Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Hanako O’Leary (Seattle) 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.

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

This award will certainly give me the financial boost needed to build upon my artistic professionalism. But it also gives me the confidence that my creative vision and the hard work that goes into it is seen and valued in this city. It feeds my desire to keep making.

Hanako O’Leary