Since 1986, Artist Trust is proud to have forged long, meaningful relationships with artists throughout their careers, strengthening Washington State’s creative community. This fall, we are proud to spotlight just a few of the thousands of artists who have become a vital part of the Artist Trust community – as grant recipients, workshop participants, teachers, mentors and panelists.
Writer Laura Lucas first encountered Artist Trust through our EDGE program in 2012, and this year, her Artist Trust experience came full circle, serving on the 2018 GAP Literary panel after receiving a GAP herself in 2017. We caught up with her to hear how Artist Trust has impacted her career, and why artist support is more crucial than ever.
When you support our fall fund drive before December 31, you ensure that artists like Laura have what they need to take risks, fuel change, and lead Washington State’s creative community bravely into the future. Give now!
How did you first hear about Artist Trust?
I know it was the EDGE program that I heard about first, but I can’t quite remember where. It might have been at Hugo House. I spent a lot of time there!
As an EDGE graduate, GAP recipient, and a recent GAP panelist, what keeps you coming back to Artist Trust? What programs have been particularly meaningful to you?
It was EDGE that brought me to the point of feeling confident enough to introduce myself to people as a writer. That meant so much to me! It was taking my dream and making it real for the first time. Even today, I still feel a little thrill when I say it.
How did it feel to be on a GAP panel this year after receiving a GAP yourself in 2017?
Being selected for GAP was another big step because my project was one of the biggest that I’d ever considered attempting. And being a panelist was an affirmation that I knew enough about writing as an art and a pursuit that my opinion would have value to other practitioners, as well as a chance to give someone else that same lift that I’d gotten to experience - that moment when the dream blooms into reality. I was thrilled to be able to take part in that.
How has Artist Trust impacted your experience as an artist over time and through evolving stages of your career?
Even now, I still keep in touch with most of the members of my original EDGE cohort! We go to each other’s readings and events, we support each other when and where we can, and it’s been amazing to watch everyone grow and change. For myself, Artist Trust has been a source of support but also a resource for goals - what else do I want to apply for? What are my next steps and milestones? Whose careers are inspiring to me? It keeps me looking forward to who I want to be, what I want to do, tomorrow and next week and five years from now.
Why do you think folks should support individual artists right now?
Art is always going to be a lens to see the world through. Maybe it will magnify one tiny piece into a mural big enough to cover the side of a house. Maybe it will capture an entire cityscape clearly on a surface the size of a bottle cap. Or maybe it will show you your very own street with a filter that reveals the worms under your lawn, the grains of sand that formed your windows, or the ghosts passing unnoticed through your walls.
Whatever you’re seeing began as the vision of one person - a view, an idea, a memory. And that person was not getting paid, in most cases, to have and execute and creatively embellish that vision. Artists do the work first and then see the profits, if any. But we need to eat and pay rent and go places, just like everyone else. If you see and hear work that you like, the best thing you can do is buy something, donate a little money, and tell venues you want to see more! Don’t let that artist whose work moves you be the artist who has to give up their dream in order to survive. Every artist’s work is not for everyone. But every artist’s work appeals to someone. If that someone is you, make sure there will be more of that work.