Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Juan Alonso-Rodríguez is a Cuban-born, self-taught artist with a career spanning over three decades in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been exhibited throughout the US and is included in the permanent collections of the Tacoma Art Museum, Portland Art Museum, Henry Art Gallery, Microsoft, Vulcan, Swedish & Harborview Hospitals and General Mills, among others. He has created public works for Century Link Field, Sea/Tac Airport, King County Housing Authority, Epiphany School, Sound Transit, Chief Sealth High School, and Renton Technical College. Besides a 2019 Artist Trust Fellowship, his awards include two GAP’s, the 1997 Neddy Fellowship, a 2010 Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award, the 2016 DeJunius Hughes Award for Activism, and the 2017 Conductive Garboil Grant.

From 1989 until its closing in 2013, Juan was represented by Francine Seders Gallery. He is now locally self-represented in his Pioneer Square studio where he also shows the work of POC, women, LGBTQ, and immigrant artists, and hosts fundraisers for various non-profit organizations. He is represented in the Bay Area by SLATE Contemporary, Oakland and by Jorge Mendez Gallery in Palm Springs, CA.

For as long as he has been making art, Juan has been involved in the artistic community as a vocal advocate for the arts and artists, particularly for those with less privilege. He has been instrumental in developing and encouraging business training for artists with various local arts organizations. Juan is currently a Seattle Arts Commissioner and serves on the city’s Public Art Advisory Committee.

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

While many people in their sixties in other professions may be thinking about retirement, as an artist I am thinking on how to continue to be able to make work and always try to get better at it. I am more excited about art making than ever in my career. While the creative confidence is personally there, the multi-facetted boost that getting this Fellowship provides is priceless. I am in this creative process for the long haul, which means that on-going support, financial and otherwise, is crucial in order to maintain longevity and relevance.

The most basic need met is the peace of mind of knowing that studio rent is paid for a period of time and my concentration is focused on creating and further exploring my possibilities.

I am aware of just how many extremely talented artists live and work in Washington State and how competitive it often feels in order to stay afloat so I am deeply thankful and honored to be in the company of this year’s and past recipients of this beautiful award.

With grace and gratitude,

Juan Alonso-Rodríguez