Painting is a way in this world to communicate with neglected spirits, spirits that crisscross through consciousness and reveal themselves as destiny. Cuba’s Havana Bienal exposed me to an art of a spiritual (and political) manifestation and I was inspired to seek Ifa, the liturgy of Yoruba of Nigeria, for this way to honor the spirits and the deities of the Yoruba pantheon, an indigenous tradition that is also global.
Betty Nobue Kano is a Lecturer at San Francisco State University and has exhibited her work in over 200 galleries and museums, nationally and internationally. She has curated over 30 exhibits, including “Generation Nexus: Peace in the Post-war Era,” that launched the opening of National Japanese American Historical Society’s Bldg. 640 at Crissy Field, Presidio, San Francisco in Novmber 2013. She co-founded Art Against Apartheid, Asian American Women Artists Association, Women of Color Camp and served on the boards of Alliance for Cultural Democracy, National Japanese American Historical Society and the Medicine Warriors Dancers/All Nations Singers Powwow Committee at Intertribal Friendship House in Oakland. She currently serves on the Japanese American Women Alumnae of UC Berkeley board, and the board of the Japanese American National Library, in addition to teaching conversational Japanese at Sakura Kai senior center.
BETTY NOBUE KANO DEGREES B.A. - Fine Arts: Painting, San Francisco State College, 1967 M.A. - Fine Arts, University of California, Berkeley, 1977 M.F.A. - Fine Arts, University of California, Berkeley, 1978 SELECTED SOLO & GROUP EXHIBITIONS: 2013 – Speak Your Peace, SOMArts Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2012 – Agents of Change: Artists As Activists, Sonoma State University Art Gallery, Sonoma, CA - SheRose of Our Time, A Tribute to the First Lady, Michelle Obama, Joyce Gordon Gallery, Oakland, CA (Awardee). - The Future Is Now, Asian America on its Own Terms, 15th Annual Asian American Festival, SomArts Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2010-2011 – Betty Nobue Kano at Sushi Aka Tombo, San Francisco (Solo Exhibit) 2009 –2010 An Idea Called Tomorrow, California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA - Ashe! Avenue 50 Studios, Los Angeles, CA - Betty Kano, La Estrellita Café, Oakland, CA 2008 – Betty Nobue Kano: Peace Paintings, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA (Solo exhibit) - 3 2 C now, San Pablo Arts Gallery, San Pablo, CA - 10 Billboards. 10 Artists. 10 Countries. Imagine Peace, A project from Seeing Peace: Artists Collaborate with the United Nations by Richard Kamler, opened in San Francisco, CA 2007 - Corazon en Fiesta, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, San Francisco, CA 2006- Bay Area Abstraction: A Current View, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA - Hope & Healing In Times Of War, SomArts Galleries, San Francisco - Cheers & Incantations, Encantada Gallery for Fine Art, San Francisco 2005 – Ghosts of Little Boy: Artists for Peace, Part 1, NJAHS Peace Gallery, National Japanese American Historical Society, San Francisco, CA - Full Circle: Betty Nobue Kano and Nancy Hom, APICC Festival, Som Arts Main Gallery, San Francisco, CA - Profits Enslave the World: Philip Vera Cruz Centennial Commemoration, Asian Resource Gallery, Oakland, CA 2004 – Issho/Together: Japanese American/Japanese National Artists in America, 1941 - present, Meridian Gallery, San Francisco, CA - (S)kinship: African American and Asian American Connections, SomArts Gallery, San Francisco, - CBS Marketwatch Corporate Headquarters, Connections, San Francisco, CA 2003 – 25 Years of Heart and Struggle, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, San Francisco (incl. Live Painting Performance) - Asian American Women Artists Assoc., SomArts, San Francisco, CA - War & Silence, Kearny