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Exhibit features Japanese architect

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Deborah White sat on the steps of a Snowcoach while searching through her backpack Jan. 14, during her first Snowcoach tour of Yellowstone National Park. Randy Roberson, a former auto mechanic who now owns Yellowstone Vacations in West Yellowstone, believes his testing of fat-tired Snowcoaches could be the new wave of winter travel.

A monthlong exhibition at the Center for Architecture in Portland, Ore., looks at the work of Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.

The show focuses on Kuma’s design for the Portland Japanese Garden’s Cultural Crossing expansion project, which is Kuma’s first public commission in North America. The $33.5 million project includes Kuma’s design for a Cultural Village of three LEED-certified buildings to house a learning center, a library, gallery space and a traditional tea cafe.

The show at the Center for Architecture, “Tsunagu: Connecting to the Architecture of Kengo Kuma,” uses project images, construction drawings and an interactive use of space to explore Kuma’s use of nature, natural materials and Japanese traditions. Tsunagu means connection but also suggests a connection between nature and people.

The free show is open daily through Feb. 29 at the Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Ave., in Portland.

The Portland Japanese Garden, in Portland’s Washington Park, has been closed for construction of the Cultural Crossing expansion project but reopens March 1.

Smithsonian to open new museum

WASHINGTON >> The Smithsonian Institution will open the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Sept. 24 in Washington. President Barack Obama will lead the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony, said Linda St. Thomas, Smithsonian spokeswoman.

St. Thomas says a weeklong celebration will follow, including an outdoor festival and a period in which the museum on the National Mall will be open for 24 consecutive hours.

Eleven exhibits trace the history of slavery, segregation, civil rights and African-Americans’ achievements in the arts, entertainment, sports, the military and the wider culture.

Artifacts on loan from other institutions will also be on display, such as two documents signed by President Abraham Lincoln: the 13th Amendment and the Emancipation Proclamation.

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