Colorado born and bred, printmaker and current RedLine resident Sarah Fukami creates work that's deeply rooted in her Japanese family’s internment during WWII and issues around her cultural heritage. Fukami layers her mixed-media historical references on Plexiglas panels, relating stories of figures both notable and anonymous, bringing the Japanese-American experience full circle into the present. Learn more about Fukami and where she’s going with her art through her answers to the 100CC questionnaire.
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be and why?
Sarah Fukami: Albrecht Dürer. I am a printmaker at my core, and his technical skills are unmatched in my mind. Not to mention, I think he would be an utterly fascinating person to have a conversation with.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
With the state of citizen and police relations, I admire the work of the journalist Shaun King. The way in which he is able to communicate with and mobilize frustrated communities across the United States allows this issue to remain visible. I am very interested to see how he will orchestrate a national boycott in the near future.
What's one art trend you want to see die this year?
Bigger is not better. Though that’s been going on for quite some time.
What's your day job?
I work at Gusto, a startup from San Francisco that manages payroll, benefits and workers' compensation for small businesses. The technical aspects are a good balance with my creative tendencies.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
Spend my time going through national archives and discovering endless stories to resurrect.
Denver, love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?
I was born and raised in Denver, and I’ve always loved it here. Around the time I graduated, the art scene was really gaining momentum, and I was excited to be a part of that growth and didn’t feel like I needed to move to New York or L.A. to flourish as an artist.
What's the one thing Denver could do to help the arts?
I think it’s great that other people are realizing how great Denver is, but that shouldn’t be at the cost of pushing established people and communities out of the places to which they’ve contributed so much. The local government has an urgent obligation to make affordable housing and spaces a priority.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
I have to, of course, give this shout-out to Louise Martorano. She is absolutely relentless in her efforts to support arts and the community, and has truly fostered my growth as an artist working in Denver. RedLine is an indispensable resource for the community, and I am grateful to be a part of it.
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
In the next few months I’m working with Art Gym as a part of their Studio Project Award program, so I’m going to be focused on incorporating traditional printmaking back into my work, as I have been without a proper printmaking studio for a couple years and have been utilizing Plexiglas more often, rather than paper. Hopefully the results of these efforts will be shown at the annual resident artist exhibition at RedLine in January.
Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?
A good friend of mine, Ryan Morse, creates exquisite contemporary figurative paintings and has recently showed at Abend Gallery. Keep an eye on him; he’s sure to be discovered in the near future.
Learn more about Sarah Fukami online.