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Tal Streeter 1934-2014   
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Tal Streeter
El Castillo #201
250 East Alameda
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Tal Streeter: 1934-2014


Tal Streeter

A heavy heart brings sad news. Tal Streeter passed away this afternoon in Santa Fe after another recent stroke last week. He was in deep sleep mode most of this week and was just coming out of it and starting to speak today. Apparently his last words were... "Higher and higher"...

We'll all miss Tal. I had a long friendship with him since 1977 when I wrote a fan letter to him after reading his book "The Art of the Japanese Kite". The friendship continued through the years sharing ideas on sky art, kites and sculpture, his favorite topics of conversation beside his vast curiosity that was evident through conversations, his writings and with anyone who could ride with his poetic mind. I enjoyed spending time with him during many kite festival trips around the world and musing on many topics on which Tal could dance like a butterfly.

Since his major ischemic stroke in February 2011 that affected his right hemisphere he has been in the care of his family, nurses and friends. He was still very much within the realm of his own creative imagination and continued to dream.

He was involved in some pretty remarkable projects and helped by his wife, Dorothy Ann Streeter (Romig) and long time friends, David Wagner and his wife Fiona Wong to create the Dream of Flight Museum and Library in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The library and museum is supported by the his "Friends of the Sky Foundation". It is now nearing completion and will soon house an extensive library of Tal's works, his vast collection of kites, writings and sculpture projects.

I'll include a writing of Tal's here about...

The Path of Least Resistance and the Trick
by Tal Streeter

In the sky, among the clouds. A kite at rest. Still. A child's kite. On the ground, a child holding the kite string tightly, eyes turned upward, scanning the sky, the kite's place there.

A kite, any kite, but now this kite, this child's kite in the sky unmoving. A point of stillness in the vast heavens. "Stillness:" something even the masters of flight, our fine feathered friends with their rapturous, unparalleled airborne pyrotechnics, find difficult to achieve. Only a slight ripple on the kite's paper skin, a sign of the wind's breath, holds the kite aloft. This kite, its long thin line of string stretching back down to earth, gripped tightly in the child's hand, in the child's mind, imagining the wind's breath, perched there, riding on the kite's back, looking down, wide-eyed at the fabulously new perspective, astride a kite, reaching out to embrace the earth.

In the child's mind, the kite and its passenger a still point far off in the sky

Clouds drawing slowly closer. the kite leans to the left, dipping, its passenger holding on tight, it speeds across the heavens, then comes back to rest once again, a still point in the ocean sky.

The wind once again breathing lightly, rippling the kite's skin and that of the child, holding them aloft ever so gently.

Below, infinitely small, a child shakes the string, sending messages from the earth up to its twin and from there, passed on out through the distant sky.

A child's imagination notwithstanding, the kite follows the path chosen by nature, pulling from an arc into a straight line, tracing the path of least resistance, tracking the paths laid down by ocean currents and smaller tributaries of air. The excess and frugality of nature, at once frighteningly excessive and spare: the child's kite, perchance on the side of the spare, on the side of conservation of energy as in science, as in philosophy, the evidence of "Ockham's razor," the law of parsimony," the "path of least resistance:"

The evidence of stillness described by science, governed by the "law of inertia."

A child---in their imagination, riding on the back of a kite; on the earth, running across a meadow, jumping over weeds and imaginary obstacles; hopping, one foot on a curb, the other in the gutter of a city street; at the kitchen table eating a piece of toast---not by the laws of man's physics; not by laws at all; seeing everything fresh, as if by magic, the way of nature, the simplicity of kites in the newness of a child's mind: kites, the sky, hopping, skipping and breakfast toast. All magic. All enchantment.

There's the trick.

