Leading Life Through Art and Art Therapy
My name is Yuko Kyutoku, and I am a contemporary artist and art therapist from Japan, currently based in New York.
I come from a family of doctors that appreciates art very much. My parents decorated our house with paintings on the walls. My father used to teach me about different kinds of music, such as Elvis Presley’s rock and roll and Beethoven’s classical compositions. My grandmother is also a painter who had many solo shows throughout Japan. My father encouraged me to take many art lessons when I was a child, and I took many art classes at a community center and learned collage, painting, sculpture, and drawing.
I came to America to study the visual arts. I started studying arts at Westchester Community College and then transferred to SUNY Purchase College in New York, where I started studying fine art in drawing and painting for printmaking and received many scholarships and awards, including the Junior Choice Award. I also had my solo show at the General Consulate of Japan in New York, and the press wrote about my shows. I also had my first solo exhibition in Japan and had hundreds of visitors at the show. My show was featured by a major newspaper, Seikyo Shimbun, in Japan, which was a most remarkable experience. After I graduated from SUNY Purchase College, I researched my career path so that I could support others more.
Growing up in a medical family, I have also always had an interest in supporting others. I engaged in many volunteer activities internationally, such as with Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata, an orphanage in Cambodia, and homeless shelters in both New York and Japan. Then I learned about art therapy. Art therapy is psychotherapy that utilizes art and art therapists' work in various clinical settings such as hospitals, homeless shelters, community centers, and prisons. I found my calling in art therapy and decided to make it my profession. I then started studying for my master’s degree in art therapy at New York University. I worked with various populations during my master's program and graduated in 2022.
I currently work at a children’s hospital in the city as a therapist. I provide art therapy sessions for clients where I see positive impacts on their lives while they create art and show their art to others. I hope that continuing to share my work will encourage future creatives to discover what they’re capable of. Also, I hope to contribute to society by using my abilities and skills to make others' lives better and happier.
I am also currently working on many art projects when I have time. I am working on a mast series, landscape paintings, and weaving. I plan to have my solo show again this year in Japan and New York and exhibit these works then. I hope to share the world of art therapy with the public.
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My website: https://www.yukokyutoku.com