Press on The Ohisos
January 2017: Article on Akira Ohiso's Seattle Drawn Artwork
The January 11, 2017 issue of Real Change features Akira's latest work, Seattle Drawn, which is now on view at Populuxe Brewing through Jan. 31st. Thank you to Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project and staff writer Lisa Edge for the feature.
To read the full article, you can pick up a copy at local vendor locations throughout the city.
"Real Change is a reader-supported low-barrier work opportunity that rewards effort from the first day forward. More than 300 active vendors sell our award-winning weekly newspaper each month, with about 800 vendors served annually."
More than a million dollars is earned annually for vendors by purchasing the paper on the street.
Learn more about this empowering program here.
FACE STOCKHOLM FALL 2016 CAMPAIGN
September 2, 2016: Feature on Photography For Girls, our collaboration with photographer Kelly Merchant
This Fall, we had the opportunity to work with a really special photographer, working on a really special project. Kelly Merchant, (along with Akira Ohiso and Ellie Ohiso) is the driving force behind Photography For Girls. A movement that consists of photographing women on their terms with realistic representation, portraying them in a light where they are comfortable in their own skin.
SEATTLE'S KIRO 7 NEWS
August 28, 2016: Feature on Seattle Drawn, our Instagram art account
Akira and his wife hope the drawings can help spur conversation about diversity, homelessness, gentrification and other issues in Seattle.
BEEKMAN 1802 BOYS
Featured Artist September 2015:
Thank you to the Beekman 1802 Boys for selecting Akira Ohiso as September's artist feature in their Good (Insta)Grammer Project. Brent and Josh were one of the first to support us when we began Green Door Magazine, appearing in our second issue in Fall 2011.
Catskill Made Summer 2015 Issue: June 21, 2015 Liberating the Exquisite Corpse
For some artists, giving up creative control over their artwork is their worst nightmare. But in a new collaborative art exhibit curated by Ellie and Akira Ohiso, called Exquisite Corpse of the Catskills, creative control was traded for chance, humor, and surprisingly profound results.
The concept was adapted from a surrealist parlor game developed by artist André Breton. Though exquisite corpse was originally intended as a way to pass the time at French cafes, it became an integral part of the Surrealism art movement, and of the way that period in art history is now explained. So the goal, says Ellie, was to “take an idea that, in its inception, was meant to be a game among friends [and was] turned into taught art history, back to its roots.” And in returning the game to its original form, she and husband/creative partner Akira transformed the normally “extensive” and editorial process of exhibit curation into something spontaneous, democratic, and fun.
Watershed Post April 7, 2015 Exquisite Corpse of the Catskills
The River Reporter March 25, 2015 Exquisite Corpse of the Catskills
Surrealist parlor game for Catskills artists; Join in, have your work displayed
Big Think January 15, 2015 - Hickster mention
County House January 12, 2015
It should be mentioned that the main stream media is following a trend that began with bloggers and even print publishers, in identifying this 2-3 hour remove from, particularly, Manhattan and Brooklyn, as THE get-outta-Dodge destination for the stylish and hip. Green Door Magazine, alas, closed its doors last year, but covered the colorful and creative people and places populating the Sullivan County area. And they coined the frequently used phrase "Hickster," which really does accurately portray that Brooklyn cool meets Upstate flannel population of weekenders who are buying and visiting in increasing numbers.
Mom's Clean Air Force September 2014
PEOPLE’S CLIMATE MARCH SUBWAY POSTERS: A RAY OF HOPE, A SCHMEAR OF FEAR
Tickets to a Broadway show can cost hundreds of dollars. But, as any New York City subway rider knows, $2.50 gets you a front row seat to an ever-changing cast of characters delivering monologues, dance routines, musical numbers, and other diversions to liven up your morning commute. With a daily ridership of 5.5 million, we’re a massive captive audience, a potential goldmine for the panhandlers, hip-hoppers and doo-woppers who compete for our spare coins.
