Green Lion Gallery in Bath will host an exhibit of woodcuts and other prints by artists from Maine and the Prefecture of Aomori, Japan, beginning on Friday.

The traveling exhibition is organized by the Maine-Aomori Printmaking Society, part of a cultural exchange program that shares art and artists between the sister states of Maine and Aomori.  Nineteen artists are participating in the show, which will run through May 19.

During the print show, there will be a three-day workshop in Japanese printmaking techniques taught by nationally known woodcut artist and teacher Matthew Brown at  Green Lion’s print studio.  The class and workshop begins April 27.

The 2018 Maine-Aomori print exhibition builds on the successful series of art exchanges and exhibitions held since 2015 in both countries, now numbering thirteen shows in varied locations throughout both states.

An organized cultural exchange program between Maine and Aomori has been in place for 20 years, but the fascinating connection between the two states goes back to a shipwreck in 1889.

The barque Cheseborough, out of Bath, was caught in a fierce storm off the coast of the Tsugaru Peninsula in Aomori Prefecture at the northern tip of the Japanese main island of Honshu.  Powerful westerly winds drove the ship onto the shoals near the village of Shariki.

The ship was destroyed, but some of the crew and passengers were saved, brought to shore and cared for by villagers, who then sought help from the Aomori government.

The memory of the rescue and the efforts of those who sheltered the survivors and those who made the journey for more assistance remained vivid in the isolated community, and eventually led to the sister-city relationship between Bath, and the city of Tsugaru, which had grown to incorporate the village of Shariki.

The Maine-Aomori Printmaking Society, in turn, grew from cultural exchange and goodwill that started with the shipwreck and rescue in 1889.

MAPS 2018 features prints by: Jeff Badger, Lyell Castonguay, Julie Crane, Rebecca Goodale, Don Gorvett, Adriane Herman, Charlie Hewitt, Isaac Jaegerman, Junji Kimura, Mitsuo Konno, Yoshiko Takebayashi, Tatsuo Maeda, Scott Minzy, Yoshiko Munakata, Akihiro Sakamaki, Hiroko Shibutani, Sadao Tanaka, Jaime Wing, and Seizo Yagihashi.

There will be an opening reception at the Green Lion, at 104 Front Street, Bath, from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday.

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