Coming to America
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.