Kathy Aoki recognized by the College of Arts and Sciences
Inaugural Recipient of the Marquette Jones Award
In recognition of a faculty or staff member whose creative projects and advocacy in the arts or law have empowered and advanced women in those fields.
Kathy Aoki advocates on behalf of women by interrogating issues of gender and power in her art through the lens of feminism. Over the last two decades, her work has taken on “the cult of the cute”, the destructive elements of beauty culture, and patriarchy as it manifests in commerce and in public institutions such as museums. She works in an astonishing array of media that includes both analog and digital forms of drawing and printmaking, installations, augmented reality, and performance.
A wry sense of humor, a nod to the history of art, and an engagement with popular culture characterize Kathy’s pointed critiques. These were all on full display during her most recent artistic residency at the Recology AIR program in San Francisco (October 2019 - January 2020), where she created disgraced monuments to the patriarchy along with mythic beauty sphinxes that perplexed women for millennia. In her show, Kathy also gave a performance lecture, fraught with fictitious academic excellence, as Curator of the Museum of Historical Makeovers.
Kathy’s past awards include fellowships from Kala Art Institute (1995), MacDowell (2001), Headlands Center for the Arts (2003), Djerassi (2006), Val Paraiso (2013) and Frans Masereel Centrum (2013, 2019). Her work has received international recognition and 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.
It is a pleasure and an honor to present Kathy with the first Marquette Jones Award.