News / Blog

Artist Profile Series: Cathy McClure

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Photo courtesy of the artist

Cathy McClure is a Seattle-based artist whose work explores the elegance of the inner mechanisms of toys and the implications of disposable culture. Her work has been featured in exhibitions regionally, nationally, and internationally, and in late 2017, her solo show Dispossessed, opened at Seattle’s Center on Contemporary Art.

Cathy is best known for her creation of Bots, stripped-down versions of motor-based children’s toys that she then casts in bronze and sterling silver. She has been creating Bots since 2003, when she began exploring ways to combine her interests in metalsmithing and toys. “I never lost my interest in toys,” says Cathy on what inspired her to work with Bots. “Toys help to form the way we learn about our world and how we fit in it.”

In 2014, Cathy received an Artist Trust Fellowship. Funding from the award helped her create Mickey: Hardwired, an interactive installation that appeared at METHOD Gallery in 2014. The installation features the inner mechanisms of nearly 50 deconstructed Mickey Mouse toys hardwired together, something Cathy admits is “a difficult monetary sell (who has space for 50 bots cavorting in their home?) … and difficult work for most galleries to take on.”

Her most recent solo show, Dispossessed, opened at Seattle’s Center on Contemporary Art in December 2017. The exhibition featured a series of new bots Cathy had created and covered with gold leaf, marking a slight departure from her previous work. “Making the objects precious through the application of gold leaf was an obvious next step in my mind,” she explains. “Gold = money. Who would ‘throw away’ money?”

Cathy currently works as the Lead Artist for the expansion of the Washington State Convention Center, where she is helping create a context-sensitive art program for the project. She is also contributing new work for upcoming group exhibitions at Gallery One in Ellensburg and METHOD Gallery, as well as creating works for a future solo exhibition at Edelman Arts in New York.

Asked if she has any advice for artists applying for upcoming Artist Trust grants, Cathy says, “Document your work, take your job seriously and don’t let anyone ever tell you to ‘Get a real job’. Listen to your voice, constantly ask for advice, seek feedback and keep applying because you can’t win anything if you don’t apply. Most of all, never give up.”

To learn more about Cathy and her current projects, check out her website.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She has been writing for the Artist Trust blog since July 2017 and loves learning more about Washington State’s arts communities.

Take the 2018 Annual Artist Survey!

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager


Since 2015, Artist Trust has invited artists to share their thoughts, opinions, and ideas through our Annual Artist Survey. In just three years, we’ve gained a deeper understanding of who Washington State’s artists are, what their needs are, and how we can better support their careers. This knowledge helps us build responsive programming and create new opportunities to support, connect, and advocate for artists.

Each year we share the survey results with peer arts organizations and community partners to help them better serve artists living and working across the state. If you’re interested in viewing the results of our previously conducted surveys, click here.

We want to hear from you!

Take the 2018 Annual Artist Survey at
Responses will be collected until August 24, 2018, 11:59 PST.

Responses are recorded anonymously. Upon completing the survey, you may opt to provide your email address for a chance to win a $100 gift card to a store of your choice.

We cannot emphasize how crucial it is for us to hear from artists of all disciplines, geographies, cultures, and ethnicities. Help us spread the word and share this invitation to your network of artist communities.

If you have any questions about our Annual Artist Survey, contact Katy at

Artist Profile Series: Season Evans

Cicelia Ross-Gotta

Content Contributor

Season Evans, So Much Has Changed Since The Last Time We Spoke, 2017. Photo: Meagan West Photography

In 2017, Season Evans of Seattle received a Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) award to cover the costs of producing three new full size quilts for a series she is working on that explores color, form, and technique. A total of four quilts will be exhibited in a group show at James May Gallery in Algoma, Wisconsin, which will run through the month of September 2018.

A self-taught quilter originally from Reading, Pennsylvania, Season grew up near Amish and Mennonite communities and has always been inspired by the traditional Amish and Mennonite quilt patterns, colors, and techniques. She taught herself to quilt and started exhibiting her work in 2013.

Shaped in part by her background in writing, Season views her quilts as sculptural storytelling objects, with both sides held in equal regard. “Like there are two sides to every story, there are two sides to a quilt,” she says. The fronts of her quilts feature beautiful and precise hand pieced patterns with simple contrasting white and solid colors. The backs of her quilts are a reaction to the front, are more free form or collage-like, and introduce additional colors and patterned fabrics.

So what story is she interested in telling? As she has lived in several different cities including Seattle, Philadelphia, and New York, Season explains that she felt like she always has one foot out of the door, and so the theme of migration manifests in her quilts. Through pattern and design she contemplates the search for and sense of place in a transient environment and the reconciliation of that constant movement.  By marrying contemporary content and design with traditional quilting techniques and patterns, she says she is trying to bring two sides together.

When asked what challenges she faces as an artist, once again, Season navigates two sides - the art world and the world of craft. While there is growing acceptance and acknowledgment of fiber-based art in more traditional fine art settings, quilts or other craft based mediums have been historically dismissed as below other art forms because of their functionality. This divide or hierarchy between art and craft has made it difficult for her to break into some gallery settings.

Seasons’ meticulously sewn quilts are the product of her stunning craftspersonship, clean minimal design and relevant content – obviously at home in any more conventional art setting.

Look for Season’s work on display locally later this month at the Bellevue Arts Museum’s BAM ARTSfair.

Cicelia Ross-Gotta is a visual artist originally from Kansas. She lives in Seattle and loves to hike with her husband, daughter and black lab.

Reporting on Changes to the 2018 Fellowship Awards Selection Process

Brian McGuigan

Program Director

Salome MC, Lost Childhood, single channel video, 2013.

On June 18, we announced the recipients of the 2018 Fellowship Awards, 16 unrestricted awards of $7,500 to practicing professional artists of exceptional talent and ability residing in Washington State.

This year, we made a few changes to Fellowship based on feedback from artists, including opening the awards to artists of all disciplines and removing disciplinary categories from the application and selection processes. The intent behind these changes was to be more responsive to artists’ needs by creating a more equitable and inclusive process.

Prior to 2018, the eligible disciplinary categories rotated with literary, craft, media, and music artists eligible in even-numbered years, and visual, traditional / folk, performing, and emerging fields / cross-disciplinary eligible in odd-numbered years. Through opening Fellowship to artists of all disciplines, we eliminated the disciplinary categories and replaced them with an open-ended discipline statement where artists could define their practice in their own words.

In previous years, when the awards rotated disciplines, the number of awards was based on the number of applicants in each discipline. This meant the majority of funding would go to visual artists and writers. Cross-disciplinary, interdisciplinary, traditional / folk, and music artists were given the fewest number of awards, and artists who worked in multiple disciplines were challenged by having to choose one disciplinary category in which their work was reviewed.

Applicants were asked to give feedback on the application process after submitting to Fellowship, and the responses were incredibly positive. Nearly 70% of applicants preferred the discipline statement, and less than 3% said they missed the old checkboxes. Two-thirds of applicants used one or more of our support services, such as Office Hours, the Fellowship webinar, pre-application review, the reference guide, and workshops, and it showed in the quality of the applications. One panelist said, “I get invited to do a lot of panels regionally and nationally, and this pool was one of the most competitive I’ve seen.”

We wanted to create a more equitable distribution of awards, and in this first year, we achieved that. Looking at this year’s Fellowship recipients, 14 of 16 were artists of color, and six of 16 were from outside of King County, from Port Townsend to Pullman. Twelve identified as female, three as male, and one as genderqueer. The recipients work in a range of disciplines with several working across multiple disciplines or with different mediums. Artists working in traditionally underrepresented practices in Fellowship funding, such as dance and music, also received support.

We will continue to experiment with our application and selection processes in Fellowship and other awards in response to feedback from artists and in an effort to make our programs more open, transparent, and artist-focused.

If you have questions or comments about our grantmaking process, please be in touch at

Artist Profile Series: May Kytonen

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

May Kytonen, Close/Divide, newspaper, rice paper, gold leaf, 8' x 7'

May Kytonen is a Seattle-based artist from Spokane, who uses fibers and recycled materials to explore Asian American identity and connection. Her work has appeared in exhibitions at galleries and arts spaces throughout Eastern Washington and Idaho, including Saranac Art Projects, Confluence Gallery (Twisp), and Emerge Gallery (Idaho), as well as 2017’s ACES: Artists of Color Expo & Symposium in Seattle.

May first became interested in fiber art while studying at the University of Washington. On a whim, May says, she signed up for an intermediate fibers course. “I battled with this loom in the basement of the art building - I just remember these late nights getting SO frustrated with tangled threads and things not going how I planned, and I swore I would never, ever weave again,” she recalls. “Yet in those intense emotions, I found a part of me actually really liked fibers - how they demand your time, your investment.”

In 2017, May received a Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) award to cover material costs and volunteer honorariums for Close/Divide, an installation that appeared at Spokane’s Saranac Art Projects in 2018. Inspiration for the project came from a piece May created in 2012 as part of a series using newspaper yarn to explore what she describes as her “tangled relationship between cultures.” May had several friends help her make yarn for the initial project and says, “I thought it was fascinating how even the yarn had a different personality depending on who made it, and also the symbolism of a community coming together to make a piece.

This emphasis on community inspired May to expand the initial piece into a large-scale project reflecting the connections within the Asian American community in Spokane. “I asked some friends in the Asian American community here in Spokane to help me make yarn, and it was during these yarn making get-togethers that we chatted about what being a person of color in Spokane was like.”

In addition to helping her complete the project, May says receiving the GAP award bolstered her confidence in her work. “Receiving the GAP was the first time I had this inkling that I could do it, that I could actually be an artist and share my thoughts and processes with the world,” she explains. “There is something super affirming about people coming around you, supporting your work and saying, ‘yes your story and your voice matters.’”

Asked if she has any advice for artists applying for awards like GAP, May says, “attend every Artist Trust event you can. The workshops and seminars they offer helped me grow tremendously as an artist. Secondly, don’t be afraid to get feedback and ask for help.”

To learn more about May and her current projects, check out her website.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She has been writing for the Artist Trust blog since July 2017 and loves learning more about Washington State’s arts communities.

Artist Profile Series: David Jaewon Oh

Megan Gallagher

Communications Intern

David Jaewon Oh, Stacia, 13" x 18", 2015.

David Jaewon Oh is a Seattle-based photographer whose work has appeared in VSCO, Float Photo Magazine, Runner’s World, Good Sport Magazine, and publications for the University of Washington Alumni Association. His first solo exhibition, Combatants, opened at Gallery4Culture in early 2017 and featured selected works from David’s series of the same title, which documents female boxers and the gyms where they train.

David first became interested in the stories of female boxers while training at boxing gyms in the early- to mid-2000s. At many of the gyms he visited, David noticed that there was only one woman on the fight team, and that these women would always “stick around for the longest time.” This tenacity in the ring and at the gym made David wonder what drove them to train as fighters, and eventually served as the inspiration for Combatants when he launched the project in 2012.

Throughout his work for Combatants, David has aimed to add nuance to his photographs by interviewing the fighters he works with and using their stories to create a unique visual narrative for each one. “It’s always fascinating because everyone has a little bit of a different story than the person that I worked with previously,” says David. “My job is to not only take photographs of these people but to sift through the stories they tell me and create this identity that is suitable for them.”

In 2016, David received a GAP award to help with the production of the Combatants exhibition at Gallery4Culture in Seattle. Beyond the funding, David says receiving the GAP helped legitimize the work he’s done for Combatants and has made it easier for him to continue the series in a way that is meaningful to him and the fighters. “It was one of my dreams to receive some type of grant for this project,” he says. “I never intended to make this project to profit off of it or anything like that, but sometimes you do need that recognition or that foundation, and when I got that GAP grant, it really relieved me because I felt like I was doing something right.”

In addition to several commercial projects, David is currently working on expanding Combatants to include more women’s stories and says he plans to continue working on the project for as long as possible. His long-term hope for the project is that it will one day serve as an archive reflecting the women who are paving the way for future generations of female fighters.

David’s advice for artists applying for the 2018 GAP Awards is to, “Be yourself, do not give in, and just try. I was pretty timid about putting my application in to the GAP grant or anything in general, but you’re not going to know until you submit it whether you’re going to get it or not.”

To learn more about David and his current projects, visit his website.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She has been writing for the Artist Trust blog since July 2017 and loves learning more about Washington State’s arts communities.

Artist Profile Series: Patti Warashina

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Photo: Erika Enomoto, 2018

Located in the Eastlake neighborhood of Seattle is the home and studio of 2002 Twining Humber Award and 2013 Grants for Artist Projects award recipient, Patti Warashina. I met with her at the concrete block and corrugated steel studio, which she built with her late husband and respected Pacific Northwest ceramic artist, Robert “Bob” Sperry.

The studio has a stunning view of Lake Union and Gas Works Park with an open air patio, housing a small koi pond and a lush garden of potted plants. “When we got together, Bob wanted to build a studio, so we looked for three years around Lake Union. He said ‘where do you want to go?’ and I said, ‘Let’s go down here because it’s cheap.’ It was cheap! Nobody wanted to live down here because it was a bunch of hippies.” As we touched upon hot conversation topics, including Seattle’s ever increasing cost of living, rising rents and property taxes, and the mass exodus of long-term, often elder residents that can no longer afford to live here, Patti exclaimed, “I don’t want to, nor can I move. I just want to die here!”

Masae Patricia “Patti” Warashina was born in Spokane in 1940. Her mother was a nisei (second generation) Japanese-American, and her father emigrated from Japan when he was 17 years old. Patti describes the Spokane of her childhood as, “A very conservative town and there wasn’t a lot of art around.”

Living in Eastern Washington during WWII, she and her family were not among those forcibly moved and relocated to internment camps because, geographically, they didn’t pose a threat. “We weren’t sending signals to Japan using mirrors or smoke signals. But all my relatives that lived on the West Coast had to go and they were shipped all over the country to camps. My aunt went to a camp in Arkansas. She was a dietitian, who’s trade could be utilized in the camps, so she was separated from all her friends in Tacoma.” Patti’s uncle, a Japanese-American and a professor of mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois, specializing in air conditioning, was contracted to work on a project with Boeing and was assigned a bodyguard while working on the West Coast for his safety.

That isn’t to say that life was easy for the Warashina family and other Japanese in Spokane during the war. They suffered hardships, including not being able to take out any money from the bank because their accounts were frozen. Patti’s father practiced dentistry and was a community leader for their relatively small Japanese-American community. This prompted the FBI to search his office and their home, which contained several steamer trunks filled with kimono and other Japanese textiles including a small souvenir Japanese flag. “If they had found it, my father might have been taken to prison,” said Patti. Some people were really kind to her family during that time, but it was still a pretty difficult time to be Japanese-American. “It’s like that Japanese saying ‘shikata ga nai,’ there’s nothing you can do about it so you just move forward.”

“Every once in a while I’ll do a piece on the Japanese internment; these ideas come spontaneously in my work. I did one called Tule Lake Retreat (2003), which was of a typical guard tower in the camps. It had this guy and his hat was the roof, he had these bulging eyes, and was holding a flashlight. It was all made with clay to look like a wood structure.”

When Patti was 10 years old, her father passed away so her mother raised her and her older brother and sister as a single parent. An immigrant to the United States, her father instilled in his children the value of a good education and hard work, and emphasized the importance of excelling at courses in math and science. Therefore, Patti didn’t even think of studying art until she moved to Seattle for college.

With the intention of majoring in a science field at the University of Washington, Patti enrolled in a drawing class as an elective course. “I didn’t even know what a charcoal stick was, but I thought ‘wow this is great!’ I’d stay after class and continue working on my drawings until late.” She continued taking drawing and design classes at the U, which eventually led to her discovery of ceramics. “I would walk past the ceramic studio and see people ‘throwing’ on the wheel and thought, ‘that looks kind of cool.’ Finally in my sophomore year, I took a ceramics class and then I never left.”

This first encounter with clay was all it took to get Patti hooked. She camped out at the ceramics studio and stayed there day and night, even taking extreme measures to evade the campus police on weekends. “The undergrads were supposed to be out of the building by 11 PM and we couldn’t work there on the weekends. I made friends with some painting grad students and they would let me in the building. There were these windows right off the quad that go into the basement. I would leave the window ajar, jump onto the lockers, then go to my studio in the basement. At night, I could hear the police coming and the jingling of their keys so I’d jump into the birch cupboards and hide. I heard the guy coming through the door and I watched as he stood there, looking around. The lights were still on and my wheel was still turning with wet clay all over it.”

In the 1960’s, Patti told her mother that she was thinking of going to graduate school to pursue a graduate degree in ceramics. Rather than trying to deter her, Patti’s mother responded with, “If you love something well enough, then you’ll probably do well in it. I support you.” Nearly six decades later, to anyone aspiring to pursue art as a career, Patti laughs and jokingly warns, “Don’t do it. Get a job. Get a life.”

As an accomplished artist who has spent over 55 years practicing and perfecting her craft, receiving the Twining Humber Award in 2002 was a special moment. “It’s a milestone. Anytime you get an award like that is pretty significant because someone recognizes that you have put time into your practice,” she shared.

On what continues to inspire and attract her to artmaking, Patti enthusiastically replied that, “Art is all about curiosity and problem solving. I think of my work in that way. I just need to see an idea or vision, and then I go into the studio and see if I can resolve it.” A few of Patti’s newest visions have come to fruition and featured in her solo exhibition Transitory Conversations at Mesa Contemporary Art Museum in Mesa, Arizona. Her most recently completed ceramic sculptures incorporate contemporary political leaders and issues in a satirical style.

Reflecting on the current socio-political environment, Patti acknowledged the importance of artists to continue making work especially in trying times when art, culture, and creativity are under threat. “Art has the capacity to nourish and heal, as well as give identity. I can’t imagine a life devoid of art. It would be empty and dead. I’m not sure why I make art, but for me it’s essential to my existence, like food.”

Patti’s work is currently on view in Transitory Conversations at Mesa Contemporary Art Museum in Mesa, Arizona until August 5, 2018. She is represented in Washington State by Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art Gallery. Recently, Patti received the 2018 United States Artist Fellowship. More information about her and her work can be found on her website.

Behind the Curtain: Grants for Artist Projects (GAP)

Megan Gallagher

Communications Intern

Sheila Klein, Linking Sarkhej Exhibition, 2013.

Since 1988, Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) has provided project-based funding for Washington State artists of all disciplines including Tatiana Pavela (2017 performing), Marilyn Montufar (2016 visual), Esther de Monteflores (2014 performing), Shaun Scott (2015 literary), Shin Yu Pai (2015 literary), Clyde Petersen (2013 media), Sheila Klein (2013 visual), Jenny Hyde (2010 visual), and Humaira Abid (2015 visual). The awards began as a complement to Artist Trust’s Fellowship program, and as a way to increase the amount of support available through the organization, providing smaller amounts of funding for a larger number of artists.

Thirty years later, GAP continues to support the creation, development, and completion of projects by Washington State artists of all disciplines and has grown into one of Artist Trust’s largest awards programs in terms of the number of awards available.

“[GAP is] an award intended to kick-start a new project or literally fill a gap in an existing project. It’s also a perfect entry-point grant for emerging artists into Artist Trust’s funding programs or for artists whose work hasn’t traditionally received grant support,” says Program Director Brian McGuigan on what makes GAP so important. “Many artists cite GAP as the first award they received, so the grant has a lineage of supporting many of the most accomplished artists in the state.”

In 2018, GAP will provide 61 awards of $1,500 for Washington State artists of all disciplines.

Application Process
Applications for the 2018 GAP are open to Washington State artists of all disciplines, including interdisciplinary, emerging, and traditional fields. Applications consist of a discipline statement (short description of the artist’s work and approach), biography, project description, project budget, resume, and work samples from the past three years.
Applications for each disciplinary category are reviewed by a three-person panel with expertise in that specific discipline. Panelists base their decisions on the artistic excellence demonstrated in the work samples and support materials, project clarity, and the likelihood that the project will be completed based on the project budget and the applicant’s professional background. Panelists are also encouraged to look at applications through a lens of racial equity.

Interested in applying?
Applications for the 2018 GAP are open until June 25. Applicants who submit their applications before June 4 may receive a preliminary review from Artist Trust staff and an opportunity to revise and resubmit their application. Award recipients will be announced in October 2018. More information about the awards as well as sample applications and application guidelines can be found here.

Learn more about upcoming GAP application support programs here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She has been writing for the Artist Trust blog since July 2017 and loves learning more about Washington State’s arts communities.

Artist Profile Series: Elliat Graney-Saucke

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

In 2016, Elliat Graney-Saucke received a Fellowship award to attend Millay Colony for the Arts, an arts residency program located in upstate New York. She recently completed work on a short documentary for the Fly Filmmaking Challenge on King Khazm, a Seattle-based artist, emcee, producer, and community organizer. Khazm was awarded a 2016 Fellowship, which helped fund the production of Diaries of a MAD, an 80-minute interdisciplinary hip-hop theatre show. We asked Elliat to tell us more about her film, The Resilience of King Khazm, which will premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) on May 28 with a follow-up screening on June 6 at SIFF Cinema Uptown.

What inspired you to bring The Resilience of King Khazm to life?
The Resilience of King Khazm is a short documentary that was inspired by the Fly Filmmaking Challenge, where five other filmmakers and I were challenged to make short docs profiling different artists. SIFF & Washington Film Works run this project every year through a now state-wide nomination process. My focus for the film challenge was music, and Khazm, as a big part of the hip-hop scene here, was on the top on my list of people I wanted to do a portrait documentary of.

How did you get to know King Khazm and his work?
I met Khazm by way of my late sister, Rogue Laroc, who was an amazing visual artist involved in the Seattle hip-hop scene. As I’ve been in mourning, being close to other people who also knew and cared for her feels important and I have dedicated the film to her as well.

