San Francisco-based artist Ruth Asawa Dies


San Francisco-based artist Ruth Asawa, best known for her wire sculptures and public fountains, passed away Monday, August 5, 2013, at the age of 87. Born in 1926 in the farming community of Norwalk, CA, Asawa and her family were uprooted during World War II, when relocated to Santa Anita Racetrack in 1942 for five months, before being sent to Rohwer War Relocation Center in Arkansas. During this period, Asawa came into contact with art professionals who helped her develop her promising drawing abilities, leading her to study first at Milwaukee State Teachers College, and later with Josef Albers at the Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Among her major public works are the Grand Hyatt Fountain on Union Square (1973), which recently faced possible demolition when the Apple Store unveiled its original plans for a new flagship store on Stockton Street. After a public outcry to preserve the fountain, on which Asawa collaborated with friends and schoolchildren to complete, Apple announced a redesigned of its plans that preserve the popular bronze fountain.