"The sky begins at your feet" ... "higher and higher"

Best winds to you, Tal!
George Peters, Airworks Studio, April 17, 2014

Remembering Tal


"He was our beacon in the fog…" - Ali Fujino, Drachen Foundation

“This is very sad. Tal was a unique and wonderful man -- followed his own path and his own train of thought. His work, particularly the Art of the Japanese Kite, was so very important to kite-makers around the world. I was lucky to discover a copy of the book in the tiny art library at the Kansas City Art Institute when I was a student, and luckier still to know Tal and work with him on several projects. His childlike imagination and deep curiosity produced a remarkable body of artwork." - Stuart Allen, Drachen Foundation

“A sad moment indeed. A man I met in India, early in my journey to the world of floating objects... He impressed me with his love of kites and his quest to make an impact in the world of flying art. Tal, like the recent loss of other friends of the wind, is making the sky a bigger place to fill... I for one remain committed to follow in their footsteps and their quest to fill the sky from my feet forever 'higher and higher' into the sky!!!" - Jose Sainz, Drachen Foundation

“Tal was truly one of the finest. May he fly high.” - Ajay Prakash, India

If you'd like to leave condolences, stories, and messages for Tal's family, please go to Tal's Butterfly Blog at http://talsbutterflyblog.blogspot.com. The blog is managed by Tal's daughter Lissa and wife Dorothy Ann Streeter (Romig) and includes many stories from Tal's life the last three years. Leave a message in the current post comment bar.

Source: http://www.drachen.org/simplenews/drachen-foundation-newsletter-april-2014


  • Visit:==> TalsButterflyBlog.
  • Feb. 17, 2011:  Stroke.   CarePages 
  • Wind Art
  • Path of Least Resistance by Tal Streeter
  • StreeterATDrachenFoundation
  • Thanks to Lissa Streeter for all the care she is affording friends of Tal.  Thanks, Lissa.
  • From a cache, as original file is not found:

    DF Projects/Special Events

    Tako: Japanese Kites Inspire Western Kitemakers
    June19 - Sept. 12, 2004
    The Frederick R. Weisman
    Art Museum
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    In 1969 New York artist Tal Streeter turned away from his rapidly expanding career and left for Japan to study the art of kite making. Following his return to the United States two years later, he wrote the "The Art of the Japanese Kite," arguably the most influential book about kites ever published in English. His journey and subsequent account of Japanese kite making traditions, which go back over 1000 years, has become the definitive resource and inspiration for a generation of North American kite making artists.

    Tako: Japanese Kites Inspire Western Kitemakers, at the Weisman Art Museum, surveyed Streeter's work and that of three other prominent kite artists -- Scott Skinner, Stuart Allen and Robert Trepanier -- along with a selection of postwar kites made by Japanese artists.

    Kites in the exhibition, installed high off the museum's walls, range in size from a few inches to 40 feet. All are meant to fly and most have touched the air over two or three continents. The exhibition also featured Streeter's "Five Mile Long Flying Red line," a 12 inch by 5 mile long kite tail. Taking advantage of the Weisman's lofty exhibition spaces, Tako: Japanese Kites Inspire Western Kitemakers encouraged viewers to look up and consider art from a new perspective.

Clip: "Tal Streeter is recognized as the first artist in the West to employ traditional kite making techiques in the context of contemporary art. His sculptures, drawings and kites have been featured internationally in museums, galleries and festivals. His work is included in many public and private collections including the Museum of Modern Art and the Storm King Art Center. Streeter is the author of seven books about traditional and contemporary kites."
His books:
  • A Kite Journey Through India by Tal Streeter (Oct 1996)
  • The art of the Japanese kite by Tal Streeter (1974)
  • The Philosopher’s Kite: Essays and Stories (12 Second Press, New York),        Note1  
  • Kites: Paper Wings over Japan by Masaaki Modegi; Tsutomu Hiroi; Tal Streeter; Editor-Scott Skinner; Editor-Alison Fujino
  • Art That Flies: by Pamela Houk, Curt Asker, Tal Streeter
  • Kites, Red Line in the Sky by Tal Street, 1972
  • v

[ ] Get all into KiteBooks group and wiki

Dream of Flight Museum and Library that David Wagner has designed and built in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Tal Streeter Dream of Flight Museum Santa Fe NM
Note on Oct. 1, 2013, by Lissa Streeter:  HERE

 Born: 1934 -


http://www.drachen.org/sites/default/files/pdf/Journal%20Issue%205.pdf  Has an article in appreciation of Tal Streeter written by Scott Skinner.