Toru worked through Palo Alto Art Center's CULTURAL KALEIDOSCOPE Program 2004.
Toru was sent to Escondido School in Palo Alto and Charter School in East Palo Alto.

Four Seasons Murals

Toru Sugita

Japan has distinct 4 seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, each of which has characteristic differences like different flowers, trees, animals, people’s clothing, food, etc. Japanese enjoy witnessing things representing a season, and expressing in various art format. Typically, Haiku (very short Japanese poem: 5-7-5 syllables) conveys people's sensitivity towards transitional seasons. This project challenges to students of Palo Alto and East Palo Alto to recognize the characteristic differences of each season in California.

The classes are divided into 2 groups (4 groups in 2 schools), each of which works on drawings and Haiku of a season based on their environment and their activities. Each group design a big collaborative painting composing drawings & Haiku.

First, each group brain-storm items related to the season. Some Haiku of seasons are read to inspire students. Each student draw items and scenes on his/her sketch book. After group-discussion of the relation between items, compose each painting of a season with items and scenes from everyone's sketch-book. Simultaneously, a poetry teacher works on everyone's Haiku to be part of the painting.

Cultural Kaleidoscope Exhibition at Palo Alto Art Center, May 2004

"Spring" by Escondido (Palo Alto)School 4/5th graders & "Summer" by Charter School (East Palo Alto) 5th graders

"Fall" by Escondido (Palo Alto)School 4/5th graders & "Winter" by Charter School (East Palo Alto) 5th graders

*Painting was assisted by Fumiyo Yoshikawa.