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Generations of Art: The Sunami Family
NOVEMBER 30, 2018 - JANUARY 5, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, November 30 | 6-9 pm

Generations of Art: The Sunami Family presents the work of four generations of Columbus' first family of the arts, the Sunamis. The opening reception will feature a rare, licensed reconstruction of one of Martha Graham's early dances, "Heretic," the subject of one of the photographs on display by Soichi Sunami. Other highlights will include tableaux vivants by CoMo Dance and the premiere of six original pieces of music, by Christopher Sunami, as performed by an ensemble of the Columbus Symphony. The art exhibition will include the following artists:
     -Soichi Sunami 
     -John Sunami 
     -Jennifer Sunami 
     -Christopher Sunami
     -April Sunami
     -River Sunami

Images (Left to Right):
John Sunami, Cousins
April Sunami,  Songi II
Soichi Sunami, Heretic

Jennifer Sunami, Hanna

Born in the late 1800's, Sunami family patriarch Soichi Sunami was a modernist photographer who studied under John Sloan alongside mobile inventor Alexander Calder.  He created some of the most iconic photographs of early modern dancers, including Agnes DeMille, Nijinski, and Martha Graham, who he maintained an artistic partnership with for 5 years.  He later was a founding staff member at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and remained as their official archival photographer for over forty years.

His son John Sunami has been a Columbus resident since 1976.  A pioneer of digital art, he was the winner of one of the first ever digital art
competitions, as sponsored by MacWorld Magazine in the early 1980s.  His public art and sculptures are now found across town, at the COTA
headquarters, at the corner of Livingston and Nelson, at the McConnell Art Center in Worthington, and on the side of the All People Fresh
Market on Parsons.

Granddaughter Jennifer Sunami is a commercial artist currently based out of Seattle, Washington.  She has a comic-book influenced aesthetic inspired by the vibrant Columbus comics community.

Grandson Christopher Sunami is a writer and musician, and the director of Invitational Arts Incorporated, which organizes the annual Columbus Invitational Arts Competition, a celebration of the best community-oriented grassroots arts organizations across the city and beyond.

April Sunami is considered one of Columbus's best young artists. Recently described by the Columbus Dispatch as an heir to art luminaries Kojo Kamau and Aminah Robinson, April's work has been featured in museums across Ohio, including a solo show at the Museum of Southern Ohio, in Portsmouth, and has been exhibited internationally. Her work is also featured at the Columbus Convention Center, the King Arts Complex and in numerous private collections across the United States. She is a featured artist in the current Columbus celebration of the art of the Harlem Renaissance, and has previously been featured in the Shadowbox Gallery of Echoes.  She also created an award-winning
installation as part of the Columbus Arts Pop-Up project.

Great-Grandson River Sunami, aged 10, at the intersection of two artistic lineages has been painting since infancy and has developed his own unique style reminiscent of Basquiat.

  • Thursday, November 29 | Noon-1 PM | FREE
    Conversations & Coffee - Artist Talk

    John Sunami & April Sunami - Main Gallery Artists - Generations of Art: The Sunami Family
  • Friday, November 30 | 6-9 PM | FREE
    Opening Reception 
    featuring a rare, licensed reconstruction of one of Martha Graham's early dances, "Heretic" by CoMo Dance and the premiere of six original pieces of music, by Christopher Sunami, as performed by an ensemble of the Columbus Symphony.

This project is supported by the Greater Columbus Arts Council.


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