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A Letter from Humaira Abid

Humaira Abid

2015 Fellowship Recipient

When I joined the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan in 1997, art was still considered more of a hobby than a profession in that region of the world. My family wanted me to be a doctor, but I knew I had to follow my heart and go to art school. It was the first time I stood up for what I believed in. After a few challenging years, I went on to become the youngest assistant professor at NCA.

I believe that artists have a responsibility to address social issues, stereotypes, and taboos in order to promote change.

In my work, I aim to start conversations around miscarriage, gender roles, family, and freedom. I work mainly with wood in order to bring a woman’s voice to a male-dominated medium.

When I moved to Washington, I was worried about establishing myself all over again. I found myself needing to experiment and push the boundaries of ideas and techniques, but materials were much more expensive than I was used to. I soon learned that there was funding available for individual artists through Artist Trust. I was awarded a Grant for Artist Projects (GAP) in 2014 and a Fellowship in 2015, both of which provided time, materials, and most importantly, confidence and independence to push my work to a new phase.

I was later asked to share my experience through Artist Trust’s EDGE Professional Development Program for visual artists and another for senior students at Cornish College of the Arts. Being an artist requires courage at any level, but it’s especially daunting to balance tuition debt, housing, and an arts practice just out of school. It’s impressive to see this organization going further than just giving money by equipping artists with business skills. Artist Trust is currently developing an expansion of this program for colleges throughout the state.

It’s vital for artists to have a system of support to provide the resources needed to cultivate their talent and potential. I feel more responsibility than ever to give back to this wonderful organization, which is why I’m asking you to consider making a gift to Artist Trust today. Your generosity ensures that Washington State continues to be a community with artists at its heart.

Sincerely,

Humaira Abid

Humaira Abid (Renton) picks up ordinary images from everyday life and makes them extraordinary. Her basic interest is situations in ‘relationships’ and their after effects. Some of her work is humorous, some ironical. Her themes are timeless. The presentation is contemporary. She turns, carves, constructs in wood and combines it with different mediums with great skill and detailing. Abid is one of a small number of female sculptors to rise to the top of her field. Her commitment to her artistic career is illustrated by her continuous pursuit and participation in art residencies, art exhibitions, symposiums and workshops.

Abid’s work has been reviewed by the Seattle Times, the Stranger, KUOW Public Radio, the Seattle Weekly and the Huffington Post. She has appeared in the Stranger’s Arts & Performances Quarterly magazine, Sculptural Pursuit, American Art Collector magazine and in-flight magazine of AIR INDIA. Documentaries have been produced on Abid’s work by PBS KCTS9 TV Chanel and Bellevue Arts Museum, WA, USA.