“Acorn,” an example of Jiang/s work from the lobby of the SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center in Sacramento. The piece is rendered in steel, aluminum, wood and polyester resin. Photo credit: Screen shot, novajiang.com

A San Diego-based artist has been selected by a public arts program to support a mentor artist whose work is planned for San Diego International Airport.

The Arts Program at the airport chose Kaori Fukuyama to join with Nova Jiang, who has been commissioned to create a permanent public piece of art as part of the new Terminal 1 program.

The “Under the Wing” mentorship program is a professional development opportunity for emerging and mid-career artists to gain knowledge of the public art process from concept to installation.

Fukuyama will assist Jiang by providing support to advance the project’s development including research, in-studio visits, links to stakeholders, coordination and planning of meetings and documentation of the artwork’s development.

One of the program’s goals is to support an aspiring public artist in launching a successful career in the field.

Kimberly Becker, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority president and CEO., said the agency’s arts program “is committed to bringing new voices into the field of public art.”

Originally from Kumamoto, Japan, Fukuyama lives and works in San Diego. Her work includes paintings, drawings, sculptures and site-specific installations in a variety of materials, from paint and ink to paper to acrylics and resin.

Fukuyama says she’s “in pursuit of a deeper understanding of our visual perception.”

She was an artist-In-residence at Bread & Salt in San Diego in 2018, and recently completed a large-scale public-art installation in North Park. She was a recipient of the San Diego Art Prize in 2020.

Fukuyama won out over 33 other applicants to the mentorship program. Jiang, arts program staff and a liaison from the Airport Arts Advisory Committee evaluated the submissions.

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