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Blake Chamberlain

County: King County




Grants for Artist Projects 2016
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Blake Chamberlain is an innovative and colorful artist who has lived in the the Seattle metro area for over a year. Originally from the Finger Lakes Region in New York state, he has been painting for most of his life and has developed a fearless and energetic style. His detailed portraits combine elements of intricate line and pattern which maintain tonal differences and create the facial structure of the subject. This work goes beyond simple representation and slows down the viewing of the art – creating a thoughtful pause to explore all of the details of the portrait. As a transgender man, he is strongly attuned to social issues – in the LGBTQ communities and beyond – and he often incorporates those themes into his artwork. Chamberlain has completed multiple portrait series which celebrate the lives of historical figures who worked for social change against the tide of society in the 19th and 20th centuries, and is branching into work that centers on larger issues of identity and gender.  

Blake received 2016 GAP funding for Transgender American History. This project will consist of ten acrylic on canvas portraits, each honoring a notable figure of American transgender history – activists who have tirelessly worked for the social justice and basic civil rights of transgender persons or those whose tragic death spurred and has come to symbolize important transgender activist movements.



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Image: Peggy Piacenza, 2024 Fellowship Recipient

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