KinoSaito is a nonprofit organization and arts pace dedicated to all forms of abstract art, in the interdisciplinary spirit of its founding muse, American artist Kikuo Saito (1939-2016). Its mission is fulfilled through exhibitions, performances, and educational and
artist-in-residence initiatives, with particular emphases on the presentation andadvancement of contemporary theater, and of painting related to the Color Field tradition.
Kikuo Saito, a major abstract painter with ties to the Color Field tradition, and the creator of sui generis theater/dance events, was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1939, and came to New York City in 1966, where he initially worked as a studio assistant for such eminent painters as Larry Poons, Kenneth Noland, and Helen Frankenthaler. Concurrently with launching his own painting career, Saito designed for theater and dance, working internationally with some of the most innovative and influential directions and choreographers of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, including Peter Brook, Jerome Robbins, and Robert Wilson. Saito’s paintings have been featured in numerous solo and group shows worldwide, and are in the permanent collections of Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Aldrich Contemporary Museums, and numerous private and corporate collections. In 2014, Saito and his partner Mikiko Ino purchased the former St. Patrick’s School property in Verplanck, New York, and originally intended to use it as a studio. However, following Saito’s unexpected death in 2016, Ino reconceived the school as KinoSaito, a multifunction and multidisciplinary museum and artspace that received nonprofit status in 2017, and is projected to open to the public in 2018.
KinoSaito, the name, is a portmanteau of the names of Kikuo Saito and Mikiko Ino, which also makes reference to ancient Greek kino (meaning “motion”).
KinoSaito seeks to honor the architecture and history of its physical environment: the St. Patrick’s School. The school, which was the educational facility of Verplanck’s Church of St. Patrick, and under the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, was founded in 1891, and operated continuously for exactly a century, closing its doors in 1991, having fostered over five generations of students.
Verplanck, a town renowned for its role in the Revolutionary War—it was where George Washington’s army crossed the Hudson River on its march to Yorktown in 1781—is also notable for its multigenerational legacy of brickmaking. In the 1840s, John Henry—who bought much of the town’s land from its settling families, the Dutch-American Van Cortlandts and Verplancks—opened the first brickyards in the town, just north of the Steamboat Dock. By 1884, there were 10 separate brickyards operating in Verplanck, employing approximately 420 men, most of them recent Irish immigrants. The brickmaking season lasted approximately 150 days per year, and the combined output of Verplanck’s brickyards was approximately 60 million bricks per year—making the town one of the major capitals of brickmaking in Gilded Age America. Evidence of this inheritance is to be found throughout Verplanck—in many of the classic Greek Revival homes and rowhouses that line its streets, and, especially, in the main “School” building (the exhibition and performance space) of KinoSaito.
Mikiko Ino, President
Joshua Cohen, writer
Steve Gianakouros, Product Creative Manager, Netflix
Mark Golden, CEO, Golden Artist Colors, Inc.
Kristin Larkin Logerfo, artist
Mia Yoo, Artistic Director, La MaMa Experimental Theatre
Gösta Reiland, cinematographer
Alexandra Rojas, artist
Sarah Strauss, architect and Founder, Big Prototype
Evangelos Viglis, Visual Artist educator, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts
Karen Wilkin, curator and writer
KinoSaito will be open seasonally, and out of season by appointment. The proposed season will be March 15 - November 15 (8 months/year). The proposed days and hours of operation will be Thursday - Sunday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM.
KinoSaito consists of three buildings, whose names will reflect their former function:
School, Gym, Home.
School building function:
- Management Office
- Store (featuring postcards, apparel, art books, etc.)
- Rooms A and B: galleries for permanent collection, and temporary exhibitions
- Room C: Framing Studio and Woodshop
- Room D: Classroom (equipped for public classes in pottery, drawing, painting, etc.)
- Rooms E and F: accommodations for artists-in-residence
- Theater: performance space (equipped for theater, dance, and music performances)
Gym building function:
To be divided between gallery space and art-storage
Home building function:
4-bedroom, 2-bathroom home, to be used to accommodate management team
Former playground to be planted with trees (including Sakura trees, or Japanese cherry blossoms), shrubs, flowers, as the installation site for abstract sculpture