Street Workshop, SomArts Main Gallery, San Francisco, CA - Association of Asian American Studies Conference, Cathedral Hill Hotel, San Francisco 2002 – Dark Mother: African Origins and Godmothers, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA - Chi Gallery, Oakland, CA - Artship Windows, Jack London Square, Oakland, CA 2001 – Artship Windows, 15th St. and Broadway, Oakland, CA 2000 - Local Color: Selections from the di Rosa Collection, Sun Gallery, Hayward, CA - Nikkei 2000 Conference, Miyako Hotel, San Francisco, CA 1999 - Godzilla West Presents, Oakland Asian Cultural Center, Oakland, CA 1998 - In the Wind: Betty Kano & Tomoko Murakami, Asia Resource Gallery, Oakland, CA 1997 - Estardantes, Tijuana Cultural Center, Marta Palau, curator, Tijuana, Mexico - Impressions: Contemporary Asian Artist Prints, Brandywine Workshop, Center for the Visual Arts, Philadelphia, PA (catalog) 1996 - Betty Kano: Transformations, Visual Arts Gallery, University of Illinois at Springfield, Illinois (Solo exhibition) 1996 - Faces of Home, Oliver Art Center, Calif. College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA 1994 - Betty Nobue Kano, Plaza Gallery, Bank of America World Headquarters, San Francisco, CA (Solo exhibition) 1994 - Odun de Odun de, Oliver Art Center, Ca. College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA - Painting: Asian American Perspectives, Marjorie Barrick Museum, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV, and Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV (catalog) 1993 - All The Earth Is Red In Cuba, Installation, Mary Porter Sesnon Gallery, University of California at Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA (Solo exhibition) 1993 - The Art We Love to Hate, Jennifer Heath, curator, Chicano Humanities & Art Council, Denver, CO, and Zoller Gallery, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, other touring (catalog, Pomegranate Artbooks) - Time Echoes, Asian American Women Artists,C. N. Gorman Museum, University of California at Davis, Davis, CA (brochure) - New World Order III, The Curio Shop, Godzilla, Artists Space, New York, NY 1992 - Betty Kano/Brian Tripp, Berkeley Store Gallery, Berkeley, CA (catalog) - Hopi Prophecy (installation), “Resistance 500,” Addison Street Windows, Berkeley, CA - A Voice of Peace and Reason, Browsing Formal Gallery, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA (catalog) - Visiting Artists Program: 20th Anniversary Show, CU Galleries, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 1988-1992 - Echoes Through Time, EPCOT Center, Orlando, FL (catalog) 1991 - Fourth Havana Biennial, Museo de Belles Artes, Havana, Cuba (catalog) - Rooms for the Dead, "Executive Order," collaborative installation at Mission Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA - Salad Bar Presents: History, Truth or Consequences, San Francisco State University Art Gallery, San Francisco, CA and Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA (catalog) 1990 - Betty Kano, Ake Grudtz, Leon Dockery, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Rental Gallery, San Francisco, CA - Flags, Walter McBean Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA (catalog) 1989 - Painting Forum, Euphrat Gallery, De Anza College, Cupertino, CA - Homeland: A Palestinian Quest, Minor Injury Gallery, Brooklyn, NY - Art Against Apartheid 1989 Exhibition, Westbeth Gallery, New York, NY 1988 - Peter Selz Selects, Peter Selz, curator, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA (catalog) 1987 - Emerging Asian American Artists, George Rivera, curator, Triton Museum of Art (Inaugural Exhibit), Santa Clara, CA - New Abstraction in the West, Pritchard Art Gallery, Univ. of Idaho, Moscow, ID - Betty Kano & Enrique Chagoya - Social Narratives: An Exploration in