Join San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles for a conversation with contemporary artist, STEAM educator, and current artist-in-residence Corinne Okada Takara!
In June 2021, SJMQT artist-in-residence Corinne Okada Takara began a series of community workshops intended to drive questions surrounding art, biotechnology, and sustainability design. These experimental workshops were part of the artist’s larger BioQuilts project, a community-sourced art program that draws on local cultural practices and place-based materials to explore the artistic and technological possibilities of biomaterials. Takara’s project blends the familiar concept of quilt tiles with the more unfamiliar process of growing biomaterials from fungus mycelium, cellulose from kombucha bacteria and bioplastics from seaweed and nopales cactus, among other locally sourced materials. The project, currently underway, will result in at least three quilts representing different communities of San Jose, including Japantown, Mayfair and Little Saigon. Hear from the artist as she discusses the ideas behind her project and her mission to elevate diverse community voices in the storytelling, materials exploration, and questions driving the future of sustainability design and bioengineering.
Corinne Okada Takara is the lead artist for BioQuilts. She is a San Jose Area artist and educator who works with museums, libraries and after school programs to create workshops that elevate and empower community voices in conversations centered on civic spaces, identity, science, and technology. She conducts workshops on sustainability design and biomaterial design that celebrate existing cultural and community knowledge. Takara is a 2020 National Public Interest Technology Community Innovation Fellow representing Xinampa. She is a board member of the Salinas community biolab, Xinampa, and is on the Arts Advisory Panel of the Alliance for Youth Achievement in East San Jose, California. She has won local and national awards for innovative community STEAM programs. Takara develops programming out of her garage makerspace and is co-founder of BioJam, a teen camp of the Stanford Bioengineering Department.