2020 55¢ Ruth Asawa
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: August 13, 2020
First Day City: San Francisco, CA
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 18,000,000
Attending Black Mountain College was one of the most formative experiences of Ruth Asawa's life. She had gone to teh school with a love of drawing, but left with a transformed outlook on the interconnectivity of art and life.
Black Mountain College was an experimental school. There were no course requirements and degrees were not awarded. But the students and teachers worked the school's grounds. They farmed, cooked, and built buildings. Students and teachers worked together, both in class and out, creating a close-knit community. While Asawa was used to farm work, this intermingling of art and daily chores was new to her. She carried these practices with her the rest of her life.
Another aspect of the school that had a deep impact on Asawa was the encouragement to use everyday items in art. While she originally saw herself as a drawer and painter, she found great joy in creating sculptures out of objects like egg shells, leaves, and wire. Asawa would go on to spend much of her career crafting intricate wire sculptures.
Asawa fondly recalled that the school taught her "there is no separation between studying, performing the daily chores of living, and creating one's own work... Through them I came to understand the total commitment required to be an artist."