AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL: The Real & The Imagined

WAH Installation

We are Changing the Closing Date: Sat. Nov. 13, 5pm

Because ending the show as originally planned on Oct. 30 is too soon, we have decided to extend this show for 2 more weeks so that more people might like to come and see the show.

We invited MoMa’s curator Paulina Pobocha to jury the previous 2 shows, “Lockdown” and “Togetherness & Oneness,” who also gave awards. This “America The Beautiful” show is the third sequential show related to Covid 19. Because of my curiosity, I selected 2 male artists, Larry Szycher (a landscape painter) and Joel Simpson (a photographer), who are our longtime WAH Salon members to be the jurors for this show, not to give the awards. I had the intention to ask the same person Paulina Pobocha to give the awards so she came and generously gave 20 awards to the artists!!. I got to know her aesthetic sensitivity and judgement better by having her three times. It was an interesting experience for me to try a different approach this time to select 2 different jurors but the same previous award giver.

Above: Paulina giving an award

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL: The Real & The Imagined

In conjunction with Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day:
“EXPERIENCE AMERICA!”, Sept. 18, 2021

An exhibition of photography, paintings, watercolors, drawings, prints, video, and 3-D: landscapes, cityscapes and peoplescapes

Juried by Joel Simpson and Larry Szycher

Awards Given by Paulina Pobocha, MoMA Curator

Sat. September 18 – [extended to] Sat. Nov. 13, 2021

Opening Reception: Saturday, Sept. 18, 1-5pm, 2021


America the Beautiful

44 Participating Artists: Ellen Alt, Gwendalin Aranya, Silvia Aviles, Ayako Bando, Bienvenido Bones Bañez Jr, Beryl Brenner, Orin Buck, Julianna Buckley, Linda Butti, Charles Compo, Alison Cuomo, Theresa DeSalvio, Rita Finnegan, Glen Goodenough, Richard Hatter, Miho Hiranouchi, Kumi Hirose, Judith Eloise Hooper, Susan Jacobs, Emma Anne Johnson, Sam Jungkurth, Yuko K, Keith Jinsub Kim, Julianna Kirk, Makoto Kishino, Akiko Kosaka, Oxana Kovalchuk, Eric Kwan Tai Lau, Ella Mackinson, Cecilia Martinez, Elaine Norman, Yasuko Okumura, Regina Bernadette Quinn, Julie Joy Saypoff, Larry Scaturro, M.Tasneem Shahzad, Joel Simpson, Linda Smith, Janet Stafford, Larry Szycher, Richard Vivenzio, Michael Washburn, Jeff Watts, Mary Westring

“America the Beautiful: The Real & The Imagined” is the third part of the WAH Center’s sequence of shows that started with “Lockdown,” (November 7, 2020 – January 17, 2021) followed by “Togetherness and Oneness,” (May 22 – July 10, 2021). I wanted to have the third show called, “America the Beautiful: the Real and the Imagined” after the 2nd show, ”Togetherness & Oneness.”

This third show, “America The Beautiful: The Real and The Imagined” is to make us think positively about what we have experienced in America, which coincides with the theme “EXPERIENCE AMERICA” of Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day, Saturday Sept. 18, 2021 in which we are participating.

We present an exhibition of photography, paintings, watercolors, drawings, prints, video, and 3-D works: landscapes, cityscapes and peoplescapes to show the glory that we hold in our hands in America. We want that beauty and potential to resonate among all peoples, encouraging them to work together to appreciate and share the variety of peoples and cultures, the art, in the great landscape that is our beautiful America. 

We have experienced the long-lasting dreadful Covid pandemic that has forced us into a long lockdown period. We’ve suffered and we are still suffering two other pandemics at the same time; one is a social pandemic which had divided the nation (racial, socio-economical and political division). The other pandemic is climate change (global warming).

Damage has been done to millions of people due to racial conflict and climate change (global warming). In other words, we are not respecting each other and mother nature. However, we cannot continue to dwell in misery forever. We humans have created many problems, and we humans can and should remove the impediments to happiness and togetherness from our life. We need to try harder to reflect upon where we are and try to improve our way of thinking and our behavior. 

Looking back on my long life in America, I am overwhelmed by the positive side of American life that shines so brightly that I cannot help feeling that Americans should see great hope for better future.

I feel an urgent necessity to preserve miraculous mother nature for the world citizens for many years to come. Picturing the Grand Beauty of this county’s awesome landscapes I have seen with my own eyes, I am reminded of the familiar song, “America, the Beautiful.”

Oh beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America



a special exhibition of 31 prints by photographer
Joel Simpson
A slide-show Lecture by Joel Simpson: “Is Geological Photography Neo-Modernist?”
*With the decline of traditional landscapes in the fine art photography world, I have attempted to carve out a new territory by working with geological subjects (including ice) as touchstones to the imagination, rather than as evocations of particular places. In this presentation, I’ll show how I developed this approach, including the Surrealist and Abstract Expressionist works that influenced me. I’ll also show how I turn a raw capture into a strong image, mostly in black and white. I’ll also include images from my recent lava captures in Volcano National Park, Hawai’i.

The potential for peace, harmony, and unity far outdistances the grievances we have. Too often we only dwell on our dislikes and fail to appreciate the many good things. Let us then celebrate “America the Beautiful: The Real and the Imagined.”
I hope to achieve the WAH Center’s Mission, “…through the International language of art, we come to understand and respect each other and love each other and live by the meaning of WAH Center’s acronym, that is, WAH means in Japanese to live in “Peace,” “Harmony,” and “Unity.”
“When someone knocks, open the door and greet yourself!” – A Buddhist saying.
Yuko Nii
WAH Center’s Founder & Artistic Director & Yuko Nii Foundation’s Founder 
Gallery Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 1-5pm

1) Here is the list and the photos of the awardees. 20 Awards were given by Paulina Pobocha, the curator of the MoMA
2) Opening Scenes, Photos taken by Tasneem Shahzad, Sept. 18, 2021
3) Video (unfortunately no sound) taken on the opening day, Sept. 18 2021 by Glen Goodenough
4) Installation Scenes photos taken by Yuko Nii
5) Video taken on the Slide/Lecture presentation by Joel Simpson, Sept. 26, by Glen goodenough

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