SAN Arts Program Selects Kaori Fukuyama For Under The Wing Mentorship Program

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The Arts Program at San Diego International Airport selected Kaori Fukuyama, a San Diego-based multi-disciplinary artist, to participate in the “Under the Wing” mentorship program, it was announced Thursday.

Fukuyama will support mentor artist Nova Jiang, who has been commissioned to create a permanent public artwork at SAN as part of the planned New T1 program.

“I am very excited for this unique opportunity — to work with the mentor artist, Nova Jiang, and San Diego International Airport Arts Program staff through the Mentorship Program,” Fukuyama said. “I hope to learn how to execute a successful public art project, and in turn, contribute to the local art community by sharing my insights from this experience.”

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 through installation. It will conclude when the large-scale public art project is commissioned for the planned New T1 ticketing lobby. Fukuyama will assist Jiang by providing support services to advance the project’s development including research, participation in studio visits, liaison to internal and community stakeholders, coordination and planning of team meetings and documentation of the artwork’s development.

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

“The Arts Program at San Diego International Airport is committed to bringing new voices into the field of public art through innovative programs like the Under the Wing Mentorship Program,” said Kimberly Becker, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority president and CEO.

Originally from Kumamoto, Japan, Fukuyama lives and works in San Diego. Her practice spans paintings, drawings, sculptures and site-specific installations that explore the interactions of color, light and shadow. She works with a variety of materials including paint, ink, paper, textile, monofilament, acrylic and resin “in pursuit of a deeper understanding of our visual perception,” she said. She was an Artist-In-Residence at Bread & Salt, San Diego in 2018, recently completed a large-scale public art installation in North Park San Diego and is a recipient of San Diego Art Prize 2020.

“Ms. Fukuyama was selected to participate based on her commitment to making the transition to public art as well as her desire to help mentor other artists if selected for the opportunity,” said Chris Chalupsky, arts program senior manager.

The SAN Arts Program received 34 submissions to the Under the Wing Mentorship pilot program. All submissions were reviewed by an artist selection panel composed of commissioned artist Nova Jiang, Arts Program staff and a liaison from the Airport Arts Advisory Committee. Interviews were conducted with finalists prior to selection.

For more information about Under the Wing Mentorship Program, as well as other SAN Arts Program initiatives public works of art, go to

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