Shared Paths: The Art of Joan Pechanec and Michi Takemoto opens at the Siskiyou Arts Museum on Saturday, September 9, from 5-7pm.

Michi Takemoto

Michi Takemoto at her easel


Joan Pechanec

Over 25 years ago Joan Pechanec and Michi Takemoto met as clinical social workers. At that time, Joan, now a prolific local artist in Dunsmuir, had just moved to Redding, California, looking for a place to open her practice and networking with therapists to introduce herself. That’s where their paths crossed. Michi writes, “We later met for lunch and there was an immediate connection. We discovered our love for art and made an agreement to be “art buddies”– and actually shook hands on that!”

Michi Takemoto was born in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. At Joan’s suggestion to create images of that time, Michi began to paint from photographs taken from the National Archives. She says, “I have wanted to be a fine artist since childhood, and although I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in design from Northern Illinois University, many events in life brought me to a career in psychotherapy. Even with my career as a therapist, I made a commitment to do art weekly for 25 years with my art friend, Joan Pechanec.”

Horizon, by Joan Pechanec

Horizon, by Joan Pechanec

Joan has this to say about her art: “My art expresses the world as I experience it: rich in numinous color and vibrant light, a world of mood and mystery. When painting, I enter a state of flow where time and reality recede and I inhabit the scene in my imagination.”

Michi says, “I mostly create art from personal experience. A major part of my focus has been to create a series based on the Japanese internment camps, in which I was born. This series is an attempt to remember this part of history and to educate those who do not know about it. In the internment paintings I try to express the absolute pain of this occurrence. In my other works, I try to bring the feeling of how interesting and beautiful our world can be.”

Dunsmuir in the Fall, by Michi Takemoto

Dunsmuir in the Fall,
by Michi Takemoto

Although both are now retired and living in different towns, they still arrange to get together once in awhile to do art. This is precious time that they use to reflect on their shared paths with amazement, and both agree it is a treasure of a lifetime.

And so, on Saturday, September 9th, from 5-7pm, the Siskiyou Arts Museum in Dunsmuir presents an opening reception entitled “Shared Paths,” a journey of two artist friends, where Joan Pechanec and Michi Takemoto will exhibit a range of their art spanning 25+ years: cold wax, collage, mixed media, encaustics, and oil paintings, along with Michi’s powerful Internment paintings. Enjoy acoustic gypsy jazz and standards with the ROMA Trio during the opening.

Shared Paths: The Art of Joan Pechanec and Michi Takemoto continues in the small gallery through Saturday, November 4th.

You’re also invited to a preview of the artists’ websites:
Michi’s work can be viewed at
and Joan’s art can be seen at: