Home > Grantees > Hanako O’Leary

Hanako O’Leary

County: King County




GAP Award 2018
Learn About GAP Award


Hanako O’Leary was raised by her Japanese mother and American father. She grew up roaming the suburbs of Suburban Chicago. Every year, for two months during the summer holiday, her mother would take her and her siblings back to their ancestral home in Hiroshima, Japan. Hanako attended this annual pilgrimage until the year she turned 18. This deeply influenced her spiritual beliefs and aesthetic.

Spending most of her life on American soil, but within a Japanese house, Hanako learned to bridge these identities and tell her story through art. By creating ceramic sculptures and drawings, she employs traditional Japanese imagery to narrate her modern American story. She has spent the last year at Seward Park Clay studio making ceramic works inspired by Japanese folktales.

Hanako received 2018 GAP Award funding to hire a professional photographer to capture the spiritual power of her sculptures and will use the images to pitch to galleries for a solo show.

Artist External Links


Featured Works

Support Artists

We work hard serving thousands of individual artists across Washington State each year, but we can’t do it without you! Learn how you can support artists year-round.

2021 Artist Trust Grants for Artists' Progress Recipient Andrew Creech

Learn More