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A gallery-goer views pieces by students from Yokota, Yokosuka and other Tokyo-area schools at a show in The Children’s Castle, Tokyo.
A gallery-goer views pieces by students from Yokota, Yokosuka and other Tokyo-area schools at a show in The Children’s Castle, Tokyo. (Christopher B. Stoltz / S&S)
A gallery-goer views pieces by students from Yokota, Yokosuka and other Tokyo-area schools at a show in The Children’s Castle, Tokyo.
A gallery-goer views pieces by students from Yokota, Yokosuka and other Tokyo-area schools at a show in The Children’s Castle, Tokyo. (Christopher B. Stoltz / S&S)
A photo by Erica McInnis, a 10th-grader from Yokota High School, on display in a show at The Children's Castle, Tokyo.
A photo by Erica McInnis, a 10th-grader from Yokota High School, on display in a show at The Children's Castle, Tokyo. (Christopher B. Stoltz / S&S)

TOKYO — In a swirl of color and creativity, works of hundreds of youthful hands spiral through the National Children’s Castle in Shibuya as part of Artscape 2006, Tokyo’s largest international school art exhibit.

Participants in grades five though 12 come from 14 Japanese, international and Department of Defense Dependents schools with students from 55 countries, organizers said. DODDS participants this year come from Yokota Air Base and Yokosuka Naval Base.

The show, in its 26th year, runs through Sunday.

Yokota High School’s Erica McInnis showed a close-up photo of a pinecone with brilliant depth of field; Shiori Kaneko, also from Yokota, displayed a thought-provoking drawing of lips crawling with insects. Yokosuka’s Nile C. Kinnick High School students presented colorful sculpture.

Shown are the best works from participating schools: photography, painting and drawing — and work in more unusual media such as etched glass, metal work and computer art.

“It gives the kids a fantastic forum to put their work out for their fellow students,” said Steve Tootell, a show coordinator for 22 years and head of the creative and performing arts department at Sacred Heart International School, Tokyo.

The student-teacher interaction among the schools helps to improve art education for all, he said: “They see what’s possible.”

A group of international art teachers started Artscape to showcase students from varied backgrounds in Tokyo, he said. This year’s show — some 600 pieces — is housed in the popular Children’s Castle’s Atrium entrance. A video at the exhibit shows scenes from participating schools, Tootell said.

If you go ...Schools around Tokyo are participating in Artscape 2006. Participants in the funky 20-year-old art show include four DODDs schools.

The show runs through Sunday at the National Children’s Castle in Shibuya, located at 5-31-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, opposite Aoyama Gakuen University and near Omotesando Subway Station in Tokyo. For more information visit www.asij.ac.jp/artscape or call 03-3797-5666.

— Juliana Gittler

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