Thank You for Your Support!

On behalf of the KinoSaito family, we thank all of our friends, supporters, and extended community for your presence, both physical and otherwise, at Preview Party for KinoSaito. With our art auction and raffle, we were able to achieve our fundraising goal which will enable our movement forward into development of our emergent non-profit art space, gallery, and artist-in-residence program. We are so grateful for these indelible contributions to our project.

Stay tuned for more to come from KinoSaito—this is only the beginning.

 KinoSaito raffle items

KinoSaito raffle items

 Leslie Feely, Karen Wilkin, and Mikiko Ino

Leslie Feely, Karen Wilkin, and Mikiko Ino

 A guest participating in the art auction

A guest participating in the art auction

 Modeling limited-edition silk scarves printed with Kikuo Saito paintings

Modeling limited-edition silk scarves printed with Kikuo Saito paintings

 Alex Rojas picking up her raffle winnings

Alex Rojas picking up her raffle winnings

 Modeling an auction prize—vintage cashmere piece by Koi Sawannagate

Modeling an auction prize—vintage cashmere piece by Koi Sawannagate

 Musician Peter Loof

Musician Peter Loof

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 KinoSaito architect Sarah Strauss with her raffle prize

KinoSaito architect Sarah Strauss with her raffle prize

 KinoSaito Vice President Josh Cohen delegating raffle prizes to eager onlookers

KinoSaito Vice President Josh Cohen delegating raffle prizes to eager onlookers

 Mikiko Ino and Mia Yoo

Mikiko Ino and Mia Yoo

KinoSaito Preview Party

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Please join us for a night of celebration for KinoSaito, a budding nonprofit art space and residency. We would be honored by your presence on the night of Friday, November 9, at 6PM. All proceeds from this event will go toward the renovation of this school buildings that will function as the site of KinoSaito, supporting its mission to promote interdisciplinary and emergent abstract art in the spirit of its founding muse, Kikuo Saito.

This preview party will feature a silent auction for resplendent work by artists such as Kikuo Saito, William Noland, Paula Poons, Alex Rojas, Emily Mae Smith, Adam Henry, and many others. A raffle will offer limited edition goods like silk scarves featuring not-for-sale Kikuo Saito paintings, special editions of Jane Dickson art books, Golden Inc. paint in hues of Saito Blue, and so much more. We will celebrate amongst drinks, light fare, and warm conversation.

KinoSaito featured on Lohud.com

VERPLANCK – The former St. Patrick's School property is under town officials' review to offer art workshops, house studio space/residences for two artists and contain a gallery of works by an acclaimed New York City painter.

The one-acre property, which includes the faded-brick former school, is between 7th and 8th streets in this northern Westchester County hamlet and was bought for $255,000 in 2014 by Mikiko Ino, who has brought forth the arts proposal.

Her late husband Kikuo Saito's works have been part of permanent collections at New York City's Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and Whitney Museum of American Art.

"It’s a nice, beautiful space,” said Ino, who would live in a next-door house that was the rectory.

Depending on the town review process, the project could open next spring or summer. The plans for the 115 7th St. property, on a largely residential road, need Cortlandt Planning Board approval and will require a public hearing. The board meets again on Sept. 5. 

Ino’s husband created art for some 50 years, but also taught in the city. Ino said offering art workshops in the former school building is important and honors his legacy. He died in 2016 at age 76.

The plan is to use the property's three existing buildings. The main one is the two-story former school, which, on the first floor, would include a permanent gallery for Saito's art, a small office, classroom space for people of varying ages to learn to do art, and a gallery with changing exhibits, said project engineer Jim Annicchiarico, of Cronin Engineering.

The second floor would have the two artists' spaces/residences, plus a large gallery space for events. An elevator would be installed, a code requirement given the artists-in-residence.

A smaller building would be largely for storage and a studio space.

 Sign left on the wall of the former Saint' Patrick's School in Verplanck Aug. 11 2017. There are plans to convert the former school into a combination of art gallery space, studios and residencies for artists. (Photo: Frank Becerra Jr./ The Journal News)

Sign left on the wall of the former Saint' Patrick's School in Verplanck Aug. 11 2017. There are plans to convert the former school into a combination of art gallery space, studios and residencies for artists. (Photo: Frank Becerra Jr./ The Journal News)

The other building is the rectory that would be the house and is essentially set to be lived in.

St. Patrick's School was 100 years old when the pre-kindergarten-8th grade school closed in 1991 — a cost reduction at the time for the Archdiocese of New York. Student enrollment, at nearly 120 students in the early 1970s, was about 86 in its final year.