What do you hope viewers will learn from viewing The Resilience of King Khazm?
Wow, there is so much! Khazm’s story is incredible and spans so many important histories! The film touches on the histories and current successes of the local hip-hop scene via 206 Zulu, the incredible ties to the founding families of hip-hop, the Seattle Black Panther Party, and those who lived through Japanese internment camps in WWII. There are touching stories as well as humor, ultimately lifting up the resilience of those who face great opposition and turn it around into creativity, allowing communities to thrive.

How can we see this film?
The Resilience of King Khazm will screen at SIFF on Monday, May 28, at 3:30 PM and Wednesday, June 6, at 3:30 PM at SIFF Cinema Uptown. It may also be available to view in the future on Alaska Airline’s SIFF channel as well, so keep an eye out!

Any upcoming projects?
I’m very excited to be supporting Jono Vaughen with video documentation of her incredible show Project 42, currently up at the Seattle Art Museum and running through July. Project 42 memorializes the lives of different transgendered women who have been murdered through geographically inspired textile creations. I’m in year 10 of production for my feature documentary Boys on the Inside, about ‘boy’ identity in women’s prisons – with some new exciting evolutions in form! Also, I’m wrapping up the film project Art Heart: Children of Riot Grrrl about coming of age in queercore/riot grrrl in Olympia, Washington.

What’s next for you?
Besides being the active President of Seattle Documentary Association, I’m running Elliat Creative LLC, a video production company focused on documenting legacy with great support from Ventures Nonprofit, who help low-income entrepreneurs to better run their businesses. My summer includes an exciting trip to Philadelphia with the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA), our local and the largest national LGBT business chamber, to the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) conference with keynote Martha Stewart. Summertime with Martha and the gays? ...Yes please!

Six seven-minute documentaries by Washington State filmmakers will be presented at SIFF Cinema Uptown on Monday, May 28 at 3:30 PM and Wednesday, June 6 at 3:30 PM at SIFF Cinema Uptown. Learn about the Fly Filmmaking Challenge and get your tickets here.

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Michelle Bates

Megan Gallagher

Communications Intern

Courtesy of Michelle Bates

Michelle Bates is a Washington-based photographer who has shown her work at galleries across the US and internationally. She has taught photography at Photographic Center Northwest, Newspace, and International Center of Photography in New York, and as part of Artist Trust’s EDGE Professional Development Program. She received a Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) in 1998 and is a 2005 EDGE Program graduate.

On Saturday, June 9, Michelle will be leading “Documenting Your Artwork” at the Art Institute of Seattle. I recently caught up with her to learn more about her experiences working with artists and her advice for documenting work.

How did you first get interested in photography?
I had an interest as a kid, but didn’t really get a chance to learn anything until college, and even then it was just friends showing me a little darkroom work and shooting for the university newspaper. The summer after I graduated I ended up spending a couple of months at the Maine Photographic Workshops (now Maine Media Workshops). There I discovered the Holga, a plastic camera that has been my muse for all these years for my fine art photography. Later, I met some performers and began doing photos of them in action and in the studio. And then, when I was running an art gallery for Vashon Allied Arts (now Vashon Center for the Arts), I began documenting artwork donated to their annual auction, and from there got into working with artists to photograph their work.

What are some of the most common things you’ve seen artists struggle with when it comes to documenting their work?
There are so many parts of it, from how to get artwork lit correctly, to the background, focus, getting things straight, to what equipment you need to get the sharpness and high enough resolution for the images to really come to life. Also, almost no one has a handle on file sizes and image resolution.

What would you way is the most important thing for artists to understand when it comes to documenting their own work or working with photographers?
If artists want to work with a professional, then be sure to get what you want. In 3D work (sculpture), there is a lot of art in how the work is presented (less so for 2D work), so be sure to find someone you can work well with and ask for what you want. Doing it yourself, learn the basics (or have someone help you) and create a shooting set-up that is reproducible, so your images will be consistent over time. Either way though, document everything!

What advice do you have for artists who are interested in improving how they document their work but aren’t sure where to start?
There is (as with everything these days) lots of information on the internet, and books about documenting artwork. The most critical thing to get a handle on is the lighting. My most important tip: don’t mix light sources! And don’t think you have to go out and buy new, expensive equipment, but also, using your phone won’t give you the best results; equipment can be rented or borrowed or shared. This workshop is a great introduction for those who want to get a handle on all the elements that go into it.

Interested in learning how to create high-quality documentation of your work? Join Michelle for “Documenting Your Artwork” at the Art Institute of Seattle. Tickets and additional information can be found here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She currently serves as Artist Trust’s Communications Intern.

Artist Profile Series: Tatiana Pavela

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Last year, theatre artist Tatiana Pavela of Seattle received a Grants for Artist Projects award to develop and support performances of her show Brandi Alexander. “The 2017 GAP was the first grant that I’ve received for my solo work. I look forward to where this pushes me to go, and how it helps me step forward,” she shared upon hearing the news that she received an award.

Written and performed by Tatiana and directed by Maggie Rogers, Brandi Alexander will have a four-show run from Thursday, May 24 to Sunday, May 27 at Love City Love in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. We reached out to Tatiana to learn more about her upcoming show and her career in theatre.

Could you tell us more about Brandi Alexander?
Of course! The year is 1987 and Brandi Alexander is prepping for her comeback stand-up comedy tour, and for her first return gig - she’ll be the opening act for the man who assaulted her.

I call the solo show “stand up gone radically wrong,” because even though it has the frame of a 60-minute stand up set, it derails pretty quickly. It is intended to be an examination and assault on misogyny, rape, and self-loathing and we go to some pretty ugly places in order to do that. And somehow, it’s also funny.

What inspired you to write this show?
In 2016, a friend of mine told me that a mutual acquaintance of ours had raped her. During this same time, I kept reading about Brock Turner, Bill Cosby, and Trump in the news and all this, combined with the many, many women who have told me that they were raped, made me so overwhelmingly angry, I felt like I was going crazy. I remember thinking that this act, this word “rape” used to be horrible, unthinkable, and now has become so incredibly normal that you can hear it and not blink. You can hear it and not think twice.

At that time, it felt like there were no repercussions. I wanted to take the word and put it in a drastically different context so that it means something again - so that when people hear it, they don’t continue to normalize it.

During one part of the show, Brandi “sings” a song that she has been working on and it is pretty bad to watch. The only word in the song is “rape.” I’ve had audience members tell me that they were embarrassed for me and wanted me to stop. I’ve also had people become so frustrated and angry hearing it - good. Thank god. Because all of a sudden, you hear the word and you want it to stop. You hear it and cannot take it anymore - good.

Sexual assault should not be an everyday part of society.

Other thoughts that played a key part: Woman in a man’s world. How women and men occupy space differently. I noticed with most of the men in my life, they assume a space is theirs. Women ask for permission. Men will assume their opinion is the most important one, dying to be heard. I got sick of raising my hand and waiting. And when I spoke as freely and with as much confidence as a man, it was too much. I was a bitch, I was too aggressive, I was too angry, I wasn’t accepting of those around me. This show is a testament to the validity of a woman’s anger.

What were some of the challenges, milestones, etc. that you have encountered as an artist?
Ha! Challenges - all day, every day. As an actor auditioning for other parts, frequently I get the sense that when directors first meet me, they don’t know what to do with me. Too fat, not old enough for certain parts, I like what you are doing but it doesn’t fit my vision of this world blah blah blah. So it becomes even more necessary to make my own work. Otherwise I would have been benched for years. The best rejections make for the best pull quotes.

Milestones - I gotta say, this GAP Award is up there. It’s my first time receiving a grant for my work. The week I found out I got it, I had just gotten three rejections for other projects. Brian called me and (I remember this very clearly probably due to that familiar East Coast accent) told me that my show was so important and so necessary. Damn, I needed to hear that.

Another formative milestone has been traveling with Drama of Works, a multidisciplinary theatre company based out of New York, to do a show in Jakarta. Four female artists packed a show up in two suitcases. When we got there, major problems came up during tech. We stayed up throughout the night, moved all of our furniture out of our tiny hotel room, and created our rehearsal studio. That moment stuck in my mind as a barometer for finding future collaborators. What are you like at zero hour? Do you have the passion, humor, and grace to get it done? Is it an act of love?

How has your 2017 GAP Award impacted your career as an artist?
As this is my first grant, it has been a huge step up for my career. It shows that Artist Trust believes in my work, and others should as well. In addition to the recognition and legitimacy that the grant provides, it also lit a fire under me - made sure I got the show done. Developing a solo show is a major exercise in self-discipline and I’m not sure I would have done this without Artist Trust looming over me. I mean that in the best way possible.

Do you have any advice for artists applying for funding and grants?
Document all your work. Get great images that can capture the moments you create. Make sure you have a website to show your body of work. Apply to all of it, even if it scares you. Talking to honest and intelligent people who don’t like or understand your work will make your reason for doing it crystal clear, and that will turn into a great project statement. Spend time developing the language for what gets you excited.

What’s next? Any upcoming projects?
Yes, things in the works—but nothing I can officially talk about yet. I’m excited to find other spaces for Brandi after the four-show run in Seattle.

For more information about Brandi Alexander including tickets visit This year’s GAP application opens on May 21, 2018. For a full list of artist support programs being offered to help artists prepare their application, view our blog post titled “2018 Grants for Artist Projects Support Programs.”

Artist Profile Series: Alice Gosti

Megan Gallagher

Communications Intern

Alice Gosti, How to Become a Partisan. Photo: Tim Summers

Alice Gosti is an Italian-American choreographer and hybrid performance artist who has presented her work at local venues including On the Boards, Seattle Art Museum, Intiman Theater, as well as internationally. She is the founder of Yellow Fish // Epic Durational Performance Festival, as well as the creator of several site-specific durational works including Invisible Womxn and Bodies of Water.

Alice first discovered durational performance through experimental performances she saw growing up in Italy. Her parents are both visual artists, and seeing performances in galleries with them helped Alice realize dance’s potential beyond traditional venues. “It made me feel like what I was doing, dance and body-based work had a lot of space in museums and galleries but in its own way,” she explains, adding that she often wondered, “If they can do this in galleries and museums, why can’t we do that in concert venues for dance and vice versa?”

In 2014, Alice received a GAP to assist with the creation of How to Become a Partisan, a five-hour durational performance inspired by the Italian Partisan movement. The show premiered in 2015 at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle, and looked at the role women played in the movement’s success as well as the visibility/invisibility of women in the present day. It was Alice’s first large-scale durational piece and held particular importance for her because, as she explains, “Before How to Become a Partisan, no one had ever asked me, ‘What do you dream about making?’” Which is what Tonya Lockyer, Artistic Director of Velocity Dance Center, asked where as they were working on Alice’s Made in Seattle project.

How to Become a Partisan helped pave the way for several other durational works and, as Alice calls them, “political spectacles.” In 2016, Bodies of Water premiered at the Seattle waterfront. In 2017, Invisible Womxn was performed at Velocity Dance Center’s Strictly Seattle Festival and excerpts from it were also performed at Bumbershoot.

In March, Alice’s most recent production, Material Deviance in Contemporary American Culture, premiered at On the Boards. Alice first found inspiration for the show after reading an article about hoarding. As she learned more about the topic, Alice says she realized, “I wasn’t as interested in talking about hoarders as I was about objects, how we relate to objects, and how objects are so important to us and define so much of our identity.”

Alice refined ideas for the show through a series of residencies, including the Millay Colony for the Arts residency she received as part of her 2017 Fellowship award. The month-long residency allowed her to spend time creating a script and plans for the show, and to begin establishing a more regular artistic practice. “It was incredible,” says Alice on the residency. “I hope that it continues forever because I just spent a month being trusted that I could do anything I needed. […] It was pretty much like, ‘Here’s the space, here’s the time, but you know what? It’s also a beautiful property so you can go for walks and have nature and silence inspire you.’ And I really needed all that. I really needed to have the time to establish a daily practice, and being in a place like the Millay Colony really allowed me to understand what I wanted that to be and how I wanted that to happen.”

Asked if she has any advice for artists considering applying for grants like GAP and the Fellowships, Alice says, “If making art is what you want to do, apply every time. Do not get discouraged if you don’t get selected over and over again. Persist. Find people that are willing to read through your work or help you, or hire people that are willing to help you because it’s always worth it.”

Material Deviance in Contemporary American Culture is set to go on tour later this year. In addition to preparing the show to travel, Alice is also creating an adaptation of How to Become a Partisan to be performed in Italy on June 9th, 2018 and developing concepts for a multi-year project exploring stereotypes surrounding immigrants.

To learn more about Alice and her current projects, visit her website.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She currently serves as Artist Trust’s Communications Intern.

Artist Profile Series: Peter Donahue

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Peter Donahue of Methow Valley is a writer and English teacher at Wenatchee Valley College-Omak in Okanogan County. In 2015, he participated in Artist Trust’s EDGE Professional Development Program. “Before the program, I didn’t have a publisher, an agent, or any network to speak of - and now I have all three,” he shared. Earlier this month, Peter released Three Sides Water, which was the book project that he brought to the EDGE program. We recently caught up with him to hear more about his book and being an artist in Okanogan County.

Could you tell us more about Three Sides Water?
Three Sides Water is a triptych of short novels, each about a young person who finds a sense of purpose and agency in order to survive the threatening circumstances that beset them. All three short novels are set on the Olympic Peninsula and involve little known aspects of peninsula history: a famous magician/mentalist who built a compound on Rialto Beach in the 1920’s, Fort Worden when it was a center for “juvenile delinquency” in the early 1970’s, and the mill town of Shelton, one of the centers of the “Sawdust Empire” from the 1930’s to today. 

What inspired you to write this book?
Ten years ago, during a trip to the Olympic Peninsula, I stumbled upon these curious aspects of Olympic Peninsula history and started digging deeper into them, spending time in Forks, Port Townsend, and Shelton and just getting to know the peninsula better. I also read a lot of fiction about the peninsula, including the novels of Patricia Campbell, written in the 1950’s, which sadly today are mostly forgotten. What kept inspiring me most, though, was how the characters continued to reveal themselves (and surprise me) as their stories evolved.

How did you first hear about Artist Trust?
My wife, who’s a painter, tipped me off to Artist Trust. We’d just moved back to Washington, and I didn’t know what kind of arts opportunities were available. I wasn’t even looking. My writing was in a bit of a slump. She urged me to apply to the EDGE program for writers. I participated in the program in 2015 and learned a lot more about Artist Trust programs and grants.

How has your participation in Artist Trust’s professional development programs like EDGE helped develop your career as an artist?
The EDGE program was a milestone for me. It helped me recommit to Three Sides Water. It taught me how to present my work, develop literary and professional community, and pursue grants and other opportunities. It helped with everything from establishing an online presence to landing an agent and publisher. Most of all, it gave me confidence to put myself and my work forward in ways I never had.

What are the benefits and challenges of being a “rural artist?”
Rural life is so much richer than I ever imaged when I lived in cities. Of course, I miss how energizing the city is. There are many literary events in Spokane and Seattle I miss out on. On the other hand, I’m equal distance from both cities (about five hours to each) and like to alternate going to one or the other. Yet, I always appreciate coming back to The Methow.

What is the future for the arts community of Okanogan County?
Art happens everywhere - no matter what. Okanogan County is no different. It’s such a diverse place: border communities, the Colville Reservation, ranchers and orchardists, New Agers and Mennonites, immigrant families and migrant workers, retirees and recreationalists… And we have great arts organizations, like the Omak Performing Arts Center and Methow Arts Alliance, and many wonderful artists and writers. What’s more, Okanogans come out for the arts. So the future is bright.

Do you have any tips and advice for artists looking to take their practice to the next level?
Tips #1 through #10: Persevere. Keep creating and keep putting your work out there. I’ve always been reticent about my own work, afraid to extend myself to people and organizations, fearing my work wasn’t good enough or that I’d come across as too self-promoting. But what I’ve learned is it’s about sharing what I’m passionate about, writing and literature, with those who share that same passion. This recognition has changed how I look at my work, making me bolder and more willing to take chances.

Peter is currently writing a novel set in Okanogan County with the expectation that “it’s going to be as big and bizarre as the county itself.” He is also busy traveling around the state for a book tour promoting Three Sides Water, and his next appearance will be at Seattle’s Elliott Bay Books on Friday, May 18, 7:00 PM. View the book tour schedule on his website at You can read a recent interview by City Arts that delves into themes that appear in Three Sides Water here.

Thank you to our 2018 GiveBIG donors!

Emily Dennis

Annual Fund & Events Manager

This year, we raised an incredible $15,110 during GiveBIG 2018, funding 10 Grants for Artist Projects! We are so grateful to each and every one of these donors for making the last GiveBIG a great one in support of Washington artists, and a special thank you to our incredible Board of Trustees and friends for their contributions to this year’s matching pool!

Anonymous (In Memory of Alan Ralph McAdam)
Claudia Bach
Christine Abrass*
Tom Bayley
Wally and Julie Bivins
Antonia Blume
Maxine Burns
Jennifer Campbell
Craig Campbell
Nancy Chang* (In Honor of Shannon Halberstadt)
Juli Cook*
Barbara Courtney
David and Sue Danielson
Robin Dearling
Dottie Delaney
Kimberly and Justin Dennis
Emily Dennis
Wayne Dodge
Cora Edmonds
Stephanie Ellis-Smith*
Robert Flor
Rick Freedman
Cristina Friday
Cezanne Garcia*
Amanda Gemmill
Jason Gerend
Global Artists Collective
David Gloger
Kristina Goetz
Joel Grow
Karen Guzak
Shannon Halberstadt
Katy Hannigan
Heather Joy Helbach-Olds*
Lloyd E Herman
Lisa Jaret
Eirik Johnson
Lee Klastorin
Susan Kunimatsu
Gar and Barbara LaSalle*
Larry Laurence
Carol Levin
Leonard Lewicki*
Joyce Liao
John Lucas
Mariella Luz*
Roger MacPherson
J.W. Marshall
Fidelma McGinn
Maya and Travis Mendoza Exstrom
Mendoza Law Center PLLC
Polly Meyer and Joel Reiter
Dr. Quinton and Dr. Thomas Morris
Nicholas Nyland
Byron Olson*
Mark Olthoff*
Patricia S Parrent
Matthew Phelps
James Pridgeon
Paula Riggert
Lillian Ryan
Beth Sellars
Gautam Sengupta
Ray and Kim Shine
Ann and Steven Shure
Eva Skold Westerlind
Darby Smith (In Honor of Sonja and Cristina)
Sheila Sondik and Paul Sarvasy
Joannie Stangeland
Nicole Stellner and Peter Eberhardy*
Asia Tail
Stefanie Terasaki
Sarah Traver*
Tanya Trejo*
Robert Tull*
Daniel and Loretta Turner
Lorraine Vagner*
Andy Valdez-Pape
Steve Veatch
Kate Vrijmoet
Susan Wagner*
Rebecca Watson
Charlotte Watts (In Honor of Women Photographers)
Lynne White

*Matching pool donor

A Letter from Jane Wong

Jane Wong

2017 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award Recipient

Photo: Helene Christensen

Dear Artist Trust Supporter,

When I learned I was the recipient of the 2017 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award – the largest grant available for Washington State artists – I immediately thought of my mother and began to cry. She worked the night shift at the U.S. Postal Service for over a decade and at our Chinese restaurant before that, raising me as a single mother all the while. The support I received from Artist Trust is as much for her as it is for me and my creative work.

While I spent most of my career as a poet, I have been wildly excited to write prose. Thanks to Artist Trust’s support during this time of genre experimentation, I now have the tools I need to complete two new manuscripts this year, focusing on stories of my family during China’s Great Leap Forward and my experience growing up in a low-income immigrant family on the Jersey shore. Even more than that, this support makes me feel seen, and that my writing and the voices of my family truly impact readers in Washington State.

Recently, someone asked me why poetry matters, why writing matters, why art matters. Art matters because it reminds us to feel. In a time when there is so much terror in the world, poetry reminds me that language is a means to reclaim our stories, our lineages, our history. Artist Trust has been incredible in its support of marginalized artists. I am proud to be a woman of color and a Chinese American daughter, poet, writer, and dreamer.

Your gift to Artist Trust means supporting artists who make our communities vibrant and hopeful. I hope that you can continue to support the work of our Washington State artists; and as a result, we can all dream and fight for a more sustainable, more human future.


Jane Wong

PS—Thanks to donors like you, Artist Trust granted over $350,000 to Washington artists last year, and supported thousands more through programming and workshops. I’m excited to share these opportunities to give in support of a sustainable future for artists like me!

Click here to donate now!
Your monthly donation sustains our work throughout the year. Set up your automated monthly gift today!

About the artist:
Jane Wong is a poet, essayist, and the recipient of the 2017 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award. Her first book of poems, Overpour, was published in 2016. Jane is an assistant professor at Western Washington University, and the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, among other national distinctions.

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Jenny Hyde

Megan Gallagher

Communications Intern

Photo: Laree Weaver.

Jenny Hyde is a Spokane-based multidisciplinary artist and teacher whose works have appeared in exhibitions throughout the Spokane area, in New York, and internationally. She received a GAP in 2010 to support the production of G-Train, a multimedia installation inspired by one of the most diverse subway routes in New York, and is a 2017 Fellowship recipient.

On Sunday, May 20, Jenny and photographer Laree Weaver will be leading “Photographing Your Artwork,” a hands-on workshop that walks artists through the process of creating high-quality images of their work. I recently caught up with her to learn more about the workshop, her experiences photographing her work, and her advice for artists.

What inspired you to lead this workshop on photographing artwork?
I want artists to be able to present their work in the best way possible. It’s really painful to see a good artist not be selected because of bad documentation images. Plus I get to work with an amazing photographer who makes it look so easy.

What are some of the most common things you’ve seen artists struggle with when it comes to photographing their work?
The discipline to learn about digital information – for instance truly understanding what resolution is.  As an artist these days, you need to have and use many skills. Being a decent photographer is one of them. You also need to be comfortable with image editing and digital file management.

