Golden Gate Park Ceremony To Celebrate Life Of Ruth Asawa To Be Held Tuesday Morning

A ceremony celebrating San Francisco artist Ruth Asawa’s legacy will be held this morning in the city’s Golden Gate Park, three weeks after she died at the age of 87.

The memorial service will take place at the bandshell in the park area in between the M.H. de Young Museum and the California Academy of Sciences at 11 a.m.

Her family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Ruth Asawa Fund, a nonprofit that supports arts programming at San Francisco public schools.

Born in 1926 in Southern California, Asawa was known for her wire sculptures and paintings that were influenced by her Japanese-American heritage.

In 1942 she was sent to an internment camp with her family along with more than 110,000 other Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Asawa, according to her website, was involved with incorporating art at public schools and in 2010 the School of the Arts, located at 555 Portola Drive at the McAteer campus, was renamed for the artist.

According to her biography, she studied at Black Mountain College in North Carolina where she met her husband, Albert Lanier.

They were married in 1949 and moved to San Francisco where they stayed and raised six children.

She died on Aug. 6. Her health had been declining after she was diagnosed with lupus in 1985 and she had limited public appearances since 2002.

Much of her artwork is on display throughout the Bay Area, including fountains at San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square and outside the Grant Hyatt near Union Square.

The Japanese American Internment Memorial Sculpture is on display at the Federal Building in downtown San Jose.

The artist served as commissioner on the city’s Arts Commission in the 1960s and into the 1970s and was a trustee for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

More about her life and artwork is available at

Donations to her nonprofit can also be made on the website.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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