VAAAM is a collaborative effort in scholarship and resource and collections sharing on Asian American Art. This effort has taken several years in the making with many collaborating scholars, curators, artists, collectors, museums, and other institutions and organizations. The Terra Foundation for American Art through its Art Design Chicago initiative has been a major supporter of this project and has enabled the first original research and scholarly content to be created for the museum.

We begin the museum with a series of five virtual exhibitions focused on Postwar Japanese American art with the lead curator Laura Kina. We are excited to announce the launch of the third exhibition in this series titled Ray Yoshida’s Museum of Extraordinary Values curated by Karen Patterson. Patterson brings us into the art process of artist Ray Yoshida (1930-2009) in relation to his famed home collection that inspired him and a generation of artists.

The first of these online exhibitions were released last year on the artists Michiko Itatani and James Numata titled Michiko Itatani: Painting the Cosmic Novel curated by Laura Kina and Home Making: James Numata’s Photography of Postwar Chicago co-curated by Jasmine Alinder and Jamison Ellis. We will be releasing two more upcoming exhibitions this year on the painter Miyoko Ito curated by Jordan Stein and the mid-twentieth-century photographer Yasuhiro Ishimoto co-curated by John Tain and Jasmine Alinder.

VAAAM is launching our new Spotlights section that features contemporary Asian American Artists and their practices, work, and themes and issues with which they are engaged. We begin with artists Katherine Behar, Hong Hong, Larry Lee, and Aram Han Sifuentes as explored by curators Lennex Cowan, Yvonne Fang, and Azize Harvey. An additional Spotlight will be launched  on Anida Yoeu Ali. Curator Lennex Cowan also worked with additional research from curator Laura Kina’s DePaul University class as a collaboration with VAAAM. We hope that you will enjoy reading these and upcoming Spotlights!