Can you talk a little about your experiences documenting your own work?
I personally hate it but I know I have to do it. I can’t always rely on someone else to document my work, especially for studio or process shots. I also have a lot of regret about not documenting work properly. Sometimes all you have of a piece or project is the documentation. I have many terrible photos of work that no longer physically exists. So I feel that while making work is the most important part of your practice, documenting that work is a close second.

What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned about creating high-quality documentation?
Don’t skimp on the quality of your camera or lighting. You don’t have to go crazy but invest in decent equipment. It all gets easier when you start with something good. Write a GAP grant for some photo equipment!

What advice do you have for artists looking to get high-quality images of their work but aren’t sure where to start?
Usually an artist knows someone with a good camera and lighting set up. Work out a trade of some kind to get someone else to do it if it’s overwhelming.

If you know little about photography, take a basic technical workshop or course – most frustration comes from not knowing how to use the tools properly.

Use a nice clean space or wall, make sure lighting is balanced and learn to use the manual settings on the camera. It takes a considerable amount of time to document properly. Make sure you have time and energy to document work. If you’re tired or rushed you will end up with mediocre images.

Don’t under estimate the necessity of a good tripod – you cannot take good documentation with a hand held camera.

Interested in getting hands-on help documenting your work? Join Jenny and photographer Laree Weaver for “Photographing Your Artwork” at Richmond Art Collective in Spokane. Tickets and additional information can be found here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She currently serves as Artist Trust’s Communications Intern.

Artist Profile Series: Tariqa Waters

Olivia Ragazzi

Content Contributor

Courtesy of Tariqa Waters

Tariqa Waters is a gallerist, curator, and artist committed to “keeping the weirdos in the city” through her gallery and art space, Martyr Sauce. Opened in 2013, Martyr Sauce represents art, family, and the rejection of commercial gallery status quo. Located underground in Seattle’s Pioneer Square, the gallery serves as an exhibition space by appointment, a practice space for her husband’s music, and a beauty retail shop.

Tariqa Waters was the 2016 recipient of the Conductive Garboil Grant from Artist Trust and 4Culture. To Tariqa, this grant was a community acknowledgement that recognized and validated her work as a gallerist and working artist. Funding from the award allowed her to cover gallery expenses and keep Martyr Sauce open as a space available and accessible to artists. Tariqa speaks to Seattle as a fluctuating city and wants to maintain a space that can be counted upon by the artist community. Funding from grants as well as her freelance work enables Tariqa to keep Martyr Sauce open.

As part of her own artistic practice, Tariqa Water’s most recent work is a series of 7-foot bubblicious bubble gum sculptures as part of an ongoing project that relishes on the day to day activities which speak to her personal narrative. The fun, colorful sculptures create a weird, wacky vibe in the gallery space that Tariqa will use a photography backdrop and exhibition. This is currently on view and can be seen by appointment.

To learn more about Tariqa and Martyr Sauce, check out her website.

Olivia Ragazzi is a student of art history, artist, and Capitol Hill resident. She is a Content Contributor at Artist Trust.

2018 Grants for Artist Projects Support Programs

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Shawn Brigman (2017 GAP), Oblong Tule Mat Lodge, 2012.

Artist Trust offers statewide support programs for artists applying for the 2018 Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) Award. These programs include a preliminary application review, office hours, resources, webinar, and workshops. The GAP application opens on May 21 but you can get a head start by reviewing the 2018 GAP Guidelines. The guidelines cover what you need to include in your application, eligibility requirements, and other important information.

Preliminary Application Review: submit a draft of your application through Submittable by June 4 and request for a preliminary review. Our Program staff will review your application and provide detailed feedback by June 15, 2018. Your application will be opened for you to make any edits. Your final application must be resubmitted by the final deadline of June 25.

Office Hours: free one-on-one consultations with our staff, provided in-person or over the phone. To make an appointment, click on the date, select your preferred time slot, and submit your registration information.
May 17, 2018, 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Alma Mater / Tacoma
May 29, 2018, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Appointments By Phone (This phone-based Office Hours is exclusively for artists living outside of King County)
June 1, 2018, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Artist Trust / Seattle
June 6, 2018, 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Spokane Public Library / Spokane
June 12, 2018, 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Artist Trust / Seattle

Resources: download and review the 2018 GAP Reference Guide, which contains examples of successful grant applications.

Webinar: watch a free webinar about the 2018 GAP application process.
• Applying for a 2018 GAP: May 30, 2018, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM. Register here.

Workshops: AT offers workshops on topics related to grantwriting and the business aspects of your career. Workshops that may help you in preparing your GAP application are below, a full list of our workshops are listed at To sign up for a workshop, click on the title of the workshop that you are interested in.
How to Apply for an Artist Grant / Tacoma: May 5, 2018, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM, Tacoma Public Library, featuring local artists Jasmine Brown, RYAN! Feddersen, Melinda Raebyne, and Jason Skipper
Artists Biographies and Resumes / Bellingham: May 12, 2018, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Allied Arts of Whatcom County
How to Apply for an Artist Grant / Spokane: May 12, 2018, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Community Building / Saranac, in collaboration with Spokane Arts
How to Apply for an Artist Grant / Auburn: May 16, 2018, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Auburn Community and Event Center
How to Apply for an Artist Grant / Ellensburg: May 19, 2018, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM, Gallery-One, featuring local artist Renee Adams
Photographing Your Artwork / Spokane: May 20, 2018, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Spark Central, led by local artists Jenny Hyde and Laree Weaver
How to Apply for an Artist Grant / Kirkland: May 22, 2018, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Kirkland Arts Center

Artist Profile Series: Patrick Parr

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Patrick Parr of Bellevue is a writer and ESL teacher with experiences teaching in Japan and Switzerland. In 2013, he received a Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) award which funded him to travel to Japan to conduct research for a book project.

Currently based in Yokohama, Japan, Patrick reached out to Artist Trust to let us know about his recently released book The Seminarian: Martin Luther King Jr. Comes of Age. “The book took me five years to complete, and it all started in the Bellevue Public Library,” he shared. The Seminarian gives readers a view of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. that varies greatly from the static version of the man perpetuated by ubiquitously played sound clips from his 1963 “I have a Dream” speech.

Could you tell us more about The Seminarian?
Oh, where to start… I’d say that Publisher’s Weekly said it best when they described the book as “a true-life bildungsroman.” In my book, I describe [Dr. King’s] life from the age of 19-22, when he entered seminary as a quiet ‘rookie preacher’ lacking confidence, eventually becoming a confident student body president in command of his oratorical skills.

How has funding from the 2013 GAP and 2014 Fellowship impacted your career as an artist?
The GAP was a shock, and it gave me newfound confidence to pursue bigger projects. But the Fellowship left me in tears… good tears. At that time, money was incredibly tight, and I’d hit a barrier with my ‘King book’. In order to get the information I needed, I needed to fly to Pennsylvania and stay for a week. The Fellowship gave me a chance to do that, and what I discovered changed the book entirely. As I say in my book, Artist Trust’s support allowed me to finish the book.

What advice do you have for artists applying for grants and awards?
Well, I can only speak from a writer’s POV, but the key is to publish! I know that sounds easier said than done, but you need to be okay with not making any money at first. When AT awarded me the fellowship, I’d made, quite literally, 377 dollars for my writing, but I’d been published in over ten different magazines, newspapers and journals.

If you are a writer just starting out or perhaps feel you keep hitting a wall, I would recommend pushing away that fantasy of having your first story published in the New Yorker. Find a respectable online mag/journal, via Duotrope perhaps, and start building your credits up like that.

I have four short stories published at Every Day Fiction, and they pay 3 dollars. BULL: Men’s Fiction gave me two free print copies and leather coasters. But I worked with several great editors, and got used to feedback from commenters (and good ol’ trolls, of course).

So if you want grants and awards, you need credits. For me, my career has gone like this: short story publications, grants, book publisher, and now, a literary agent who is getting my stuff to the bigger venues. That last sentence took twenty years, however. There are exceptions, but most writers have to go the ‘Andy Dufresne with a small rock hammer’ route.

What projects are you currently working on?
Ooh, I wish I could tell you, but my agent is poised to start selling the proposal in the next few months. It’s a big one, though. Right now, however, The Seminarian: Martin Luther King Jr. Comes of Age is my top priority.

Patrick has written extensively about Dr. King, with articles published in magazines and newspapers including Seattle Magazine, Boom California, the Atlantic, Politico, and the Japan Times. He also worked as a historical consultant for the New Jersey Historical Commission and was involved in the process for nominating Martin Luther King Jr. landmarks. The Seminarian: Martin Luther King Jr. Comes of Age is available for purchase on Amazon. To learn more about Patrick, visit his website.

Artist Trust Website Redesign

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Artist Trust is looking for a website developer to redesign and build our new website. The ideal developer will work with the organization to conceptualize and deliver an accessible, intuitive, and engaging website. In addition, we are seeking to work with a developer that is able to provide ongoing technical support, as needed, after the site is launched.

View Request for Proposals: Artist Trust Website Redesign

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Staci Smith

Megan Gallagher

Communications Intern

Courtesy of Staci Smith

Staci Smith is a Seattle-based publicist who’s built her career promoting arts and nonprofit organizations. She began her public relations career almost twenty years ago in New York, where she worked with agencies supporting arts and culture organizations. In 2017, she and Art for Progress founder Frank Jackson created Kindred Impact, an arts and nonprofit consultancy.

On April 28, Staci will be leading “Media Relations for Artists” at Rainier Arts Center in Seattle. I recently caught up with her to learn more about her experience working with arts and culture organizations, as well as her advice for artists looking to strengthen their media relations skills.

How did you first get interested in marketing/PR? What made you want to work specifically with arts and nonprofit organizations?
What interested me about PR was that I get a really big kick out of knowing that what I’m doing is furthering other people. I was a singer and I acted when I was younger, and I studied opera for ages, and I could have a role in something and have just as much fun doing lighting as actually doing the role. I like seeing other people do well and I like knowing that I’m part of a team that helped someone do well.

What got me interested from the arts and nonprofit perspective was that I was in the arts, so I saw people doing great work that wasn’t getting written about or getting attention.

What are some of the most common things you’ve seen artists struggle with when it comes to promoting their work to the media?
Figuring out how to expand their media outreach plans outside of art world press. It’s one thing if you’re in New York and there’s tons of press covering art both on the local and global perspective out of your location. A lot of times if artists are in a smaller market they may not have that many people covering art. What those artists might be overlooking is how to use the media to reach out audiences who could be very interested in their message or the theme of their work, but who aren’t reading “art press”. Getting in front of these audiences requires expanding your media outreach plans beyond contacting the people who cover art in your location.

How, if at all, can media relations for individual artists differ from media relations for an organization or a business?
Whatever you’re doing as an organization is still going on whether you have publicity or not and it’s going on in a way that’s public just by the very fact that it’s an organization and ostensibly working with other people, customers, etc. It can be harder to promote your work as an individual artist, because unless you’re mounting a really large show there’s a really good chance that you’re doing your work almost in a vacuum with your immediate circle being informed of what you do. If you don’t have a way that you’re distributing your message and work, or an avenue for letting people know what you’re doing, it’s very easy for nobody to know what you’re doing. Also, it’s easier for the press to write about stories in which a group of people can act as sources or evidence of a trend – organizations can present a number of people to incorporate into a story, saving a press person a lot of legwork.  As an individual artist you can’t necessarily present a press person with a well-rounded story on your own which makes a journalist’s job harder and can lessen your chances of getting a placement.

What advice do you have for artists who want to up their media relations game but don’t know where to start?
Start before you actually have a project you’re trying to pitch. If you are an artist and you have a very specific message or theme that runs through your art or you have something coming up, what you really should be doing is following the people you know would be receptive before you need to ask them for anything. Start building a relationship with them and create a dialogue in the early stages of your project so they know that you have a genuine interest in what they’re doing and that you have respect for what they’re doing as a media person. That way, when you finish your project, it puts you in a lot better standing to make those asks.

Interested in learning more about how to expand your media reach? Join Staci for “Media Relations for Artists” on April 28. Tickets and additional information can be found here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She currently serves as Artist Trust’s Communications Intern.

Artist Profile Series: Sarah Fetterman

Megan Gallagher

Communications Intern

Sarah Fetterman, Past Selves, 2017. Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Fetterman

Sarah Fetterman is a Seattle-based welder, woodworker, and visual artist specializing in performative sculpture. Her work has been performed at Hybrid Arc Space and Center on Contemporary Art, and in 2017 she received a GAP award to help fund the production of Past Selves and the Past Selves Tapestry.

Sarah first discovered performative sculpture while using flour and nylon stockings as sketching tools for a sculpture project. She had been struggling with the project and recalls that, “It wasn’t until my hands found their way inside the stockings that the piece found its right movement.”

In 2017, Sarah continued to explore flour’s artistic possibilities through Past Selves. The performance, which premiered at Center on Contemporary Art last year, used black tar paper to record a flour-covered dancer’s movement across CoCA’s gallery walls and offered visitors an opportunity to watch the live performance as well as clips of past performances on closed-circuit television. The project grew out of a collaboration with Hannah Simmons and Jack Christoforo, as well as Sarah’s fascination with memory.

Sarah is currently working with the Jacquard loom operators at Magnolia Editions to weave a life-size tapestry re-creating the patterns made during the Past Selves performances. She found inspiration for the project while erasing the markings left after each performance and says her plan is for the finished piece to be displayed at a memory home.

In addition to helping her fund new projects, Sarah says the 2017 GAP award opened new doors for her as an artist. “The GAP award is the first grant I have ever received,” she explains. “With its presence in my life and on my resume, I have started receiving other grants propelling me forward. The GAP award has given me an enormous first step toward making my practice as an artist in Seattle financially possible.”

Asked if she has any advice for artists currently applying for awards, Sarah says, “I’d recommend timing the grant to hit when you need the actual heart of your funding […]. This allowed me to give a fully developed description of the final piece and demonstrate my commitment to the panel, as well as giving a clear indication that I honestly couldn’t fulfill the next stage of my project without their help.”

To learn more about Sarah’s work and current projects, check out her website.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She currently serves as Artist Trust’s Communications Intern.

Artist Profile Series: Jenny Hyde

Megan Gallagher

Communications Intern

Jenny Hyde, Lover of All Things Beautiful, archival inkjet print on Somerset, 2017, 13”x52"

Jenny Hyde (Spokane) is a visual artist working in sound, video, digital print, and multimedia installation. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at Saranac Art Projects, Gallery One, Object Space, and more, as well as at the New York Electronic Arts Festival and XTC Itinerant Experimental Performance Project. She first became interested in digital art after moving to New York, where Michal Rovner’s 2002 exhibition at the Whitney sparked her imagination. “I remember a desperate hunger after that exhibition,” she recalls, “I wanted to make work like it.”

In 2010, Jenny received a GAP to assist with the creation of G-Train, a multimedia installation inspired by one of New York’s most diverse train routes that premiered at the Gallery of Fine Art at Spokane Falls Community College in 2012. In addition to helping her travel to New York, film the project, and record audio, Jenny says the GAP allowed her to “put way more into the project than I otherwise would have. […] It allowed me to realize I can pull off ambitious projects.”

Jenny also received a Fellowship in 2017, which so far has allowed her to produce and frame a series of digital prints for All American, an installation exploring the place of guns in American culture that opened at Spokane’s Saranac Art Projects in September 2017. Jenny has also set some of the funding aside so that she can purchase new equipment and take time off from teaching to focus on new projects this summer.

Asked how receiving the Fellowship impacted her career as an artist, Jenny says, “I’ve yet to really experience how the fellowship will impact my career. Certainly, more exposure of my work has been beneficial already, but I am excited to see what happens in the next couple months with a couple new projects simmering in the back of my head.”

Jenny’s advice for artists considering applying for a Fellowship or GAP is to “just do it! Take a workshop or two to get comfortable and then just do it. […] If you don’t get it, then apply again! Keep applying and don’t take it personally if you don’t get selected. Consult with a professional artist friend who gives honest and constructive feedback. Have them look over your application materials. Don’t feel like you’re doing this alone.”

“My other advice is to keep making work, document the work and get the work out there,” she adds. “It will always benefit your application if there is someone on the committee who has experienced the work first hand. So join an artist co-op, create your own artist group – you can make opportunities happen.”

To learn more about Jenny and her current projects, check out her website.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She currently serves as Artist Trust’s Communications Intern.

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Brian McGuigan

Megan Gallagher

Communications Intern

If you’ve attended an Artist Trust workshop recently, you’ve probably met Brian McGuigan. Brian joined Artist Trust as the Programs Director in 2015 after working in various capacities at Hugo House for ten years and helping create Artist Trust’s LaSalle Storyteller Award. He is also a writer and 2014 GAP recipient.

Starting April 25, Brian will be leading “Art Business Night School: Applying for Grants, Residencies, & Other Opportunities” at Artspace Mt Baker Lofts. I recently caught up with him to learn more about his experiences and advice for artists.

How did you first get involved with Artist Trust?
I first got involved with Artist Trust as a grant applicant. I applied seven times for GAP before I finally received one. The following year I worked with Gar LaSalle and Artist Trust to help create the LaSalle Storyteller Award. When the Program Director position opened, I’d both benefitted from Artist Trust’s support and had experience working with the staff and knew it was the right job for me. Thankfully, Shannon and the rest of the hiring committee felt the same.

What are some of your favorite things about Seattle’s arts community?
My favorite things about Seattle’s arts community are the people and organizations that make it. There are far too many to name here, and I don’t want to play favorites, but we have quite a few genuinely good people working in the arts community, both artists and administrators, who help make this city a home I don’t want to leave.

What are some of the most common things you’ve seen artists struggle with when it comes to applying for grants/other opportunities?
The most important rule when applying for grants or other opportunities is to read and follow the guidelines. We’ve all been told at some point to look both ways before you cross the street. The same goes for applications. Follow the guidelines. You don’t want to spend hours and hours on an application only to have it withdrawn because you included too many work samples or went over the word count. 

In addition to being Artist Trust’s Programs Director, you’re also a writer. Can you talk a little about your own experiences applying for awards/grants/residencies?
Applying for grants, awards, and residencies is damn hard. Let’s be real here – rejection sucks. You put so much of yourself into your work alone and then you put your work out there through application processes where the odds of being selected are slim. It can be demoralizing at times, but you can’t let it get you down. Making art is a series of tiny, little failures that ultimately, hopefully, lead you somewhere. Applying is just more of that. The truly successful artists are the ones who are resilient, who persevere in spite of that failure.

As I mentioned I applied for GAP seven times. There’s another award I’ve now applied for eight times. I’ve been rejected far more than I’ve been accepted, not just in my writing career but in life as a whole. I just keep applying.

What advice do you have for artists who are considering applying for grants/residencies but aren’t sure where to start?
Apply. Without a doubt, apply. If you’re not sure where to start, email the grant officer. Be prepared and ask questions. Connect. Build relationships. Research. Google has almost all the answers.

Interested in learning more about how to apply for grants and residencies? Join Brian for “Art Business Night School: Applying for Grants, Residencies, & Other Opportunities,” from April 25 through May 30 at the Artspace Mt Baker Lofts. Tickets and additional information can be found here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She currently serves as Artist Trust’s Communications Intern.

Artist Profile Series: Melinda Raebyne

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Melinda Raebyne, Asylum, video still, 2017. Photo: Rob J. Allen.

2017 GAP recipient Melinda Raebyne is a Tacoma-based filmmaker who recently received an award for her short film Asylum. Inspired by true events, Asylum was awarded Best Narrative Short Film at Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival held in Lafayette, Louisiana. I reached out to Melinda to congratulate her on her award and to learn more about her film and upcoming projects.

Could you tell me more about Asylum?
Asylum takes on a formerly taboo subject that has boiled to the surface of our society, sexual abuse and rape by men in power. However, Asylum was not created to shine the spotlight on these acts of unspeakable betrayal but to bring to the fore the traumatizing scars seared into the mental landscape of its victim. Asylum is a voice for those who are living within their own emotionally invisible walls of protection that have turned into their prisons. So many local business, organizations, and key donors throughout the Northwest donated their resources to bring this film to life including, Verizon, Seattle Transmedia & Independent Film Festival, El Centro de la Raza, Consulado de México en Seattle, Robert Lang Studios, Champagne Sunday, Washington Filmworks, and SAG-AFTRA.

What do you hope to accomplish with your film?
My hope is that Asylum will give a voice to those who have invisible scars left behind from unthinkable trauma. To gage the accuracy and believability of the film, I worked closely with those in the mental health profession and conducted a very private screening of Asylum for a very small group of people who work with victims of sexual abuse and/or who are survivors.

Is there anyone that inspires your creativity?
The two directors that really inspire me in cinematic storytelling are Leon Ichaso and Wong Kar-wai. Leon Ichaso doesn’t shy away from the rare, gritty hardness of life in his stories but through it you see the beauty of the human spirit. Wong Kar-wai invites you into the private lives of his characters as if you were really there while using the surrounding environment to help tell his stories. This enhances the emotional element in his stories. But as for my art in general, it’s the people I meet who inspire me. The resilience of the human spirit and my desire to bring their stories alive. Giving them a voice when maybe at one time they didn’t feel as though they had one. With understanding comes compassion and with compassion great change is possible. I once read that “great art doesn’t just capture the moment but allows you to feel it,” and this is my foundation for storytelling.

How has funding from the 2017 GAP impacted your career as an artist?
The GAP award has allowed me to explore other area of the arts, including photography as an art director. I’m in partnerships with street photographer Rob J. Allen and several human trafficking prevention organizations to bring more awareness of human trafficking in our region through an art exhibit.

What projects are you currently working on?
Currently I’m working on two projects in partnership with Raise Expectations, For Sale and Stories Of Us. As creative director on For Sale, I’m collaborating with Washington Trafficking Prevention and possibly several other organizations that combat human trafficking in Pierce County to depict the reality of how trafficking is a threat to every child in local communities. Washington Lawyers for the Arts is providing legal support with this project as well. I’m excited to be collaborating with street photographer Rob J. Allen, who has the creative talent to capture emotion with a click of a button.

