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More Construction on the Topaz Museum

2013-09-09 14:28

Cement pump second day of cement pour

The construction on the Topaz Museum building was finished in May 2014, but the museum will not open until the exhibits are manufactured and installed. Watch this website for more information.  The exhibits have been designe by West Office Design Exhibition from Oakland.  Help us finish the museum by donating today.

Construction of the Topaz Museum building has ended; the museum will open soon

2013-05-25 18:13

Topaz Museum May 2014

The Topaz Museum board received a $714k grant from the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant program to build the Topaz Museum. That money added to donations and gifts from foundations and individuals has made it possible to finish building the Museum on Main Street in Delta, Utah.

Sparano and Mooney Architects and Darin Mano of RAW Design completed drawings for the 8,000 sq. ft. building that is situated at 55 West Main Street in Delta, Utah, next to the new Community Center. Westland Construction from Orem, Utah constructed the building.

West Office Exhibition Design from Oakland, CA is refining the exhibits which will be the heart of the Museum, including a barrack apartment, art gallery, camp model, and other features that will tell the history of Topaz. Fund raising for the exhibits will continue during the summer. Your contribution will ensure that the Museum will open as soon as possible.

Ground breaking ceremony will include tours of Topaz and other programs

2012-07-30 18:42

The Ground Breaking Ceremony took place on Aug. 4, 2012 in the Delta City Park, 100 West Main Street, Delta, Utah. We have now begun construction as of June 2013.

 9:00 a.m.          Registration and lunch reservations

  Art show in the Delta City Library

  Willie Ito book signing

 10:00 a.m.         Ground breaking ceremony

 12:00                  Lunch

 These events will be repeated throughout the day

  Taiko drummers

  Willie Ito presentation

  Toru Saito singing

  Topaz/CyArk website preview

   Bus tours of Topaz

   Recreation hall tours

   Art show in the Delta City Library

Ground breaking for the Topaz Museum set for Aug. 4, 2012

2012-07-30 18:38

 A ground breaking ceremony will kick-off the construction of the Topaz Museum on Aug. 4, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. on Main Street in Delta, Utah where the new museum will be built. Besides the ceremony, there will be tours of the Topaz site and a preview of an interactive website created by CyArk. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. in the Delta City Park.

 Honored guests will be Mayor Gayle Bunker and Willie Ito, who taught himself how to draw cartoons while he was in Topaz. He later worked for Disney, Warner Brothers, and Hanna Barbera Studios.

 Mayor Gayle Bunker became a champion for building the Topaz Museum years ago when he was on the city council and Assistant US Attorney General Bill Lann Lee visited the Topaz site. Since then the mayor has been a tireless supporter of the Topaz Museum Board’s plans to build a Museum.

 Willie Ito worked in the cartoon industry beginning in 1954 when he was 19 years old and was hired by Disney Studio for the famous spaghetti kiss scene of “Lady and the Tramp.”  He has also worked for other studios, and then went back to Disney until he retired.

 When Ito was five-years old he saw “Snow White” and knew from the moment the seven dwarfs started singing “Hi ho, Hi ho” that he wanted to do animation.

 Part of the day’s activities will be a presentation by CyArk, a non profit organization that digitally preserves cultural heritage sites by laser scanning and 3-D models on line...

Topaz Museum receives NPS grant

2012-04-26 15:56

 Delta, UT --- The Topaz Museum Board (TMB) has received a $714,314 grant from the National Park Service (NPS) for a capital outlay project to build the Topaz Museum and Education Center.  The ground breaking ceremony will be Aug. 4, 2012 in Delta, Utah.  The Board has been conducting a capital campaign in order to complete the $2.3 million project.

The Museum will be located on Main Street in Delta, sixteen miles from the Topaz site. It will be 8,254 sq. ft. with an art gallery, exhibit space, curatorial facilities, office, and library.

The design of the building was completed by Alan Kawasaki, principle of Shah Kawasaki Architects located in Oakland. Alan’s family, the Hayashidas, lived on Block 7 at Topaz.

Rick Okabe, from the Topaz Museum Board, expressed the feelings of the entire Board when he said, “We are very pleased with this grant.  Having the NPS endorsement will help us with our long-range funding.”

