May 09--Sadao Watanabe, born in Tokyo in 1913, was baptized as a Christian at the age of 17. From that time on, he devoted his life to depicting the stories of the Bible in a visual language that would be understandable to the Japanese culture. He became Japan's foremost Christian artist of the 20th century, according to a press release from St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Chatham.
That church will host "Witness to Faith: The Biblical Art of Sadao Watanabe" in its gallery, featuring original works of graphic art by the famed printmaker, beginning Friday with an opening reception and continuing through Aug. 31.
The exhibit will bring together more than 30 stencil prints, calendars and cards on biblical themes from the collections of Sandra and Robert Bowden and Al and Jane Haven of Chatham, and Yoshio and Suzanne Inomata of Orleans. The intricately patterned images depicted in the collection are created in a variety of styles and formats offering a panoramic view of the Bible.
Watanabe saw himself, the release says, as a Christian printmaker whose mission was "to stand within the artistic tradition of Japan." His interpretations take on a Japanese context -- the creatures entering Noah's Ark correspond to the animal signs of the Asian zodiac; Jesus and his disciples wear kimonos and gather at the Last Supper to eat fish and drink sake.
Watanabe's inspiration has been traced to the rise of the "mingei" folk art movement that developed in Japan in the mid-1920s and promoted the creation of traditional handcrafts made from natural materials. Working with his wife Harue, Watanabe cut all his stencil patterns by hand and printed his images on handmade mulberry paper, coloring them with vegetable and mineral pigments. He created small biblical scenes on untreated sheets of "washi," a Japanese paper, and large folio-sized prints on "momigami," a wrinkled paper made by crumpling and stretching sheets of mulberry paper to create a textured surface. Examples of both types of prints can be seen in the exhibition, along with Christmas cards and calendars with print reproductions that Watanabe authorized for publication each year.
He also used a traditional technique for dyeing textiles with hand cut-stencils from the Okinawa Islands to make prints on paper.
When he died in 1996, Watanabe left behind a visual legacy unique in contemporary sacred art. His chief desire, according to the press release, was for his biblical prints to be seen in a variety of public places by as broad an audience as possible. His stencil prints can be found in the permanent collections of the British Museum, New York's Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo and the Vatican Museum's Collection of Modern Religious Art.
Friday, May 10
Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater will hold "Dance from Beginnings to Broadway!," a three-day film series beginning with "First Position," a film by Bess Kargman at 7 p.m. at the Julie Harris Stage, 2357 Route 6. This award-winning documentary features the Youth America Grand Prix, one of the world's most prestigious ballet companies. "Company," a Stephen Sondheim film starring Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Colbert and more will be shown at 8 p.m. Saturday and Matthew Bourne's award-winning interpretation of "Swan Lake" will be shown Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets: Adults $9, under 18 or with student ID, $7. Information: www.what.org or 508-349-9428.
Saturday, May 11
--Sandwich Artisans will hold their first 2013 Fine Arts & Crafts Show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the lawn of the Sandwich Public Library, 142 Main St. This will be the first of eight juried outdoor shows by the group during the summer months. Show items include fine art, jewelry, pottery, glass work, photographs, hand-crafted clothing, home accessories and wooden items. Proceeds from vendor fees go to support the library's youth art programs. Information: www.sandwich-artisans.com.
--The Cape Abilities 5K Walk/Run will be held starting at 9:15 a.m. at the Village Green, Hyannis. Runners will return to the green for prizes, refreshments and music by Toast and Jam with their blend of original bluegrass, modern folk, swing and more. Also featured will be chair massages by Massage Envy Spa and an appearance by the Mullet Marathon runners. Information: www.capeabilities.org or 508-778-5040.
--The Sturgis Charter Public School will celebrate Mother's Day weekend with a "Zumbathon" from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Hyannis Youth Community Center, 141 Bassett Lane. The dance fitness mini-marathon event will benefit Camp Sunshine, a retreat in Casco, Maine for children with life-threatening diseases and their families. All ages and fitness levels are welcome. The event will feature refreshments and raffles. Tickets: $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Information: 508-778-1782.
--The Falmouth Chorale will host choral music arranger Alice Parker in two performances, including a Community SING!, at 4 and 7 p.m. at John Wesley United Methodist Church, 270 Gifford St. Falmouth. Parker is known for her long career as a composer, performer and teacher. John Yankee will conduct the Falmouth Chorale and Chamber Chorale in singing several of Parker's arrangements during the concert's first half. After intermission, Parker will lead the Chorale and the entire audience in a community sing. Parker's sings use techniques such as echo singing, rounds and simple harmonies to enhance music produced by participants. Tickets: $20, $5 for students. Information: www.falmouthchorale.org or 774-392-2383.
--Charles Neville and Youssoupha Sidibe with the Mystic Rhythms Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Wellfleet Preservation Hall, 335 Main St. Their music is a blend of New Orleans and West African music. Neville's saxophone playing earned him a Grammy in 1989 and he was front man for the Neville Brothers for more than 30 years. Grammy-nominated Sidibe is a Senegalese West African Kora (African Harp) player who has played at some of the most famous festivals and venues in the world. Tickets: $15. Information: www.wellfleetpreservationhall.org or 508-349-1800.
--Our Lady of Victory Parish will present its sixth annual Comedy Night and Dinner with hors d'oeuvres at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the show at 7:30 p.m. at the Monsignor Perry parish center, 230 S. Main St., Centerville. The evening will be hosted by Dave Rattigan, who has appeared in the film "Heavy Times," and co-created the themed standup show "How Men Think (Or Do They?)." Also appearing will be Tony V., who will be in this year's Sandra Bullock comedy "The Heat." He also appeared in the Ben Affleck film "The Town" and has worked with Robin Williams and Denis Leary. Comic Dan Crohn will entertain with his stories of family and friends; Crohn was a semi-finalist in the 2009 Boston Comedy Festival. Tickets: $35. Information: www.olvparish.org or 508-775-5744.
--The Chatham Chorale will present "A Night of Waltzes: Music from Brahms to Broadway" at 7 p.m. at Nauset Regional Middle School, 70 Route 28, Orleans. A second performance will be at 3 p.m. Sunday. Led by music director Joseph Marchio and accompanied by an orchestra of strings and piano, the chorale will perform musical selections from Broadway to the light classical realm. Joining the Chorale will be the Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School choir under the direction of Maggie Bossi. Tickets: $25 preferred seating, $20 open. Information: www.chathamchorale.org or 888-556-2707.
Sunday, May 12
The Cultural Center of Cape Cod will present "Mothers and Other Loves: A Concert by Stephanie Miele and Lucy Banner" from 4 to 6 p.m. at the center, 307 Old Main St., South Yarmouth. Vocalist Miele and pianist Banner will present the Mother's Day concert of songs from Broadway to celebrate spring, parent and child relationships, and love. Tickets: $15. Information: www.cultural-center.org or 508-394-7100.
Monday, May 13
Cape Cod Restaurant Week gets under way today and runs through May 19. Diners will have the chance to check out nearly 50 of the Cape's top bistros, cafes, lounges and raw bars before the tourist season officially begins, with those offering three- or four-course, fixed-price exhibition menus at a special rate. Meal prices during the week are $25, $30 or $35 per person. The event is coordinated by BostonChefs.com, which also runs www.CapeCodChefs.com where participants are listed. The website also includes menus, pricing, reservation links and a Cape Cod Restaurant Week blog with tips, photos and reviews. Information: www.CapeCodChefs.com.
COMPILED BY COLLEEN PRESTON
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