Using a variety of compelling images, I will invite people into a world that they may assume they already understand, while allowing the viewer to come to a deeper compassion and comprehension of the “face of victimization.” I will explore how a typical night plays out for this young girl. Putting a face to human trafficking while revealing the harsh realities of this exploitation of human life creates an emotionally powerful impact on the audience while at the same time educating them about this public health issue that occurs “in plain sight.”

As director and producer on Stories Of Us, I will look at trying to answer the question, “is there a common thread that connects all of us?” My hope from this is if we understand who we are, where we come from, and how our strife resembles that of others, then we can see that common thread more clearly. Seeing that common thread can give us a deeper compassion for those we didn’t think we knew. The path to a more united society begins with understanding how we are all connected.

In Stories Of Us, I will show the beauty of this country and the world via its landscape and people. We will film various places of beauty and importance and focus on places where we can capture the stories of individual lives juxtaposed with the landscape. Through interviews and imagery, we will invite viewers into the lives of people and allow them a platform to tell their stories. These stories will cover a broad range of humanity so we won’t limit our focus. Our power lies in our diversity. Showing this common thread through people and places will provide a more accurate picture of why our world is more than a sum of our parts.

What advice do you have for artists applying for grants and awards?
DO IT!!!! It may seem intimidating but you will never know if you will receive the grant unless you apply for it. It’s allowed me to expand my art discipline into another medium of storytelling which will hopefully open more doors for me.

View the official trailer for Asylum here.

Artist Profile Series: Barbara Earl Thomas

Megan Gallagher

Communications Intern

Barbara Earl Thomas, Bodies in the Matrix-- Cut Tyvek, 14 x 9 x9 feet, 2017

Barbara Earl Thomas is a Seattle-based writer, artist, and arts administrator with over 30 years of experience showing her work. She grew up in Seattle and studied art at the University of Washington, where she was mentored by Jacob Lawrence and Michael Spafford. Cited as a role model by Artist Trust workshop instructors Robin Held and Leilani Lewis, Barbara previously served as the director of the Northwest African American Museum, where she was instrumental in getting the organization off the ground.

Barbara creates visual art in a range of media including egg tempera, linocuts, and large-scale Tyvek cutouts, and her written works were published in What to Read in the Rain, Journal for Social Justice, and more. Asked about her impressive range of visual media, she says, “I’ve never thought that I’m a painter or a whatever. I just like to tell stories, I like to communicate, and I always try to figure out what kind of vehicle the story or the image needs. […] I’ve never thought, ‘Oh, I’m a painter so I shouldn’t be writing or printing.’” As we talked in her Columbia City studio, Barbara noted that, in terms of her career, “I feel like I just make stuff. I don’t feel like Rembrandt, I don’t feel like so many of the people I studied in school that were artists.”

In 2016, Barbara received the Twining Humber Award in recognition of her long-standing dedication to the arts. “For me, it’s about the recognition of my peers as having achieved a certain level of expertise and that I was seen within that context,” says Barbara. Funding from the award helped her pay the team that helps her create large-scale Tyvek cutouts, something she emphasizes she would have done with or without support, but receiving the award helped put her in a position to be more comfortable doing so.

Barbara is currently working on a series called Natural and Unnatural Disasters, as well as several large-scale cutouts. Some of these projects will be featured in exhibitions later this year, though Barbara hesitates to say exactly where, explaining that, “I never name a thing until I have it.”

Barbara’s best advice for aspiring artists is to keep going. “Don’t stop because the moment is not perfect, your efforts are cumulative. It all adds up,” she says, “don’t lament only having time to make three things – because at the end of the week you’ve got three real things to show for your efforts, at the end of the month you’ve got twelve images or objects and so on. […] And there’s never a perfect time to do a thing. I used to [go to my studio] at night, 5 o’clock after work and I’d have projects set up to meet whatever was my energy level on a given day. Many people in this world have had to do more than one thing well. I’m in that tradition—William Carlos Williams and Pablo Neruda both had day jobs.”

To learn more about Barbara and her work, check out her website.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She currently serves as Artist Trust’s Communications Intern.

Artist Profile Series: Julie Alpert

Carolyn Spencer

Content Contributor

Julie Alpert, Look-alikes, 10 x 6 x 10’, 2014. Photo: David Wentworth.

A frequent museumgoer inspired by fiction, thrillers, and high school memories of performing in plays, Julie Alpert creates artwork that resurrects the emotion and grandeur of the stage.

With her 2017 Fellowship, Julie developed, shipped, and travelled to install a two-person show at Bridge Productions in December 2017. Funding from the Fellowship will also support the creation of a solo show at the Roswell Museum and Art Center opening in March.

We spoke with Julie about her artistic inspiration, her current endeavors, and her learnings and recommendations for fellow artists.

Why do you do what you do?
I make immersive temporary site-specific installations using craft paper, cardboard, modified found objects, and drawing. Components are either attached to the wall, leaning against it, or suspended for the ceiling. They are usually flat shapes arranged in space to create a sense of depth, much like a theater set.

I make this work to help me find my way through fairly universal feelings of grief, loss, and confusion. Because they are difficult feelings, I try to embed them within a colorful, mysterious, and humorous situation.

Could you tell us more about your upcoming show?
It is the culminating show for my year at Roswell Artist in Residence Program. It will include installation, drawings, and small sculptures. I’m excited about this show because it’s a departure from my previous work. I recently began making 10-foot paper weavings [that] I’m calling paper tapestries. Each time I make one I discover a new method, color combination, or way to lay out the sections. My work hasn’t opened up like this in a few years, so it’s exciting to be on the precipice of something new.

I hope that visitors can experience my installations on multiple levels, both as a three-dimensional collage and as a loose nostalgic narrative with hidden moments of humor and oddity.

Do you have advice for artists considering applying for a fellowship?
I suggest applying for at least 25 artist calls a year. This will put you in the practice of writing about (and re-writing about) your work. It will help you synthesize your thoughts until they are very direct and focused. Of course, having a strong portfolio of your best work is also very important. Find a friend who’s been on juries and have them look at your application. The jury changes every year and with it so do the aesthetics and perspectives. Don’t give up!

To learn more about Julie’s work and current projects, visit her website.

Carolyn Spencer is a supporter of the arts, and encourages others to pursue their passion. She is a Content Contributor at Artist Trust.

Behind the Curtain: Twining Humber Award

Megan Gallagher

Communications Intern

Barbara Earl Thomas, Blood Letting, paper cut drawing, 2016. Photo: Robert Wade

Since 2001, the Twining Humber Award has provided over $150,000 in unrestricted funds for self-identified female visual artists in Washington State. It is the only award in Washington specifically for women ages 60 and older and seeks to recognize the recipient’s artistic excellence, professional accomplishment, and dedication to the arts throughout her career.

The resulting award provides one Washington State female visual artist with $10,000 in unrestricted funds each year. Past recipients of the Twining Humber Award include Ann Leda Shapiro (2017), Barbara Earl Thomas (2016), Deborah Lawrence (2015), and Barbara Noah (2011).

Funding for the award comes from a donation to Artist Trust’s Endowment Fund made by Yvonne Twining Humber (1907-2004). As a young woman pursuing a career as a painter in the early 20th Century, Yvonne balanced her advancements as an artist with the realities of providing for herself and her family. Remembering those struggles and upon discovering that a series of investments she’d made had grown well beyond her expectations, Yvonne approached Artist Trust about creating a funding source specifically for female artists.

Application Process
Applications for the Twining Humber Award are open to Washington State visual artists who self-identify as female, are age 60 or older, and have been dedicated 25 or more years to creating art (years do not need to be consecutive). Applications consist of a biography, artist statement, impact statement, resume, letter of recommendation, and collection of up to 25 work samples.

Once the application closes, submissions are reviewed by a three-person panel of artists and arts professionals. Panelists review the submissions based on the creative excellence and long-standing dedication to artistic practice demonstrated in the work samples and supporting materials. Panelists are also encouraged to look at applications through a lens of racial equity.

Interested in Applying?
Applications for the 2018 Twining Humber Award are open until March 12. Applicants who submit before February 26 are eligible to receive preliminary feedback and submit a revised application. The award recipient will be announced in June 2018. To learn more about the awards and submit your application, click here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She currently serves as Artist Trust’s Communications Intern.

2018 Make / ART / Work Conference in Twisp

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Organized by Confluence Gallery and Art Center (CGAC), Make / ART / Work is a one-day professional development and skill building conference happening on April 7, 2018 in Twisp, Washington. The conference is designed to address the business challenges and opportunities of artists residing in Okanogan County, and this year’s attendees can look forward to a variety of presentations and workshops led by Pacific Northwest teaching artists and arts industry professionals.

The inaugural Make / ART / Work conference was held April 1, 2017 with the intention of providing local artists with the skills to have a financially viable creative practice. The main objectives were to increase artists’ business fundamentals; provide artists with a framework to create a successful art practice; ensure artists have a sound understanding of the key drivers of the Pacific Northwest art industry; and facilitate a collaborative and supportive local artist community to share best practices and increase local artists’ visibility, audience, and sales. Highlights from last year were workshops offered by Artist Trust, ArtsWA, and Methow Arts Alliance, along with a lively and interactive discussion titled “Understanding the Landscape of the Pacific Northwest Art Industry,” with a panel comprised of art educators and art administrators

Artist Trust spoke with Salyna Gracie, a multimedia artist and CGAC’s Executive Director to learn more about Okanogan County’s vibrant arts community and the upcoming Make / ART / Work conference.

What are some of the challenges and/or barriers facing artists in Okanogan County?
Living and working in this remote and rural part of Washington State, the artists of Okanogan County do not have easy or affordable access to professional development opportunities and continuing education in the arts. Additionally, the local economy is very fragile, and local artists mirror the economic demographics of Okanogan County residents – a significant percentage earn below the State median income and live below the Federal poverty level. Working artists struggle everywhere, but, especially so in the economic climate of this county. In response to these challenges, Make / ART / Work is presented within the county to expand access to local artists, offer free artist mentoring, and subsidize fees for professional development for all emerging and established working artists in the region.

How many people do you anticipate to attend this year’s conference?
We expect to have 50 attendees at the 2018 Make / ART / Work conference based on artist attendance in 2017 and feedback that the majority of attendees would participate in the conference again. CGAC has long-standing relationships with hundreds of artists in Okanogan County and we hope the success of last year’s event will encourage artists to take advantage of this unique opportunity to build their art business acumen.

What led to incorporating a sliding scale admission?
The local economy of the Okanogan County is fragile and heavily reliant on tourism. Thirty-nine percent of people in the county live below the Federal poverty line. The median household income for Twisp is just 46% of the State median income. Many people lack year-round employment and wages don’t keep up with the high costs of housing, food, and other services in this remote area. Devastating wildfire seasons in 2014 and 2015 highlighted the need for the community to develop strategies for local businesses and entrepreneurs to grow and sustain their business when faced with adversity. Local artists mirror the economic demographics of Okanogan County residents and CGAC responded to the financial challenges of working artists by offering a subsidized/sliding scale fee to attend the Make / ART / Work conference, while filling a critical gap by delivering programs specifically tailored to our working artists who have very unique business challenges.

As an artist yourself, how do you balance your professional life with your creative life?
As an art administrator, it is an ongoing challenge to balance my professional life with my creative practice. Having a home studio is helpful to provide easy access to early mornings and late nights of art making. I use a lot of creative energy in my job at CGAC and finding strategies to save some of that creative juice for my own work is always evolving. Luckily, I get to spend a lot of time with super creative and talented artists that inspire me daily!

Are there any projects you are currently working on?
My current projects include a body of work titled Deadly Beauty, a series of encaustic paintings that explore my fascination with the power of plants to harm or heal. From the most exotic flower to the everyday shrubs adorning our backyards, the botanical studies in my Deadly Beauty series hold a deadly secret in each leaf, petal, root, and seed. Releasing the Dogma of Birdsong is my newest evolving series and explores a spiritual understanding of raptors and songbirds in encaustic mixed media.

Do you have any advice for artists aspiring to turn their creative practice into a profession?
Going from art as a hobby to art as a profession is a leap that can be made in steps that reflect the individual goals of an artist. Art making has always been reliant on the apprentice/mentor model and is still a very relevant relationship for any emerging artist to cultivate. Art school can teach great fundamentals in technique and process, yet, they often fall short preparing artists for the marketplace. A professional artist is a self-employed entrepreneur in a unique commerce platform and needs specific skills to effectively run their business and sell their product. In addition to attending skill building workshops like Make / ART / Work, finding an artist–mentor who is willing to share their experience is incredibly valuable for any artist trying to build their career. Make / ART / Work programming features mentorship and networking opportunities for artists, encourages artistic generosity and collaboration, and works toward creating a community of artists that can support each other every step of the way.
This year’s Make / ART / Work conference features a presentation by Artist Trust Program Director Brian McGuigan on “Developing Your Elevator Speech & Professional Relationships.” The full conference schedule is available here.

Behind the Curtain: Artist Trust Fellowships

Megan Gallagher

Communications Intern

Che Sehyun, SOBEBA (So Breathe Easy & Be Aware), video (still), 2014.

Since 1987, the Artist Trust Fellowships have provided over $2.2 million in unrestricted funds for Washington State artists of all disciplines. The awards began as a way to provide direct support for artists living and working in Washington State following the culture wars of the 1980s, and currently provide $7,500 in unrestricted funds for ten or more outstanding artists each year.

Recent Fellowship recipients include Amjad Faur (visual, 2017), Esther de Monteflores (performing, 2017), Jana Brevick (craft, 2016), Monica Rojas Stewart (traditional, 2017), King Khazm (music, 2016), and Che Sehyun (media, 2016).

Funding for the Fellowships comes directly from Artist Trust’s fundraising efforts throughout the year, including the Benefit Art Auction. This means the total number of awards available each year varies, though Artist Trust has awarded an average of 16 awards each year since 2010 and plans to award 16 Fellowships in 2018.

Asked why he believes the Fellowships have lasted so long, Artist Trust Program Director Brian McGuigan says, “The awards have lasted so long because, like Artist Trust as a whole, generous individuals, businesses, corporations, and funding agencies value the arts and artists. Since its launch in 1986, the Fellowship has grown in terms of the number of awards and the total amount of them, which I think speaks to how critical the support is for artists and how much their work is valued within and beyond the artist community.”

Application Process
Applications for the 2018 Fellowships are open to Washington State artists of all disciplines, including interdisciplinary, emerging, and traditional fields. Applications consist of a discipline statement (short description of the artist’s work and approach), biography, impact statement, resume, artist statement, and collection of up to 10 work samples from the past three years.

After the application closes, submissions are reviewed by a five-person multidisciplinary panel of artists and arts professionals. Panelists base their decisions on the artistic excellence demonstrated in the work samples and support materials, the applicant’s professional background, and evidence of continued dedication to their artistic practice. Panelists are also encouraged to look at applications through the lens of racial equity.

Interested in applying?
Applications for the 2018 Fellowships are open until March 5. Award recipients will be announced in June 2018. More information about the awards as well as sample applications and application guidelines can be found here.

Learn more about recent changes to the Fellowship program here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She currently serves as Artist Trust’s Communications Intern.

Watch the 2018 Fund the Artists Video

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Artists do more than reflect our culture. They are change makers, innovators, and storytellers. An investment in the individual artist is an investment in the health and well-being of our communities - because artists have the power to provide beauty, enrich lives, and create change.

Help Artist Trust meet a $25,000 matching challenge from The Klorfine Foundation. Your gift will positively impact individual artists across Washington State. Donate now.

Featuring Juan Alonso-Rodríguez, Quenton Baker, Veronica Lee-Baik, and Sofia Babaeva.

Video: Patrick Richardson Wright
Special Thanks: Juan Alonso Studio

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Robin Held

Megan Gallagher

Communications Intern

In her over 20 years supporting Seattle’s art community, Robin Held has served as a curator for the Henry Art Gallery, Deputy Director for the Frye Art Museum, and Executive Director of Reel Grrls, and currently works as the principal of Held Consulting. She was part of the leadership team responsible for changing the creative direction of the Frye, and in 2011 was hailed as “Seattle’s most interesting museum curator” by the Stranger.

In all of her pursuits, Robin is driven by a deep love of working directly with artists to realize ambitious projects and help them thrive in their careers. Her peers have described her as “direct, meticulous, and brave” and an “amazing reader of individuals around [her, with a] tremendous amount of compassion that is not to be taken lightly.”

On March 3, Robin will be leading “Cultivating Professional Relationships for Artists” at Hugo House in Seattle, and on March 10, she will be back at Hugo House for “Optimizing Your Artist Resume.” I recently caught up with her to learn more about the workshops and her advice for artists looking to further develop their business skills.

What are some common things you’ve seen artists struggle with when it comes to business skills or building their careers?
At the core of my endeavors and accomplishments is a sustained engagement with artists, at every life-stage, from curious student to seasoned professional to entrepreneurial outlier. As museum curator, scholar, producing partner, advisor, fundraiser, teacher, and executive, I have worked directly with artists to execute and finance ambitious art in a wide range of media, from traditional to experimental (including painting, sculpture, film, video, performance, sound art, robotics, artificial intelligence, digital media, social enterprise, and entrepreneurial start-up).

Over and over, I witness two struggles:

1) An artist’s focus from project to project, new work to new work, grant to grant, without periodically stepping back to assess the big picture of envisioning your career, can drain an artist’s energy and resources

2) Not setting long-term and short-term goals, can create “mission drift,” distracting an artist from an energizing passion, a focused art practice, and even one’s core values

What advice do you have for artists who might be thinking about improving their business skills?
Do it. It will help you create the structure to free your mind for the deep work of your art practice.

1) Commit to an annual “retreat,” a few hours of focused time

2) Identify your values. Does your vision for your art practice and career align with these values?

3) Set priorities for your long-term and short-term goals that align with your values

4) Set your goals: great goals are outcome focused, aligned with your values, and stated in the positive. They are SMART: specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-bound

5) Put aids and supports in place to help you meet your goals

Interested in upping your business skills as an artist? Join Robin for Cultivating Professional Relationships for Artists on March 3 and Optimizing Your Artist Resume on March 10.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She currently serves as Artist Trust’s Communications Intern.

Artist Profile Series: Mary Coss

Megan Gallagher

Communications Intern

Mary Coss Traces installation at METHOD, 2015; Photo: James Arzente

Mary Coss is a Seattle-based artist specializing in sculpture and multimedia installation. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at alternative venues and community art spaces such as BONFIRE Gallery, Artprize Michigan, and Franklin Furnace NYC, and she is a co-founder of METHOD Gallery in Seattle.

In 2014 Mary received a GAP award to help pay for materials and assistance recording the soundtrack for Eventualities, an installation reflecting on memory and identity. The project was initially set to include cast bones, fossils, and shells hanging from a bronze DNA chandelier but eventually transformed into two different projects: Traces, an installation exploring cultural inheritance that appeared at METHOD Gallery in 2015, and Silent Salinity, an artist-scientist collaboration examining the effects of global warming on the freshwater supply that showed at Museum of Northwest Art in 2016.

Asked how the GAP award impacted her career as an artist, Mary says, “The funding was fantastic, and the timing of the GAP award aligned with several other accomplishments. It’s always hard to say what impacts what, but I do believe there’s a synergy that happens as you get acknowledged for your work.”

In addition to being a 2014 GAP recipient, Mary is a 2007 EDGE Professional Development Program graduate. Of the program, Mary says the impact it had on her career is “hard to quantify. From my experience, the primary impact was to put me into the middle of a cohort and created new networking connections. … I was not connected to the Seattle art community much before that.”

Having gone through the EDGE program and now built a community for herself in Seattle, Mary says her strongest advice for aspiring artists is to “simply pursue your passion and follow it where it leads you. If you do this your work will be meaningful and authentic and grant applications will flow easily. … Artists are reading the applications and they know when the project is in process and they can trust that you will finish it. That doesn’t mean it can’t develop and change but you need to be on an authentic trajectory in order to write a compelling grant application.”

Mary is currently developing several projects about water, including expanding Silent Salinity into a large-scale installation that will be on view at the Museum of Northwest Art later this year. She also recently completed an artist residency at Willapa Bay and is taking part in the Cornish Playhouse Arts Incubator residency, where she is working with Daemond Arrindell, Dani Tirrell, and Anastacia Renee Tolbert to explore joy as a form of resistance through the lens of water.

To learn more about Mary’s work and current projects, visit her website.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She currently serves as Artist Trust’s Communications Intern.

Artist Profile Series: Marilyn Montufar

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Marilyn Montufar, Tony in Bed, photograph, 2013

Marilyn Montufar is an artist, art activist, and youth educator based in Seattle. A dual citizen of Mexico and the United States, she is interested in bridging connections between artists of the neighboring countries through visual arts and education.

In 2015, Marilyn was awarded Grants for Artists Projects (GAP) funding, which assisted in bringing her visual art project originally titled “Capturing Community: Portraits of Women and Their Environments in Contemporary America” to life. Over the years, this project grew and culminated into the exhibition Transcending Identity: impressions of people, community, and landscapes opening at Gallery 4Culture on Thursday, February 1.

Self-identifying as a Mexican-American, Marilyn straddles her two cultures without fully belonging to or claiming one over the other. This lived experience led her to investigate identity constructs and its relation to people and place, a reoccurring theme in her work. Photographs on view in Transcending Identity trace her travels to California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. The subjects of her photographs range from family members to strangers that she’s come across by happenstance.

Last year, Marilyn visited Juárez, Mexico to further her exploration of identity and place in the Texas-Chihuahua border city, which is rooted in both Mexican and American culture. “I believe that the artist’s role is to raise questions about society. In 2017, as a reaction to the political climate in the U.S. and as an extension of the series I was already building, I began photographing communities throughout Mexico,” she says. “The experience opened a window to my own heritage and has allowed me to share a different reality than what is portrayed in mainstream media.”

