By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Palisadian Foumiko Kometani is organizing a celebration of life for her husband Joshua Greenfeld—which will include an art exhibit “Trash to Treasure”—on Saturday, February 29, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Palisades Branch Library.
Greenfeld, an Academy Award-nominated writer published in The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Life and Time, as well as the author of “A Child Called Noah” about his son, died in May 2018 at the age of 90.
Trash to Treasure is an exhibition of collaged boxes by Kometani to honor her late husband.
“Born in Osaka, Japan, in 1930, I became a visual artist at a young age,” Kometani shared in a statement that was sent to the Palisadian-Post. “In my 20s, [I] had a considerable amount of success.”
Kometani’s oil paintings were selected for the Nika Group Exhibitions for three consecutive years, beginning in 1956, leading to the Kansai Region (Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto) Women’s Artist Prize in 1959.
“All this led to my winning a fellowship to the prestigious McDowell Artist’s Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, in 1960,” Kometani continued.
During her year at the colony, Kometani met Greenfeld, a playwright. The two married in 1960 in New York City and had two sons.
Left unable to paint after having her sons, Kometani tried her hand at writing—to date, penning 20 books over the course of her career.
“After my husband, Josh, passed away two years ago, I found myself moving back towards visual art,” Kometani said. “This time I began to undertake collage, something new for me.”
Kometani explained that collage could be traced back to World War II and the deprivation she suffered in Japan.
“During the war, there was no new material for art or anything else,” she said. “We never threw away paper, or clothing, or metal, or else, and it became my habit to accumulate things which I might be able to use someday in the future.”
Kometani explained that as a lifelong habit, she has always clipped articles and images from newspaper and magazines.
“With a lot of empty cardboard boxes around the house and Josh gone, I began to paste the clippings on the boxes,” she shared. “This made them beautiful, and I found myself enjoying the process of producing this form of art, which helped me during my mourning period.
“These works may be trash from other people’s point of view, but to me they have become treasures.”
Kometani’s works will be on display at the library through March 6.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.