Sad news from SFGate today: renowned sculptor, art advocate and Noe Valley resident Ruth Asawa passed away yesterday at the age of 87. Ms Asawa served on the SF Arts Commission and on the board of trustees of the Fine Arts Museums of San Franicisco. Most recently her Hyatt on Union Square Fountain was saved by the SF Planning Department from removal to make way for a new Apple store.
In 1942, Ms. Asawa was interned with other Japanese Americans at the age of 16, and it shaped how she thought about the world. She believed in making art accessible for all:
"Art is for everybody," according to Asawa. "It is not something that you should have to go to the museums in order to see and enjoy. When I work on big projects, such as a fountain, I like to include people who haven't yet developed their creative side — people yearning to let their creativity out. I like designing projects that make people feel safe, not afraid to get involved."In addition to creating large public installations, Ms Asawa founded the Alvarado School Arts Workshop which was later expanded to 50 public schools in San Francisco. In 2010, the School of the Arts high school was renamed the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts.
[Official Site: Ruth Asawa]
[SFGate: Sculptor Ruth Asawa dead at age 87]
[Video via KQED Spark: Ruth Asawa]