8” x 10”
Courtesy the artist
Vanderbilt Artists Exhibit
Work by Artists from Vanderbilt University's Department of Art
(October 21 – December 9, 2010)
Diane Acree was born in Waseca, Minnesota, and received her bachelor's degree in journalism and creative writing from the University of Minnesota. A newspaper reporter and photojournalist for many years, she was recognized for her photography by the Associated Press of Minnesota. In addition to news reporting, Acree wrote a locally popular column, covering the arts but also which often included humorous feature stories about her travels as a flight attendant, her other career at the time. Later, she was public relations director for St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Always a strong arts advocate, she was instrumental in establishing the elementary and middle school art appreciation programs in Stillwater, Minnesota. After moving to Tennessee, Acree trained in the inaugural docent class for the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, enthusiastically conducting school tours there for many years before joining the Vanderbilt Department of Art staff.
In this photograph, I was able to capture a brief moment in one Japanese village's preparations for their New Year's celebration: As dusk descends, villagers hurry on foot and by car to the temple at the end of the street, a place they are choosing to spend their first moments of the New Year. Along the way, they pass storefronts adorned in celebratory red, each with an outdoor display of food and wares awaiting the coming celebration.
The Japanese culture places great significance on the "firsts" of the New Year. One's first activity, one's first meal, or even one's first wearing of the kimono is treated as a special event. The first visit to the temple or shrine— Hatsumōde—is one such event.