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Queer JA Portrait Workshop at Centenary

Mike Saijo

With the intention of raising the profile of queer-identified Japanese Americans, the Okaeri Committee, which puts together the Nikkei LGBTQ Conference, is collaborating with noted artist Mike Saijo to create an art piece that honors and celebrates the underappreciated, inspiring presence of queer JAs in the community.

Saijo will be taking portraits of workshop participants to incorporate into an artwork that will be displayed at the Okaeri Conference on Nov. 16-17 at the Japanese American National Museum and may be displayed in a JANM exhibit in the future.

Saijo is an acclaimed, award-winning artist who has created artwork for exhibitions at JANM as well as many other shows, galleries and venues. He is an exhibiting artist at BG Galleries in Santa Monica. Visit his website at

If you are a gay, lesbian trans, bi, gender non-conforming or queer-identified Japanese American, or are an ally, you are invited to participate in this workshop. Lunch will be served as well.

This one-time event will be held on Saturday, July 14, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Centenary United Methodist Church, 300 Central Ave. (at Third Street) in Little Tokyo.

The cost is $10, which includes lunch and a portrait to take home.

Participants will be asked to sign a waiver to allow the use of their likeness in a publicly displayed artwork.

For more information, email Marian at

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