director of the UH Art Gallery.
Yoshihara will fill the position held by Tom Klobe, who retires on June 30 after 29 years of service. Her appointment, after an international search, was announced by the UH Department of Art & Art History yesterday.
Yoshihara, who earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in fine arts at the school in 1984 and 1992, respectively, has worked at the Hawaii State Foundation for Culture and the Arts for 20 years as curator of the Art in Public Places program, and as founding director of the Hawaii State Art Museum.
"It's funny, because when I graduated, I thought, 'Wouldn't it be nice to return one day,' and here I go," Yoshihara said. "I feel like I've come full circle. When I opened the museum it really put me in touch with the community and I enjoyed the interaction, and this position affords that opportunity.
"I start Aug. 1, but I've already started the transition, working with Tom, who's one of my great mentors. I'm picking up the exhibition calendar and planning, thinking out to 2007-08.
"One of the reasons I took this job is because it affords such great creativity. The sky's the limit. I'm really looking forward to working with the faculty and other departments to showcase the talent available on campus, as well as bring in national and international shows."
Klobe said he has great respect for Yoshihara's dedication to the arts. "She has a proven record of exceptional organizational skills and the intellectual capacity to develop exhibitions of conceptual relevance to the community. I look forward to her vision and leadership, and I pass the torch to her with great confidence."
Yoshihara said the position offers "a wonderful opportunity to lead one of Hawaii's premier exhibition venues and to continue working with the community to advance the arts in Hawaii."
That includes reaching out to future generations and inspiring others to pursue viable careers in the arts.
"I tell friends that, in effect, for 20 years I've been an educator," Yoshihara said. "(At HISAM) I could see the public react strongly to what they saw, and that was so exciting. We made sure we designed strong storylines associated with the art, and that's what Tom has been doing all this time, helping people to connect and interact with what is being shown in the art gallery, and I hope to continue and build on that."