Content, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA 1986 – Betty Kano, Artists Embassy International Gallery, San Francisco, CA (Solo exhibition) 1986 - Saludo al Pueblo de Nicaragua, Casa Gallery, San Francisco, CA and State Museum, Managua, Nicaragua 1985 - Traditions Transformed, Oakland Museum of Art, Oakland, CA and Doizaki Gallery, Japanese American Community Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA (catalog) - Chain Reaction, SF Arts Commission Gallery, San Francisco, CA 1984 - Betty Kano, UPB Gallery, Berkeley, CA (Solo exhibition) 1984 - Japan Ima Festival, Rolando Castellon, curator, Mary Porter Sesnon Gallery, University of California at Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA - May I Have Your Attention, Please? Wing Luke Museum, Seattle, WA 1983 - Elegant Miniatures from San Francisco and Kyoto, Tom Marioni, curator, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA and Belco House, Kyoto, Japan - Betty Kano and Clay Jensen, Bruce Velick Gallery, San Francisco, CA - Betty Kano & Al Rice, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA 1982 - Betty Kano, Ron Salgado/Downtown Gallery,Los Angeles, CA (Solo exhibition) 1982 - Betty Kano/Jerry Concha, TransAmerica Pyramid Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2-Person exhibit, Gump's Gallery, San Francisco, CA 1981 - Betty Kano/ Cornelia Schultz, Falkirk Community Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA - Beyond Words, (Award, Josine Ianco-Starrels, juror), San Jose Institute of Contemporary Arts, San Jose, CA 1980 - Betty Kano, Allrich Gallery, San Francisco, CA (Solo exhibition) 1980 - Painting Annual, (Award), Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA - American Artists, Fukuoka Municipal Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan 1979 - Expo California, Sacramento, CA - 3-Person Exhibit, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Rental Gallery, San Francisco 1978 - Betty Kano, Richmond Art Center, S.F. Arts Festival Solo Exhibition Award, Richmond, CA 1978 - Aesthetics of Graffiti, Rolando Castellon, curator, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA (catalog) - M.F.A. Candidates, University Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley, CA 1977 - Six East Bay Painters, George Neubert, curator, Oakland Museum of Art, Oakland - Crocker-Kingsley Annual, E.B. Crocker Gallery, Sacramento, CA SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY - Betty Kano, Gender Studies in Okinawa, FY 2012, International Institute for Okinawa Studies, Ryukyu University, “Art as a Vehicle for Transformation from Exposure to Indigenous Religions in Cuba,” March 2013. - Betty Kano, International Review of African American Art, vol. 23, Number 2, 2010, “Cultural Collisions for a New Public Space – Theaster Gates,” pp. 14 -17. - Betty Kano, Distillations: Meditations on the Japanese American Experience, catalog essay, 2010 - Betty Kano, International Review of African American Art: Asian Persuasion, African American Artists Look East, vol 21, Number 3 , “(S)kinship,” pp 20 -26. - Asian American Women Artists Assoc., Cheers to Muses, Contemporary Works by Asian American Women, 2007, p. 105 - Carolyn Jones, San Francisco Chronicle, “The Art of War,” April 23, 2007, p.A-1, color photo - Margaret Schulze, Nikkei Heritage, “The Good Fight: Betty Kano and Nina Fallenbaum,” Fall 2005, pp 10 – 14 - Chiori Santiago, Tea Party, “Perseverance Furthers: The Work of Bella Feldman, Betty Kano and Mildred Howard,” #15 - 2005, p. 78 - Nichi Bei Times , “Artwork by Betty Kano, Nancy Hom on Display in SF,” May 21, 2005, p. 2 - Hokubei Mainichi, “Asian American, African American Women Artists Collaborate,”, May 6, 2004, p. 1 - Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua, editors, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, by Third Woman Press (2002), Art Folio - George Leonard, editor, The Asian Pacific American Heritage: A Companion to Literature, Garland Publisher, “Asian American Visual Arts, An Interview with Betty Kano,” by Timothy Dresher, 1999, pp. 585-591. - Phoebe Farris, editor, Women Artists of Color: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook to 20th Century Artists in the Americas, Greenwood Press, Westport, CN, 1999, pp. 397– 403, illus. - Sei-En Journal, Tokyo, Japan, number 47, Spring 1998, color cover, - Sei-En Journal, Tokyo, Japan, number 46, Winter 1997, color cover - Elizabeth Bettendorf, the State Journal – Register, Springfield, Il.,”’Transformations’ exhibit gives UIS gallery a new look,” January 24, 1996, p. 6 (color photo) - Carlos Villa, Project Director, Worlds in Collision, Dialogues on Multicultural Art Issues, 1994, San Francisco Art Institute, pp 36-49, 139 - Jennifer Heath, Black Velvet, The Art We Love to Hate, Pomegranate Artbooks, San Francisco, 1994, pp 70, 71. - Glen Mimura, Asian America: Journal of Culture and the Arts, "Betty Kano: All the Earth Is Red in Cuba Todo la Tierra Es Roja en Cuba," UC Santa Barbara, Winter, 1993, pp 156-165 (photos, text). - Betty Kano, Feminist Studies, "Four Northern California Artists: Hisako Hibi, Norine Nishimura, Yong Soon Min and Miran Ahn," vol. 19, no. 3, Fall, 1993, pp 628-642 (cover, photos, text). - Moira Roth and Diane Tani (with essay by Lucy Lippard), Betty Kano, Visibility Press, Berkeley Store Gallery, Berkeley, 1992. - Plaza Asahi, January 31 - February 13, 1992 (cover, photo, text in Japanese) - Chiori Santiago, Oakland Tribune, “Berkeley double-take: Kano – Tripp make a heavenly match,” January 21, 1992, C-3 (photo, review) - J.H. Tompkins, East Bay Guardian, "Mixing Paint and Politics," April 1991, cover photo, pp 13-14 (text) - Margaret Schulze, Hokubei Mainichi, “Artist Graphically Expresses Feeling on War,” Feb. 6, 1991, p. 1 (photo, text) - Harriet Swift, Oakland Tribune, “Artists Take Action,” January 21, 1991, C-1. - Smell This, Center for Racial Education Publication, UC Berkeley, vol. 2, 1991, p. 100 – 102 (photo, text) - Lucy Lippard, Mixed Blessings: New Art in a Multicultural America, Pantheon Books, New York, 1990, p. 232 (photo, text) - Shirley Lim & Mayumi Tsutakawa, ed., The Forbidden Stitch, Calyx Books, 1989 (photo, text) - Charles Shere, Oakland Tribune, “Emotional Depth is Fully Realized…” Sept. 28, 1983 - Thomas Albright, Art in the San Francisco Bay Area 1945-1980, UC Press, 1985 - Frank Cebulski, Artweek, “Color As Perception,” Jan. 22, 1983 - Suzanne Boettger, Artweek, “Local Color,” October 24, 1982 - Robert McDonald, Artweek, “Manifestations of Graffiti,” 6/3/78 - Thomas Albright, ArtNews, "San Francisco," February, 1978 (text) - Thomas Albright, San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 10, 1977 TEACHING, CURATING and RELATED PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES 2013 – Curator: Generation Nexus, NJAHS Bldg. 640, Presidio, San Francisco, CA 1999 – 2014 – Lecturer, Asian American Studies Dept., San Francisco State University, S.F. 2005- 2007- Adjunct Faculty, Guided Group Studies and Creative Inquiry programs, New College, San Francisco, CA 2005 – Curator, Ghosts of Little Boy, Artists for Peace, Parts 1 and 2, and, concurrently, Video Film Festival, NJAHS Peace Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2004 – Curator: (S)kinship: African American and Asian American Connections, AAWAA, SomArts Gallery, San Francisco 2003_ Curator: ManifestDestiny: Asian American Arts, Advocacy and and the Academy, Assoc. of Asian American Studies Conference, Cathedral Hills Hotel, San Francisco, CA - Curator: Freedom Now!, Berkeley Arts Festival, Berkeley, CA 2002 – Curator, Bridges: Works by Contemporary Korean American and Japanese American Women Artists, National Japanese