Thai Fest 2008

The Thai Fest 2008: Cultural Exchange event was designed to nourish a budding relationship between the Fine Arts Department of the Government of Thailand, Chiang Mai University and the South Bend arts community. Our hope is that this cultural exchange will add a new dimension to our organization, contribute to the expanding arts awareness in South Bend and create exciting possibilities for future collaborations and exchanges.

Background Information

In July 2006, seven Fire Arts members, named cultural ambassadors by Mayor Steve Luecke of South Bend, Indiana, traveled to Thailand. Their goals were to work in the Samnakchang Sip Moo arts complex with government employed sculptors and craftspeople, to share technical knowledge about casting techniques, to learn about Thai traditional and contemporary art, visit public and private foundries, and to travel to historic locations to learn about Thai culture. A friendship based on our mutual love of the arts was formed.

Thai Fest 2008

On July 13, 2008, three government employed artists from the Fine Arts Department in Bangkok, Thailand and a cultural exchange officer arrived in South Bend, Indiana for a two week stay.

These artists from Bangkok’s Samnakchang Sip Moo arts complex are employed by the Office of Traditional Art, Fine Arts Department of the Ministry of Culture. They include Suntree Prasong (Head of Applied Arts, ceramicist and art researcher), Pongpan Chanthanamattha (sculptor), and Navin Suvananapura (Head of Technology of Casting). Peerapong Duangkaew is a sculpture professor from the Fine Arts department of Chiang Mai University. Nithivadee Homyam (Dao) accompanied these artists to make contacts with administrators in the U.S. for future cultural exchanges.

Fire Arts’ Artists-In-Residence worked alongside our guests at a condensed portrait workshop held over a four day period during their two week stay. This collaboration, intended to perpetuate the exchange of ideas, both technical and aesthetic, was an exciting opportunity for Fire Arts and the community to deepen our commitment to the arts and to acknowledge and celebrate its value in our lives (and have some fun.)

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