Na Omi Judy Shintani

As a narrator of culture, Na Omi Judy Shintani focuses on remembrance, connection, and storytelling. She works with materials and methods that best express the story such as organic and recycled materials, textiles, ethnic remnants, and video. Shintani collaborates with the community in the making of art. Her art exploring the Japanese American incarceration camps has expanded to bring light to other cultures whose children have been incarcerated in America, including the current asylum seekers at our borders. She interviews those who were incarcerated during their childhood. You can hear their voices expressing portions of their stories while walking through the life size Dream Refuge installation of sleeping children drawn on straw filled mattresses and placed on mylar blankets on the floor. Her goal is to create a place of healing, knowing, and empathy – to embrace all children as our own, as ourselves, as our future.

Art and the unconscious can be so magical. Interestingly, Shintani felt something familiar as she drew these sleeping children for over a year. Suddenly she recalled the vision that came to her almost 10 years earlier. Shintani was in a beautifully lit large cave and before her were many sleeping children. She was told she was the caregiver of these rainbow children.

Shintani received her MA in Transformative Art from JFKU in Berkeley and a BA in Graphic Design from San Jose State.


Immigration / Emigration 2015/2016



El Granada, CA USA


People of color have been targets of hatred throughout American history and at other times we can be invisible, unseen. All people long for acceptance, inclusion, comfort, evolution. We all wish to embrace our culture, history, stories – to be human beings in our entirety.  I create space for inquiry and connection.The shadow side of us exists, and fear makes us forget that we are all one. We must find ways to understand and connect to one another and art is a powerful way to do it. – Na Omi Judy Shintani