This exhibition features a few of the artists who contributed to the art and culture of the Topaz War Relocation Authority Camp, the place where people of Japanese descent were confined from 1942-1945.
Through a remarkably varied selection of works on paper, the exhibit showcases Japanese American artists who provide fascinating insight into the diverse voices and talents of the people at Topaz with their wide-ranging styles, subjects, and forms. Many of the works in this exhibition have never before been seen by the public.
After decades of racial prejudice, followed by the bombing of Pearl Harbor which propelled America into the Second World War, the United States government ordered all persons of Japanese ancestry living along the West Coast to leave their homes and under armed guards move to ten confinement sites scattered throughout the country. Topaz, 16 miles outside of Delta in a sparse and desolate area, had a peak population of 8,300, making it Utah’s fifth largest city. In 1984, a federal commission determined that the camps were a product of “racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and failure of political leadership.”
72 years later, Japanese American artists are being recognized for their contribution and skill, near the site where their art was created.