• Yasmeen Kamrani Sallam

Invitation to Create Just Like Ruth Asawa

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a period for the duration of the month of May for recognizing the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. To honor #aapiheritagemonth inviting a child to create like an artist such as Ruth Asawa is a creative way to spread awareness about her amazing art.

Ruth Asawa is a Japanese American sculpture artist known for using galvanized wire, stone, and bronze to create organic forms of nest like work that was inspired by native Mexican basket-weaving techniques. Her parents were born in Japan and they immigrated to California where she was born. Creating was always a part of Ruth from a young age, so much so that she wanted young children to have opportunities to do so as well. She co-founded the Alvarado School Arts Workshop a program that involved parents and professional artists in public schools so that children can be exposed to the arts as much as possible. “A child can learn something about color, about design, and about observing objects in nature. If you do that, you grow into a greater awareness of things around you. Art will make people better, more highly skilled in thinking and improving whatever business one goes into, or whatever occupation. It makes a person broader.”

To create this invitation, read the book A Life Made By Hand: The Story Of Ruth Asawa, written and illustrated by Andrea D’Aquino, followed by inviting your child or children to create their very own wire sculptures. Print out images of her sculptures to showcase her work. Next cut out similar shapes of the sculptures from recycled cardboard. Lastly provide wire, pipe cleaners, or string to wrap around the cardboard sculptures in order to make their own interpretation of her art.

When children learn about artists the more well rounded and creative they become. Art is a fundamental component of early childhood. Exposure leads to seeing the beauty around them and in others. Art can be both rooted in history and a catalyst for change in a culture, which is why it is so important to expose children to all of the different forms of art. This will empower them to create and have an outlet to express feelings, thoughts, traditions and beliefs.



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