Japanese Woodblock Printing Artists Give Local High School Art Students a Once-in-a-  Lifetime Art Lesson

GALESBURG, May 15, 2023 

Michigan State University Extension announced today that through its 4-H Global and Cultural Education program, Kalamazoo County 4-H Program Coordinator, Veronica Bolhuis connected artists Yoshisuke Funasaka and Mary Brodbeck with area art students for a rare opportunity to learn Japanese woodblock printing.

Funasaka visited Kalamazoo for two weeks in May and held various Japanese woodblock
printing workshops with his former student, artist and filmmaker Mary Brodbeck. Funasaka, a
Tokyo-based woodblock and silk screen artist, has created over 1,000 works of art and has been featured in world-renown museums. Brodbeck is a Michigan-based artist known for her Great Lakes watershed region depictions in a variety of artistic mediums and has also exhibited her work internationally.

Through an interpreter, Funasaka shared the traditional method of Japanese woodblock
printmaking called Mokuhanga with Galesburg and Vicksburg high school art students. He not
only taught the technique, but also the history of the art form and how it was impacted by World
War II.

“Through MSU Extension’s connection with Michiko Yoshimoto, Japan Program Manager for
the Soga Japan Center at Western Michigan University, we were able to connect the artists to
local high school art students for this rare opportunity to learn the art of Japanese woodblock
printing,” Bolhuis says. Students were taught the technique, including tools, paper, wood and ink and each youth received a hand signed and numbered piece of art from Yoshisuke Funasaka as a gift.

From now through July 28, 2023, an Exhibition of Woodblock Prints by Yoshisuke Funasaka and Mary Brodbeck is featured at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center Gallery at 326 W Kalamazoo Ave # 103A, Kalamazoo, MI 49007.

Michigan 4-H offers a variety of opportunities for kids and adults to learn more about our global
community. In some cases, that perspective is gained through activities or projects that include
art, reading, writing letters, reports, presentations, displays or simply talking to their own family

For more information regarding the Yoshisuke Funasaka visit, contact Veronica Bolhuis at
bolhuisv@msu.edu. For more information about 4-H global programming, contact Janis Brinn, at brinn@msu.edu, and for more information about the Japanese woodblock exhibit, contact the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center at 269-373-4938.