Category Archives: Art

Miki Dare on Instagram

Life has been busy of late, and I am happy to be back posting here. I got myself on Instagram in the last year and went on a stint drawing images and creating quotes. It's been a nice way to get both my drawing fix and writing fix at the same time. I'm still learning the world of "Insta" and have been enjoying the process. If you want to follow me on your phone to check out my latest quotes for the day, drawings, and photos, please do. You can find me at 

Students Interpret Spitting Up Frogs

It’s lovely to see how students interpreted my short story Spitting Up Frogs. Fifth grade students at Kyrene de las Brisas Elementary School in Chandler, Arizona read my short story and then got to use their computer skills and imagination to make the story come alive on their screens. I love how they all had their own unique spin about what Fuyumi, her frogs, and her world looked like.

Below is a link to a slideshow that features some of their wonderful work.


10th Annual BLOOM Art Silent Auction

Grow Out My Roots by Miki DareThe Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre in Burnaby is combining its spring festival with its 10th Annual BLOOM Art Silent Auction. I will be donating art for the silent auction as will other local Japanese artists. Come out and pick up a painting, print or pottery to make your home beautiful and help support the Nikkei Centre. Here are a list of artists taking part so far: Mariko Ando, Miki Dare, Yoriko Gillard, Lori Goldberg, Sleepless Kao, Merry Meredith, Shinsuke Minegishi, Raymond Nakamura, Christopher O’neill, Claire Sower, Jeremy Isao Speier, Takao Tanabe, Sachi Yamabe, Instant Coffee, Yifei Zhang, Yurie Hoyoyon, Justine Miles, Michael Abe, Kathy Shimizu, Jeff Chiba Stearns, Audrey Nishi, Joyce Kamikura, and more. The silent auction is taking place on Saturday, April 21st, 2018 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The Nikkei Centre Spring Festival will also be happening on this same date, so stay awhile and enjoy Japanese food, a tea ceremony, martial arts, dance, music,a bonsai display, and arts and crafts. There will also be a kids zone outside for children to take part in a variety of fun activities. 

You can also check out the Beta Vulgaris: The Sugar Beet Projects in the art gallery. This exhibit, by Kelty Miyoshi McKinnon and Keri Latimer, looks at the connection between Japanese Internment during World War Two and sugar beet farms.  Japanese-Canadian families were told they could stay together if they chose to pick sugar beets in Alberta.  Their forced labour covered about 2/3rds of Alberta’s sugar beet farms in the 1940s. There will also be a free film screening of Facing Injustice. The film looks at the relocation of Japanese-Canadians to Manitoba.



Nikkei National Museum 8th Annual Bloom Art Auction

Come check out the Nikkei National Museum 8th Annual BLOOM Art Auction on Saturday, May 28, 2016. My art titled Exotic Flavour Existence will be part of the silent auction.

Nikkei National Museum 8th Annual Bloom Art Auction
Nikkei National Museum 8th Annual Bloom Art Auction

You can get a sneak peak by going to the gallery exhibit and/or the online preview  featuring the art of more than 60 artists. The theme of this year’s event is ink, and it’s inspired by the sumie works of artist Takao Tanabe. The night will include calligraphy and sumie stations, as well as a calligraphy performance by Kisyuu.  There will be music by DJ Rennie Foster and taiko drumming by Sansho Taiko. Hope you can make it. 🙂

Oxygen for the Soul

It’s 2016 and March already! Time has been just flying by, and I’m still here. I’ve been busy painting. I’ve branched out into some more abstract larger pieces, but continue to collect fast food wrappers and instant noodle packaging for my geisha series paintings.

If you have some time, please go check out the Oxygen for the Soul exhibit going on right now. It’s at the Kariton Art Gallery and the Reach. My work called Time Travel is at the Reach.


To get tickets and more information, you can go to

Writing Your Artist Statement

penDefinition of an Artist Statement

When you apply to galleries, you need to have an artist statement (also known as an artist’s statement). So what is that exactly? The artist’s statement to me, is a more formal and detailed version of an elevator pitch. It should capture the same essence of what your art is all about – a written snapshot.

