AMA plans Sake and Sharaku fundraiser

ALBANY -- Visitors at the Albany Museum of Art on the evening of March 3 will be able to see some artwork unique to the area, sample some Japanese cuisine and culture, and meet a Japanese dignitary.

That's all part of the museum's celebration of its Sharaku Interpreted ... exhibit, which opened earlier this month and continues through March 28.

Confirmed to attend is Consul General Takuji Hanatani from the office of the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta.

The exhibit is an homage by Japanese artists to the work of Toshusai Sharaku, a mysterious woodblock artist whose identity is disputed. The entire known body of work -- 140 pieces -- was produced in less than a year, from May 1794 until February 1795. His innovative and experimental woodblock pieces are still influencing Japanese artists 216 years later.

The two-hour event, which starts at 7 p.m., is also a fundraiser for the museum. Admission is $30, with proceeds going to benefit the museum's programs. Included is a sake tasting, with participants receiving a complimentary sake cup. Also, sushi by Tokyo Sushi & Hibachi will be served.

Crystal Morrison with AMA said Monday that about 1,300 visitors have come through the museum since the exhibit opened Feb. 4.

"We're really happy with it," she said. "It's something different, something our area hasn't seen before."