Yukio Kuniyuki is a recent transplant to San Angelo having lived most of his life overseas and around the country. His father worked for the State Department which led to his first fourteen years in Tanzania, Sweden, and Singapore. Later he finished high school in Zephyrhills, Florida before going to the University of Michigan where he was commissioned into the US Army. He arrived to San Angelo in 2016 to take command of the 344th Military Intelligence Battalion on Goodfellow Air Force Base. During his tour, Yuki and his family loved the amazing sense of community they found in San Angelo and decided to settle here after his retirement from the US Army in 2020.
Although he spent 22 years in the US Army, he is no stranger to the arts. He fondly remembers being on stage in middle school productions and behind the scenes in high school, working on set design and in the stage crew. In 2018 and 2019, he participated in Be Theatre’s “24 hour Theatre” and had a small role in their 2021 production of Romeo and Juliet. Moreover, he likes to draw and paint in his free time. Recently, he picked up oil painting and has participated during San Angelo’s En Plein Air Texas public events, Casual Pint’s themed art battles, and Ballet San Angelo’s Nutcracker gallery in 2020. Yuki and his wife are also avid swing dancers, seen periodically around town lindy hopping to live or DJ’d music. Their favorite band is the West Texas Jazz Orchestra which makes frequent appearances at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts.
“I think the performing arts and other artistic endeavors are in my genes. During the turn of the last century, my great grandfather painted theatre set designs in New York City and my great grandmother sang opera. More recently, both my grandmother and mother were excellent artists while my father was an accomplished photo-journalist who worked as a White House press photographer before becoming a Foreign Service Officer.”
Yuki believes the arts are a vital part of our human experience. “They teach us that we have a shared emotions, joys, trials, and tribulations. Through art we are connected in a way that transcends time, generations, and cultures. The arts are truly a gateway to living a more meaningful and enriching life.”
Yuki’s wife, Karyn, is an accomplished artist and the director of the Emmanuel School of Fine Arts, a ministry of Emmanuel Episcopal Church. Together, they have three teenage boys: Andy, Erik, and Emery.