What does an artist from New York, a Presbyterian Minister from Ireland and a non-profit organization in Vancouver (which originated in France) have in common?
The answer to this riddle is… me!
I’d like to officially introduce myself, my name is Yuki Ihara and I am the Fund Development Assistant for L’Arche Greater Vancouver. My role includes supporting our Director of Fund Development such as helping with communications, campaigns and special events, and eating all the cookies baked by the members of our Emmaus Day Program. One of our main tasks that we were working on recently (out of many!) was promoting our upcoming event Pathways to Peace: A Public Talk with Ruth Patterson. We were looking for someone to design the poster for us and I knew exactly who to ask – Kaori Ihara, my older sister in New York and artist who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Art has always been an important part of my sister’s life. I remember I once found a drawing from when Kaori was in elementary school and I thought it had summed up her personality beautifully. The assignment for the drawing was “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and the students were to draw their response along with a short explanation. While I imagine other students drew firefighters, pro athletes, teachers etc, she drew a tree with long branches and lots of leaves and wrote “I want to be a tree so everyone can rest and relax in the shade”. When she was younger, she was pretty shy but art was her way of expressing herself. This drawing captured her compassion, generosity and how she is always looking for ways to help others. When I asked her to design our event poster she responded with excitement and was happy to take on this task for us. Moreover, she agreed to design the poster pro bono.
She has also helped design our posters in the past. Here is the poster she designed for our Christmas Benefit Concert last year (she was able to do this within an hour!).
Thank you Kaori for being such a wonderful sister to me and a great friend to L’Arche.
Kaori currently works for Heartsong, a non-profit organization that runs a creative arts therapy program in New York. You can learn more about the organization and view some of the posters she designed for them here https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heartsong/171081712939234?fref=ts
Contributed by Yuki Ihara, L’Arche Greater Vancouver