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The Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Celebrate the 2007 National Cherry Blossom Festival

Media only: James Gordon, 202.633.0520; Rebecca Fahy, 202.633.0521
Public only: 202.633.1000

March 16, 2007

The Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery will offer a variety of programs, exhibitions and tours celebrating the 2007 National Cherry Blossom Festival, taking place March 31 through April 15, in Washington, D.C.

Coinciding with the festival, the Sackler Gallery presents "East of Eden: Gardens in Asian Art," on view through May 13. This exhibition of some 65 scrolls, paintings, ceramics, textiles and other objects highlights the rich visual culture of garden imagery in Asia. Docent-led tours will be available throughout the run of the exhibition.

Also on view during the festival, the Freer's Japanese galleries offer visitors the opportunity to explore Japanese culture and enhance their awareness and understanding of Asia. Two special exhibitions, titled "Landscapes in Japanese Art" and "Tea Bowls in Bloom," will be open to the public through July 15. Here, visitors can discover full-color and ink landscape paintings next to tea bowls and other ceramics embellished with landscape and garden imagery.

Demonstrations of the Japanese tea ceremony "chanoyu" will take place March 31, opening day of the Cherry Blossom Festival. Curator of ceramics Louise Cort will provide commentary and lead tours following the demonstrations. Cort also will give a gallery talk April 24, titled "Transplanted," in which she will discuss the beauty and meaning of the botanical designs depicted on ceramics in the "East of Eden" and "Tea Bowls in Bloom" exhibitions.

On Saturday, April 14, the Freer Gallery of Art, in conjunction with the Japan Information and Cultural Center, Otakorp Inc. and the D.C. Anime Club, will present the Fifth Annual Cherry Blossom Anime Marathon. This year's event includes a costume show, courtesy of the D.C. Anime Club, plus surprise special guests. Check the gallery's website at for updates, film titles and show times.

At ImaginAsia, children ages 6 to 14 and their adult chaperones will have the opportunity to explore an exhibition and create a related art project to take home. Participants in the March 18 "Japanese Wood Block Print Workshop" will learn how Japanese wood block prints are created and make a print of their own. In "Gardens of the Imagination," offered throughout the spring, participants will use an activity book to explore the exhibition "East of Eden" and return to the ImaginAsia classroom to color and construct dioramas of Asian gardens. Young visitors also may explore the connection between Asian poetry and painting while trying their hand at a poem of their own in "Poetry in the Japanese Garden" April 1.

During a special ImaginAsia workshop offered April 14 and 15, anime artists explore how contemporary artists draw upon a long Japanese tradition of action drawing to create anime characters and scenes. Participants are invited to bring their own drawings to share and learn how to expand their drawing technique. Additional information about public programs is available from the galleries' website.

The Freer Gallery of Art, located at 12th Street and Independence Avenue S.W., and the adjacent Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, located at 1050 Independence Ave. S.W., are on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Freer houses a major collection of late 19th- and early 20th-century American art. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day, except Dec. 25, and admission is free. The galleries are located near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange lines. For more information, the public may call (202) 633-1000 or TTY (202) 357-1729, or visit the exhibitions section of the galleries' website:

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