With the addition of the NPS grant, the Board has now raised $1.2 million of the $2.3 million needed for the Museum and is continuing to work with Utah foundations and other interested individuals.  Naming opportunities for various Topaz Museum exhibits will be available for donors who would like to honor friends or relatives who were incarcerated there.

The Topaz Museum and Education Center is part of a comprehensive preservation program begun in 1993 when the Board started buying the Topaz site to...

App for Topaz site tour

2012-01-03 17:15

 iPhone App Recreates WWII-Era Japanese American Internment Camp

 New RAMA walking tour, “Topaz Relocation Camp,” uses geo-located historical photographs and narrative to reconstruct infamous concentration camp in Utah desert

 DELTA, Utah—Dec 16, 2011—Today, the 19,800 acres where 11,000  Japanese American internees farmed and lived in isolation from the rest of the country is easy to miss on the drive west from Delta, Utah. A new iPhone walking tour, however, aims to virtually reconstruct the historical Topaz War Relocation Center, so that this flat stretch of desert—and the dark time in American civil rights history it represents—won’t be so easily overlooked.

 Available on Rama, the BBC-recommended iPhone app that serves as a portal for authors offering photographic walking tours, “Topaz Relocation Camp” uses the iPhone’s mapping and GPS functions to guide visitors through the former site of the camp and offer glimpses of its former structures and residents. Using archival and personal photographs taken at the camp in the 1940s, the tour’s journey-through-time  shows and tells the story  of the internees at Topaz, including  daily life in the camp’s 36 residential blocks,  toiling on the farms in the desert, the activities of the local Boy Scouts troop, and the Topaz High School’s dances.

 “I wanted to tell a story of triumph over...

Topaz: Artists in Internment their visual work and words

2012-01-03 16:32

 Topaz: Artists in Internment exhibit at the Rio Gallery

Friday, Jan. 13 – Feb. 10, 2012

 SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Arts & Museums will open the traveling exhibit Topaz: Artists in Internment Their Visual Work and Words Jan. 13 at the Rio Gallery. A public reception will be held Friday, Jan. 20, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. during the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll. There will be a screening of the short documentary Days of Waiting, poetry reading by former Oregon poet laureate Lawson Inada, and an opportunity to honor descendants and survivors of the internment experience. The exhibit will continue until Feb. 10 during state office hours, which are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The Rio Gallery is located at 300 S. Rio Grande Street (455 West) in Salt Lake City.

 Topaz: Artists in Internment will feature artworks created during internment at the Topaz War Relocation Center near Delta, Utah, on loan from the Topaz Museum. Artwork by Chiura Obata, Setsu Nagata Kanehara, Charles Erabu Mikami, Miné Okubo, Thomas Ryosaku Matsuoka, Yajiro Okamoto, Kenji Utsumi and Kaneo Kido will be shown alongside the poetry of Lawson Inada. Inada was interned with his parents in camps in Fresno, Arkansas and Colorado, and was Oregon’s poet laureate from 2006 to 2010.

 “We are pleased to launch the traveling exhibit Topaz: Artists in Internment...

CyArk

2011-10-24 12:07

CyArk News Release

For Immediate Release - September 12, 2011

The National Park Service (NPS) has partnered with CyArk through the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program to digitally preserve the Topaz Relocation Center. CyArk, is a California based non-profit dedicated to creating a digital archive of the world’s heritage sites for preservation and education. The Topaz Relocation Center is one of three camps to be documented under this grant program through critical partnerships with the University of Colorado Denver’s Center of Preservation Research and Denshō. Future documentation work is set for the Manzanar and Tule Lake sites in California.

Through close collaboration with NPS and the Topaz Museum Board of Directors, CyArk will be able to create a 3D digital reconstruction model of what the camp looked like in its days of use. From the CyArk website (http://archive.cyark.org) the public will have access to the 3D model as well as other interfaces that will allow them to zoom in on a specific barrack and learn about the individuals who occupied it through historic photographs and recorded audio interviews of surviving internees. This content will be shared and linked to from the Topaz Museum website as well (http://www.topazmuseum.org/). CyArk Program Manager,...