Google Doodle celebrates Japanese-Amercian artist Ruth Asawa

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

By Doug Criss, CNN
Google via CNN

In the May 1, 2019, Google Doodle, Ruth Asawa is depicted as kneeling on a small carpet as she assembles one of several multi-colored hanging wire sculptures. Asawa made a name for herself as a sculptor, but she was renowned as an arts…

(CNN) - May marks the start of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, and Google celebrated by dedicating its Google Doodle to artist Ruth Asawa.

In the Doodle, which appears above the search bar on Google's homepage, Asawa is depicted as kneeling on a small carpet as she assembles one of several multi-colored hanging wire sculptures. Asawa made a name for herself as a sculptor, but she was renowned as an arts education activist, too.

Asawa, who was Japanese American, was born in California in 1926 but started making art after she was detained in internment camps with her family during World War II, according to a biography of her on the David Zwirner Gallery website.

After she was released from camps in California and Arkansas, Asawa went to school at Milwaukee State Teachers College before she went to Black Mountain College in North Carolina in 1946. That's where she started working with wire sculptures.

"I found myself experimenting with wire," Asawa said, according to the David Zwirner Gallery.

"I was interested in the economy of a line, enclosing three-dimensional space.... I realized that I could make wire forms interlock, expand, and contract with a single strand, because a line can go anywhere."

Asawa ended up in San Francisco by the end of the 1940s, and it was there in the Bay Area where she worked on some of her best-known public commissions, including the fountains at Ghirardelli Square. She worked to expand access to art programs in schools and founded the Alvarado Arts Workshop in 1968. She also helped get the first public arts high school established in San Francisco in 1982. The school was renamed in her honor in 2010.

Asawa died in 2013 at age 87.

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