American Historical Society, San Francisco, CA, (“Nikkei Heritage”) Jan. 1997 to Oct. 2002 – Executive Director, Pro Arts, Inc. Oakland, CA. Curator of following exhibitions at Pro Arts: Welcome to Oakland (1997), Bay Area Sculpture (1998), Defiance OUR/SELVES: Black and Native American Photographers (1998), Art After Incarceration: Japanese American and Other Artists (1998), Fruitvale Colors/Best of Memories (1999), Homelessness (2000), Hidden Histories: African American Slavery and the Philippine American War (2000), Indigenous Festivals (2000), Sugar 'n Spice'n Everything Nice: Lives, Loves and Legacies of Women of Color (2001), Census 2000: Asian Pacific Island Americans (2001), and West Oakland Today: thehousingproject and Scrapyard Ghosts (2002), Life Or…? Visions of the Hopi Prophecy (2002). 2000 – Curator, Alameda County Social Services Dept., Eastmont Mall, Oakland, CA. Spring, 1997 - Lecturer, Art Dept., San Francisco State University, S.F., CA Spring, 1996 - Lecturer, Board of Studies in Art, University of California, Santa Cruz Fall, 1995 through Spring, 1996 - California Arts Council, Artist-In-Residence, Museum of Children's Art, Oakland, CA Fall, 1993 through Spring, 1996 - Lecturer, Fine Arts and Ethnic Studies Depts., California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA 1995 - Curator, Roots in Asia, featuring Sono Osato and Joe Sugayan, Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA (brochure) 1993 - Curator, Public and Private Journeys, Euphrat Museum, De Anza College, Cupertino, CA Spring, 1993 -Lecturer, Art Dept., Laney College, Oakland, CA Fall, 1993 - Lecturer, New College of California, San Francisco, CA 1992-1993 - Instructor, Arts Program, San Francisco County Jail #7, San Bruno, CA 1992 - Curator, The Mythmakers, Jamaica Art Center, Jamaica, NY (brochure) 1991 - Lecturer, Art Dept., Laney College, Oakland, CA 1991 - Consultant, Education Dept., Oakland Museum of Art, Oakland 1991 - Art Editor, Asian America: Journal of Culture and the Arts, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA 1990 - Artist-In-Residence, Mixing It Up Symposium, Lucy Lippard, organizer, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO Fall, 1990 - Lecturer, Board of Studies in Art, University of California at Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz 1990 - Co-Curator, Salad Bar Exhibit, Hunter's Point Bayview Opera House, San Francisco 1989 - Curator, Masks, Monkeys, Magic and Memories, Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland, CA 1988 - Curator, About Survival, Veteran's Memorial Auditorium, Berkeley Multicultural Festival, Berkeley, CA 1985-86 - Artist-In-Residence, California Arts Council, Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA HONORS AND AWARDS - National Japanese American Historical Society, “Community Leadership” Awardee, 2011 - CA State Senate, Certificate of Recognition, Founding Member Asian American Women Artists Assoc., 20th Anniversary, Sept. 26, 2009 - Women of Color Resource Center, “Sisters of Fire” Award, 2002 - Rockefeller Foundation Residency Fellowship in the Humanities, Asian American Center, Queens College, Queens, NY (1991-1992) - Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art (SECA) Finalist, (1981, 1982) - Exhibition Award, San Francisco Arts Festival, San Francisco, CA (1977) CONFERENCES & PRESENTATIONS - Presenter: International Institute for Gender Studies, International Institute for Okinawan Studies, Ryukyu University, Okinawa, Japan, 2012. - Keynote speaker, Japanese American Women Alumnae of UC Berkeley Annual Luncheon, 2008 - “Live Music Painting” at Full Circle: Betty Nobue Kano and Nancy Hom, SomArts Main Gallery, United States of Asian America Festival, 2005 - Berkeley Genyukai (eisa drumming): 2005 National Japanese American Historical Society Annual Banquet, Okinawa