Support Artists / Meet the Artists

Meet the artists we support

Read about some of the emerging and established musicians, visual artists, writers, dancers, craft artists, filmmakers and cross-disciplinary artists that we support.

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Artist Name

Gary Hill, Guilt (detail), mixed media, 2006. photo: David Regen

Gary Hill

  • 2011 Arts Innovator Special Recognition Award
About the Artist

Gary Hill (Seattle) has worked with a broad range of media including sculpture, sound, video, writing, installation and performance. He has had solo exhibitions in major museums throughout the world and received numerous awards and honors, most notably, fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations; the Leone d’Oro Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Award, the Kurt-Schwitters-Prize and most recently, The Stranger’s Genius Award in film. Hill has received honorary doctorates from The Academy of Fine Arts Poznan, Poland (2005) and Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle (2011).

Gary also received Artist Trust Fellowships in 1988 and 2002.

Read a special letter from Gary about the impact of supporting art at its source.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.

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Artist Name

Pat Graney

  • 2003 Grants for Artist Projects
  • 2011 Arts Innovator Award
About the Artist

Choreographer Pat Graney (Seattle) began showing work at the (then) new entity On The Boards in 1979. Since then Graney has developed and performed a wide range of works that bridge disciplines and communities. Pat has received Choreography Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts for 11 consecutive years, as well as from Artist Trust, the Washington State Arts Commission, the NEA International Program, and National Corporate Fund for Dance and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 2008, she was awarded both the Alpert Award and a US Artists Award in Dance. She is a 2013 recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Award and a National Dance Project grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts. Her work has been featured in Showcase and CityArts magazines.

Pat received a 2003 GAP to pay rehearsal fees for The Vivian Girls. Artist Henry Darger inspired the proposed new work. Darger’s work was discovered in his apartment after his death and consisted of many large-scale watercolor paintings and a 15,000 page text describing the trials and tribulations of “the Vivian girls” in the Realms of the Unreal. As in Tattoo, Pat's full-length performance, she hoped to create with The Vivian Girls “an entirely new movement vocabulary.”

Pat also received a Fellowships in 1994 and 2002, GAPs in 1991 and 1994, and a 1997 President’s Award.

Read a special letter from Pat about the impact of supporting art at its source.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.

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Artist Name

Claire Cowie

  • 2009 Grants for Artist Projects
  • 2004 Fellowship
About the Artist

Claire Cowie (Seattle) received her BFA in Drawing and Printmaking from Washington University in St. Louis in 1997, and her MFA in Printmaking from the University of Washington in 1999. She is locally represented by James Harris Gallery. Recent work includes an exhibition of sculpture at Cherry de los Reyes Gallery, a residency and exhibition at Henry Art Gallery, and a solo show of collage work at James Harris Gallery (as reviewed in Art Forum). Cowie was also awarded the 2004 Neddy Artist Fellowship from the Behnke Foundation and her work was featured in a 2004 exhibition at Tacoma Art Museum that highlighted work from Neddy Fellowship recipients over the prior ten years.

Claire received a 2009 GAP to cover materials and print studio fees required for producing a series of etchings. Claire intends on creating “Panorama War,” a series of six etchings that thematically and visually connect to each another as one panoramic scene. Claire wants to produce a small edition of prints that depict a narrative structure that is tied by a continuous horizon and repeated elements that incorporate as subject matter the perceived confusion of boundaries and the chaos of personal identity resulting from war.  Inspired by Goya’s set of aquatint prints Los Desastres De la Guerra and the nation’s current relationship with various global conflicts, Claire has returned to her original media of printmaking to achieve this new body of work.

Claire also received a 2000 GAP.

Read a special letter from Claire and her husband, artist Leo Berk, about the impact of supporting art at its source.

Update from the Artist: Claire's work was chosen to be in the King County Public Art Collection for their portable arts collection.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.

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Artist Name

Harold Taw

  • 2007 Grants for Artist Projects
  • 2009 EDGE Professional Development Program
About the Artist

Seattle writer Harold Taw’s debut novel, Adventures of the Karaoke King (Amazon Encore 2011), is a karaoke grail quest about people who keep falling just short of their dreams. A participant in the 2009 Artist Trust EDGE Program for Writers and the 2011 Jack Straw Writers Program, Harold received an Artist Trust GAP to research his second novel Saturday’s Child, garnered accolades for his screenplay Dog Park, and had his work featured on National Public Radio and in a New York Times bestselling anthology. Harold graduated from Yale Law School and as a Fulbright Scholar studied prostitution and the AIDS epidemic in rural Thailand.

Read a special letter from Harold about being a creative catalyst.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.

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Artist Name

Miho Takekawa

  • 2005 Fellowship
  • 2008 Centrum Residency
About the Artist

Miho Takekawa (Spokane County) is an accomplished marimba performer and arranger playing Japanese folk music mixed with jazz and Latin rhythms. Her unusual style has taken her all over the world as a performer and arranger and provided her the opportunity to play with some of the best musical talent in the Northwest. While completing her MA at the University of Washington, Takekawa received the Boeing Scholarship for excellence in percussion performance three years in a row. Originally from Tokyo, she received her BA in percussion performance and music education at Kunitachi School of Music in Tokyo and has been playing percussion for operas, musicals, symphonies, percussion ensembles, ethnic music ensembles, and jazz bands in both Japan and the United States for many years. In addition to her own releases, Takekawa has performed with various groups, including Orchestra Seattle, Philharmonia Orchestra Northwest, Contemporary Chamber Composer and Player, Seattle Creative Orchestra, and Akoma, a West African drum ensemble.

