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Gallery events to benefit Japan victims

VERGENNES-Concerned about the devastation in Japan resulting from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, artists and friends of the Creative Space Gallery in Vergennes have teamed up to host benefit events during April.

On Saturday, April 9, special presentations at the Vergennes Opera House will be followed by an open house at Creative Space Gallery. From 2 to 2:30 p.m., "Toyo" will present an exciting combination of Kabuki stage performance, classical Buyo dancing and Nagauta classical music, with dancer Yukiko Washio, and Shamisen player/singers Kichina Kineya and Chikako Abe. And from 2:30 to 3 p.m., Douglas Brooks, a boat builder, writer and researcher who has traveled to Japan 12 times since 1990, gives a slide presentation and talk about the culture and geography of the area affected by the tsunami.

"Journeys and Journals," a new exhibition will be on view through April 30. The artwork is inspired by travel which reflects Japan with a tea chest, lamp, kimono, and digital slide show of photographs taken by Douglas and Catherine Brooks in 2002-03 when they were living in the coastal villages that have recently been damaged by the tsunami.  

Then stroll to Creative Space Gallery for an Open House from 3 to 5 p.m., to enjoy the Journeys & Journals exhibition while learning to fold origami cranes with Jill Abilock, an artist and Japanese-English translator who spent 12 years in Japan.

The gallery's project, called "Senbazuru: 1,000 Cranes of Hope," aims to raise funds to aid recovery efforts in Japan while creating as many senbazuru as possible to carry wishes for health, safety, and recovery to the people of Japan.

Throughout the month of April, crane-making kits will be available at the gallery in exchange for donations to the American Red Cross, or you can receive a kit when you make an online donation at www.tinyurl.com/1000CranesOfHope.

On April 30, Senbazuru will culminate in an event at the Creative Space Gallery from 1-5 p.m., when all the cranes received will be strung into senbazuru. There will also be an opportunity to purchase and fold more cranes during the final event.

Creative Space Gallery is located at 235 Main St. in Vergennes.

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