For the property's new proposed use, parking is still being determined. Annicchiarico told the Planning Board this month the property's typical use would be 10 spaces or perhaps 15, not the more than 30 that town code would normally call for.  

"The reality of the daily use of the site is much less than that," he said.

Twice a year, there could be larger gallery events, he said, on Fridays or Saturdays, and added that he and others are working to get a solid number of what could be expected for those. 

A number of those who come may be taking the train from New York City, so the owner is interested in seeing if they could be bused to the site to reduce need for parking, Annicchiarico said.

Parking possibilities include seeking town approval for some spaces along a guard-railed portion of 8th street and/or getting permission for some parking on Broadway, he said.

 An old classroom in the former Saint Patrick's School in Verplanck Aug. 11, 2017. There are plans to convert the former school into a combination of art gallery space, studios and residencies for artists. (Photo: Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News)

An old classroom in the former Saint Patrick's School in Verplanck Aug. 11, 2017. There are plans to convert the former school into a combination of art gallery space, studios and residencies for artists. (Photo: Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News)

The property will also be spruced up, with plans to rid it of invasive plants that have grown wild on chain-link fencing. That fencing would be replaced with what Annicchiarico said would be nicer wrought-iron fence. New native plantings would go in to screen the property.

And the plan is to create a sculpture garden on the property.  

Putting to different use a property that had a religious use or ties has been something of a trend in Westchester, albeit the new purposes have differed widely from what's proposed in Verplanck.

 An old classroom in the former Saint Patrick's School in Verplanck Aug. 11, 2017. There are plans to convert the former school into a combination of art gallery space, studios and residencies for artists. (Photo: Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News)

An old classroom in the former Saint Patrick's School in Verplanck Aug. 11, 2017. There are plans to convert the former school into a combination of art gallery space, studios and residencies for artists. (Photo: Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News)

In Bedford Hills, the former Antioch Baptist Church is being converted into affordable housing. In White Plains, there's a mixed-use housing proposal for the former property sold by the Sisters of Divine Compassion, which closed Our Lady of Good Counsel High School there while an elementary school moved to Valhalla.

Read the full article here.

Remembering Kikuo Saito

Kikuo Saito: 1939-2016

In “The Final Years,” See the Last Works of a Celebrated Japanese Painter and Set Designer

“It’s hard to resist seeing an artist’s final works as a summing up,” writes the critic and curator Karen Wilkin, “if not of everything that came before them, then, at least, of his preoccupations over his last few years.” Wilkin’s thoughtful essay accompanies “The Final Years,” a new exhibit of paintings by Kikuo Saito (1939–2016), the Japanese-born painter, set designer, and theater director who died this past February.

The exhibition, now on view at Leslie Feely Fine Art in New York, features paintings completed in 2015 and 2014, not long before Saito’s death following a long, fruitful career. These recent paintings “seem new in many ways, more intense, perhaps more fluid,” Wilkin says, though they also feel like “triumphant summations of decades of exploration.”

Indeed, the abstract paintings are exciting and alive, rich with saturated colors. Their forms slash across the canvas, with paint dripping languorously off the surface and bleeding off its edges. In some, thick brushstrokes are scrawled across the canvas, suggesting familiar organic forms or indecipherable letters.

The works represent the final stage in an impressive creative trajectory. Born in Tokyo, Saito moved to New York in 1966. Before leaving Japan, he designed stage sets for modern-dance performances, a field he continued to pursue in the U.S. and, later, in Italy and France. Drawing on Kabuki tradition, his innovative sets incorporated water and other unconventional material.

At the same time, Saito was kicking off a career as a painter. In the 1970s and ’80s, he served as studio assistant for a handful of legendary painters, including Larry Poons and Helen Frankenthaler. Eventually, Saito abandoned his theater work to focus on developing his particular style of Color Field abstraction, often featuring calligraphic characters drawn from an alphabet of his own creation.

That love of written language and natural flair for the theater—the sensuality and shape of a costume, the whirling colors of dancers in motion—come across in his paintings. It was also reflected in his technique of painting on the floor, circling over the canvas with his own body. These last works are rhythmic and vibrant, energetic, even musical—ultimate expressions of a colorful life and career that spanned genres and hemispheres.

 

—Bridget Gleeson, Artsy

 

“Kikuo Saito: The Final Years” is on view at Leslie Feely Fine Art, New York, Sept. 15–Oct. 13, 2016.

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