Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Humaira Abid (Renton) spent her formative years in Lahore, Pakistan. Challenging the artistic media traditional for women, Abid studied Sculpture and miniature painting at the National College of the Arts in Lahore and graduated with honours in 2000. Abid’s commitment to her artistic career is illustrated by her continuous participation in gallery and museum exhibitions, residencies, fairs, biennials, symposiums and workshops around the world. She has been reviewed in numerous publications and the subject of multiple documentaries including the NW Emmy Nominated ‘Heartwood’. Now based in the Pacific-Northwest, she still maintains a studio in Lahore, with frequent guest lecturing and gallery shows in Pakistan. Through her work, Abid pushes the boundaries acceptable for women within Pakistan, while challenging preconceptions about Pakistani culture as her work is exhibited on the global stage. 

"I chose wood as my primary medium to bring a woman’s voice and point of view to this male-dominated medium. Currently, I often blend South-Asian miniature painting, created painstakingly with brushes as small as a single hair, with carved sculpture and installation to create surreal environments that contain many shades of meaning and symbolism. I use my work to talk about social issues and stereotypes, particularly taboos and overlooked issues." said Humaira Abid, 2018 Art Innovator Award Recipient. "I feel as an artist, it’s our responsibility to educate and be a voice for these things. With the added layer of my global perspective as an artist who works in both Pakistan and the United States, I often explore themes from women’s lives that are rarely openly acknowledged in the world of fine art – miscarriage, family, relationships, violence and freedom. I don’t know anyone working in wood and miniature painting that have combined both mediums and present them the way I do. My goal is always to push the boundaries of these mediums and concepts. I have already surprised so many people and have no doubt in my mind that I will always be exploring the possibilities that many consider impossible." 

Abid’s work has been reviewed by the Seattle Times, the Stranger, KUOW Public Radio, the Seattle Weekly and the Huffington Post. She has appeared in the Stranger’s Arts & Performances Quarterly magazine, Sculptural Pursuit, American Art Collector magazine and in-flight magazine of AIR INDIA. Documentaries have been produced on Abid's work by PBS KCTS9 TV Chanel and Bellevue Arts Museum, WA, USA.

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

All the grants and awards i have received in the past have contributed in my growth as an artist but the AIA award is not just a financial support to push the boundaries even more and do the unthinkable - It is also a validation of the journey i started twenty two years ago against the wishes of my family and the society.

I am thrilled, humbled and honored to receive this prestigious award - it's a recognition of my passion and the mission to open taboos, fight for the weak, vulnerable and start a conversation - which i believe is beginning of a change.

Humaira Abid