Santa Clara, CA
Kathy grew up on the east coast in the small town of Natick, a Boston suburb. She attended the University of California, Berkeley, followed by two years at Washington University in St. Louis for an MFA in Printmaking. Currently Kathy lives and works in the Silicon Valley where she is an Associate Professor of Studio Art at Santa Clara University. Past awards include fellowships from Kala Art Institute (1995), the MacDowell Colony (2001), Headlands Center for the Arts (2003), and Djerassi (2006). Her work can be found in major collections across the U.S. such as the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, SFMOMA , the Harvard University Art Museums, and the New York Public Library. Past projects included a 2004 grant from the San Francisco Public Arts Commission for the Art on Market Street Kiosk Poster Project. Her series of linocut prints were transformed into 4 x 6 ft posters entitled “Champions of Market St.” showing Market St. pedestrians dressed in super-hero garb performing random acts of kindness. In January 2012, Aoki completed an interactive “Political Paper Dolls”art installation commissioned by the San Jose Museum of Art for the exhibition “Renegade Humor.”
What did the Fellowship or Laureate mean to you at the time you received it?
It was a great honor. The award was important to offset big art expenses, such as framing, studio costs, etc., which in turn moved my art forward.
What do you do now? Has your art evolved or changed?
The work I do now has significantly changed in appearance (but not concept) from the work at the time of the laureate gift. I now make work with an art historical slant to comment on gender, beauty and pop culture issues of today.
What is one piece of advice you would give to an emerging artist?
Be nice to others but ruthless in your art-work ethic.
Briefly, how would you describe the state of the arts locally, as well as national and beyond?
borderless; the art world in general is an international mash up.