Kenjinkai New Year’s Event, Sacramento, CA (2005), 2004 Medicine Warriors Dance Group Powwow, Oakland, CA; California State Fair 2004, Sacramento, CA; 2004 Cherry Blossom Festival, San Francisco, CA; Okinawa Kenjinkai New Year’s Event, Sacramento, CA (2004). - WCA Conferences at Seattle, WA and New York, NY - Association of Asian American Studies Conferences at UC Santa Barbara, Manoa, HI, San Jose, CA and San Francisco, CA - Asian American Renaissance Festival at Minneapolis, MN; Association of American Cultures, Oklahoma, OK - Mid-America College Art Association, Tucson, AZ; - Western Museums Conference, San Jose, CA - "Strategizing Cultures" Conference, Rockefeller Fellowship in the Humanities, UCLA - Multicultural Symposia at San Francisco Art Instutute, SF. Selected lectures and/or slide presentations: National Japanese American Historical Society, San Francisco, CA; Kearny Street Workshop, San Francisco; Elmshurst College, Elmshurst, IL; School for the Visual Arts, NY; UC Davis; CCAC; New College of California, San Francisco; University of Illinois at Springfield, IL; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Merritt College, Oakland; Laney College, Oakland; San Francisco Art Institute symposia; Mills College, Oakland; San Francisco State University; UCLA; Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA; Euphrat Museum, Santa Clara., CA; UC Berkeley; Headlands Center for the Arts, Fort Barry, CA; De Anza College, Cupertino, CA COMMISSIONS, BOARDS & JURIES 2014 - Board of Directors, Japanese American National Library 2010 – 2013, Advisory Board, Japanese American National Library 1999 – 2013, Medicine Warriors Dance Group Powwow Committee, Treasurer, Oakland, CA 2005 -2009, Board of Directors, National Japanese American Historical Society 2002 - African American Museum and Library of Oakland murals jury facilitator 2001 - Creative Artists Fellowship Jurying Panel (Oakland) 2000- 2004, City of Oakland, Public Art Advisory Committee (appointed) 1999 – 2000 City of Oakland, Blue Ribbon Committee, (appointed) 1999, 2000, 2003 San Jose Civic Arts Commission Grants Panel 1999 - California Civil Liberties Public Education Grant, reviewer 1998 - Creative Artists Fellowship Jurying Panel, Oakland Cultural Affairs Commission; Advancement Grant Panel, Oakland Cultural Affairs Commission; Juror - Sonoma Arts Council; Juror - Vacaville Artists League; Juror -Growing Up Asian, San Francisco, CA 1996 - San Francisco Arts Commission Grants Panel 1994 - Community Advisory Board, "Face of the Gods," University Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley, CA 1993 - Co-Founder Godzilla West 1991 - Juror, N. CA WCA, Women on Women, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA 1990 - Juror, 1,000 Faces, Festival at the Lake, Oakland, CA; Reviewer, Artists Earthquake Recovery Grants, Northern California Grantmakers; 3rd Annual Exhibition Award, CCAC, Oakland, CA 1989 - Co-founder, Asian American Women Artists Association 1988 - 1996 - Board of Directors, Alliance for Cultural Democracy, (Co-chair 94-96) 1988 - 1992 - Commissioner, Alameda County Arts Commission (Secretary 90 -92) 1987 - 1989 - Board of Directors, Pro Arts, Inc., Oakland, CA 1986 - 1987 - Berkeley Art Commission 1979 - 1980 - Board of Directors, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley SELECTED COLLECTIONS San Francisco Art Commission University of Colorado Art Museum Security Pacific National Bank Brobeck, Phleger, and Harrison Heller, Ehrman, White and McAuliffe Jerry Magnin Co. NEA Associates Tom Mazzolini Gail Bernstein Charles Schwab IBM Shirley Geok-Lin Lim Suzaan Boettger Washington State Arts Commission William Wong Karen Tei Yamashita Ifagbemi John Turpin Rene di Rosa Kenneth Nash Nancy Hom Ken Chu Muziki Roberson Steve and Janice Adachi Triton Museum of Art Fumi Knox William Bardeen