Katherine Aoki

"As a Rio Americano High School graduate, I felt ready to take on the challenges studying at UC Berkeley. My deepest appreciation goes to Joseph Sugimoto, my art instructor. Through class and independent studies, Mr. Sugimoto encouraged my art practice. When I graduated, he gave me one of his original portraits – a wood block relief print of a thoughtful John F. Kennedy. I didn’t know much about the printmaking medium at the time, but now it makes sense that I fell in love with printmaking in college and later went on to graduate school in printmaking. My thanks go to Mr. Sugimoto and the rest of the Rio Americano faculty for preparing me for a career as artist and instructor." – Katherine Aoki


Kathy Aoki attended Rio Americano High School, graduating in 1986. She went on to get a BA in French with Honors at UC Berkeley in 1990. Although she did not double major in art, she took many undergraduate art classes and went on to receive her M.F.A. in printmaking from Washington University in St. Louis in 1994.

For the past 15 years, Kathy has exhibited her work in local, national, and international venues. You can find her prints and artist books in numerous permanent collections such as the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco, the Harvard University Art Museums, the New York Public Library, and the City of Seattle. A suite of her linoleum block prints from her San Francisco public art project “Champions of Market St.,” were recently accepted into the collection of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Kathy is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Santa Clara University. She resides in Santa Clara with her husband David their two young daughters. Please check out her artwork currently on display in a solo exhibition entitled “The Museum of Historical Makeovers” on display at Swarm Gallery in Oakland, CA through October 25, 2009. Additionally, images from the “Champions of Market St.” project are on display in a group exhibition at the Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek (9/27/09 – 11/15/09).

Link to Museum of Historical Makeovers