After a successful debut last year, the BCA Virtual Art Exhibit returned for a second year and was dedicated to the late Rev. Masanori Watanabe of the Oxnard Buddhist Temple and the Buddhist Church of Santa Barbara, a talented artist in his own right.
“Sensei enjoyed a deep appreciation for art and shared his own expressions in painted works,” said Rev. Joshin Dennis Fujimoto, Resident Minister of Buddhist Temple of Alameda and Supervising Minister of Enmanji Buddhist Temple. Rev. Watanabe passed away on Nov. 26, 2021, at the age of 49.
The exhibit leads off with two of Rev. Watanabe’s artworks — an early self-portrait and a portrait of Shinran Shonin. “This reflects a deep and personal impression left upon Rev. Watanabe as he endeavored to share the Nembutsu teachings of Master Shinran with all of us,” said Rev. Fujimoto, who supervised the art exhibit with Koichi Mizushima from the Center of Buddhist Education (CBE).
The exhibit, held Sept. 24 and posted on the BCA website, covers the spectrum of media — paintings, drawings, photography, ikebana, origami, wood carvings, sculptures, and calligraphy. And, like last year, it spans generations, from Dharma School students to seniors, and several themes, including Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, the Buddha-Dharma, and the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.