aawaaIt’s time the world knows about Asian American artists other than just Maya Lin, and the Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA) is here for that exact purpose.
Celebrating 20 years of “Vision, Vitality and Visibility,” AAWAA is hosting an art exhibition from Sept. 22 to Oct. 24 at SOMArts Cultural Center located in San Francisco.

The exhibition features striking works by artists coming from a variety of backgrounds and experiences — from the work of Priscilla Otani who creates mixed media paintings depicting Japanese culture such as Card Game, to the abstract creations of Keiko Nelson.

AAWAA is a non-profit program designed to empower the art of Asian American women and maintain visibility through a support network, diversity and exhibitions. “Since its inception, AAWAA has promoted the artistic and organizational growth of the Asian and Pacific Islander visual and literary arts community,” said AAWAA member Lenore Chinn, who is one of the artists featured in the SOMArts exhibit. Chinn uses acrylics to depict different areas of culture — not just ethnicity, but gender and same-sex couples as well.

In addition to the current showcase, AWAA had a January exhibition at the de Young museum in which artists’ mixed media installations answered the question “If you had a place of your own, what would it be?”

AWAA is also being featured in an upcoming book by scholar Laura Fantone, who says, “by connecting different generations of artists, AAWAA bridges the past and present.”

Photo of Cynthia Tom’s piece entitled, “Location, location, location,” by by J.W. Diehl, courtesy of

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