With one hand on her hip and her eyes gazing directly towards the viewer, what can we discover about this woman by looking at her portrait? How would you describe her facial expression and body language? What might be her backstory?
Artist Roger Shimomura created this painting from a memory. Shimomura was only three years old when his family entered the Minidoka Relocation Center in Hunt, Idaho, during World War II. He draws on a mixture of his own memory, public archives, and his grandmother’s diaries to represent the experiences of internment, including social events of camp sections, or “blocks.” The Block Dance was a favorite memory which Shimomura expressed by making imprisonment the backdrop to the joy of a bright, bold floral dress and an attitude of confidence and perseverance.
What does this painting and the story of its creation reveal about life in internment camps?
Can you identify groups that are singled out or treated differently by society today? Why do you think that happens? What does it look like when everyone is treated equally?
Exhibition sponsored by Kenneth C. Griffin
Learning and engagement programming for We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy is sponsored by:
Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr. Foundation | Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates, & Woodyard, P.L.L.C. | Johnny and Jeanie Morris, Bass Pro Shops | Alturas Foundation | Harriet and Warren Stephens, Stephens Inc. | Sotheby’s | Bob and Becky Alexander | Marybeth and Micky Mayfield | Lamar and Shari Steiger | Jeff and Sarah Teague / Citizens Bank | Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities | Avis and Bill Bailey | Scarlett and Neff Basore | June Carter Family | Terri and Chuck Erwin | Jackye and Curtis Finch | The Harrison and Rhonda French Family | Jim and Susan von Gremp | Laurice Hachem | Shannon and Charles Holley | Valorie and Randy Lawson / Lawco Energy Group | Donna and Mack McLarty | Steve and Susan Nelson | Neal and Gina Pendergraft | Helen Porter | JT and Imelda Rose | Lee and Linda Scott | Stella Boyle Smith Trust, Catherine and Michael Mayton, Trustees | William Reese Company