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Roger Shimomura: A Biography

Shimomura is a Seattle native. He graduated from University of Washington in 1961 with a BA in commercial design, and from Syracuse University, New York, in 1969 with a MFA in painting. Today, he splits his time between Seattle, New York City, and Lawrence, Kansas. He is represented by Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle.

More than 80 museums have collected Shimomura’s works; TAM’s permanent collection includes two. A multi-faceted artist, Shimomura is also known for film, performance art, and music. He has received numerous awards (including four from National Endowment for the Arts) and many academic honors. He has held more than 125 solo exhibitions in the United States, and lectured at over 200 universities and art schools.

Roger Shimomura: A Timeline

1939 Born Seattle, WA

1941 Incarcerated with family at Puyallup Assembly Center

1942–44 Interned with family at Minidoka, Hunt, ID; returned to Seattle afterward

1961 BA, Commercial Design, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; “Distinguished Military graduate”

1962–64 Service in U.S. Army Artillery, stationed in Korea and Ft. Lewis, Washington.

1964 Designed Polynesian Pavilion for New York World’s Fair

1969 MFA, Printmaking, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

1969 Begins teaching at School of Fine Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

1978 Begins painting series Minidoka based on experience of internment and his grandmother’s diaries

1994 First fine arts professor to be awarded the title of University Distinguished Professor, University of Kansas

2002 Chancellor’s Club Career Teaching award for Sustained Excellence in Teaching

2004 Retired from teaching; splits time between Seattle, New York City, and Lawrence

2006  Cited Distinguished Alumnus, University of Washington

Visit Roger Shimomura’s website here.