Upon receiving awards like GAP, the Artists Up Grant LAB, and launching a successful crowdfunding campaign, Marilyn’s best advice for artists looking for arts funding and similar opportunities is “to reach out to friends and artists for support. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from these individuals nor the organizations that are offering the grant you’re interested in. These organizations are happy to help and give insight on what a successful grant looks like.” She also encourages artists to attend professional development workshops being held by the organizations that they are seeking funding from. “Don’t give up! Keep applying to more opportunities.”

Transcending Identity: impressions of people, community, and landscapes opens at Gallery 4Culture on Thursday, February 1, and an artist reception will be held from 6:00 - 8:00 PM. Marilyn will lead an artist talk at the gallery on Thursday, February 15, 12:30 PM.

Artist Trust | 2017 Annual Report

Shannon Halberstadt


Hello Friends,

Artist Trust has already jumped head first into what’s bound to be an incredible 2018 supporting artists in Washington State. Our Fellowship and Twining Humber Award application periods will open in the coming weeks, and the recipients of our 2018 Arts Innovator Award, presented with the support of the Chihuly Foundation, will be announced later this month. Tickets are selling quickly for our 2018 Benefit Art Auction taking place on February 24th, and we have a whole slew of artist support workshops and programs already underway.

But before we get too far into 2018, Artist Trust would like to stop, reflect, and thank each of you for making last year a success. At the end of this letter you’ll find a link to our 2017 Annual Report full of the stories, facts, and figures that defined our year.

It’s no secret that 2017 was a difficult year, with a divisive political climate and ever-looming threats to arts funding, but the Artist Trust community was even more galvanized in its support of artists. While faced with many challenges, we were able to do incredible work together.

Last year, more than 100 artists of all disciplines across Washington State received cash awards through Artist Trust grant programs, and over 2,000 artists participated in our statewide artist support programs. Furthermore, we worked hard to advance our racial equity framework, applying a lens of equity to all Artist Trust programs and operations. We accomplished all of this and more while keeping a keen eye to careful financial stewardship and business management.

These successes are because of you: the artists, donors, board members, workshop instructors, grantmaking funders, partners, interns, staff, corporate supporters, volunteers, and all the stakeholders who have worked hard in 2017 to set Artist Trust in a great position to move into the future together. We can’t thank you enough.

In Artists We Trust,

Shannon Roach Halberstadt
Artist Trust CEO

Read the 2017 Annual Report


Artist Profile Series: Paul Rucker

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Photo by Ryan Stevenson

Visual artist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Paul Rucker of Seattle had just started working as an arts program manager when he received a Fellowship award from Artist Trust in 2007. The funding from the award was used to create PROLIFERATION. With 18,740+ views on YouTube, PROLIFERATION is an animation video that maps the rapid growth of prisons and incarceration centers in the United States from 1778 to 2005. “I made it as a piece to give away, not a piece to sell. I wanted people to understand the impact of mass incarceration. Unrestricted support gives you freedom to explore.”

In 2012, Paul received a Conductive Garboil Grant and Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) funding. “Every Artist Trust grant has been a major contributor to where I am now,” he shares. The support from GAP funding allowed him to create some of his most bold and impactful work such as his GAP project Assassin Series. Assassin Series evolved to be a part of his award-winning show REWIND, which parallels lynching of the past with the unprosecuted shootings of and excessive force inflicted on Black men by the police, what many consider lynching’s present incarnation.

For more than 25 years, Paul has conducted research on the histories of slavery, segregation, incarceration, police brutality, and the judicial system, which manifest in his oeuvre. Over time he has amassed a collection of artifacts including branding irons used to mark runaway slaves, publications on white supremacy, and currency printed in the antebellum South that prominently displays a romanticized view of slavery.

This pained history is reimagined in Stories from the Trees, an animated vignette accompanied by a somber and contemplative cello composition. The work depicts a hanged body of a Black male, swaying gently in the breeze for the visual consumption of a crowd of White spectators that includes three young children. As the piece transitions from color into black and white, it is revealed that the scene is an adaptation of an actual photograph from a lynching postcard.

Selected works like Stories from the Trees and objects from Paul’s artifacts collection were presented in REWIND, a solo exhibition that has recently travelled to Ellensburg, Washington; Ferguson, Missouri; and York, Pennsylvania. “I love to engage with communities off the beaten path. Most artists want to show in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago…. I’ve enjoyed the journey to more rural parts of the United States that get fewer opportunities to view contemporary art and engage in important, difficult conversations about race, power, and social justice.”

Early this month, TED Talks named Paul as one of their TED2018 Fellows. Recognition of the media organization’s “gold standard” position as the premiere platform for presenting and spreading ideas led Paul to apply to the TED Fellows Program. “Any opportunity to broaden the audience for the work you do as an artist is invaluable. When working through a talk and presenting, you also gain a better understanding of your own work.”

Through TED’s network and global viewership, Paul hopes to increase awareness of his current work, which draws upon challenging and unsightly themes from America’s long history of inflicting social injustices and violating civil liberties and human rights. Unapologetic and jarring, his work brings into focus the vast disparities that disproportionately impact marginalized communities, such as people of color and women.

Currently, Paul is preparing work to be featured in Declaration, the first exhibition of the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. “I have new Ku Klux Klan robes and artifacts that build on the ideas from my show REWIND, which uses a multimedia approach to illustrate and analyze the economics of the prison-industrial complex, the lingering effects of slavery, the explosive growth of the US prison system, and the relationships among these trends.” He anticipates that it will be an exciting inaugural show for the non-collecting art institution, which is slated to open its doors on April 21, 2018.

At this point in his career, Paul is most proud of the projects that bring audiences from different backgrounds together. He explains, in particular, “The evidence that my art is promoting empathy, understanding, and compassion. That change can happen through reaching beyond our own comfort zones. Also, we have the power as artists to make the lives of others better and more equitable through knowledge and beauty. The beauty of art is that it means different things to different people. We all bring our own experiences to the show, and that’s part of the power.”

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Valerie Moseley

Megan Gallagher

Communications Intern

On February 7, Valerie Moseley will be leading Tax Prep for Artists at Hiawatha Lofts, Seattle. The workshop is SOLD OUT but we hope to add more workshops on tax preparation for artists. Email Zach at to be added to the wait list.

Valerie Moseley, CPA is the founder and principal of Moseley & Associates LLC, a tax and business consulting firm serving individuals and small businesses in the Seattle area. She first discovered her passion for accounting while helping her friends with their taxes, and continues to mentor others on financial literacy and tax preparation both through her work at Moseley & Associates and as a volunteer with the Small Business Administration and the Washington State Society of CPAs.

On Saturday, February 7, Valerie will be leading Tax Prep for Artists, a workshop on tax preparation and other business best practices for artists at Hiawatha Lofts in Seattle. I recently caught up with her to learn more about her work and some of the challenges artists may face when preparing their taxes.

How, if at all, does tax prep differ from other professions?
Tax preparation in general is a pretty high-pressure business. We deal with important deadlines and complex laws that are constantly changing. When people come to us, they come with a lot of stress and, honestly, sometimes baggage about their financial lives. And, let’s face it, financial lives are really just an aspect of a full life. We’re not just pencil-pushers; we have to be attentive to the nuances of each situation - so we have to be good at the left and right brain stuff.

I read that you’re a former Treasurer of Washington Lawyers for the Arts and Ear to the Ground. How did you first get interested in working with artists/arts organizations?
I have a background in music, dance, and theatre. When I shifted over to being a tax and accounting pro, it seemed like a natural extension to reach back out to my old community and pitch in.

How did you get involved with Artist Trust?
Actually, I live just down the street from Artist Trust so I feel like I’ve always known about the organization. I am a former Treasurer of Washington Lawyers for the Arts (WLA), and the two organizations have had some cross-pollination in the past, for sure. I think my most recent connection must have come through WLA.

What are some challenges artists may have when preparing their taxes?
Income that comes from a W2-wage job and income that comes from a 1099-contractor job and their related deductions need to be treated differently. There is a lot of confusion about which is which and what is what. Here in Washington, B&O tax in the mix can confuse folks, too. The timing of some of those deductions can also be a challenge. Oh, and don’t forget self-employment tax!

What are some of your favorite kinds of art?
I’m a pretty big theatre nerd, but I love dance, too. I can kill a nice afternoon at the Frye or SAM.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Artist Profile Series: Alison O. Marks

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Alison Marks, Cultural Tourism, 2017.

Alison O. Marks (née Bremner) is a Tlingit artist from Yakutat, Alaska. She received a James W. Ray Venture Project Award from the Artist Trust | Frye Art Museum Consortium in 2015 for her project, “Grandfather Totem Pole.” Her works, including photographs documenting the totem pole’s carving process, are currently on view in an exhibition titled Alison Marks: One Gray Hair at the Frye Art Museum.

Born in Southeast Alaska and raised in two cultures: Native and part-Scottish, Irish, and English, Alison’s work illustrates her journey of forming a modern Indigenous identity. “Never being Native enough is something that I grew up with,” she says. Alison uses humor in her work to present artwork laden with social commentary while maintaining traditional and ceremonial functions. Works on view in her solo exhibition at the Frye communicate her observations on technology and social media-driven impact on contemporary society, such as the emergence of the “me” culture which she views as opposite from her communal-based Native culture.

On her experience working on “Grandfather Totem Pole,” Alison says “I learned a lot about carving, and I unexpectedly learned a great deal about Tlingit culture and myself.” The process of becoming a woodcarver heightened her awareness of the prevalence of Tlingit trinkets and tourist items sold in Juneau, Alaska, and how these commercial reproductions negatively affect the perception of native culture. Cultural Tourism (pictured), is a piece installed in an isolated area of the gallery and speaks to the discomforting reaction Alison feels when she comes into contact with these misappropriated images.

Committed to revitalizing her Tlingit culture, Alison applied for the James W. Ray Venture Project Award for the opportunity to pursue her dream project, to carve a totem pole. She studied under the guidance of Native artist and master carver David A. Boxley in Kingston, Washington. The ten-foot totem pole, carved in honor of her grandfather John Bremner, Sr., was shipped from Washington to Alaska, where it received its final touches and is awaiting to be raised in Alison’s hometown of Yakutat, in accordance with Tlingit culture. Scheduled for July 2018, the totem raising ceremony involves the support and participation of the community. The host clan Raven will invite the Eagle clan as their guest to witness the totem pole’s raising. Oral traditions and songs will be performed, including a piece thanking the tree for giving itself to the carving process.

Surprised, grateful, and honored when she learned that she had been nominated for the James W. Ray Venture Project Award, Alison’s advice to artists who are thinking of applying for Artist Trust grants, is “Ch’á yei sané,” which in English means “Just do it!”

Alison Marks: One Gray Hair is on view at the Frye Art Museum until February 4. Alison has graciously donated OwlEmoji, a piece from her series of digital paintings, to the 2018 Artist Trust Benefit Art Auction taking place at the Fisher Pavilion in Seattle Center on February 24. For more information and to purchase auction tickets, visit

Artist Profile Series: Abigail Hagan

Pooja Galgali

Content Contributor

Abigail Hagan, Wall of Complacency, 2015.

2017 GAP recipient Abigail Hagan of Seattle is a videographer, editor, documentary filmmaker, and photographer. Her work focuses on social justice, travel, dance, food accessibility, homelessness, immigration, and poverty.

With hopes of pursuing a career as an editor and documentary filmmaker, Abigail moved to Seattle in June 2016 and has been proactive in searching for artistic opportunities in her new community. “I learned about Artist Trust through the Next Stage program that I participated in at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center,” says Abigail. “I have felt very welcomed by the Seattle arts community and am very excited to be living in a city that offers so many opportunities for artists from all walks of life.”

Abigail’s project “Wall of Complacency” is a short, partially-animated documentary that shares the personal stories of several immigrant and refugee communities in her hometown of Houston, Texas. The film demonstrates Texas’ diversity and nuanced culture while exploring topics of immigration, refugee resettlement, and human rights.

“I’m from Texas, and I started this project at the time when Governor Greg Abbott claimed that he was going to ban all Syrian refugees from Texas. Many of my non-Texan friends believed that Texas was extremely xenophobic, but I tried to defend my home, the city of Houston in particular, and express to them how culturally diverse and welcoming the city is,” explains Abigail. “This is what started the ‘Wall of Complacency’ project, for which I interviewed city officials, lawyers, healthcare workers, and immigrants from all over the globe. While I can’t speak from an immigrant’s perspective, I can speak as a proud Houstonian, and I hope that this piece provided a medium for oft-underrepresented individuals to share their stories.”

We asked Abigail a few questions about her projects and artistic practice.

Tell us more about the overall experience of producing “Wall of Complacency”?
The overall experience was wonderful, though admittedly exhausting at times. I completed this film from start to finish as the shooter, interviewer, transcriber, fundraiser, writer, and editor. Through this process I experienced innumerable great moments, but here are my top three.
Number one would be having had the opportunity to speak with individuals about their experiences in such an intimate way. All of the film’s interviewees were exorbitantly generous about sharing their stories with a complete stranger. My very first interview for this film was with a Bhutanese immigrant named Bhakti, who spoke uninterrupted for an hour after I posed only one question. His story chronicled everything from living in refugee camps in Nepal, to being held in solitary confinement for 36 months, to raising sons in the US. Speaking with these individuals was a joy and an incredible learning experience.

The second most memorable aspect of producing this film was the amazing support and encouragement from the City of Houston and the University of Houston that I received. City officials and professors were willing to speak on camera for this project, and everyone was very passionate about the possibility to share some of Houston’s rich diversity.

What were some of the best moments for you as an artist?
Another wonderful aspect of working on this film was the opportunity to collaborate with stop-motion animator Lisa Jake. Lisa and I met at the Seattle Transmedia & Independent Film Festival, and over the course of a year collaborated on this piece, which was my first experience producing a film with animated content. Filmmaking can often be a very solitary endeavor, and it was wonderful to be able to create art with a friend. She was also an invaluable ally during the fundraising process. Lisa is currently in the UK working on a Master’s in documentary animation.

In your opinion, how well can films and photography highlight issues like social justice and break stereotypes?
I believe that visual media has a unique opportunity to share stories cross-culturally that can expose audiences to people unlike themselves. I would argue that the onus to break stereotypes is not necessarily on the filmmaker, but rather the audience. This may vary by artist, but my current personal philosophy is that my role is to create diverse, thought-provoking pieces that are palatable to many audiences. I want to challenge audiences (native born Americans in particular) and help expose them to the many obstacles that immigrants and other minority groups face. I also hope that, after viewing this film, audiences grasp the fact that immigrants and refugees face very similar challenges and life experiences as native-born US citizens do.

What is your next project about?
I am in the early stages of producing a documentary on the subject of chronic nightmares and related mental illnesses. I have suffered from chronic nightmares since childhood, and am making this film as a way to explore the topic and hopefully remove some of the stigma surrounding sleep disorders. I am currently seeking medical professionals and nightmare sufferers to interview on camera about this subject. If anyone is interested in participating, I can be reached at

Pooja Galgali is a content specialist from Mill Creek, Washington. She is passionate about art, digital marketing strategies, and research. She is interested in being associated with organizations that promote art and appreciate individual creativity.

Artist Trust’s Fellowship Program Now Open to Artists of All Disciplines

Brian McGuigan

Program Director

The guidelines for this year’s Fellowship Awards, Artist Trust’s longest-running grant program, are now available, and applications will be accepted beginning on February 5 through March 5, 2018.

Based on feedback from Washington State artists, we made a few changes to the grant program which include:
• Opening up the awards to artists of all disciplines;
• Simplifying the application and selection process;
• Replacing the two Millay Colony for the Arts residencies with additional cash awards. 

We understand the impact unrestricted support can have on an artist’s career and want to be more responsive to those needs by allowing artists of all disciplines to be eligible to apply for the award every year. In the past, the eligible disciplinary categories rotated with literary, craft, media, and music artists eligible in even-numbered years, and visual, traditional / folk, performing, and emerging fields / cross-disciplinary eligible in odd-numbered years. Through feedback from grant recipients, informal conversations with artists, and post-application surveys, we found that artists want support when they need it most, not only when the awards are open to their discipline. Starting in 2018, artists of all disciplines can apply for Fellowship annually.

With this shift in eligibility, the Fellowship application will also change. For the first time with this award, we’ll move away from disciplinary categories entirely. Instead of asking artists to choose one disciplinary category under which their work will be reviewed, artists will self-define their work in a discipline statement.

We first experimented with discipline statements in the Artists Up Grant Lab last year, a program presented in collaboration with 4Culture and the Office of Arts & Culture, and artists responded very positively. Since then, we have included discipline statements in the recent applications for the James W. Ray and Arts Innovator Awards. Our intent is to give artists the freedom to define their own work and practice and to be more inclusive of artists working in multiple disciplines or whose work doesn’t fit neatly within a checkbox, such as social practice artists, interdisciplinary artists, and culture bearers.

In turn, the Fellowship selection process will become multidisciplinary. Prior to this year, four different disciplinary panels selected Fellowship recipients with a set number of awards to give out based on the number of applicants in each disciplinary category. For 2018, a single selection committee including artists and arts professionals working in different disciplines will select all award recipients, similar to the selection process of the James W. Ray and Arts Innovator Awards. A multidisciplinary panel will lead to a more equitable distribution of awards across all disciplines.

In addition to opening up Fellowship to artists of all disciplines each year and revising our selection process, we replaced the two residencies offered through the program with cash awards. We greatly appreciate our partnership with the Millay Colony for the Arts; however, artists shared that they value the cash awards over the Upstate New York-based residency and would prefer the flexibility to choose a residency program that best fits their work and their lives. Fellowship funding can still be applied to residency opportunities but now award recipients can choose for themselves which one to attend.

As with the changes we announced to our grantmaking programs last year, the changes to Fellowship are driven by our strategic plan and organizational values and our commitment to racial equity. This forward-thinking approach to discipline and the application and selection processes is intended to be more inclusive of all artists. However, this work will evolve as we grow our programs and processes.

If you have feedback or questions, please reach out to us. We’re excited about these changes and look forward to supporting more artists across Washington State.

The guidelines for Artist Trust’s 2018 Fellowship Awards are available for viewing here, and the online application opens on February 5.

Artist Profile Series: Julie Gautier-Downes

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Photo courtesy of the artist.

Spokane-based artist Julie Gautier-Downes received a 2016 Grants for Artist Project (GAP) award for Dislocated Memories, an installation project that explored her fractured relationship with her childhood home. Born in San Diego, Julie moved to New York City in 2001, an experience which prompted her bi-coastal identity and interest in perceptions of home. Julie reached out to let us know what she’s been up to and kindly answered a few questions we had for her on receiving a GAP award.

How did receiving a GAP award impact your career as an artist?
Receiving a GAP award in 2016 provided funding that helped me gain the momentum to get more shows. As a result, I was able to have more shows in 2017 than ever before. I felt that the recognition that I got from the GAP award gave me the confidence to apply to things and find more opportunities for exhibiting my work.

What did funding from the award allow you to do?
My GAP award funding paid for me to build an 8 x 12 ft. installation, which was the centerpiece for a solo exhibition, titled Dislocated Memories, at the Chase Gallery in the Spokane City Hall last summer. The installation was a recreation of my childhood bedroom, which I inhabited before my parents split up and before the house burned down. The show received excellent reviews with articles in the Pacific Northwest Inlander and The Spokesman-Review.

What advice do you have for artists applying for grants and awards?
I keep a spreadsheet with deadlines for grants, shows, residencies, and other opportunities. It helps me to see the deadlines organized so I can apply when I have downtime. Apply to as many things as you can. If you have questions or need help, reach out to the funder or organization. Don’t be afraid to ask friends or family to proofread your entries.

What projects are you currently working on?
During recent residencies at the A.I.R. Studio Paducah and the Vermont Studio Center this fall, I created several installations, which occupy smaller footprints than my previous, life-sized works. In these works, I repurposed or assembled dollhouses and toys to create dioramas, which house narratives about violence, trauma, and the fragility of relationships. The dollhouse combines my experience working with found objects and abandoned homes with the symbolic significance of the dollhouse as a starting point for a child’s dreams about marriage and growing up.

Julie’s new works are currently being exhibited in a solo show, Dioramas of Disaster, at E3 Convergence Gallery in Missoula, Montana until January 27. For details, click here.

Artist Trust Racial Equity Framework

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

In our continuing efforts to strive toward being open, transparent, responsive, and forward-thinking, we are unveiling an update to the Artist Trust Racial Equity Framework.

As a nonprofit organization that supports Washington State artists of all disciplines, Artist Trust strongly believes a fair and just society ensures that artists of all background and identities are included in its cultural narratives. First implemented with our 2016-2019 Strategic Plan, the Artist Trust Racial Equity Framework cemented our commitment to support the work and livelihood of all artists based in Washington State.

Over the last year, we carefully reviewed feedback from our Annual Artist Surveys, conducted informal conversations with artists and professionals in the fields of art and equity, participated in extensive Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) trainings held by the Seattle Office for Civil Rights, and completed an anti-racist workshop with Moral Choice.

A team of Artist Trust staff representing our program, development, operations, and communication activities met to review and revise the language and tone used within our previous Racial Equity Framework. Moreover, realizable goals set at all levels of the organization were established to work toward in the coming year. After incorporating feedback from staff and the strategic vision committee, the updated Racial Equity Framework was presented to the board in November 2017.

We recognize that our approach of turning our commitment to racial equity into action is always evolving, therefore, we will evaluate and review the Racial Equity Framework throughout the year. While growing our own understanding of how our efforts impact and help Washington State artists of all disciplines thrive, we also aim to set new goals that will eliminate barriers to access and bring us closer to a fair and just society.