But what if you demanded a sea change, instead of spare change? This month, a trio of artists is doing just that, with a pair of posters that ask New York City subway riders to open our eyes, not our wallets. The vivid graphic designs by the wife-and-husband team of Ellie and Akira Ohiso are the winners of a poster design contest sponsored by Avaaz, the global civic organization, to promote the September 21st People’s Climate March.
Motivating Millions: People's Climate March Poster Design Winners August 2014
Pacific Standard Magazine October 21, 2014
To promote the march, event organizers ran a month-long advertising campaign throughout New York City’s subway system. One of the two posters selected from hundreds of entries to represent the campaign depicts the Statue of Liberty submerged up to her armpits in water. Along the horizon, where an ominous ocean meets an overcast sky, big white letters declare: “The Next One Won’t Be Biblical.” The poster is bleak, a clear allusion to the flood in Genesis that only Noah, his family, and several pairs of lucky animals survived, while the unrighteous perished.
“We wanted to make something that was powerful enough and scary enough to get people to look at it,” says Akira Ohiso, who, together with his wife and design partner, Ellie, created the apocalyptic graphic.
“When I share the image on social media, I’ve had cousins of mine who are still quite religious say things like, ‘Oh, please, that’s such hyperbole,'” Ellie says. “And then I’m like, ‘OK, yes, it’s hyperbole. So let’s talk about exactly how high the water has to get on Lady Liberty before you start having a discussion about what’s really happening.'”
Huffington Post August 20, 2014
These Inspiring Posters Will Remind New Yorkers Why The People's Climate March Is So Important
The organizers of what may become the largest climate-change march in history have just announced the winners of a poster design contestto promote the event in one of New York City’s most visible locations.
The two winning designs, which were chosen by a panel of judges including Shepard Fairey, Barbara Kruger and Moby, will appear on one out of every 10 train cars on the New York City subway from August 25 until the People's Climate March on September 21.
“The design plays against popular catastrophe film stereotypes to bring fantasy into possible reality. The commercialized design is meant to target a larger audience that likely wouldn't be interested in traditional eco-messaging,” Ellie Ohiso said.
ArtNews Magazine July 1, 2014
INSIDER’S GUIDE TO THE DEER-HUNTING, PIG-FARMING, MUSHROOM-FORAGING HICKSTER ARTISTS OF THE CATSKILLS
As Akira Ohiso, a neighbor who until recently ran an arts magazine called Green Door, explained, “people come up here to opt out of the mainstream, to find space to roam and do whatever you want. That’s the frontier, and it’s a tough go, but it’s not about hiding out; it’s about searching for something, and out of this desolate environment springs all these amazing creative things that are about the beauty of a brief experience, about something that is alive.”
New York Magazine May 2014 Hickster and Narrowsburg Not Williamsburg mention.
Decades after the Borscht Belt’s heyday and an extended economic slump, the western edge of the Catskills is reawakening. Following the rush of New Yorkers who bought up property in the ’80s, a new crew of city dwellers are heading here for the utter, rural remoteness (thanks, in part, to the fact that it’s unreachable by train; on a good day, it’s about a two-hour drive) and to join the growing, tight-knit community of expat “hicksters.” Though obviously tongue-in-cheek, the “Narrowsburg Not Williamsburg” T-shirts sold here aren’t that far off.
WJFF Connections April 2014
The Times Herald-Record September 14, 2013
LIBERTY BUILDs AN ARTSY IMAGE
Why not Liberty?" said Ellie Ohiso, publisher of another thing Liberty has — Green Door magazine, which calls itself "A Journal of Comfortable Living."
"Liberty has the potential to be like a Saugerties, with its mom-and-pop shops and art. It can be anything it wants to be," Ohiso said.
Ohiso and a group of business owners calling themselves ArtLib hope this village of some 4,400 residents takes a major step in that direction at 6 p.m. Sunday, when it unveils a giant sculpture that's sure to attract lots of attention.
