Groundswell Artist

Katie Yamasaki

  Katie Yamasaki earned her BA from Earlham College and an MFA degree in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Yamasaki teaches fourth through eighth grade art at Ballet Tech, The New York City Public School for Dance. Prior to her graduate studies, she also taught Spanish in both the New York City and Detroit public schools. Yamasaki's murals can be found in schools, libraries, churches, theatres, and outdoor walls in New York City, Detroit, New Jersey, and Indiana. Her illustrated books for children range in theme from imaginative, whimsical tales, to weighty historical fiction and biography. She is deeply devoted to the use of public art and education as a vehicle for communication and social change.

Photo of a colorful and abstract mural.


  • Project | 2013

    Participatory Budgeting Banners

    Groundswell collaborated with Boys Town residents and Councilmember Brad Lander of District 39 to develop a series of banners and posters for the local Participatory Budgeting process.
  • Project | 2004

    I Deal, I Dream, I Do

    Created by young women participating in Groundswells Voices Herd Visionaries program, "I Deal, I Dream, I Do" was designed for the side of CHIPS, a transitional housing center for homeless women and children in Gowanus, Brooklyn.
  • Project | 2005

    A New Day

    Inspired by feminist history and leaders, the young women identified a mural theme of “Strong Women Build Safe Communities.” This theme is illustrated through ten figures, each of which represents an individual member of the mural team.
  • Project | 2006

    Feels Like Home: An Immigrant Journey

    In creating this mural for PS 24, a bilingual magnet school in Sunset Park, Groundswell’s Voices Her’d Visionaries team decided to tell the stories of the thousands of immigrant mothers who come to New York City in search of a better life each year.
  • Project | 2007

    Art Builds Community, Community Creates Change

    As one of six projects in our Summer Leadership Institute, young women participating in Voices Her’d Visionaries painted a monumental mural exploring female empowerment, immigrant rights, and gender equality: a call to end discrimination in all forms.
  • Project | 2008

    The Dreamkeepers

    In spring 2008, Groundswell artists worked with PS 24 and its PAZ afterschool program to create a mural for the school’s entrance. The finished mural celebrates the children of PS 24 and presents a vision for their personal growth, both academically and as dreamers.
  • Project | 2008

    Informed, Empowered

    Informed, Empowered was created in 2008 as part of Groundswells Summer Leadership Institute by a group of young women participating in our Voices Herd Visionaries program.
  • Project | 2012

    Dream, Heal, Change

    Dream, Heal, Change was created by a group of young women incarcerated at the Rose M. Singer Center on Rikers Island. This mural is inspired by the concept of metamorphosis - physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
  • Project | 2009

    Woman Rise

    "Woman Rise" is a mural that exemplifies women’s struggles and the paths taken to rise above those issues. The mural was created in partnership with the Bowery Residents’ Committee (BRC), a transitional housing residence for homeless women.
  • Project | 2010

    Yes She Can!

    "Yes She Can!" is a mural that celebrates the relationship between the Bronx community and its environment. This mural proudly and boldly displays the words, “You do not have to move out of your neighborhood to live in a better one.”
  • Project | 2010

    Truth Be Sold

    Truth Be Sold was completed by twelve young women led by artists Katie Yamasaki and Menshahat Ebron in partnership with the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation.
  • Project | 2011

    Communidad Global, Global Community

    Communidad Global, Global Community was created by third and fourth grade students to celebrate the diversity of the PS 24 school community.