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Photo by Laurence Cuneo
Ruth Asawa (1926 to 2013) is an American artist, who is nationally recognized for her wire sculpture, public commissions, and her activism in education and the arts. In San Francisco, she has been called the "fountain lady" because so many of her fountains are on public view. In this website, you can learn about her life, her work, and her development as an artist.

When Ruth was 16, she and her family were interned along with 120,000 other people of Japanese ancestry who lived along the West Coast of the United States. For many, the upheaval of losing everything, most importantly their right to freedom and a private, family life, caused irreparable harm. For Ruth, the internment was the first step on a journey to a world of art that profoundly changed who she was and what she thought was possible in life. In 1994, when she was 68 years old, she reflected on the experience: "I hold no hostilities for what happened; I blame no one. Sometimes good comes through adversity. I would not be who I am today had it not been for the Internment, and I like who I am."

This website was created by Addie Lanier and Peter Weverka through a grant from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Project. We wish to thank Wendy Bardsley, who redesigned and developed the website, and the many photographers who gave us permission to publish their photos documenting Ruth's work and life.
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