Kim Yasuda, Professor
Spatial Arts, Sculpture , (100% Art)
Department Diversity Liason



Kim Yasuda is an artist and professor of Public Practice in the Department of Art at University of California Santa Barbara. Her work investigates the role of art, artists and educational institutions in community development and civic life.

Yasuda’s past exhibition work has been presented at museums and alternative spaces in the U.S., Canada and U.K., including: the New Museum of Contemporary Art and Art in General, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art@ Champion, CT; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Boston; Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada; Camerawork Gallery, East London. She has been the recipient of individual artist grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, US/Japan Foundation, Howard Foundation, Art Matters, Joan Mitchell Foundation and Anonymous Was a Woman Foundation. Yasuda’s previous commissioned public projects include station designs for the Broad Street Corridor transit system in Providence, Rhode Island, the Green Line Vermont Metrorail and Union Station Gateway Center for the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Los Angeles. Her permanent commemorative works are part of the public art collections for the cities of St. Louis, San Jose and Hollywood, designed to preserve the cultural legacies and local histories of these community.


Yasuda’s current research intersects her university teaching with her public art practice, shaping pedagogical experiments that explore the intersection between institutional knowledge production and a creative practice. Yasuda and her students have undertaken numerous projects together, working on temporary public interventions and permanent urban renewal projects in the student community of Isla Vista, an unincorporated area of 21,000 inhabitants adjacent to the UCSB campus. In 2005, Yasuda established the Friday Academy and in 2014, IV OpenLab, as temporary instructional environments that operate at the intersection of university and community. These open-access, collaborative learning environments maintain a separate academic calendar and curricula to conduct year-round, off-site and multi-disciplinary projects.


Yasuda is principal investigator for recent grants from the California Arts Council, the Santa Barbara Foundation and the Pearl Chase Community Development Fund to support temporary and long-term permanent public arts and development programs in Isla Vista. With the Santa Barbara Arts Commission, Yasuda is the founding director of the inaugural program for LightWorks, a community-based, illuminated public art and residency program featuring temporary works by emerging and distinguished California artists in the downtown central parks of Isla Vista, California.