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His Last Painting

About Dr. Jerry Hiura

Dr. Jerrold Hiura, otherwise known as "Dr. Jerry," spent his earliest years in Chicago, where he was born. At seven, he moved to San Jose with his family. He thrived. He excelled in class and he was also elected to student government roles. He went on to enroll at the University of California, Berkeley. There, he earned bachelor's degrees in both Biology and Physiologic Optics. After receiving a master's degree at Harvard University, he added to his obnoxiously sterling academic record and was awarded a Doctor of Dental Surgery from Washington University in St. Louis.


He joined his father, Dr. Thomas Hiura, at his San Jose dental practice soon after. He took over the practice in 1987 and grew it substantially. This was a source of profound, but quiet, pride. What he treasured most, really, were the people he got to serve through his practice. 


And his dedication to service didn't stop there. He was a passionate advocate for multi-cultural arts. He served as chair of San Jose's Arts Commission and as president of the Arts Council of Silicon Valley. He co-founded the Contemporary Asian Theater Scene (CATS) and the Japantown Community Congress of San Jose (JCCsj). He helped establish the Three Japantown Landmarks Public Arts projects and Ikoinoba, quiet resting places, throughout Japantown. He was on the board of trustees for the San Jose Museum of Art. As a board member for Chopsticks Alley Art, he examined the intersection between Japanese and Vietnamese American art and history. In 2002, he was appointed by Governor Gray Davis to the California State Arts Council, where he served as vice-chair.


As a dedicated artist himself, Jerry explored artistry in various forms. His paintings and drawings ranged from whimsical to impressionist to portraiture. He used a variety of media, including oils, watercolor, and acrylics. As an author, poet, and editor, he published The Hawk's Well in 1986, a unique collection of Japanese American art and literature. He even dabbled in jewelry design. 


He also loved to play the guitar and he shared the Hiura family's obsession with golf. 


In short, Dr. Jerry lived life to the fullest. May the memory of this artistic, wickedly funny, spirited, visionary, humanitarian force be an enduring source of inspiration for all of those he touched.

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