An artist statement, according to The Reach Acting Director and Curator, Laura Schneider, “is a written document that serves as a basic introduction of you as an artist, explaining why and how you make your art, among other contextual texts. An artist’s statement may pertain to a particular work or to your entire body of work.”

What to Write in an Artist Statement

At Schneider’s workshop titled How to Market Your Portfolio to Galleries/Curators, she provided the following list of “should haves” for your artist statement:

  • Your purpose or motive
  • Material and medium in which you work
  • The subject of your work (specific to this body of work? Something you revisit?)
  • The theories and methodologies that influenced your work
  • Your own personal perspective and background

She added that your artist statement should be no longer than 300 words.

What Not to Write in an Artist Statement

Schneider said it’s best to leave yourself open when you describe what kind of artist you are. She said by writing such things as “I’m an oil painter” or “I’m a water color painter,” you are limiting yourself to one medium of expression. Her belief is that an artist should be willing to explore any and all mediums. What do you do and why do you do it? How can that be transferred into different art forms? Leave those opportunities open to explore for future work.

Clichés to Avoid in an Artist Statement

The following are overused lines that Schneider felt should be avoided in your artist’s statement. Check through your artist statement and if you have any of the clichés below, then it’s time to cut them loose.

  • My work is intuitive.
  • My work is a personal journey.
  • My work is about my experience.
  • I pour my soul into each piece.
  • I’ve been drawing since I was three.
  • l like my audience to interpret my work.

Know Who Your Audience Is

When you write your artist statement, you need to be aware of your audience. There will be consistent information in your artist statement no matter where you apply. At the same time, Schneider said that when you apply to a gallery you should tailor your writing accordingly. Make sure to do your research about each place you are applying to. What kind of art and artists are typically featured at the gallery and how would your work fit their mandate.

Get Feedback on Your Artist Statement

It’s probably a good idea after you have come up with you artist’s statement to get feedback from folks within your circle of friends (and even acquaintances or strangers) to see if they see your words reflected in your art. As well, you may love to froth at the pen with academic terms, but you want the piece to be something that anyone coming into the gallery can engage with.


Fraser Valley Biennale

Fraser Valley Biennale: Miki Dare

2015 Fraser Valley Biennale
2015 Fraser Valley Biennale

My art will be in the 2015 Fraser Valley Biennale. It’s a series of exhibitions that are coordinated through arts councils in the Fraser Valley region. The show is happening from now until September and you can enjoy a variety of innovative art in galleries ranging from Mission to Abbotsford.

Lovers & Fighters

My painting Exotic Flavour Existence will be at the Kariton Art Gallery from July 25th to August 18th. The theme of this exhibit is titled Lovers and Fighters. The excerpt for the genesis of this particular show reads as follows:

“As subjective expressions, works of art are often personal in nature. But they can also embody collective, or even universal, themes related to who we are and how we respond to our circumstances. This exhibition explores multiple aspects of artistic, personal and social identities through a range of lenses. The Fraser Valley artists presented in this exhibition suggest that there is an intimate distance between being a lover and a fighter.”

Exotic Flavour Existence

The art I have in this exhibition is part of a collection I’ve titled Geisha Girl Stereotype Survivor. The piece of cultural garbage I have included in this painting is an instant noodle lid that says, “Noodle Time” and “Instant Ramen Noodles.” I’m interested in the intersecting reality of fast-food garbage and how it coordinates so well with instant stereotypes. Eating fast food is unhealthy for us, yet it is part of the fabric of our society – just as stereotypes based on race, gender and class are. I say I am Japanese and images of geisha girls, sushi, and instant noodles swirl to the surface of our minds. Yet, I am yonsei. I am the fourth generation to live in Canada. My great-grandparents came here.

Exotic Flavour Existence by Miki Dare
Exotic Flavour Existence by Miki Dare

Processed Reality

Processed food and processed stereotypical images are constantly consumed in our culture. Consumed and thrown away – only to be consumed and thrown away the next day. What does that mean to the individual soul swimming through all this? So how do I find my place in this sea of mental and media garbage? Why I bite back with a smile. I paint, rip, splatter, glue and burn in layers of self expression.