The New York Times August 2013 Narrowsburg Not Williamsburg Tee featured
Times Herald-Record January 24, 2013
People pour out wishes for empty Liberty building
Akira is the president and editor and wife Ellie the publisher of Green Door Magazine, a Sullivan County-based journal dedicated to responsible living in the Catskills and Hudson Valley.
The Ohisos say the project extends the magazine's mission, to get people thinking about their community and making positive changes.
But they also say they did it because they live in the village and don't want to drive or walk past boring blank boards for the next several months.
"There is some type of psychological impact to walking past vacant stores every day," Ellie said. She said people grow apathetic and tend to get used to seeing closed buildings.
"Art," she said, "has a way of making a psychological impact for the positive."
WJFF Connections August 2013
Notes from the Green Door
The River Reporter July 2013
Time Warner Cable News July 6, 2013
ART SUPPORTERS WANT TO SEE PUBLIC ART ON LIBERTY'S MAIN STREET
Editors at Green Door, a Sullivan County based art and culture magazine, strongly support the project.
"In almost every revitalization of small towns, art has played such a critical role in creating communities that people feel have merit," said Ellie Ohiso.
"Art is a way to question and inspire people. I think it will bring community back here," said Akira Ohiso.
The River Reporter June 20, 2013
The Watershed Post January 19, 2013
On Main Street, a community brainstorms for a better Liberty
Liberty’s Main Street has challenged locals for years.
"Driving down Liberty's Main Street, you might get the sense that it is a lifeless place with vacant storefronts and neglect,” said Green Door Magazine editor Akira Ohiso.
Ohiso is on a mission to change that -- and with a new project that transforms a dull construction barrier into a community-wide interactive art project, the village's Main Street is already looking brighter. Last week, Green Door, the Liberty-based “Journal of Responsible Living in the Catskills and Beyond,” unveiled its Interactive Construction Wall on Main Street in Liberty, and suggestions from the community have been coming thick and fast.
"We hope the interactive wall will engage residents in a public space to show Liberty's often missed or disregarded vibrancy," said Ohiso.
Sullivan County Democrat February 8, 2013
Accent on Monday on WIOX Radio February 8, 2013
Farm Hour December 2012
JN Urbanski's Women in Business October 7, 2013
WJFF's Making Waves
The River Reporter December 2013
The River Reporter November 21, 2013
“From the kiddush cup on the cover to the pictures of the new baby at the end, this is a highly engaging book. It is the story of a new Jewish family and presented with the newest of techniques: photos, art work, letters, certificates and maps. It will engage and delight every reader.”
- Ari L. Goldman, the author of The Search for God at Harvard and former The New York Times religion editor
“Moving, understated, and powerful.”
- Ari L. Goldman, the author of The Search for God at Harvard and former The New York Times religion editor
REVIEWS FOR SURVIVING, PUBLISHED IN 2008
This small but powerful book tells a story in deeply emotional terms, yet manages to follow a straightforward path that points directly at Judaic love, and by doing so not only reflects our own, but at the same time broadens and strengthens it. Akira wrote the words and his wife, Ellie, designed the pages, culminating in a book that is a pleasure to hold, read, look at, and absorb. Complete with a timeline that traces the roots of Akira’s Judaism back to his Jewish great-grandfather and down to his baby son, it takes the reader on a journey from the Russian pogroms of 1911 to the birth of Boaz Jules Ohiso in New York City in 2006. Akira himself was born in 1970, the child of interracial parents, his mother an Irish-Russian Jew, his father a Japanese immigrant. He converted to Judaism in 2003, a year before his marriage to a Jewish woman, finding himself at a spiritual crossroads that offered to both enhance and reinforce his beliefs, offering him the kind of Judaic nourishment he now lovingly passes on to his son. This book is the story of that journey.
FULL FEATURE EDITORIAL in the September 2011 issue of Asian Jewish Life.
The Jewish Channel Akira Ohiso on the first Jews of Color Panel