National Cherry Blossom Festival Press Release December 2004


Winner Selected for the 2005 National Cherry Blossom Festival® Art Contest


For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. [December 2, 2004] – The National Cherry Blossom Festival® (NCBF) recently announced the winner of the 2005 National Cherry Blossom Festival® Art Contest. The Selection Committee chose the submission by Joan Lok of Columbia, Maryland.

Lok’s entry was among 107 submissions received for consideration for the 2005 National Cherry Blossom Festival® Art Contest. Entries were sent in from all over the world, including Germany, Thailand and India, from student artists to professionals.

Born in Hong Kong, Ms. Lok came to the United States in 1983 after winning an international cultural exchange scholarship sponsored by Walt Disney World. As an artist and educator, her award-winning art has been featured in eleven solo exhibitions in Connecticut, New Jersey and Maryland. She has also participated in exhibits around the globe in Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan.

Ms. Lok is consistently committed to creating artwork "as a passage to harmony, diversity and international cultural understanding." Since 2002, she has been the National President of the Sumi-e Society of America, a 42-year-old art organization with 12 local chapters and over 500 members nationally, whose mission is to increase awareness, appreciation and understanding of oriental brush painting in the U.S.

While still in Hong Kong, Ms. Lok studied at the Hong Kong School of Fine Arts and received a degree in Hotel and Tourism Management from Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Later, Ms. Lok graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Bernard M. Baruch College in New York with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing. She is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration from Strayer University. She owns and operates the Radiant Brush Gallery ( in Columbia, Maryland.

Lok’s winning design will be used for the cover of the National Cherry Blossom Festival® programs, posters and other materials used throughout the 2005 festival. The design will also be on display throughout the festival at a location yet to be announced.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival® is an annual two-week, city-wide event featuring daily international cultural performances, sporting events, arts & crafts demonstrations and other special events. The 2005 festival will be held March 26-April 10 and is highlighted by the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade® and the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival on Saturday, April 9. The National Cherry Blossom Festival® celebrates the 93rd Anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees and the enduring friendship between the citizens of the United States and Japan. Visit the website at

# # #