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News & Updates

Creative Spotlight: West Virginia Multi Media Artist – Miyuki Akai Cook


In our new series, Getting to Know You, The Tamarack Foundation for the Arts will introduce you to artists and makers living and working in West Virginia.

Meet Miyuki Akai Cook>>.

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I was born and raised in Japan. I have always enjoyed creativities since I can remember, such as drawing, painting, and paper cutting. My mother introduced me to sewing, knitting, crocheting. It was very natural for me to pursue art as a career. I attended Seian Woman’s college in Kyoto for a year to study textile, which was my first experience in dyed fabric.

I earned a B.F.A. in Interior Design from Osaka University of Arts in Japan. In 2000, I took a journey to the U.S. to explore a different culture. I re-discovered an interest in textile while studying at University of North Texas. In 2006, I received an M.F.A. in Fiber/ Artisanry from the University of Massachusetts- Dartmouth. I have been passionate for education and currently teach at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.

My visual inspiration and aesthetic are often from Japanese heritage. I call myself a maker because my curious and adventurous personality let me use various techniques and materials for different purposes. As a mother and educator, I have concern about the young generation. My work focuses on balance and dilemma caught between human society with all mechanical development and humanity as a part of nature. I often use disposable items and trash with traditional materials and techniques to express today’s human society. Technology must coexist with our only land, earth, since we will never go back to ancient life style. I am not blaming anyone, but I rather present the facts and problems for awareness.

Click here to enjoy a conversation with the artist.


Miyuki Akai Cook, Multi-Media Artist, Cabell County, West Virginia (via ArtVoiceWV)

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This video has been made available by ArtVoiceWV and 78 Degrees West Films.

ArtVoiceWV is an online series that profiles West Virginia artists and is a production of 78 Degrees West Films, a 501(c)(3) devoted to telling the stories of West Virginia’s creative artists. Major support for ArtVoiceWV is provided by Clara Ladd & David Graves and the Tamarack Foundation for the Arts. Additional support is provided by Sally & Jerry Berman, Karen & Rick Schneider, and The Morgan County Forum for Arts, Science and Technologies, Inc.

This video was produced by 78 Degrees West Films, shot with a Canon XF300 and a Canon EOS T3i, and was edited and color graded with FCPX. Music was composed by Lyonel Bauchet and licensed through OmniMusic.com.

Watch other artist profiles at www.artvoicewv.com.

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About the Artist:

Miyuki Akai Cook was born and raised in Japan.  She enjoys making things with her hands, such as drawing, painting, and paper cutting. While at Seian Woman’s college in Kyoto Miyuki working towards a degree in Interior Design, she was introduced to  fiber arts. When Miyuki was 25 she returned to the US and re-discovered an interest in textile while she was studying at University of North Texas.  In 2006 she received an M.F.A. in Fiber/ Artisianry from the University of Massachusetts- Dartmouth. She has been passionate for education and currently teaching at Marshall University. Learn more about Miyuki at miyukiakai.com.

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About The Tamarack Foundation for the Arts:

The Tamarack Foundation for the Arts builds the creative economy of West Virginia through artist entrepreneurship. When West Virginia creative entrepreneurs are given the boost needed to build their businesses and access new markets, the results include increased national visibility, healthier communities, and a stronger economy reflecting our state’s proud heritage of art and craft.

Find out more about our work at www.tamarackfoundation.org.