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‘Celestial Narratives’ to Feature the Cosmic Works of Michiko Itatani

Article by: Laura Inlow

GODFREY – This fall, visitors to Lewis and Clark Community College will be able to transport themselves into an ethereal universe created by Celestial Narratives, an art exhibition featuring the paintings of Artist Michiko Itatani.

Lewis and Clark’s Hatheway Cultural Center Gallery has been transformed for an other-worldly experience highlighting pieces from Itatani’s Cosmic Encounter series and many others.

“The paintings in Celestial Narratives reveal an artist who comes to terms with her own identity in an age of technological innovation,” said L&C Art Professor and Curator Jim Price. “The revelation of self-understanding allows the viewers to understand their own anxieties and disturbances in a world fraught with change. It is this sense of calm in a chaotic world that is Michiko Itatani's gift to us all.”

The opening of the show coincides with the culmination of the L&C Monticello Sculpture Garden’s 2017 cosmic-themed curated garden show, Solar Flair, as well as a total solar eclipse that will be visible along a narrow track that runs diagonally from the northwest to southeast coasts across the continental U.S. on Aug. 21 — with L&C’s Godfrey Campus very close to the path of totality.

The Starry Night Living Wall garden, one of 10-themed pocket gardens in Solar Flair located outside the Hatheway Cultural Center, reflects and complements the color palette used by Itatani throughout the exhibition within.

“A total solar eclipse is awe inspiring and rare. Thus is the talent of Michiko Itatani, who reminds us of the aspirational instincts intrinsic in all of us,” L&C President Dale Chapman said.

Celestial Narratives will run Aug. 22 through Sept. 22 in the Hatheway Cultural Center Gallery, and is free and open to the public. Gallery hours will be 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday.

Itatani is a Chicago-based artist who was born in Osaka, Japan. After she received her MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1976, she returned to her alma mater to teach painting and drawing. She has received the Illinois Arts Council Artist’s Fellowship, the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.

“For me, to be an artist is an intellectual choice and a carefully chosen commitment,” Itatani said. “There is no intoxication. My painting is a painted diagram of possibilities within my inconclusive fictional universe. It is incomplete, fragmented and under inquiry.”

Her work is collected in the Museum of Contemporary Art, U.S.; Olympic Museum, Switzerland; Villa Haiss Museum, Germany; Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Canada; Museu D’art Contemporani, Spain; and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, South Korea.

Learn more about the exhibition at or contact Price at (618) 468-4751 or

The Solar Flair garden show will continue running through the end of the exhibition Sept. 22. For more information, visit or contact Horticulture Manager Ethan Braasch at (618) 468-3140 or