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Paintings by Homare Ikeda on Display at Denver International Airport

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DENVER – June 18, 2014 – Denver International Airport’s (DIA) Art and Culture Program presents paintings and works on paper by prolific Denver-based, Japanese-American artist Homare Ikeda. The exhibition is on display today through September and is accessible 24-hours a day in the Jeppesen Terminal Art Gallery, located on the northwest side of Level 5. The exhibit was made possible by William Havu Gallery, which is based in the Golden Triangle Arts District of Denver.

The timing of the exhibition coincides with the one year anniversary of the inaugural flight between United’s hub in Denver to Tokyo-Narita International Airport on June 10. The daily flight marked the Mile High City’s first nonstop connection to Asia last year.

“We are delighted to exhibit the fine art of one of Colorado’s most prolific Japanese-American contemporary artists,” said Chris Stevens, DIA’s Manager of the Art and Culture Program. “It is our hope that passengers and airport visitors will take away a refreshing perspective and approach to viewing contemporary Japanese-American art.”

About the Artist

Born on the subtropical island of Yoron, near Okinawa, Japan, Homare Ikeda spent his childhood exploring the island and the coral reefs surrounding it. After high school, he left his small island world to explore Japan and India. Ikeda had no exposure to the world of fine arts but was interested nonetheless, teaching himself Japanese brush painting by copying pictures out of books and later becoming interested in Contemporary Art.

In 1978 he moved to the United States. The artist credits a college professor in Stockton, California for setting him on the right artistic path. “He was a wonderful art professor,” said Homare Ikeda. “He spent all his energy on his teaching.” This same professor guided Ikeda to the University of Colorado at Boulder where he received both a BFA and MFA. Today, the artist teaches drawing and painting, while continuing to show his work in group and solo shows as well as expand his base of collectors.

Homare Ikeda explains his painting, “I begin my painting with a simple vision. The first stages are usually kept fluid and open. As the painting progresses, I keep adding or scraping the layers of paints. I see them as the metaphor of life. At a certain point in this process, the painting starts to take over my control. The painting is transformed to the state of unknown. There, I put down my paintbrush.”

According to the artist, his work can be linked to classic Abstract Expressionism and to the later NeoExpressionism, but it’s difficult to see any traditional influence of Japanese painting. This blending of east and west gives Ikeda’s paintings their unique look; a look that evokes an innocent time and yet is surprisingly revelatory when examined up close.

About DIA’s Art and Culture Program

DIA’s Art and Culture Program administers the City and County of Denver’s “one percent for art” ordinance which enhances public places and features nearly 30 site-specific works including sculptures, murals and other installations. The pieces are displayed in outdoor landscapes, inside Jeppesen Terminal and on airport concourses, as well as in the train tunnels and on the train itself. In addition to its permanent art collection, DIA curates temporary exhibitions, collaborating with museums, cultural institutions and arts organizations to present the highest quality two- and three-dimensional work. For more information, visit www.flydenver.com/art.

DIA was named “Best U.S. Airport for Art” in USA Today’s “10Best Reader’s Choice” travel contest in 2013. The category focuses on how airports have been transforming from utilitarian hubs of transport to spaces with beautiful works of art, great restaurants, comfy lounges and terrific shopping. DIA was selected by readers as the favorite among 20 airports nominated by the publication.


Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $36 billion for the region annually. For more information visit www.FlyDenver.com, check us out on YouTube and Instagram, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for DEN’s monthly newsletter Nonstop News.


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Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $36 billion for the region annually. Follow us on socials!