As part of her Fellowship’s Meet the Artist requirements, Miho held a CD release concert at the Ethnic Cultural Theater in Seattle with her band, the Miho & Diego Duo. The 30 audience members (who braved a major snowstorm to attend) were treated to a program featuring original compositions as well as covers, combining Japanese folk music with Andean and other South American music.

Read a special letter from Miho about how Artist Trust changed her life.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.

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Artist Name

photo: Chase Jarvis

Lynn Shelton

  • 2005 Paul Goode Ireland Residency
About the Artist

Lynn Shelton (Seattle) got her start as an experimental and documentary filmmaker before writing and directing her first feature-length film, We Go Way Back, which surprised everyone (herself included) by winning the Grand Jury Award at the 2006 Slamdance Film Festival. Her second feature film, My Effortless Brilliance, was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Atlanta Film Festival. Humpday, her third feature, premiered to critical acclaim at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and has been distributed internationally by Magnolia Pictures. In 2008 she received a Seattle Magazine Spotlight Award, and in 2009 the magazine flattered her as one of the Most Influential People of the Year. In 2009 she was also featured on the front page of The New York Times’ Arts & Leisure section. In 2010, she was honored with the John Cassavetes Award at the Film Independent’s Spirit Awards, and wrapped the MTV series, $5 cover, showcasing Seattle’s hottest up-and-coming bands. Most recently, her film Your Sister’s Sister won Best Ensemble Performance at the Gotham Independent Film Awards (2012).

Read a special letter from Lynn about the impact of supporting art at its source.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.

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Artist Name

Jim Woodring

  • 2003 Grants for Artist Projects
  • 2008 Fellowship
About the Artist

Jim Woodring (Seattle) has made great sacrifices in order to keep a clear view down the corridor of his years so he may not forget the glorious confusion of his early youth. He heard voices, saw apparitions, and experienced awful paranoia, which have all become basis for his artwork. Jim has been exhibited in Australia, France, Japan, The Netherlands, Germany, and Seattle, and his artwork has been used for United States Artists' holiday greeting.

Jim received a 2003 GAP to purchase a Halley easel, a halogen floor lamp, a taboret, sable brushes, brush cleaner, and paint. “For the past ten years I have been creating a series of charcoal drawings representing various aspects of a personal vision which I have nurtured and exploited since childhood.” In 2001, Woodring began to make oil paintings based on these drawings. He used the equipment and supplies purchased with grant funding to begin Worse and Worse, the crucial image from the series of drawings.

As part of his Fellowship’s Meet the Artist requirements, Jim presented his first full-length graphic novel, Weathercraft, to students and faculty in the Fine Arts Department at Washington State University in Pullman. He showed the novel page-by-page and gave a narrative explanation of the story. He also spent considerable time talking about Artist Trust and urging students to learn about the organization.

See a special thank-you note to Artist Trust that only Jim could create.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.

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Artist Name

photo: Marc Von Borstel

Olivier Wevers

  • 2008 Fellowship
About the Artist

Olivier Wevers (Seattle) spent the past 17 years of his life as a classical ballet dancer, performing in Columbia City Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet. As a choreographer, he seeks to transform established traditional vocabulary and present ballet in a new perspective. Olivier’s Shindig expands the manipulation of classic choreography to other elements of the performance including interpretations of the tutu and eliminating performance structure in favor of series vignettes that played out in front of an audience like flipping through a photo album.

Wevers was the recepient of a 2012 Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award, and in 2013 he was featured on the Seattle Channel's Art Zone and voted Best Freelance Choreographer in the Seattle Weekly Readers' Poll.

Read a special letter from Olivier about being a creative catalyst.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.

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Artist Name

Leo Berk

  • 2010 Arts Innovator Award
  • 2006 Grants for Artist Projects
  • 2013 Fellowship
  • 2014 Grants for Artist Projects
About the Artist

Leo Berk (Seattle) received a BFA from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, in 1997, and an MFA from the University of Washington, Seattle, in 1999. His work has been shown in solo exhibitions at the Seattle Art Museum, Lawrimore Project, the Lee Center, and Howard House in Seattle, cherrydelosreyes in Los Angeles, and the Bellevue Art Museum. His work has been included in shows at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Galleri Erik Steen in Oslo, Edward Cella in Los Angeles, d.u.m.b.o. Arts Center in Brooklyn, Tacoma Art Museum, Marylhurst University in Portland, and California State University, Long Beach. Leo has been honored with grants and awards by the Seattle Art Commission and 4Culture and was the recipient of the 2013 Betty Bowen Award. His work has been published in Art in America, Art Ltd., LA Times, Modern Painters, The Seattle Times, The Seattle Post Intelligencer, The Stranger, and Seattle Weekly, and has been acquired by such public collections as the Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Frye Art Museum, University of Washington, City of Seattle, King County, Amgen Corporation, and the United States Department of Navy.

Leo received a 2014 GAP for beginning and advanced welding classes and for the purchase of a small, quality MIG welder kit.

Leo received a 2006 GAP for the purchase of materials and processes that will make possible a large-scale architectural work. In the past, Leo has created works for private clients, by commission, and to their specifications. “I would like to use this grant to free myself from the limitations of the commission relationship that has in the past made this [scale of] work possible. I am proposing, in essence, to commission myself to develop a…work to be shown at a public, non-profit venue.”

Leo also received a 2001 GAP and 2002 Fellowship.

Update from the Artist: Leo's work was chosen to be in the King County Public Art Collection for their portable arts collection.

Read a special letter from Leo and his wife, artist Claire Cowie, about the impact of supporting art at its source.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.

See artist profile+