Recognition from the Japanese

When Qualicum Beach artist Peggy Burkosky went to visit her son and his wife in Japan last month, she was simply expecting to spend some quality time with family and her paintbrushes. Instead, she ended up winning two top awards at two different art shows.

“I always knew she was a world-class artist,” said Corinne James, executive director of The Old School House Art Centre, where Burkosky has a studio. “We’re so proud of her.”

Burkosky said it all started one day when she was painting at the Lake House at Toyako, a resort where she was also helping set up an art gallery. Morita Tetsutaka, a nationally acclaimed Japanese artist, was also there to sell one of his paintings to the gallery.

When he saw Burkosky’s work and invited her to submit paintings to the national Ikki-kai Exhibition at the National Art Museum in Tokyo.

“He amazingly said, ‘You’re in,’” said Burkosky. “It was like ‘what?’”

Burkosky described Ikki-kai as more or less the Japanese equivalent of the Canadian Federation of Artists: a national art society with regional chapters that host juried exhibitions. As with national art shows in Canada, Japanese artists normally have to exhibit their work at regional shows for five or more years.

However, with his invitation, Tetsutaka gave Burkosky a fast-tract option. So, she submitted three pieces to the Ikki-kai exhibition adjudicators, all of which were accepted.

One of those images was Pacific Harvesters, which won People’s Choice.

This watercolour depicts a Deltaga, which is a type of fishing vessel common on the West Coast of Canada and originally designed by the Japanese. Burkosky, whose husband is a commercial fisherman, said this painting highlights the relationship between Canadian and Japanese fishermen.

“That’s incredible,” said James of the accomplishment. “Watercolour is one of the hardest mediums. There is no second chance.”

After Tokyo, Burkosky exhibited more work in the Ikki-kai Exhibition in Hokkaido where she won the Gold Award with her watercolour of swans called “Repose.”

As one would expect, Burkosky got a lot of press attention in Japan. “They were all over it,” she said.

In one of the articles, which was translated for Burkosky by Qualicum Beach resident Tamaki Friesen, a representative for the Japanese prime minister expressed his delight in Canadian participation.

And Burkosky plans to continue being a part of the Japanese art scene. She is now a card-carrying member of Ikki-kai and she has an invitation to submit her work society’s exhibition again next year. Tetsutaka has also invited her to his art school’s exhibition.

Until then, Burkosky is back painting in Canada — which is great for us. If you’d like to see her work, visit her studio at TOSH or her website She also occasionally teaches art classes, something she started doing in the early ’90s, around the Island.



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Recognition from the Japanese
Japanese Class – Yahoo News Search Results
Japanese Class – Yahoo News Search Results

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