In February 1942, Ruth Asawa's father, who had been living in the United States for forty years, was arrested by FBI agents and taken to a camp in New Mexico. The family did not see him for almost two years. In April, Ruth was sent along with her mother and five siblings to the Santa Anita race track in Arcadia, California, where they lived for five months in two horse stalls. They took only what they could carry. Suddenly Ruth did not have to work long hours on the family farm, and she used her free time to draw. Among the internees were animators from the Walt Disney Studios, who taught art in the grandstands of the race track. In September, the Asawa family was sent by train to an internment camp in Rohwer, Arkansas, where Ruth continued to spend most of her free time painting and drawing, a practice which would lead her to her ultimate profession.⁣ .⁣ By the time Asawa arrived at Black Mountain College in the summer of 1946, it had been in operation 13 years. Protected by its rural isolation, the college had succeeded in creating a safe environment where a truly individualized education was possible. According to Asawa, “Teachers there were practicing artists, there was no separation between studying, performing the daily chores, and relating to many art forms. I spent three years there and encountered great teachers who gave me enough stimulation to last me for the rest of my life — Josef Albers, painter, Buckminster Fuller, inventor, Max Dehn, the mathematician, and many others. Through them I came to understand the total commitment required if one must be an artist.”⁣