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Dallas artist hopes to spark peace after pandemic with exhibition at Crow Museum

Divine Spark is the title of Kana Harada's solo exhibition now on display at The Crow Museum of Asian Art of the University of Texas at Dallas.

DALLAS — Dallas artist Kana Harada hopes her art makes you breathe a sigh of relief.

“My art has always been about conveying peace, calmness,” Harada said. “I've always wanted to convey that so that people can return to themselves, their divine spark within them.”

Divine Spark is the title of her solo exhibition. It's on display through Sept. 5 at The Crow Museum of Asian Art of the University of Texas at Dallas.

Her exhibition is the second in the museum’s Texas Asian Women Artists Series.

Harada created several of the show's art pieces during quarantine last year using foam sheets, wiring, beads, and wood.

Born in Japan, she has lived in Dallas for over 20 years. Her art studio is downtown and when the pandemic hit, she quickly realized the city of Dallas was not the same.

“Losing all the hustle and bustle (and) living sound like cars, buses, people -- I don’t even know how to explain what that felt like,” Harada said.

The artist got to work, believing it was her mission to provide a spark.

“The strength to believe in ourselves (and) in our tomorrow, no matter what it looks like now, was what I really wanted for all of us,” Harada said.

One of her art pieces on display at the museum was inspired by a documentary on Netflix. And the artist takes pride in hiding small details – look out for images of spaceships! – within her artwork.

She said she hopes museum-goers will take the time to notice the small details, and to reflect on themselves.

So much of 2020 was spent isolated and alone. Harada hopes her art will spark a more united 2021.

“We might do things differently, maybe say things differently. But we're all the same. We have same red blood running in us,” Harada said. “We're all same people. We’re one.”