Byron Glaser

Illustrator and designer

Growing up in a Japanese American community Supporting art because it's essential

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Byron Glaser was born and raised in Southern California with close ties to the Japanese American community. When Glaser and his family moved to Santa Barbara, they joined the Japanese American Congregational Church, becoming the first European Americans members. His father was also an active member of the Japanese American Citizens League.

Glaser attended and graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California where he met fellow student Sandra Higashi. In 1986, they partnered to form Higashi Glaser Design, a graphic design firm in New York. While working on a project for F.A.O. Schwarz's flagship store on 5th Avenue, they thought of the idea to create a line of toys that were not age or gender specific. Zolo Toys has emerged as a groundbreaking and award-winning company in which Glaser and Higashi incorporate a Japanese sensibility to nature and balance. They have also illustrated children’s books for Abrams Publishing, Chronicle Books and Hyperion Books.

In 2006, Glaser and Higashi were awarded the Award of Excellence for their creative contributions to society by the Japanese American National Museum. (November 3, 2006)

community growing up multi racial arts culture education identity

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