View Artist Trust’s Racial Equity Framework on the Equity page of our website. We also invite everyone to read over and share these equity-related resources listed here.

If you have feedback or would like to discuss our racial equity work, please contact us at 206.467.8734.

2018-01 (RE)SOURCE

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Happy New Year! Read the January 2018 (re)Source here.

Artist Profile Series: Barbara Noah

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Acme, ©Barbara Noah, archival pigment print, image 30” x 22 5/8” Original pre-edited earth background courtesy of Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Lab, NASA Johnson Space Center

2004 GAP & 2011 Twining Humber Award recipient Barbara Noah of Seattle is a mixed-media artist experienced in painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking, public art, installations, and digital imaging. We recently caught up with Barbara and she was happy to share more about an upcoming project and how Artist Trust helped shape her path as an artist.

Are there any projects that you are currently working on?
I am currently completing the “Likely Stories” series, part of which was previously supported by the Twining Humber Award. This ironically titled series reflects a personal and cultural desire for transcendent experiences in distant skies through surrogate objects in full-throttle can-do mode. The presence of the airborne forms is deadpan and absurd relative to the grandeur of the lofty extraterrestrial contexts, their juxtapositions both ridiculous and sublime. The work also suggests dichotomies between near and far, aspirations and outcomes, and other underlying content. Please view the video below to learn more:

The “Likely Stories” series will be shown in an exciting and engaging exhibition at Davidson Galleries in Seattle. After completion of the “Likely Stories” series, I will begin new work for a series tentatively titled “Hybrid Lives” as well as other initiatives currently in the research phase.

How did receiving Artist Trust funding impact your career as an artist?
The Grants for Artist Projects and the Twining Humber Award both assisted me in making new work possible through support for equipment, materials, and the time to devote to my artistic practice. My career was also positively impacted by the receipt of these prestigious awards, which help pave the way for future awards from other organizations.

What advice do you have for artists applying for grants and awards?
My advice for aspiring artists and artists applying for grants and awards is to persist in making your work and in applying for grants. The successes you achieve can make up for any discouragement you encounter, and the receipt of one grant can make up for the ten for which you were not selected. Persistence pays off!

Visit Barbara’s project page, where you can read more about the “Likely Stories” series, see more images, and read about perks you will receive for your tax-deductible donation.

Artist Profile Series: Alana O. Rogers

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Alana Rogers, Sight, 2013. Photo: Ernie Sapiro.

Alana O. Rogers is a Seattle-based dancer and choreographer who has been commissioned by Velocity Dance Center, Chop Shop Bodies of Work, Seattle International Dance Festival, and more. She has been dancing since childhood and says that, growing up, she was always creating productions with her little sister and neighbors. “Making dances in adulthood was very much an organic step for me; I didn’t have to think about whether or not I wanted to do it because I was already doing it.”

During a 2014 kayaking trip to Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park, Alana became fascinated by arctic landscapes, the richness of arctic wildlife, and most importantly, she says, “the feeling of both immense life and immense quiet it allowed.” She spent nearly two years afterwards researching the coldest places on the planet and particularly the northern latitudes of the Arctic. Into Ice, an evening-length dance performance and collaboration with composer Nico Tower, grew from this experience. View Into Ice on vimeo.

Part of the funding for the production came from a GAP award Alana received in 2016, which, she says, “was a career-defining moment in many ways and a sigh of relief!

“It gave weight to the time and resources I had poured into the project,” she explains. “It also gave a sense of worth to the years spent on many prior projects. It has no doubt inspired me to continue to create, despite our current financial climate, as it pertains to art-funding; despite the competition from other deserving, brilliant artists; despite my own self-doubt.”

Asked if she has any advice for aspiring artists, Alana says to “Be patient. Keep applying. It took me several fruitless attempts before I received a GAP award. And seriously have a friend or professional with writing and communication skills provide feedback on your proposal. It is invaluable. I have a degree in writing but I still have my proposals reviewed by my editor and trusted friend Mariko Nagashima ( […] Creativity is non-linear (thank god) but linear thinking in grant applications certainly helps their readability and accessibility.”

To learn more about Alana’s current projects, check out her website.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Artist Profile Series: Esther de Monteflores

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Esther de Monteflores, Tiny Cities, 2017. Photo: Chance McKenney

Esther de Monteflores is a Bellingham-based circus artist whose work has been performed at Lookout Arts Center, Art on the Atlanta Beltline, Seattle’s Moisture Festival, the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts, and more. She specializes in slack-wire walking, and is also trained in aerial arts, juggling, and stilts.

Esther’s most recent show, Tiny Cities, premiered at Bellingham’s Cirque Lab in April. The show tells the story of a Mail Carrier Pigeon as he tries to take his integration into human society to the next level by taking over the life of a person. Esther says her inspiration for the show grew out of a costume idea and that exploring the character further made her realize how well it tied in with her past work and themes she’d been hoping to explore. “I have a fondness for the creatures that are so completely integrated with human society that we can forget that they are wild animals,” she explains.

In addition to receiving a GAP award in 2014, which helped her create Equilibrium, Esther also received a 2017 Fellowship from Artist Trust, which helped her spend time training in San Diego and will allow her to take part in a show-creation residency at Anchorage, Alaska’s Church of Love theater in January 2018.

Asked how the fellowship impacted her career, Esther says the award gave her a sense of empowerment. “In the field of circus arts in the USA, it often seems as though there isn’t an awareness of contemporary circus, of circus performance that deviates from the traditional,” she says. “Having work in the field of circus recognized by arts institutions is really important to me and I hope will increase the audience for contemporary circus in this country.”

Esther is currently touring Tiny Cities at arts festivals around the country, including Art on the Atlanta Beltline and the Luminaria Contemporary Circus Arts Festival in San Antonio, TX. She is about to start developing a new show with shadow puppeteer and fellow circus artist Ariel Schmidtke, which will premiere at the end of January 2018. View the teaser for the show on vimeo.

To learn more about Esther’s work and current projects, check out her website

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Present/Tense by Malayka and Tom Gormally

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Malayka Gormally, One Way Street

Malayka and Tom Gormally are an artist couple living in Seattle, Washington. Their individual works have appeared in galleries throughout the Seattle area, as well as across the country and internationally. Their first two-person exhibition, Present/Tense opened at Tacoma’s Spaceworks Gallery in November and is on view through December 21.

Tom is a 2015 Artist Trust Fellowship recipient specializing in sculpture. His work incorporates wood, found objects, and LEDs, often in the interest of critiquing the current political and social climate. As a Vietnam War veteran, who both served in and protested against the war, he is concerned by the current level of discord in American culture. He seeks to address this in his work through the use of simple materials to replicate technically advanced forms and abstract concepts, and by distorting the sizes and shapes of everyday objects.

Malayka is a 2015 EDGE program graduate and figurative painter. She grew up in Berkeley during the civil rights movement and says that this, along with the stories she heard about her father and grandparents escaping Nazi persecution in Europe, made her very aware of the many divides prevalent in our society. Many of her recent paintings depict scenes from protests in the Seattle area, including May Day and the Womxn’s March, and across the country.

Asked what they hope people will take away from the exhibition, Malayka and Tom say they want to create a space for conversation about current political and social issues. “I’d like people to notice what kind of messaging is being used by activists and hate groups,” Malayka adds. “Taking the time to study a painting affords an opportunity to study signs and symbolism in a different way than we do when ingesting news media.”

To learn more about the exhibition, visit the Spaceworks Gallery website.
More information about Tom’s work can be found at
More information about Malayka’s work can be found at

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Artist Profile Series: Sheila Klein

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Sheila Klein, whiteheadscarf (2017), nylon mesh and aluminum.

Sheila Klein is a sculptor and public artist whose work incorporates sculpture, installation, architecture, and traditional women’s crafts. Her work has appeared in exhibitions and public collections around the world, and she has created thirteen pieces of public art since 1996, including Auburn City Hall’s Civic Lantern (2010) and Tukwila Sounder Station’s Imaginary Landscape (2014). Sheila was awarded a GAP in 2013 to assist with travel and living expenses while she worked with women from the Sarkhej Roza Mosque community on an architectural textile project in Ahmedabad, India.

In 2016, Sheila received an Arts Innovator Award recognizing her impressive body of work. I recently caught up with her to learn more about the award and her current projects.

How did the Arts Innovator Award impact your career as an artist?
It gave me visibility and increased credibility to a larger community in our region. The support of one’s peers and people from other disciplines in the arts, has great power saying “we get it -that’s invaluable.  I am not as proactive about getting out to things as I once was, so it brings more attention to my work to those that might not be aware of it.

What did the funding from the award allow you to do and/or pursue?
It has allowed me to produce an Artist Summit event, funded research, and gives me a way to travel, buy equipment and improve my studio. I have a global self- initiated project called Tabernacle that I intend to refine in order to take it forward and make it a reality.

What project(s) are you currently working on?
Always a mix, less public projects right now, more exhibitions, an artist initialed public projects (Tabernacle), theoretical architectural ideas, and my clothing line New Trade Route. Thinking a lot about how to add my skills to the current political situation in an effective way.

What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Don’t stop,
Listen, read and look
Shut out the voices of others.
Do what you believe in.
Take out the trash. And also dream big.

What advice do you have for artists applying for grants and awards?
Do it!  Applying for grants is something I do as an administrative task when it makes sense in the context of the work. As you do it, it teaches you about your work, and what you want to communicate. It makes you look carefully at your body of work to select the vision of how to represent.

To learn more about Sheila’s work and current projects, visit her website.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

2017-12 (RE)SOURCE

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Happy 1st of the month! Read the December 2017 (re)Source here.

Artist Profile Series: Zachary Burns

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Zachary Burns, Four Loco behind the Armory, 2016

Zachary Burns is an experimental photographer whose work has appeared in exhibitions at Photographic Center Northwest, Gallery 110, Auburn Community Center, and beyond. He first discovered alternative photographic processes while studying at Bellevue College and continued to use these techniques in his work because he was drawn to their tactile quality.

In 2016, Zachary received a GAP award to support the creation of Candid, a collection of images taken from the perspective of cans found throughout the Seattle area. Zachary developed the images using the tintype process, which allowed the cans to serve as both the film and the camera for the photographs, and says he created the project as a way to incorporate the environment into his photography.

When asked how the award impacted his career as an artist, Zachary says the award came at the perfect time. “I had recently been rejected from grad school and had made my project Candid into a small, but reasonable complete project,” he explains. “Receiving the grant helped provide validation for me as an artist and forced me to expand my project well beyond the modest level I would have done on my own.”

In July 2017, a solo exhibition for Candid was held at the Auburn Community Center and Zachary says he will be working with them again in the future. He is also currently working with a group of photographers on a project called Seattle: frame by frame. Each month, the group selects a different area of Seattle to photograph and develop their own projects around. For his project, Zachary says he’s focusing on finding ways to represent changes in the area, both through comparing historical images to the current neighborhood and documenting buildings that are set to be demolished. To learn more about Candid and Zachary’s current projects, check out his website.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Support Statewide Programming on #GivingTuesday!

Emily Dennis

Annual Fund & Events Manager

As a grant recipient, teacher, and panelist, 2015 Fellowship Recipient Nicole Pietrantoni has a unique perspective on Artist Trust’s impact in Walla Walla. Click here to support our statewide programming on #GivingTuesday!

“Walla Walla may be a small, rural town but our arts community is vibrant and rich. We have an incredible network of talented artists and makers who call Walla Walla home. Artist Trust provides a platform for us to connect and exchange ideas. Artist Trust’s programming and resources help to educate, inspire, and empower our creative community to keep making their work and sharing it with the world.

Our creative community is diverse and impacts many aspects of Walla Walla including our town’s economy, job market, and quality of life. The arts are an important aspect of what makes Walla Walla a unique place to call home.

As a teacher I believe the arts have the power to transform the way we see ourselves and the world around us. The arts can help all of us to be more engaged, reflective, and critical citizens. Art isn’t just an object or thing we hang on the wall – it’s an activity. The arts ask us to solve problems, analyze, discuss, and look more critically at information and ideas.  We need to support the arts now more than ever - not only to support those artists who are currently making work, but to help cultivate our next generation of artists, thinkers, and makers.”

Why give? Take it from a donor.

Emily Dennis

Annual Fund & Events Manager

We’re so proud of the artists and programs we support across Washington State, and with national arts funding under threat, artists need that support more now than ever.

But we can’t do it without you.

As we near the end of the year, your gift will have an enormous impact on our capacity to sustain crucial programming for individual artists across Washington State.

But don’t take it from us! New donor, and artist, Kaelyn Langer-Mendonca shares her thoughts below on why it’s so important to support creative communities, and why she shows that support by giving to Artist Trust.

“I recently learned of Artist Trust through a friend, who was a grant recipient this year, when she invited me along to attend the Gather event earlier this month. I was honored to support her work and the larger community of artists in the area.

What struck me about Artist Trust is their unique mission to support the arts by cultivating relationships that allow artists to prosper and grow. At times, the creative process can be isolating, vulnerable, and unfamiliar. Artist Trust makes an intentional commitment to connecting artist with one another and nurtures relationships, partnerships, and friendships. To me, this community piece is the essence of art and the process of its creation.

We are privileged to live in a city where the arts are appreciated and cultivated in a way that allows for creative self-expression. We can always do more to advocate for arts in schools and underserved communities. As an artist myself, it is important that I continue to support a community that has brought so much joy to my life and given me lifelong relationships.”

Kaelyn Langer-Mendonca, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and an arts educator. She primarily works with children to help them explore and present their innate ability to imagine, play, and create characters while supporting social skills and emotional intelligence.

Explore Affordable Health Care Options and Sign Up By Dec. 15

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Source: Washington Healthplanfinder

Millions of Americans can still get quality, affordable care. This year, 8 in 10 shoppers can find a plan for less than $75 per month.

Since Open Enrollment for health care began on November 1, enrollment has surged across the country. Over 600,000 people selected a plan through, the federal marketplace, in the first week of Open Enrollment. In Washington State’s Exchange, website traffic on Washington HealthPlanFinder increased 24% and enrollments increased by 50% over the same period last year. (Source: “Insurance Coverage Sign-ups Surge After Open Enrollment Begins” posted on

Open Enrollment continues until January 15 but people must sign up by December 15 for coverage beginning on January 1.

Open Enrollment for off-Exchange plans ends December 15. Read more about why you should enroll sooner rather than later on Northwest Health Law Advocates blog.

Check out our Resources page for information on health care options in Washington State.

A Letter from Valerie Curtis-Newton

Valerie Curtis-Newton

I make Art. It is my action, how my activism shows itself. I have become an activist artist, committed to the idea that art should connect us, and remind people of disparate and diverse backgrounds of their shared humanity. I believe that to achieve this ideal, the work must be relevant to the lives of people today, ask fundamental questions, and invite response from and within its audiences, artfully and with a demonstrated mastery of craft. Artist Trust helps make that possible.

I want my community to sit together and hear new stories that inspire them to greater kindness, greater compassion for each other. And because kindness and compassion in action look like courage, I also want to make my community brave. Which, of course, begs the question, “How can I be brave?” There is nothing that takes as much courage as creating something from nothing and showing it to the world. Artist Trust’s commitment and generosity have encouraged me to take that leap.

Support from Artist Trust paved the way for me to reinvent myself and tell new stories. I know there are thousands of other Washington State artists who need the support Artist Trust provides, support that is made possible because of donors like you. With national arts funding under threat, your support is more meaningful now than ever. Donate to Artist Trust today and your generosity will encourage artists like me to be brave, take leaps, build understanding, and inspire our communities to do the same.


Valerie Curtis-Newton

PS— Artists like Valerie need your support more than ever before. Donate to Artist Trust by November 30 and your donation will be matched. Donate online at Artist Trust can also accept gifts of stock or securities, or be named a beneficiary in your will.

Thank you to our matching sponsor Lakeside Advisors, Inc.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: 2018 AIA Applications

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Mandy Greer (2012 AIA), Honey Moon Chamber, 2011.

Due to last night’s power outage, the application deadline for the 2018 Arts Innovator Awards has been extended! Submit all completed applications by 11:59 PM TONIGHT to be considered for the award.

Questions about your application can be directed to our Programs team. Please call 206/467-8734 to speak to Brian, Katy, or Zach or click on their names to contact them by email.

Survey Says…

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Artist Trust’s 2017 Annual Artist Survey Report provides a snapshot of the current needs and trends identified by Washington State artists of all disciplines, geographies, cultures, and ethnicities. We invite you to read through the 2017 Annual Artist Survey Report.

If you’re riding that #TLDR wave, check out our comprehensive one-pager outlining major themes and key findings from the survey. We hope that we can all come together to advance and improve the livelihoods of working artists across Washington State, so please share the survey report with your communities and affiliated organizations.

Artist Trust extends our many thanks to the 1,700+ practicing artists who participated in the 2017 Annual Artist Survey. We appreciate the great attention paid in providing such honest feedback and thoughtful opinions. We heard your voices and are excited to increase our overall statewide impact and continue furthering our mission of supporting you all in 2018 and beyond!

Our work here at Artist Trust depends on your support. We hope that you will also join us in making a gift today to ensure a sustainable future for Washington’s artists. From now until Nov. 30th, every dollar you give will be matched up to $25,000 by Robert E. Frey of Lakeside Advisors, Inc. Learn about the many ways to give here.

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Humaira Abid

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Image: Installation view of "Searching for Home" on view at Bellevue Arts Museum. Photo by Emilie Smith.

Originally from Pakistan, Humaira Abid is a Seattle-based artist specializing in sculpture and miniature painting. Her work has been featured in exhibitions throughout Europe and the Middle East, as well as in exhibitions at ArtXchange, Tacoma Art Museum, and Kirkland Art Center. Her first solo museum exhibition, Searching for Home, is currently on view at Bellevue Arts Museum through March 25, 2018.

On November 18, Humaira will lead “Building Your Audience as an Artist” at Auburn Valley Creative Arts. I recently caught up with her to learn more about her work and her experience in the Seattle arts community.

What inspired you to pursue sculpture and to work with wood specifically?
When I was in art school, sculpture was the only subject the teachers did not ask students to take as their major. It’s a difficult medium, especially in Pakistan because three dimensional art is controversial, and for women it’s considered even more challenging because it’s physically demanding. By the time I was deciding what to take as my major, everybody was warning me not to take sculpture, so I decided to take that as a challenge and see what was so tough about it.
I also felt there were not many women working in sculpture, especially in the medium of wood. It was (and still is) very male-dominated, and even when I started traveling and was exposed to wood sculpture in many parts of the world, I noticed there was a lack of women’s voices, so I decided to pursue wood as my main medium and bring a woman’s point of view to that medium.

Your solo exhibition, Searching for Home, is currently on view at Bellevue Arts Museum. What inspired you to create this exhibition?
I grew up hearing stories of migration. My parents were born in India and moved to Pakistan at the time of partition in 1947. Although they were very young at the time, they heard stories about it from their parents and shared those stories with me. Up until 2013, Pakistan was the top country in the world (still in top five) for taking maximum number of refugees, and when I was growing up I saw a lot of Afghan refugees struggling to make their home again in Pakistan.
I moved to the US 10 years ago, and I remember how after a few years I started to feel that this was my home, but whenever I was visiting Pakistan, everybody would ask me, “Are you going home?” The concept of home was in my mind from the beginning, and it started a dialogue of what is home? What’s the concept of home? For some people, it is probably where you are born, but for a lot of people it may be where you feel you belong, especially with the current situation in the world, where a lot of people migrate, the refugee crisis, and the current US policy.

What are some of your favorite things about Seattle’s art community?
All of the support available for artists and how everybody welcomes new artists is pretty amazing. Most people in Pakistan don’t think art is a profession, and there’s very little support for artists, even in the private sector. When I moved to the US, I was impressed to see organizations supporting artists like Artist Trust, 4Culture, and the Office of Arts and Culture. I was very excited when I first got a grant from 4Culture because it allowed me to focus more on experimentation and not worry too much about the cost of the materials – later I received more grants including GAP and Fellowship from Artist Trust, all of that support has helped me push the boundaries of my work.

What inspired you to lead Artist Trust’s “Building Your Audience as an Artist” workshop?
I believe in giving back to the community, sharing my passion and passing on what I have learned through challenges and my experience. If I know anything I’m very happy to share it, and whenever there’s an opportunity that I feel I can help other artists and the community, I get excited.

Join Humaira for “Building Your Audience as an Artist” at Auburn Valley Creative Arts on Saturday, November 18. Tickets and information about the workshop can be found here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

2017-11 (RE)SOURCE

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Happy 1st of the month! Read the November 2017 (re)Source here.

Artist Profile Series: Blake Chamberlain

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Blake Chamberlain is a Seattle-based painter originally from the Finger Lakes region of New York State. He is the creator of several portrait series celebrating activists and social visionaries from throughout history, as well as augmented portraits that challenge expectations placed on the human form. His work has been featured in exhibitions in the Seattle area and New York State. He was also recently commissioned to paint a series of murals in the Visitor Center of the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, NY.

In 2016, Blake received a GAP from Artist Trust to fund his “Trans American History” portrait series, which is currently on view at Pocket Theater. The project features ten portraits of notable transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary activists, including Sylvia Rivera, Riki Wilchins, Mara Kiesling, and Laverne Cox. Blake was inspired to create the project in response to the 2015 bathroom bills, which sparked public backlash against trans people. “The main message of this legislation as I saw it was that trans people should disappear or be humiliated,” says Blake. “It seemed the right time to create something affirming of trans identities and history.”

Blake’s interest in experimental use of colors and detailed graphic style began after he started gender affirming therapy six years ago. He began creating portraits using small shapes and patterns around the same time, and continued to create works in this style because, he says, “the style goes further than representation.”

“After recognizing the arrangement as the likeness I was after,” he explains, “my eye would be drawn into the individual colorful pieces that comprised it. I like that this creates a kind of small reflective pause on the subject as the piece is examined.”

