“Bazaar Under the Stars” Benefit for Mingei International Museum on May 7

Mingei International Museum’s “Bazaar Under the Stars” will sweep guests into the exotic open-air markets of the Mediterranean, South America and Southeast Asia. Step into a colorful outdoor shopping experience and explore beautiful tents filled with one-of-a-kind jewelry, baskets, textiles and other treasures from global artisans.

On May 7, you can stroll in the open air and enjoy a festive atmosphere, vibrant live music, enticing international food and a glamorous cocktail lounge. The event’s outdoor market will feature high-quality ethnic craft, fair trade items and one-of-a-kind treasures from all over the globe. Guests will be able to meet individual artists, find fashion and décor inspiration, and shop for two great causes — Mingei International Museum and dozens of working artists and craftspeople.

Mingei International Museum is pleased to invite Museum friends to participate in a special sponsorship opportunity — the “Bazaar Under the Stars” fundraising event. Your tax-deductible donation helps ensure the highest percentage of event proceeds go directly toward funding Museum initiatives. Funds from this event will provide essential support for the heart of the Museum, its stunning exhibitions and K-12 education programs, which allow Mingei to continue to share the inspiring expression of creativity in people from cultures all over the world.

Established in 1978, Mingei International Museum collects, conserves and exhibits arts of daily use – by anonymous craftsmen of ancient times, from traditional cultures of past and present and by historical and contemporary designers. The Museum’s Founder, Martha Longenecker, was a professor of art at San Diego State University who studied the art of pottery-making in Japan. As an artist craftsman, she became acquainted with and learned from the founders and leaders of the Mingei Association of Japan, who inspired her to carry the vision of mingei to the U.S.A.

Mingei International Museum’s inaugural exhibition was “Dolls and Folk Toys of the World.” Since then, Mingei has shared over 183 exhibitions covering a diverse range of cultures, themes, and media. These exhibitions have featured both unknown craftspeople and renowned artists, and everything from the tiniest Pre-Columbian bead to large-scale sculptures by Niki de Saint Phalle. In August 1996, Mingei International Museum relocated to its current 41,000-square-foot facil­ity on the Plaza de Panama in Balboa Park.

Mingei International Museum is a reflection of its Founder Martha Longenecker’s dedication to the vision of mingei. With her inspiration and guidance, the Museum was established and developed over more than 27 years, bringing art of the people to the people of the San Diego region and far beyond.

During her 27-year tenure as Director (1978 – 2005), Martha Longenecker directed the organization and design of 128 dynamic, changing exhibitions of “arts of the people,” drawing from Mingei International’s permanent collection and other museum and private collections. Martha was a strong, creative force in a successful $8 million Capital Campaign that was completed in 1997. She oversaw the architectural design and build-out of the 41,000 square-foot museum facility on the Plaza de Panama in Balboa Park (opened in August 1996), and the installation of its inaugural exhibitions.

In recognition of her contribution to transcultural artistic understanding, in 2003, Martha Longenecker was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan.

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