Brushed by Sun and Sandstone: Stanford 2000 was commissioned as a tribute to President Gerhard Casper as the 9th President of Stanford University. The painting captures the imposing façade of the Bing Wing of the Cecil H. Green Library. Inspired by President Casper's eloquent remarks at the dedication of the Bing Wing, the artist celebrates the library as the cornerstone of a university's role as custodian of many cultures. The president told the Stanford community that it had been a goal to collect all "the books of all the peoples of the world as early as at the beginning of the third century B.C. by the Ptolemy kings of Egypt for the Museum in Alexandria." The Stanford experience and the university's commitment to diversity are indelibly distilled in the brushstrokes of Sumi-e, a 2000 year-old art form.
Director Clayborne Carson commissioned Sumi-e Artist and Stanford Class of 2000 Drue Kataoka to paint The Unfinished Dream. With the 2000 year-old art Japanese form of Sumi-e, her ebony-inked brush strokes distill Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s heroic essence. The original brush painting is permanently installed at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project and a limited edition commemorative print was produced for the millennial King celebration at Stanford in 2000. Rev. Bernice King was presented with a signed print during the ceremony.
In The Unfinished Dream Dr. King's fiery persona implores his audience to march to the drum roll of justice. His dynamic pose rouses us to confront our own inaction. Now silenced his resonant voice becomes the voice of the brush. The single, black strokes jog the soft-edges of memory to counter the deadly inaction and indifference of those who will not listen. Drawing on an ancient language, these powerful strokes deliver a message that is more urgent as the shadows of injustice and inequity of the 20th century linger. Reflected in these black pools of ink are many journeys, long prayerful nights, and the suffering of an entire nation. His eyes seize our collective soul and calls us to action to finish the dream.
Kataoka's artistic reaction to 9-11-01 was an extensive community outreach project in partnership with the Rotary Club of Menlo Park. Framed by a patriotic red, white and blue border, this print features a monumentalized little girl, hopping fearlessly over the globe, her braids brushing a cloudless sky. All proceeds benefitted the Rotary Club of Menlo Park Foundation's newly endowed Drue Kataoka Arts Scholarship.
Brushed by memories of childhood's promise, the ebony-inked strokes in Jump Rope Junction represent where all possibilities and dreams intersect in a positive place. Three children engaged in a Double Dutch adventure chant Jump Rope Junction to the rhythmic sounds of the girl's jumping feet. A fourth child waits patiently in the negative space for a turn and says, "Let Me Jump In." Sounds are captured in the voice of the brush. The footfalls of rhythmic feet, the soft swell of children's laughter, and the silence of calm resolve are distilled in the black-inked strokes. The sunlight-inflected shadows also remind us that Boys & Girls Clubs have been central to children's lives and have bridged two centuries. The bright blue border not only calls to mind the distinctive blue of the Boys & Girls Clubs' logo but also the blue, blue sky of childhood dreams and hopes. After all, these very dreams and hopes criss cross in Jump Rope Junction.
Bold, single strokes of a 2000 year-old art form define the cultural landscape where a ribbon of rails gleam in the midnight moonlit sky. The Pacific Rim crescent moon, softly nestled in a bank of nuanced clouds, observes the tension between tradition and innovation and its accompanying dialogue of old and new. El Palo Alto's imposing presence in the background is in counterpoint with the railroad tracks on a continuum in the negative space. Resembling nine smoked, grey keys on an artistic piano, the tracks harmonize with the majestic California redwood.
The rough, hewn tracks with their hardened steel frame refer to the explosion of technology of the last century when Leland Stanford Jr. University?s young students defied boundaries and created a cultural Renaissance. They also suggest the promise of technology for the 21st century—its positive influence on the Arts in the Valley. Repeating a sentiment that Art had played an integral role in their lives, the many who shared their "riminiscences" imbued the tracks with the rhythm and syncopation of their extraordinary stories. The tree, the moon, and the tracks challenge the notion of time and space and its intersection with the locus of memory. On the Pacific Rim where all possibilities exist Pacific Riminiscences' legacy endures.
Brushed by the ebony strokes of the 2000 year-old art form of sumi-e,Reach for the Stars visually underscores an urgent message: a girl excels when she sets her mind to it. Distilled in powerful single ebony-inked strokes, a monumentalized girl welcomes Sally Ride's challenge: Reach for the Stars. Her right arm stretches to its limit and even beyond. Knowing no boundaries and defying barriers, it signals her dreams are go for launch. This proud member of the Sally Ride Science Club™ boldly positions herself on the earth's crust. Her eyes fixed determinedly on a luminous star twinkling with the promise of a science adventure. In anticipation of this scientific odyssey, the daring girl thrusts her weight and might forward. Herself a star on the rise, she traces a path with her fingertips on the skies.
In The Red Barn and Electioneer: Down History Lane, ebony-inked strokes distill a historic, architectural treasure and a formidable Sire. Commissioned by Ambassador Bill Lane, honorary Chairman of the Stanford Red Barn festival and painted by Stanford Class of 2000, Drue Kataoka, this painting serves as an artistic tribute to Lane's vision. Rendered in the nuanced inked strokes of a 2000 year-old art form ofsumi-e, these two powerful symbols of the university draw us down history lane. The Red Barn and Electioneer evoke a response and bid us to follow Lane?s lead in preserving and cherishing Stanford's legacy.
Kataoka's 25th limited edition commemorative print, is a portrait of American jazz giant, Wynton Marsalis. The artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, eight-time Grammy recipient and Pulitzer Prize winner collaborated with Kataoka in an extraordinary project where jazz, justice, and the 2000 year-old art form of sumi-e converge. They joined forces in an artistic response to answer the call of many under-served and under-represented voices. The voice of her brush joined with the voices of the American roux in his trumpet resound with a clarion call to action. All proceeds benefitted the Legal Aid Society.
The Koret Foundation's Routes to Learning Initiative focuses on the potential of community-based organizations to provide students with the extra support needed to improve learning skills and abilities. The alternative learning environments and programs that these organizations provide engage youth in ways that are distinct from school, yet contribute to school success. This Initiative provides financial and technical support, with the bottom-line aim of strengthening young people's connections to quality youth organizations and increasing youth participation in educational programs. "TreeHouse Street Smarts is a place where a young person has the creative curiosity and intellectual audacity to chart his/her own destiny," Kataoka says. "TreeHouse Street symbolizes an alternative learning environment that invites young people to expand their academic, cultural, social and civic horizons, a place where the lessons of the classroom are applied and where young people bond."
A national speaking tour. A post 9-11 fundraiser linking children around the world. The national launch of a Science Club. Music, civil rights, academia, service, arts, history. Drue's limited edition prints have raised awareness and funds for national and local causes alike.
Organizations that Drue has collaborated with:
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Sally Ride Science Clubs
Legal Aid Society
Koret Foundation and United Way of the Bay Area
Stanford University's Asian American Awards
Stanford's Red Barn
Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute
Pacific Art League