Asked if he has any advice for aspiring artists, Blake says it took him way too long to learn two things: “1) almost every artist I have ever met has imposter syndrome. If it is important to you to create, you are worthy of creating and there is plenty of room for your creations. 2) From someone who was regretfully lazy about painting earlier in life: practice is the most important thing. Especially having the discipline to work through times when you don’t feel like it. Nothing results in quality like quantity.”

Blake’s “Trans American History” series and other recent works are on view at The Pocket Theater through October 31, and there will be an artist reception on Friday, October 27 at 6pm. Learn more about the exhibition and Blake’s work here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Everything you need to know about Katy Hannigan in 5 Minutes (or less)

Aaron Jin

Communications Intern

Today we sat down with Katy Hannigan (and her trusty pup, Peppercorn) to learn as much as we could about her and the business of art.

Who are you?
Katy Hannigan, Program Manager at Artist Trust

Describe yourself in 3 words:
Driven, goofy, and direct

Where are you from?
Born and raised in San Jose, CA, but the Boston area holds a special place in my heart.

What is your proudest accomplishment?
Moving out to Seattle a little over four years ago on more-or-less a whim. I had never followed my instinct in that way and am so glad to have found a home here.

How do you balance work and life?
Working on AT’s statewide programming takes me to many corners of Washington, mostly on evenings or weekends. That can be a lot, so I try to make mini-vacations out of the trips as often as I can - bringing my boyfriend and dog with me to see art all around the state helps keep me grounded to my personal life, even on the road!

Did you have a mentor? Who? What did they do for you?
One of my most important mentors is Kellen Braddock, who I used to work with at Shunpike and who now works at Black Mountain Institute in Las Vegas. Although we are very close in age, she carries wisdom beyond her years and always challenges me to get uncomfortable and stand up for what matters. Thanks for this reminder - I need to call her!

What are your three favorite tv shows?
I’m not going to list three shows, but have you EVEN SEEN Masterchef Junior? I’ve never been more invested in the fortunes of knife-wielding eight year olds than I am when I cue that up on Hulu. No shame here about that!

Are you an artist?
I used to be a theatre artist, but stopped making work a few years back. I just finished grad school, however, and am looking to try something new. I’ve never been good with my hands and want to challenge myself to work in sculpture or fibers in the near future.

What are your tips to format and tailor your work for success?
Be critical about what you choose to submit. For example: artists whose work is best showcased with video samples should be tight with their editing - don’t waste precious seconds on intro! Panelists should be hooked from the first glance at your work.

“You didn’t get a grant? That’s okay. How can we work together to make your next application even better?”- Katy Hannigan

What makes a strong work sample?
A strong work sample showcases the work as it is intended to be viewed - or at least as close as you can get digitally. The most effective samples capture size, scale, and detail in equal measure.

What doesn’t make a strong work sample?
Not following the instructions in the guidelines. No matter what you’re applying for, be sure to follow those guidelines!

How does the selection process work?
Our panelists look over each application on their own at home and then come together for a whirlwind day of in-person discussion about the applicants. These conversations always surprise me with their depth and I delight in watching panelists approach each application with warmth, generosity, and constructive critique.

Why is professional development important for artists?
There are always ways we can improve in everything we do – whether it’s looking at solving a business problem in your practice or thinking more broadly about long-term goal setting, there’s always room to learn and grow.

Any networking events you recommend for artists?
AT Artist Mentorship Nights are a really good time! Opening nights for performances and gallery shows are always a good way to get out and meet people.

Where do you see the arts/culture sector Seattle in 10 years?
We’re facing a lot of change right now and I don’t see that stopping anytime soon. I envision the “Seattle art scene” expanding further into Washington state, particularly as folks discover the amazing art scenes growing in various corners of the state and find homes, both physical and artistic, in those areas.

What are you looking forward to?
I’m usually pretty excited about happy hour, personally, and that is certainly the case today! Professionally, I’m really excited to work more deeply with some of our partner organizations in 2018 - Washington is full of amazing groups that support artists of all backgrounds, geographies, and perspectives and we are lucky to work directly with many of them through our programming.

What advice do you give artists who are giving up on applying for funding?
I have have applied for funding in the past, as an individual and for a collective, and I never got any of the funding. It always feels like a punch in the gut. Being at AT is an amazing opportunity to change the narrative and that experience for applying artists. You didn’t get a grant? That’s okay. How can we work together to make your next application even better?

Katy Hannigan is leading two workshops next month. Don’t miss the chance to learn about Crafting Your Elevator Speech in Vashon on November 4 and Artist Statements in Auburn November 8!

Aaron Jin is the Artist Trust communications intern. He was an Intiman Emerging Artist in 2016 and loves to think about his Facebook statuses. He will join artEquity’s national cohort after attending their facilitator training this fall. Follow him on Facebook & Twitter.

Thank You 2017 GAP Donors!

Cristina Friday

Foundation & Corporate Relations Manager

View the full 2017 GAP Award press release here.

Artist Trust has a community of generous donors and sponsors who support our Grants for Artist Projects with gifts at $1,500 per year and above. We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all who made the 2017 GAP Award possible.

Individual supporters include: 

Christine and Itamar Abrass
Nancy D. Alvord
Shelley and Phil Anderson
Perry and Christine Atkins
Shari and John Behnke
Greg and Ronna Bell
Don Bell and Karen Lorene
Sharon and Craig Campbell
Chris Carlson
Michael and Cathy Casteel
Katie Creyts
Stephanie Ellis-Smith and Doug Smith
Alison and Donald Farmer
Robert E. Frey
Bruce Funkhouser and Michelle Friars
Helen Gamble
Katharyn Alvord Gerlich
Pat Haase
Phyllis Hatfield
Heather J. Helbach-Olds and Matthew Olds
Mitchell Karton and Ann Gardner
Leonard and Norma Klorfine
Greg Kucera and Larry Yocom
Kevin and Motomi Kudo-King
Michael Lane and Paul D. McKee
Gar and Barbara LaSalle
Diane Lasko and Clint Diener
Christopher and Alida Latham
Marge Levy and Larry Lancaster
Leonard Lewicki
Chris Lutz
Quinton Morris and Thomas Grant
Byron and Phillis Olson
Mark Olthoff and Brett Arrington
Judy Pigott
Pablo Schugurensky and Renata Tatman
Jon Shirley and Kimberly A. Richter
Mary E. Snapp and Spencer Frazer
Sarah Traver and Charlie Rush
Tanya Trejo
Robert and Betty Tull
Lorraine W. Vagner
Susan and Kenneth Wagner
Brenda Walker
Bryan Webster

Artist Trust also thanks the Amazon Literary Partnership, NBBJ, and Seattle Art Dealers Association for their support of GAP through Artist Trust’s Corporate Partnership Program. Artist Trust’s annual institutional and corporate partners include 4Culture, ArtsFund, ArtsWA, Baker Boyer Community Bank, The Boeing Company, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Florence B. Kilworth Foundation, Jon and Mary Shirley Foundation, Klorfine Foundation, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, The Sequoia Foundation, Suquamish Foundation, and Tulalip Tribes Charitable Contributions.

For more information about supporting Artist Trust, contact Kristina Goetz at

Catching Up with 2014 Arts Innovator Award Recipient Clyde Petersen

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Clyde Petersen, Boating with Clyde Installation (detail), cardboard, wooden boat, cellophane, 60 ft x 60 ft, 2014.

Clyde Petersen is a Seattle-based filmmaker and musician whose work has been featured at SIFF, SXSW, Bumbershoot, the British Film Institute, and more. He is the creative force behind the band Your Heart Breaks and has made animated music videos for bands including the Thermals, Quasi, Thao and the Get Down, and Kimya Dawson.

Clyde’s most recent endeavor, Torrey Pines, is a full-length animated film recounting his experiences from a cross-country road trip his mother took him on when he was 12 years old. The film premiered at TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival in October 2016 and is set to begin touring in Europe within the next couple weeks.

In 2014, Clyde received an Arts Innovator Award recognizing his impressive body of work and adventures in music and filmmaking. I recently caught up with him to learn more about the award and his current projects.

How did the Arts Innovator Award impact your career as an artist?
I really needed the money. I was majorly in debt from producing a feature film on my own, in my bedroom. I made it possible to hire the studio for 3 weeks to record the film soundtrack and pay the band and the choir to perform.

What did the funding from the award allow you to do and/or pursue?
Here is a video to answer this question:

What project(s) are you currently working on?
My film Torrey Pines is still touring with the live score. We’re headed to Europe in a few weeks to perform at a few film festivals. I’m also making a new film called Even Hell has its Heroes, a documentary about the Seattle band Earth. I’m scheming on a few large scale art installations and hoping a local institution will host one of them in the future. I have a solo show at Mouth Analogue in August 2017. In other words, I’m scrapping by trying to make it all happen. I’m currently looking for some generous wealthy patrons with deep coffers to fund my exploits, if you know of any….preferably in the style of a Scrooge McDuck swimming pool of gold.

What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Be vigilant and seek revenge on all who doubted you in your life by striving for artistic success, whatever that looks like to you.

What advice do you have for artists applying for the 2018 Arts Innovator Award?
While you are waiting for your interview, read a John Waters book. It will remind you to be yourself.

To learn more about Clyde’s work and current adventures, check out his website here.
Applications for the 2018 Arts Innovator Awards are open until November 13, 2017. Learn more about the application process and download the application guidelines here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Gather: An Artist Trust Celebration

Emily Dennis

Annual Fund & Events Manager

Please join the Artist Trust Board of Trustees in celebration of a year of artist support. Meet this year’s grant recipients while we honor our generous friends Stephanie Ellis-Smith and Douglas Smith.

Throughout the tumult of 2017, Artist Trust has remained steadfast in our support of individual artists of Washington State. We are able to continue that work because of the artists, donors, and public supporters who continue to build thriving creative communities where we can bear witness, challenge, and celebrate - together.

Program begins promptly at 6:00 pm, featuring remarks by Donald Byrd, 2016 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award Recipient, Artist Trust Board President Pablo Schugurensky, and CEO Shannon Halberstadt, and a performance by Monica Rojas-Stewart, 2017 Fellowship Recipient.


Admission with sliding scale donation of $15 to $250, $10 for members. All donations are matched $1 for $1 up to $25,000 by our generous partner, Lakeside Advisors. Proceeds benefit Artist Trust’s programs for individual artists across Washington State. Hosted bar (donations generously accepted) and refreshments provided.

We look forward to raising a glass with you to toast an incredible year of artists and artist support!

View a full list of our 2017 grant recipients here.

Stephanie Ellis-Smith is the owner of philanthropy advisory firm Phila Engaged Giving. She is the founder and former Executive Director of the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas (CD Forum). Stephanie has served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Washington State Arts Commission, Seattle Arts Commission, and Central Waterfront Committee. She is on the board of YWCA King/Snohomish County, the outgoing Board Chair of Artist Trust, and an Advisor to the University of Washington Press and

Douglas Smith is an award-winning historian and translator, and the author of five books on Russia. He holds a doctorate in history from UCLA, and his works have been translated into a dozen languages. He is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including a Fulbright scholarship and a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study Center. His latest book, Rasputin: Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs, was published in November 2016 in the US and the UK.

Donald Byrd is a Tony Award-nominated choreographer and the Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater. He’s credited with more than 100 modern dance works for his own groups as well as for The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and The Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), among others, as well as classical companies, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, and theater and opera, including The New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater and Seattle Opera.

Monica Rojas-Stewart is a choreographer, cultural consultant, music and dance instructor, and guest artist with various college and community education programs throughout the Pacific Northwest. She is the Assistant Director of the African Studies and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies programs at the University of Washington, and recipient of the Tumi USA Award, the maximum recognition granted by the Peruvian community in the US.

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Robin Held

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Robin Held has been a leading force in Seattle’s arts communities for over twenty years. She has served as curator, collection strategist, and head of department for the Frye Art Museum and the University of Washington’s Henry Art Gallery, and has initiated and curated more than 100 exhibitions and performances in the Seattle area. 

In addition to her impressive curatorial work, Robin has also made a name for herself helping artists and arts organizations grow. She was part of the leadership team responsible for what the Stranger has called the “most inexplicable museum transformation” at the Frye, and went on to serve as the Executive Director for Reel Grrls. Her most recent endeavor, Held Consulting, offers fundraising, strategic planning, and curatorial services to clients at the intersection of the arts and tech sectors. 

On Saturday, October 21, Robin will be leading a workshop on cultivating professional relationships with artists at the Mount Baker Lofts. I recently caught up with her to learn more about her work, what inspired the workshop, and her hopes for the future of Seattle’s arts communities.

What inspired you to teach arts entrepreneurship?
Effective communication, strong professional relationships, and fundraising are among the necessary tools to have in an artist’s entrepreneurial toolkit. I teach these skills in personal training sessions but I prefer sharing these skills in groups. I love seeing participants learn from each other, as well as me, helping to develop each other’s strengths, and building tensile strength across our communities.

Which of your professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
Helping artists envision, finance and execute their biggest dream projects.
Direct work with artists is the joyful through line of my career, from ED of artist-run organization to museum chief curator to director of a start-up training the next generation of artists to director of one of the largest artist awards program in Washington State to arts consulting. 

The transformation of the Frye Art Museum
I am proud of having shaped the award-winning curatorial direction that the Frye Art Museum has taken and run with. I treasure The Stranger Genius Award for “most inexplicable museum transformation,” 2005, as a vote of confidence from our communities that the Museum had pivoted in the right direction. More recent awards include the Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award, 2013; Seattle Weekly, “Best Museum,” 2014. 

Who are some of your role models?
I am grateful and lucky to have several peer mentors. Sharon Arnold, Bridge Productions; Betsey Brock, OTB; Alla Efimova, KunstWorks; Felicia Gonzalez, UW; Susie Lee, SIREN; Tonya Lockyer, Velocity Dance Center; Christopher Ross, The Riveter; Kunstworks; Barbara Earl Thomas, NAAM, are among peers who continue to offer me aspirational models of leadership and inspire me to take risks for the right reasons.

What needs do you think are unmet in the Seattle arts community?
I want to see our arts and cultural communities reap benefits of our region’s expansive growth and great wealth, to be able to live, work, raise families, and creatively thrive in our city. The most urgent pressure on artist communities is affordability. Many creators are leaving our city for cheaper housing and studios elsewhere, and these are the artists who helped make the city what it is. 

In a period great wealth and philanthropy, funding is lagging for arts and culture. I want to insure that artists can afford to build lives and careers in our city, and to be deeply valued, especially artists of color and other underrepresented groups of artists. We will be much poorer as a city if we don’t think creatively about affordability and equity.

Want to learn more about growing your professional arts network?
Join Robin on Saturday, October 21 for “Cultivating Professional Relationships for Artists” at the Mt Baker Lofts. More information and tickets here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Webinar: 2018 Artist Trust Arts Innovator Award

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

The preliminary deadline for the 2018 Arts Innovator Award is Oct. 16! Don’t miss this opportunity to get helpful feedback on your grant application from AT Program staff.

Funded by the Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation, the Arts Innovator Award, is an unrestricted award of $25,000 given annually to two Washington State artists of any discipline. The award recognizes artists who demonstrate innovation in their art practice. Examples would be artists who are originating new work, experimenting with new ideas, taking risks, and pushing the boundaries in their respective fields. Artist profiles of past recipients are viewable here.

Individuals thinking of applying for the award are encouraged to view this webinar. In less than 30 minutes, Program staff Katy and Brian address components of the application including a brief overview of the submission software:


How Artist Trust Supports Artists in Spokane: Brooke Matson

Emily Dennis

Annual Fund & Events Manager

Poet and educator Brooke Matson is the Director of Programs for Spark Central in Spokane and the recipient of the 2016 Centrum Residency. Brooke received 2016 GAP funding to complete her second collection of poetry, Impossible Things. Read on to learn more about what Artist Trust’s support has meant for her, and power more programming and support for artists statewide here.

What has Artist Trust’s support meant for you, and why is the work that we do to support individual artists like yourself important right now?
When you work full time out of necessity, it is so difficult to find the means and time to produce your work. My writing practice is typically start-stop because of all my obligations, so it was wonderful to dive head-first into production and revision. I am very grateful to the Artist Trust GAP program which enabled me to push myself as a writer. Our time- and production-focused society rewards business (or busy-ness), but seldom rewards those who go deeper into themselves—a process that takes time and focus—in order to explore the creative process and experiment with process. We have to keep giving creatives the time and space to do that important work, as it’s where genius emerges.

What role do artists play in the Spokane community at large? What impact has Artist Trust’s work in Spokane has had on the creative community there and for you personally?
The Artist Trust has had more of a presence in Spokane over the past five years, and the impact shows. From small projects to organized endeavors, the artistic scene here is flourishing and I think is stronger than in big cities. Spokane artists and creators are very supportive, collaborative, and encouraging of one another, and the Artist Trust has added momentum to our growth by offering workshops and office hours where coaching takes place, as well as offering fiscal support for artists who would otherwise be unable to complete their projects. I remember years ago when support for the arts was very difficult to find in Spokane. Now we have a thriving scene for the arts that grows stronger each year with the support of the Artist Trust.

You just got back from Centrum! What was your experience like?
The Centrum Residency was so necessary for me to not only finish my manuscript, but connect to my writing practice and discover the arc in my work that I couldn’t see when I was in such a hurry. To wake up and write without having to worry about work or duties or distractions was something I had never experienced before. It freed something in me as a writer. I wrote with a natural focus I haven’t had since college, and the work surprised me with its intensity. I’m very excited about the body of work I produced.

Visit Brooke’s website to learn more about the work we are supporting at Artist Trust.

Behind the Curtain: Arts Innovator Awards

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

John Grade, The Elephant Bed, biodegradable dissolving paper, corn-based polymer, 24 ft x 6 ft x 6 ft each, English Channel, UK, 2010.

Each year, the Arts Innovator Awards provide two Washington State artists $25,000 in unrestricted funding. With the exception of the James W. Ray Distinguished Artist award, these are the largest awards Artist Trust oversees, as well as one of the largest grants available to individual artists in Washington State. They’re also one of the few awards dedicated to recognizing artistic innovation and encouraging artists of all disciplines to take risks in their work.

Inspiration and funding for the awards comes from the Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation. Dale received grants support early in his career, and the financial flexibility they offered allowed him to push the boundaries of his work and experiment in ways he couldn’t have otherwise. These awards also opened up new opportunities for Dale by allowing him to make connections and lending further credibility to his work. In recognition of the impact these early grants had on his career, the Chihuly Foundation partnered with Artist Trust to create an awards program to encourage and support other innovative artists.

Since 2010, the awards have provided a total of $350,000 to fourteen Washington State artists including visual artist Sheila Klein (2017), performing artist Valerie Curtis-Newton (2017), literary artist Elissa Washuta (2016), media artist Clyde Petersen (2014), visual artist John Grade (2013), and visual artist Leo Berk (2010).

Awards Application Process
The Arts Innovator Awards are open to all Washington State artists who produce experimental or innovative work and have had a professional artistic practice for at least five years. Applications for the awards consist of a biography, impact statement, resume, essay, letter of reference, and collection of up to 20 work samples.

After the application closes, a panel of judges reviews the submissions based on the advancement of the artists’ work, the creative excellence and innovation in the works presented, and the artists’ professional background. The panel also interviews the awards finalists in order to further contextualize their work.

Interested in applying?
Applications for the 2018 Arts Innovator Awards are open until November 13, 2017. Applicants who submit their applications before October 16th are eligible for preliminary review and feedback from Artist Trust’s staff, as well as an opportunity to update their application based on the comments they receive. Award recipients will be announced in February 2018.
More information about the awards as well as sample applications and application guidelines can be found here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Our Work Depends on Your Support

Emily Dennis

Annual Fund and Events Manager

Since the inception of our Office Hours program in 2016, we’ve had over 300 one-on-one, artist-led conversations all over Washington. No catch, no fee – just a 20-minute slot for artists to ask questions about grant applications, opportunities, or their portfolio.
We’re proud to make our office a place for transparency and conversation. But our work depends on your support. We have a $25,000 match on the table – give today, and your dollars will be doubled in service of Washington artists!
Learn about ways you can give here.

2017-10 (RE)SOURCE

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Happy 1st of the month! Read the October 2017 (re)Source here.

Smart Philanthropy

Robert E. Frey

Founder, Lakeside Advisors, Inc.

Artist Trust is excited to announce a special challenge match for donations in support of our programs for individual artists, now through November 30, with a special emphasis on Stock and Securities donations to raise the awareness of such gifting. The $25,000 challenge gift is made by Robert E. Frey of Lakeside Advisors, Inc. to educate about this form of smart philanthropy.  Of course, all this education should not stop one from simply writing a check or using a credit card.

When you donate appreciated securities held more than a year, you receive the same income tax savings that you would if you wrote us a check, but with the added benefit of eliminating capital gains taxes on the transfer, which can be as high as 20 percent. Making a gift of securities to support our mission is as easy as instructing your broker to transfer the shares or, if you have the physical securities, hand-delivering or mailing the certificates.

Already one lead anonymous donor has pledged a donation of appreciated stock of at least $2,500 to help us meet the $25,000 challenge. 

For years, one carefully invests and watches their savings grow.  What took a lifetime to build can be instantly reduced by capital gains tax when appreciated assets are sold.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Rather than selling shares, gift them to Artist Trust.  There are no taxes to pay coupled with the charitable gift.  Benefits include:

• AVOIDING capital gains taxes of 20% or more.
• RECEIVING an income tax deduction for the full amount of the gift.
• MAKING a meaningful gift with no cash out-of-pocket.
• CAPTURING the value of shares and end worry of market ups and downs.
• PUTTING your gift to work right away for the causes you care about most.

To gift appreciated assets, first ask for our instruction page.  This can then be passed along to your brokerage firm if the securities are held in book entry (electronic) form.  Your goal will be to deliver the securities to Artist Trust, where we will sell them.  If you own mutual funds or securities which may be in the form of paper certificates, please call for a special consultation.

