| Born 1962, Berkeley California United States
Michael Tora Speier is a west coast North American visual artist, born in Berkeley CA, raised in Vancouver BC, of Jewish and Japanese ancestry. He received a visual art scholarship from the Helen Pitt Foundation and graduated with BFA honours in Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia.
Growing to define himself as a ‘mixie media’ creator of narrative artworks across a variety of genres, Michael has worked in playful, accessible and tasty formats for over thirty years. Of special note: 88 Scroll Paintings Including Scenes from the Life of Ho Chi Minh & A Wasabi Farm in Nagano Prefecture; Nectarine River: the Tale of a Mixed Race Surfer; Hapa Big Board (a giant, interactive multiracial vehicle); Broken Only At Sky (trans-Pacific exploration of Japanese family orchards); and Open Sesame food for the arts gastronomic design company.
As a Japanese Canadian artist, Speier has helped out at the Powell Street Festival for over fifteen years, putting on an array of hats, from volunteer to craft maker, site crew to programming committee member, and arts events project co-ordinator; he is also the JCCA Bulletin-Geppo distribution manager since 2001.