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Finding Yurika

By Ebony Harding

Intro | America | Imagination

Coming to America
In 1998, Yurika decided that she wanted more out of life besides teaching to school-aged children in her native Japan. She states that the bold and vibrant colors of western art had always fascinated her. She knew that she was making a big life decision in leaving her family behind in Fukuoka, Japan, to pursue her dream of becoming an artist in a foreign land. Yurika had no family in the United States and knew that she would be faced with several challenges, one being the language barrier.

Upon her arrival in Santa Barbara, California, she found it difficult to communicate with her peers and instructors because of her limited knowledge of the English language. Often at times she grew frustrated when trying to express her herself verbally to others. Yurika soon found it easier to express herself through her artwork.

In 2000, Yurika left California to obtain a B.F.A. in painting with a specialization in art therapy from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Upon her graduation in May 2003, she has used her talents as an artist by teaching the elderly how to make crafts and adults and teenagers how to paint and draw.

Many of Yurika's subjects include nature and the human figure. She is greatly influenced by the British painter Jenny Saville, who holds a strong interest in feminist theory.

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