Expert to demonstrate Japanese flower arrangements Thursday

gl-ikebana-4-11With spring in bloom, what better time to learn about Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement?

Join Shoko Itaka today, April 11, at 10 a.m. for an hour-long Ikebana program during which she will make four arrangements with a spring theme.

In the first arrangement, Ms. Itaka will explain her style of flower arranging — the Japanese Ikebana of the Sogetsu School — a fundamental low container arrangement. The second arrangement will be in a tall vase, using natural techniques. The third and fourth arrangements will be free style, with one accenting the container used and the other accenting the leaves and branches. All of Ms. Itaka’s arrangements will emphasize color, line, depth and mass. Currently a resident of Larchmont, N.Y., Ms. Itaka emigrated from Japan at the age of seven. She received a BA in Oriental Studies from Barnard College and has a degree in the Sogetsu School of Ikebana registered in Tokyo. She also has taken graduate teaching courses in English as a Second Language at the College of New Rochelle. Her Ikebana arrangements have been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; New York City’s Nippon Club; the Tenri Gallery in New York City; the Peony Festival Rockefeller Preserve in Pleasantville, N.Y. and the Yuan Chen Temple in Carmel, N.Y.

Ms. Itaka has also given demonstrations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hammond Museum, and many garden clubs. Her teaching includes giving workshops at Mamaroneck High School, Scarsdale Schools, Ardsley schools and privately. From learning aspects of Japanese culture at an early age from her mother up to her current studies with 90-year-old Ikebana teacher Fumiko Allinder, Ms. Itaka said she chooses to “maintain a strong profile of her cultural identity” and enjoys “sharing what I know with the people I come in contact.”

The Ikebana program takes place today, April 11, at 10 a.m. at the Cos Cob Library under the auspices of the Connecticut Pioneer Branch of the National League of American Pen Women.

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