Title: Artist, Writer, Instructor, Consultant
Company: U.S. Embassy
Location: Oakley, California, United States
Lucy Arai-Abramson, Artist, Writer, Instructor and Consultant at the U.S. Embassy, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Artists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in Japanese art.
An artist from the formative years of her life, Ms. Arai was taught the ancient Japanese art of sashiko, a form of folk embroidery using a basic running stitch to create a patterned background. Over the years, she has transformed the stitch into a complex expression of her innermost thoughts, emotions and relationships. Earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of South Carolina and Master of Fine Arts and Graduate Certificate in Museum Practices from the University of Michigan, she commenced her career as a copy editor of microfilms with the University of Michigan from 1979 to 1980. Soon thereafter, she served the University of Michigan Museum of Art as a shop assistant manager and membership coordinator, as well as the Cranbrook Art Museum, where she was the assistant curator from 1985 to 1986. Becoming employed by the U.S. State Department’s Arts in Embassies Program, she traveled to Brunei, Hong Kong, and Albania between 2000 and 2019 advocating for the program. Since 1987, she has also been a consultant of archives with the Exhibition and Museum Education Program for Development, as well as a freelance instructor, artist and designer.
Alongside her primary endeavors, Ms. Arai has been serving as an Asia Alive artist-in-residence with the San Francisco Asian Art Museum since 2005 and a Japanese stitching instructor with the National Quilting Organization since 1989. In the past, she was a presenter at the International Shibori Symposium in Yamagata, Japan, a lecturer of visual arts at Stanford University, a Laila Fund artist-in-residence at the Holualoa Foundation for Arts and Culture, and a panelist of the Textile Society of America Symposium. Likewise, she lectured at the Holy Name College, the Textile Museum in Washington and the American Academy of Religion. Civically involved as well, she was a garden designer and volunteer coordinator for the Masuko A. Robinson Memorial Garden, a volunteer arranger for the California Wildflower Exhibition, and a volunteer instructor for the Hawes and Jack London Schools and the Sansei Legacy Project.
Ms. Arai has had her work showcased in several exhibitions, and she has contributed myriad articles to art magazines and chapters to books. Impressively, she was featured in an article called “A Greener Indigo” by Barbara Shapiro. A member of the College Art Association, she has also maintained affiliation with the Asian American Women Artists Association, the American Craft Council, the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and the Smithsonian Institution.
In light of her exceptional undertakings, Ms. Arai has accrued multiple accolades and honors. Nominated for the Biennial Award by the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, she was the recipient of a curatorial internship grant from the Cranbrook Academy Art Museum and an art scholarship from the University of Michigan School of Art. Likewise, she also earned a graduate fellowship to the University of Michigan and won the Best in Show Award from the University of North Carolina. She has been featured in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the West, Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who of American Women.
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