Geisha Girl Stereotype Survivor

Painting Past and Presently

Geisha Girl stereotype Survivor work on display
Geisha Girl Stereotype Survivor collection at the Wine & Art Walk

I’ve been on a painting jag lately which has been great for my visual arts side of things. I was just in the Wine and Art Walk and I will soon be in the Anonymous Art Show at the Kariton Art Gallery. Then after that I am taking part in the Fraser Valley Biennale. It is shaping up to be a busy summer.

Anonymous Art Show

I can’t say what I put into the Anonymous Art Show because, well, the whole idea is that the work be anonymous. It’s a great way to raise money. Many art galleries have used this as an excellent fundraiser. With the sale of each painting, half of the money goes to art initiatives put on by the local art council, and the other half goes to the artist. When someone buys a piece of work, they get to take it off the wall right then and there. They can flip over to the back and find out who painted it. I tried to paint in a style quite different than I usually do – just because I like to be tricky like that. 🙂

Geisha Girl Stereotype works
Geisha Girl Stereotype  Survivor pieces on display

Geisha Girl Stereotype Survivor

Most of my painting time this year has been focused on a collection I titled Geisha Girl Stereotype Survivor. They are the works displayed in the Wine and Art Walk and to be displayed at the Fraser Valley Biennale. To learn more about my thinking around these paintings, check out my initial Artist Statement and Biography I used for my most recent show, the Wine and Art Walk.


Miki Dare (Dare is a Japanese word, it’s pronounced DAH-RAY) uses acrylic paint and mixed media on canvas to depict the messy dichotomy of life. She is inspired by the flower growing out of a crack in the sidewalk and the muddy footprint on the freshly cleaned floor. It’s about being creative and surviving with love, strength and a sense of humor.

Artist Statement: Geisha Girl Stereotype Survivor

My artwork explores the layers of who we are and what society says we should be. Our mental and media landscapes are littered with psychic fast-food garbage that smothers personal realities and histories. How do I stay true to myself, remember my roots and contend with institutional –isms?

My art is the struggle between the ‘perfect’ stereotypical images and the reality of being a woman and Asian in Canada. It’s the interface between ugly truths and beautiful individuals who persevere. Wear garbage and graffiti with pride and creativity. Cherish the burnt canvas and torn pages of history. Be a geisha girl stereotype survivor.

Geisha Girl Stereotype Survivor work on display
Geisha Girl Stereotype Survivor works on display

Art and Wine Walk in Abbotsford

Art and Wine Walk in Abbotsford

Grow Out My Roots by Miki Dare
Grow Out My Roots by Miki Dare

I’ve been a delinquent blogger, I admit it. But I have a good reason. I’ve been busy preparing in every spare moment I could find for an Art and Wine Walk in Abbotsford I took part in today. It was a fantastic day with 250 tickets sold and plenty of people walking through on a beautiful sunny day. The staff at Valley Realty were amazing and so helpful. They set up a tent with balloons for me outside and I had this great deck space all to myself. Artist David Boughton had set up his work inside and he kindly shared so many great tips that I’m hoping to use for my next show. I had such a wonderful day.

Geisha Girl Stereotype Survivor

Geisha Girl Stereotype Survivor is the theme for the work I did for this show. It was really interesting to see people’s reaction to my paintings. I always enjoy the process of making my art, and I love how the finished product represents feelings and thoughts I had at the time. But, I admit that I wondered how others would perceive my artwork. Will the ideas I had in creating my pieces be conveyed to others or will they see something different? Most people got what I was going for in my work, but even the folks who had different impressions than I had intended – I still found their remarks something to reflect on.

Personal Art

Compared to other art I have put out to the public, this was a much more personal presentation. I looked at race and gender from a personal perspective. What does it mean to be Asian and a woman in society? It was a new experience to be telling strangers straight up about my racial background and how it played into my artwork.  Overall,  I was impressed with how people asked thoughtful questions and were gracious listeners. My first time in the Art and Wine Walk in Abbotsford was a great success. I can’t wait until September to do it again.