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Healing Nature Exhibition: Two-Part Virtual Panel Discussions (POSTPONED)

This two-part panel discussion has been postponed due to our recent closure as mandated by the Governor in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. We will be reaching out to all participants who have signed up for the events with refund details. We thank you for your understanding and patience during this time.

In connection with the exhibition, Healing Nature: Gardens and Art of Manzanar, Portland Japanese Garden offers a series of virtual panel discussions that explore the significance and impact of gardens. With a special focus on gardens created by Japanese American internees at Manzanar and other camps during World War II, these discussions question and dive into why and how humanity seeks connection to nature through gardens, particularly during a time of civil injustice.


About the Virtual Panel Discussions

Tuesday, 11/17: “A Garden of Humanity: From Substance to the Highest Form of Creativity” 

Tuesday, November 17 | 2pm – 3pm (PST)

We invite you to join a conversation between Kenneth Helphand and Bonnie Clark – two renowned researchers focused on the essential role of a garden as means of human expression and communal identity. During this virtual panel presentation, Helphand and Clark will unfold the purpose of a garden, and how and why they are necessary for humanity. This conversation will be moderated by Portland Japanese Garden’s Sadafumi Uchiyama.

Panelists

Kenneth Helphand (Philip H. Knight Professor of Landscape Architecture Emeritus University of Oregon)  

Kenneth I. Helphand FASLA is Philip H. Knight Professor of Landscape Architecture Emeritus at the University of Oregon where he has taught courses in landscape history, theory and design since 1974. A graduate of Brandeis University and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design he is the recipient of distinguished teaching awards from the University of Oregon and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture. He is the author of the award winning books: Colorado: Visions of an American Landscape, Yard Street Park: The Design of Suburban Open Space (with Cynthia Girling), Dreaming Gardens: Landscape Architecture & the Making of Modern Israel, Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime, Lawrence Halprin and HOPS: Historic Photographs of the Oregon Hopscape.  Helphand served as editor of Landscape Journal, is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, a board member of the Foundation for Landscape Studies and former Chair of the Senior Fellows in Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks.

Helphand’s book, Defiant Gardens: Marking Gardens in Wartime can be pre-ordered through Portland Japanese Garden’s Gift Shop as a hardcover or softcover.

 

Bonnie Clark (Associate Professor of University of Denver, Anthropology Department) 

Dr. Bonnie Clark is committed to using tangible history – objects, sites, and landscapes—to broaden understanding of our diverse past.  She began her career as a professional archaeologist and now serves as a Professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Denver (DU), as well as the Curator for Archaeology of the DU Museum of Anthropology.  She is the author or editor of numerous publications including the forthcoming Finding Solace in the Soil: An Archaeology of Gardens and Gardeners at Amache.  Dr. Clark leads the DU Amache Project, a community collaboration committed to researching, preserving, and interpreting the physical history of Amache, Colorado’s WWII-era Japanese American incarceration camp. That work has been highlighted in numerous venues including Archaeology and American Archaeology magazines.  In 2011, Dr. Clark’s work was recognized by her peers with the University of Denver’s Teacher/Scholar of the Year award.

Clark’s book, Finding Solace in the Soil can be purchased through Portland Japanese Garden’s Gift Shop here.


Tuesday, 12/8: “Beautiful Resistance: A Garden as a Cultural Landscape at Manzanar” 

Tuesday, December 8 | 11am-noon (PST)

Join Jeff Burton, Pat Alvarado, and Kenneth Helphand in a discussion exploring the purpose and impact of cultural landscapes and objects created in the War Relocation Authority’s internment camps. Japanese gardens created in these camps served a need beyond just a beautiful landscape in desolate grounds – they helped internees preserve their dignity, forge community bonds, and strengthened their will to survive. This conversation will be moderated by Portland Japanese Garden’s Sadafumi Uchiyama.

Panelists

Pat Alvarado (Manzanar Merritt Park Project volunteer)

Pat Alvarado, Manzanar Volunteer. Pat volunteered with his father-in-law, Henry Nishi and his extended family in the excavation of Merritt Park Japanese Garden at the Manzanar National Historic Site. The garden built by Henry’s father, Kuichiro Nishi, fueled his interest in the history of Japanese Americans. As an American of hispanic decent he also identifies with the story of Ralph Lazo who voluntarily evacuated to Manzanar with his Japanese American friends from Belmont High School in Los Angeles, CA.

 

Kenneth Helphand (Philip H. Knight Professor of Landscape Architecture Emeritus University of Oregon)

Kenneth I. Helphand FASLA is Philip H. Knight Professor of Landscape Architecture Emeritus at the University of Oregon where he has taught courses in landscape history, theory and design since 1974. A graduate of Brandeis University and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design he is the recipient of distinguished teaching awards from the University of Oregon and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture. He is the author of the award winning books: Colorado: Visions of an American Landscape, Yard Street Park: The Design of Suburban Open Space (with Cynthia Girling), Dreaming Gardens: Landscape Architecture & the Making of Modern Israel, Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime, Lawrence Halprin and HOPS: Historic Photographs of the Oregon Hopscape.  Helphand served as editor of Landscape Journal, is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, a board member of the Foundation for Landscape Studies and former Chair of the Senior Fellows in Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks.

Helphand’s book, Defiant Gardens: Marking Gardens in Wartime can be pre-ordered through Portland Japanese Garden’s Gift Shop as a hardcover or softcover.

 

Jeffery Burton, MA RPA (Cultural Resources Program Manager and Park Archeologist Manzanar National Historic Site)

Jeffery Burton is the Cultural Resource Program Manager and Park Archeologist at Manzanar National Historic Site in California. Each year, he leads volunteer projects uncovering Manzanar’s history, including restoring gardens built by imprisoned Japanese Americans during World War II. Burton has travelled to Japan 10 times to study, work at, and help construct Japanese gardens. His archeological overview of Japanese American internment sites was cited in the national law that created the $38 million Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program. His work has also been pivotal in the establishment of National Park Service units at three other internment sites: Minidoka, Tule Lake, and Honouliuli. In 2017 Burton received an award for excellence from the Society for American Archaeology, and in 2007 a special recognition award from the Japanese American Citizens League. He has published articles in academic journals and his work is featured in site tours, visitor handouts, and in an NHK-Japan documentary. Many of his publications can be found here.


Language Matters: There is no universal agreement on what we call the camps or the process that created them — ‘incarceration,’ ‘internment,’ and ‘concentration’ are a few of the terms that were interchangeably used. While some might find ‘concentration’ misleading because these were not extermination camps, the term predates the Holocaust and is by definition a place where large numbers of people are detained or confined under armed guard. We believe that awareness of the historical import of these words, as well as care in using them, is an important way to respect the collective memory of the victims and grants us greater power to confront injustice and cultivate peace.

“A concentration camp is a place where people are imprisoned, not because of the crimes they committed, but simply because of who they are. During World War II, America’s concentration camps were clearly distinguishable from Nazi Germany’s. Despite the difference, all had one thing in common: that people in power removed a minority group from the general population and the rest of society let it happen.” – Joint Statement by Japanese-American National Museum and the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors at the 1994 exhibition, America’s Concentration Camps: Remembering the Japanese American Experience