Ruth Asawa

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Ruth Asawa
From Wikipedia

Ruth Asawa is a Japanese Amer­ican sculptor. In San Fran­cisco, she has been called the “foun­tain lady” for her works that include the mermaid foun­tain at Ghirardelli Square.
Ruth Asawa was born in Norwalk, Cali­fornia, one of seven chil­dren. Her father oper­ated a truck farm until the Japanese Amer­ican intern­ment during World War II. The family lived in the assembly center at the Santa Anita race­track for much of 1942, then at Rohwer War Relo­ca­tion Center in Arkansas.
Following grad­u­a­tion from the intern­ment center’s high school, she attended Milwaukee State Teachers College, intending to become an art teacher. Unable to get hired for the requi­site prac­tice teaching to complete her degree, she left Wisconsin without a degree. (The degree was finally awarded to her in 1998.) From 1946 to 1949, she studied at Black Moun­tain College with Josef Albers.
Asawa’s wire sculp­tures brought her promi­nence in the 1950s, when her work appeared several times in the annual exhi­bi­tions at the Whitney Museum of Amer­ican Art and in the 1955 São Paulo Art Bien­nial. Asawa married archi­tect Albert Lanier in July 1949. The couple has six chil­dren.
Selected works
• Andrea, the mermaid foun­tain at Ghirardelli Square (1966);
• the Hyatt on Union Square Foun­tain (1973)
• the Buchanan Mall (Nihon­machi) Foun­tains (1976)
• Aurora, the origami-inspired foun­tain on the San Fran­cisco water­front (1986)
• the Japanese-Amer­ican Intern­ment Memo­rial Sculp­ture in San Jose (1994).
[edit] Awards
• 1968: First Dymaxion Award for Artist/​Scientist
• 1974: Gold Medal from the Amer­ican Insti­tute of Archi­tects
• 1990: San Fran­cisco Chamber of Commerce Cyril Magnin Award
• 1993: Honor Award from the Women’s Caucus for the Arts
• 1995: Asian Amer­ican Art Foun­da­tions Golden Ring Life­time Achieve­ment Award
[edit] Further reading
• Abra­hamson, Joan and Sally Woodridge (1973) The Alvarado School Art Commu­nity Program. San Fran­cisco: Alvarado School Work­shop.
• Bancroft Library (1990) “Ruth Asawa, Art, Compe­tence and City­wide Coöper­a­tion for San Fran­cisco,”, in The Arts and the Commu­nity Oral History Project. Univer­sity of Cali­fornia, Berkeley.
• Cook, Mariana (2000) Couples. Chron­icle Books.
• Cornell, Daniell et al. (2006) The Sculp­ture of Ruth Asawa: Contours in the Air. Univer­sity of Cali­fornia Press.
• Cunningham, Imogen (1970) Photographs, Imogen Cunningham. Univer­sity of Wash­ington Press.
• Dobbs, Stephen (1981) Commu­nity and Commit­ment: An Inter­view with Ruth Asawa,” in Art Educa­tion vol 34 no 5.
• Faul, Patricia et al. (1995) The New Older Woman. Celes­tial Arts.
• Harris, Mary Emma (1987) The Arts at Black Moun­tain College. MIT Press.
• Hopkins, Henry and Mimi Jacobs (1982) 50 West Coast Artists. Chron­icle Books.
• Jepson, Andrea and Sharon Litsky (1976) The Alvarado Expe­ri­ence. Alvarado Art Work­shop.
• Roun­tree, Cath­leen (1999) On Women Turning 70: Honoring the Voices of Wisdom. Jossey-Bass.
• Rubin­stein, Char­lotte Streifer (1992) Amer­ican Women Sculp­tors. G.K. Hall.
• San Fran­cisco Museum of Art. (1973) Ruth Asawa: A Retro­spec­tive View. San Fran­cisco Museum of Art.
• Schatz, Howard (1992) Gifted Woman. Pacific Photo­graphic Press.
• Villa, Carlos et al. (1994) Worlds in Colli­sion: Dialogues on Multi­cul­tural Art Issues. San Fran­cisco Art Insti­tute.
• Woodridge, Sally (1973) Ruth Asawa’s San Fran­cisco Foun­tain. San Fran­cisco Museum of Art.
[edit] Film
• Snyder, Robert, producer (1978) Ruth Asawa: On Forms and Growth. Pacific Palisades, cA: Masters and Master­works Produc­tion.


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