My name is Mai Ryuno and I am an interdisciplinary and socially-engaged artist, originally from Fukuoka, Japan, whose artworks are concept driven, participatory, and playful. After receiving a BA in English from the Doshisha University in Kyoto, I moved to Monterey, CA in 2002 with a dream of becoming an artist, studied art at the Monterey Peninsula College, and received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2008.
I am also a contemporary educator who teaches classes, facilitates workshops, and does personal coaching in art and creativity with an interdisciplinary approach. My goal as an educator is to support everyone's journey to discover their own way of being creative as well as develop skills such as critical thinking, creative problem solving, communication, and collaboration through creative projects and the process of Think>Do>Share. I hope to provide students of all ages more opportunities to harness creativity for life not only through my teaching, but also my involvement in creation of educational strategies and curriculum development as a creative educator.
Art and Education intertwine in my professional life. My work as Assistant Director at SFAI’s City Studio, which provides arts education to youth in underserved communities, inspired my artistic interest in community, equity and relationships. Additionally, since 2011, I have been involved in community practice for recovery and revitalization from the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami through my work for the Center for Cities + Schools’ Y-PLAN at UC Berkeley with the US Japan Council. This experience added resilience, positivity and hope to my work.
I currently live and work as a studio artist, art professor and entrepreneur in Monterey County and have taught studio art at Hartnell College in Salinas and Monterey Peninsula College, and collaborated with arts and non-arts organizations such as the Arts Habitat, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Monterey, the MIRA (the Middlebury Institute of International Studies's Immigrant Rights Alliance), the Monterey Makers, the Salinas Valley Arts Hub, the Women’s March Monterey Bay, the Youth Arts Collective, and the Association of California School Administrators.
In 2017, upon my reception of a LEAP grant from the Arts Council for Monterey County, I created a participatory art exhibit/community event at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History and opened my socially-engaged art studio, Play Full Ground, later that year.
My art has been exhibited at the Monterey Museum of Art, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, galleries across the Pacific, and featured in the Monterey County Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle and other publications.