September 13, 2009 - As Governor Mitch Daniels practices the East Asian ritual of gift-giving throughout his jobs mission through China and Japan, he is highlighting the work of Hoosier artists.
"I want our friends in China and Japan to know Indiana by our economic climate and the ease at which they can do business in our state, but I also want to leave them with a little piece of Indiana to remember us by," said Daniels.
In Japan, Daniels is presenting company executives and government officials with framed photographs of Indiana's natural habitats taken by photographers from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. In China, the governor presented blue and gold glasswork created by Brownsburg artist Kris Anne White.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Indiana's sister-state relationship with Tochigi Prefecture on Saturday, Daniels presented Tochigi Governor Tomikazu Fukuda with a cardinal, Indiana's state bird, carved from a single piece of Indiana hardwood by Terre Haute sculptor Kenny Vermillion.
Vermillion has been sculpting professionally since 1983 and specializes in carving and painting small wildlife subjects. All of his sculptures are done in wood. White created her first glass mosaic at age 14 and has taught classes in stained glass window building and lamp making. Most of her current work concentrates on kiln-formed glass including functional glass bowls, plates and jewelry, and one-of-a-kind lamp work beads.
Some of the locations captured in the DNR photos include the Morton Arch at the Hayes Arboretum near Richmond, Lake Kickapoo at Shakamak State Park, Pine Bluff covered bridge near Bainbridge and Deam Lake outside of New Albany.
Gift-giving is important in Japanese and Chinese business protocol, and emphasis is placed on this ritual. The exchange usually occurs near the end of a meeting. Daniels has presented the glasswork to the top executive for each company or governmental body he has met with on the trip. Neckties or scarves in the state colors also are given to other officials who attend the meetings.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) purchased the gifts using private contributions from the IEDC Foundation. No state funds are used to pay for the state's overseas jobs missions.
Here are photos of some of the gifts.
DNR photographer John Maxwell took this photo of the moon rising over Deam Lake State Recreation Area in Clark County: www.in.gov/gov/files/Photos_2009/Asia/CANOE.jpg
Former DNR photographer Richard Fields took this photo of trees turning color in the fall at Shakamak State Park: www.in.gov/gov/files/Photos_2009/Asia/FALL_TREES.jpg
Fields took this photo of cattle grazing near a round barn in a Davies County field south of Washington: www.in.gov/gov/files/Photos_2009/Asia/BARN.jpg
Link to Kenny Vermillion's page: http://www.kennyvermillion.com/
Link to Kris Anne White's page: http://krisannesglass.weebly.com/
Photo of White's glassware presented as gifts during the mission: www.in.gov/gov/files/Photos_2009/Asia/GLASS.JPG
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