County: King County
Fellowship Awards 2009
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Rachel Brumer has had three nonverbal careers. After receiving an interdisciplinary degree from Mills College, and a short break to dance with Ringling Brothers Circus, her creative life began as a professional modern dancer. After an additional degree from Seattle Central Community College, she became an interpreter of American Sign Language, and has been working as a visual artist for the past 19 years. Her work is in the collections of the Seattle Art Museum, the Tacoma Art Museum, the University of Washington Special Collections, the Seattle Arts Commission, Washington State Arts Commission, Harborview Hospital, the Museum of Arts and Design, as well as numerous private collections.
Rachel also received GAP Awards in 1997 and 2000.
As part of her Fellowship’s Meet the Artist requirements, Rachel presented her work to residents at Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women in Belfair. She spoke about the impetus for ideas for techniques she uses in artmaking, and the idea of expressing ideas visually that we may not want to verbalize. She discussed her long-term project of visiting cemeteries in Washington State and making quilts that pay tribute to women whose markers she has seen. Rachel reports, “One young woman told me that when I was talking about this she got goose bumps. Her mother had died when she was 15 years old, and she had been responsible for her funeral. She was considering making a tribute collage to her mother so that she could show friends and relatives, and was thinking about ways to translate her mother’s life into visual imagery.”