Financial Planner Robert Frey and Development Director Kristina Goetz stand ready to assist you with this and other forms of Smart Philanthropy.

All gifts through November 30th will count towards our $25,000 matching challenge.

Behind the Curtain: James W. Ray Award Exhibits at the Frye Art Museum

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Storme Webber, All My Daddies Were Butches, Digital print with poem, 2015.

The last Behind the Curtain post explored how Artist Trust works with and supports artists throughout the James W. Ray Awards process. This is only one half of the awards, which Artist Trust presents in consortium with the Frye Art Museum.

Each year, the Frye Art Museum offers the James W. Ray award recipients an opportunity to present an exhibition at the museum. These exhibitions symbolize the culmination of the award recipients’ projects and serve to advance and document the artists’ creative work. Exhibitions and programming at the Frye also provide the award recipients opportunities to connect with broader audiences and deepen their ties to the community.

The process for organizing the James W. Ray award recipient exhibitions begins over a year in advance of their opening to the public. Frye Art Museum staff meet with the artists to discuss how to display their work in a museum setting, ideas for the exhibition, and possible programs to complement the exhibition. Once the staff and recipients have developed an initial concept, the Frye Art Museum assigns a guest or in-house curator to help the award recipients and museum staff refine and realize the project.

Throughout the planning process, the Frye also offers recipients professional guidance, project management and funding to create new work for the exhibition.
To learn more about the Frye Art Museum and their current exhibitions, visit their website.

• Alison (Bremner) Marks – One Gray Hair (November 11, 2017 – Feburary 4, 2018)
• Storme Webber – Casino: A Palimpsest (August 5 – October 29, 2017)
• Cris Bruch – Others Who Were Here (January 30 – March 27, 2016)
• Jessika Kenney – Anchor Zero (January 10 – February 1, 2015)

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Brian McGuigan

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Young Brian by Erika Enomoto

On Thursday, September 28, Artist Trust Program Director Brian McGuigan will lead Work Samples Dos & Don’ts, a workshop on what makes a strong work sample and what doesn’t. You’ll learn how the selection process works, insider information on what juries and panelists are looking for in work samples, and tips on how to format and tailor your work for success. Sign up here.

“Making a thing isn’t enough.

Like Jay-Z said, ‘I’m not a businessman – I’m a business, man.’

Once you’ve made the thing, you need to know what to do with it – how to build a platform for it, market it, sell it, etc.”

Brian has been involved in Seattle’s arts scene for almost fourteen years. “The scene has grown exponentially in that time. I expect that growth to continue as more businesses come here and with it more young professionals with an interest in the arts. Seattle isn’t ‘the pesto of America’ anymore as Seinfeld once said. It’s become a main course, a destination for artists and arts lovers. ”

In three words, Brian describes himself as “ambitious, gritty, and sharp.” Growing up in Queens, NY, as a child he grew up wanting to be a rapper or a sports broadcaster. “I still hold out hope I can do both,” he said. Citing Jay-Z as his role model, Brian was also influenced by poet Deborah Woodard when he first moved to Seattle and was trying to write poetry. He also counts Artist Trust CEO Shannon Halberstadt as a touchstone.

Drawing inspiration from 90s East Coast hip hop, Brian is a writer and is looking forward to completing his first book, after working on it for five years.

On balancing work and life, he shared that it’s a struggle but he gets it done. “I’ve worked in nonprofit for about thirteen years now while trying to maintain a writing practice – and now be a present father to a five-year-old boy. Through fits and starts, writing and not writing, I’ve learned it’s about carving out the space and time for my work and staying dedicated to it. Also, I rarely sleep more than six and seven hours a night, so that helps.” In the next five years, Brian anticipates to have completed his first book and to be working on his second. His proudest accomplishment is “giving all I have every day.”

As far as networking, Brian recommends that artists “go to as many events as you can. Shake hands. Kiss babies. Work the room. But don’t be a scenester. Keep focused on the work. You need that time for yourself to create.”

In his free time, Brian reads, writes, runs, watches sports (Michael Jordan and Derek Jeter are his favorite athletes - “because they’re winners and unflappable”), and plays highly competitive games of Yahtzee with his son. Weekends are spent around town, from getting lost in IKEA to posting up at Super Six in Columbia City for happy hour. Brian’s three favorite TV shows are The Sopranos, The Wire, and Breaking Bad. A lover of pop art and street art, its no surprise that his favorite artists are Basquiat, Warhol, Banksy, Dondi, and Phase 2.

I sat down with Brian to try to get the inside scoop on Work Samples Dos & Don’ts. And failed.

What makes a strong work sample?
You’ll have to come to the workshop to find out! 

What doesn’t make a strong work sample?
I said come to the workshop!

How does the selection process work?
Again, come to the workshop!

What do juries and panelists look for in work samples?
Really??? Come!

What are you tips to format and tailor your work for success?
I’ll see you at the workshop!

What’s your elevator speech?
We have a workshop on that, too. wink

Brian’s advice is based on his years of experiences as an arts administrator and as a grant applicant himself. “An old boss of mine once said the rule of thumb is batting about .333 in grantwriting, meaning you get one of out every three. I’m batting around the Mendoza Line at this point. There’s one grant I’ve now applied for six times without any luck. It took me seven tries to get an Artist Trust GAP Award. I don’t give up easily.”

Lastly, he encourages artists to not give up on applying for grants. “Panels change every award, and the practice of applying has value. Getting your work out there, whether you receive support or not, helps you build audience and opens up more opportunities.”

Sign up for Work Sample Dos & Don’ts here.

2015 GAP Recipient Shin Yu Pai’s Animating Archives

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Photo courtesy of Megan Gallagher

Shin Yu Pai is a poet and visual artist whose work has been featured in The Rumpus, Tricycle, YES! Magazine and City Arts. She is the author of eight collections of poetry and currently serves as the City of Redmond’s Poet Laureate. She received a Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) grant from Artist Trust in 2015 to support the publication of a mixed-media collection of poems, including her “Heirloom” public art installation at Piper’s Orchard in Carkeek Park.

As part of her work as the City of Redmond’s Poet Laureate, Shin Yu has been working on projects in response and related to Redmond as a place. Her most recent endeavor, Animating Archives, a collaboration with photographer and teaching artist Megan Bent, is currently on view at Redmond’s VALA art center.

Animating Archives features historical images of Redmond rendered as chlorophyll prints. Leaves for the exhibit were sourced from around Redmond, and Shin Yu says she was first inspired to create the exhibit while looking through the Redmond Historical Society’s digital archives.

“There were so many [images] that were really sort of curious or unusual, and archives don’t necessarily circulate very widely except to people who are very interested and deliberate in going and seeing those collections,” she explains. “I thought of it as a way I could bring renewed attention to these archives as they relate to Redmond as a place.”

Shin Yu first met her collaborator for the project, Megan Bent, at an event related to “Heirloom” and connected over an interest in each other’s alternative photographic practices. Megan taught Shin Yu how to create chlorophyll prints and developed images for the exhibit as well.

Learn more about Animating Archives here.

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Ira Gardner

Aaron Jin

Communications Intern

Spokane-based photographer Ira Gardner taught “Building a Business Model for Artistic Success,” the first part in a two-part series of Spokane artist support workshops on September 14, but you can still sign up for Branding & Marketing for Artists, being held on September 23 at SPARK Central.

Who are you: I am a photographer, writer, and instructor at Spokane Falls Community College, where I teach photography and business practices. In my own artwork, I explore a world through a lens of “poetic realism” and create imagery that creates a pause for self-reflection.

Favorite “hidden gems” in Spokane: 2nd Look Books, Little Garden Café, Hogwash Whiskey Den.

Role model: Minor White. He was an artist, educator, and writer whose work transcended technical precision and craft and operated in a spiritual realm.

Proudest accomplishment: It is hard to think of one achievement above all others. Professionally I think it is seeing my past students go on to be successful in their careers but personally, I think being a father of a son who is fully launched out into his life and is happy is what I am most proud of.

Life motto: “Live every day like it’s a camping trip!” I try to live a life that is full of adventure, joy, and simplicity.

The Big Question: What do young artist need to recognize about the business of art?
Unless it is to remain a hobby forever, at some point art becomes a business. There are two basic concepts that I think all artist need to understand. The first one is understanding that showing your work is very different than selling your work. Most artist think success starts with getting a show and they will jump at every opportunity to display their work in a coffee shop, winery, or gallery. However, this often involves the artist spending thousands of dollars on exhibitions that do not generate any sales. Artist have to understand how to make strategic decisions about which venues they show their work in and how to create an effective brand affiliation partnership. The venue where you exhibit your work needs to become a strategic business partner that has a vested interest in selling your work instead of just using it as a means of drawing in customers for their business by hosting an event.

How about getting to this point – what do artists need for their work to be sell-able?
Prior to showing your work, I think the most difficult concept for young professional artists to grasp is the recognition that their artwork needs to solve a problem for the person buying it. Buckminster Fuller once said, “the universe doesn’t owe me a living. I have to go out and solve a problem and then the universe will support me.”

To begin to understand what problem our artwork solves we first need to reflect deeply on their own motivation for creating the work and think about what questions our art is asking. In a way, the artist is their own first customer because they are creating an artistic expression that fulfills some deeply held need. When you can unlock what that is in yourself you will open up a whole new vocabulary for talking about your work and will understand who you need to show this work to. You will be able to build an authentic connection between you and the collectors of your artwork through this mutual understanding that you are creating in your artist statement and marketing materials. This relationship between the artist and the collector can be expressed by the African proverb, “I am because we are.”

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn how to launch your art from a hobby into a business! Sign up here.

Aaron Jin is the Artist Trust communications intern. He was an Intiman Emerging Artist in 2016 and loves to think about his Facebook statuses. He will join artEquity’s national cohort after attending their facilitator training this fall. Follow him on Facebook & Twitter.

Artist Mentorship Night: Introducing Paul, Marya, Sharlese & George

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Top to Bottom: George Rodriguez, Sharlese Metcalf, Paul Constant, Marya Sea Kaminski.

Join Artist Trust and KEXP on Wednesday, September 20 from 6:00 - 8:30 PM for Artist Mentorship Night. This FREE informal mentorship and networking event gives artists of all disciplines a chance to sit down with artists and arts leaders in small groups for casual conversations about opportunities, issues, and challenges in the arts world.

“We welcome everyone to come out to KEXP in Seattle Center and get some quality face time and knowledge sharing with arts professionals while connecting with other artists that you might not normally come across in your circles,” shared Zach Frimmel, Artist Trust’s Program Coordinator.

Meet our fabulous four mentors below and sign up for the free event here.

Arts journalist and politics writer Paul Constant is a co-founder of the Seattle Review of Books, Seattle’s only book-centric review, news and interview site; and a fellow at Civic Ventures, a public policy incubator devoted to catalyzing significant social change. His work has been published in Newsweek, the Observer, Huffington Post, the Utne Reader, the Progressive, The Stranger, Re/Code, and Literary Hub.

Ask Paul about:
Book, film, and theater reviewing
Arts journalism
Political writing, journalism, ghostwriting, editorials

Director, Writer, and Associate Artistic Director at Seattle Rep Marya Sea Kaminski is a writer and director based in Seattle committed to exploring the intersection of imagination, justice, and joy. Most recently, she founded Public Works Seattle as the Associate Artistic Director at Seattle Repertory Theatre, and just closed a musical adaptation of The Odyssey featuring over 100 citizen-performers from across the region. Marya has been awarded the Genius Award in Theater from The Stranger, an Artist of the Year from Seattle Magazine, the Seattle Gregory Award for Outstanding Actress, and Best Performing Artist by the readers of the Seattle Weekly, as well as multiple City Artist Awards for Literature from the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. More at

Ask Marya about:
Directing and writing for theater and live performance
Building new theater companies or initiatives
Attempting responsible arts leadership

Events Producer at KEXP & Seattle Music Commissioner Sharlese Metcalf began her radio career at Green River Community College in 2001 hosting their Northwest music focused show Local Motion on KGRG. She attained her Broadcasting Certificate from Green River, and was offered a job at Jones Radio Networks. There, she worked on Classic Country and Top 40 shows as a production assistant. While at Jones Radio, she was given a KEXP internship to work on the show Audioasis as an assistant to the host and booker. In 2009, She became an Audioasis producer, and in 2012, was promoted to host. Sharlese works as an Events Producer at KEXP, is a rotating host on the electronic show Expansions and additionally works as DJ, promotes events at clubs around town as False Prophet, and is a member of the collective TUF.

Ask Sharlese about:
Community involvement

Sculptor, visual arts, and educator George Rodriguez received a BFA in ceramics from the University of Texas El Paso and an MFA from the University of Washington.  He has been the recipient of multiple awards including a Bonderman Travel Fellowship, Artist Trust Fellowship, and was recently recognized as an Emerging Artist Luminary by the Museum of Northwest Art. George has shown extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond with scheduled shows at the University of Texas El Paso in October and Bainbridge Museum of Art in March. His work can be found in the permanent collection of the National Mexican Museum of Art in Chicago. He is represented by Foster/White Gallery in Seattle.

Ask George about:
Studio Art
Gallery Representation
Teaching in community studios and Higher Ed

Thanks to KEXP for partnering with us on this program!

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Nicole Hardy

Aaron Jin

Communications Intern

Photo courtesy of the artist's website.

An important part of supporting yourself as an artist is effectively communicating your work in writing. In this workshop, Nicole Hardy will guide you through the process of Writing Your Artist Statement. You’ll leave the workshop with a working artist statement to use in grant applications, websites, and portfolios. Writing Your Artist Statement will be held this Saturday at the Mr. Baker Lofts in Seattle. Sign up here.

Who are you: I’m a writer who began as a poet, but now writes personal essay and memoir. My current project is a book about the year I spent sailing the world on a square-rigged tall ship with a crew of strangers.
Defining characteristic: If Private Benjamin and the Absentminded Professor had a baby . . . 
Role model: If Grace Jones and Grace Kelly had a baby . . . 
Proudest accomplishment: Having my first-ever personal essay published on the front page of the Sunday Styles section in The New York Times was a really big one - a moment that told me I was maybe a better nonfiction writer than a poet; and one that forced me, a bit, into a new way of thinking about writing and the silences I’d been fighting against. 
Words to live by: Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese is a poem I go back to again and again. I’m generally not a fan of meditative nature poems - but I found this one at a time when I needed to be allowed a different way of living. This one is so profoundly soulful in its rebellion - it continues to speak to me, still. 

It would be absurd for me to ask about Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin – what was the primary driving force behind your writing that work?
Bravery, really. I’d been talking to my students about artistic risk, and how the universal is woven into each of our individual experiences. I was challenged to share a “work in progress” at a reading for that year’s Writers in the Schools. I took the challenge, and honestly it was pretty awful to be so vulnerable onstage—it’s so much easier to be funny and practiced and polished; afterward, two other writers took me aside and insisted that what I’d written could be something larger. I decided to take my own advice, let myself believe my story was - in certain ways - universal. That there were ways for readers to see aspects of themselves in a late blooming coming of age story about sex, religion, writing, and identity. Three years later, my memoir was published.

You’ve been a private coach as well as an Artist Trust lead teacher – what were some of greatest experiences in shaping your identity as a business person and what are the needs you see unmet in Seattle’s artist community?
I pressed the reset button on my life 15 years ago, made a living waiting tables and writing poems - it was a move that changed everything, and one that would be nearly impossible for a young writer, now. I’m a writer who figures out how to pay her bills between projects - just like so many other artists, writers, musicians. What I love about this city - and what I see quickly disappearing - is the sense of community I found here as an emerging writer. It helped immeasurably to see other people living the life I wanted, and to be in a city where there are readings every night, where coffee shops and galleries host local writers, where arts organizations offer mentorship and affordable programming, where writers on tour are sure to stop, where there are a dozen indie bookstores, and residencies, and festivals, and where artists can afford to live. A community can’t thrive in a place where it can’t pay rent.

Aaron Jin is the Artist Trust communications intern. He was an Intiman Emerging Artist in 2016 and loves to think about his Facebook statuses. He will join artEquity’s national cohort after attending their facilitator training this fall. Follow him on Facebook & Twitter.

Lucky Survey Taker Stephanie Skura Wins $100 Office Depot Gift Card

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Stephanie Skura, Surreptitious Preparations for an Impossible Total Act, 2017. Photo by Ian Douglas.

Congratulations to Auburn artist Stephanie Skura! Stephanie is the lucky winner of a $100 gift card to Office Depot, the supply store of her choice. “I have a home office and, as you know, artists do massive amounts of administration,” she shared with our Program Manager Katy Hannigan.

Stephanie received a Fellowship from Artist Trust in 1996. For over three decades, she has created interdisciplinary movement-based performances, with a process that focuses on the power and totality of each performer, collaboratively discovering, and developing material. We are happy to reconnect with Stephanie and hear what she has been up to.

A “radical & perpetual innovator”, Stephanie Skura was called “a major American experimentalist” by Dance Ink. She has an international reputation for adventurous work and she has performed and taught in 30 of the United States and in 15 countries. Her New York City-based touring company performed worldwide for 15 years until she moved to Seattle in 1993. Her current work integrates a radically visceral approach to language, continuing life-long investigations of the boundaries & intersections of dance, theater, poetry, and performance. Her 2012 Two Huts was commissioned by Roulette Intermedia in Brooklyn, NY and shown in Seattle with support from 4Culture. In 2016-2017, Surreptitious Preparations for an Impossible Total Act – an anti-fascistic scored process with an age-embracing global cast of wizardly improvisers,—was shown at Sundays on Broadway in Manhattan, performed at Roulette in Brooklyn, and will reprise in Seattle during summer 2018. Pictured in the photo are (from left to right) performers Shelley Hirsch, Paige Barnes, Stephanie Skura, Wendy Perron, Eva Karczag, Sally Dean, and Debra Wanner.

Now based in the US Pacific Northwest, Stephanie works independently with various companies, artists and institutions. She was on Graduate Faculty at the University of Washington School of Drama Professional Actors Training Program, and Core Faculty of the Skinner Releasing Institute. She’s taught at such places as the American Dance Festival, Florida Dance Festival, European Dance Development Center, Naropa Institute, Movement Research in New York, Container12 in Italy, Ponderosa & Tanzfabrik in Berlin, Independent Dance in London, and at many colleges and universities. To learn more about Stephanie, visit her website at

We appreciate everyone who took the time to take this year’s artist survey! We cannot emphasize how crucial it is for us to hear from artists of all disciplines, geographies, cultures, and ethnicities. Our final survey count was 1,720 responses; that’s 200+ over our goal! At this time, our Programs team is working on compiling your responses. We look forward to sharing the data with you all this fall.

Behind the Curtain: What’s in a James W. Ray Award

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Donald Byrd (2016 JWR Distinguished Artist Award), The Beast, Spectrum Studio Theater, 2011. Gabriel Bienczycki.


Since 2014, the James W. Ray awards have allowed Artist Trust and the Frye Art Museum to recognize and support exceptional Washington state artists through funding, career assistance, and opportunities to exhibit their work. Funding for the awards comes from a five-year $1.1 million grant from the Raynier Institute and Foundation. Each year’s recipients receive a total of $80,000 in financial support and the opportunity to create an exhibition for the Frye Art Museum, making these the largest and highest-profile awards Artist Trust oversees.

Each year, there are three James W. Ray awards available for artists: one Distinguished Artist award ($50,000) and two Venture Project awards ($15,000). The Distinguished Artist awards are designed to advance the work of artists who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to their field. Vocalist Jessika Kenney (2014), writer David Shields (2015), and choreographer Donald Byrd (2016) are all past recipients of the award. In addition to financial support, Distinguished Artist award winners also receive personalized assistance from Artist Trust’s Artist Support Program.

The Venture Project awards help emerging and established artists whose work demonstrates artistic excellence and originality complete new projects. Past awards have gone to Juventino Aranda (2016), Quenton Baker (2016), Alison (Bremner) Marks (2015), Storme Webber (2015), Cris Bruch (2014), and Amy O’Neal (2014).


Opportunities of this magnitude are rare in Washington, and to ensure nominees’ work matches the level of the award, Artist Trust uses a nomination process. Eight months before the winners are announced, Artist Trust selects ten nominators representing the literary, visual, media and performing arts, as well as traditional or interdisciplinary arts. Nominators can be artists, arts administrators, or other arts stakeholders. They are selected based on their depth of knowledge and expertise in the arts, racial equity, diversity of backgrounds and statewide representation, and make five artist nominations based on the award guidelines, racial equity and statewide representation.

Once selected, nominees have about two months to prepare and submit their application. For the Distinguished Artist awards, applications consist of an artist statement, resume, biography, work samples, and a statement about how the award will impact their career. Venture Project award applications include a biography, resume, work samples, project proposal and budget, and impact statement. Artist Trust supports nominees throughout the application process through Office Hours, webinars and an open-door policy. Nominees also have the opportunity to receive preliminary feedback on their applications up to one month before the deadline.

While the nominees are working on their applications, Artist Trust assembles an interdisciplinary panel to decide the award recipients. The panel consists of representatives from each discipline, and participants are selected for their expertise. Applications are judged based on the quality of the work samples, the impact the award would have on the artists’ careers and, in the case of the Venture Project awards, the feasibilityand uniqueness of the project. The names of the awardees are then sent to Artist Trust’s Board of Directors for final approval. (More on Artist Trust’s grant panels here.) 


Venture Project

Alison (Bremner) Marks (2015) – Carving and painting 10’ Totem Pole to honor her grandfather
Storme Webber (2015) – Accessing archival records for Casino: A Palimpsest
Quenton Baker (2016) – Ballast (Poems) 
Juventino Aranda (2016) – Bronze-casting enlarged replicas of “low-brow” picture frames
Amy O’Neal (2014) – Evening-length dance performance at On the Boards, documentary
Chris Bruch (2014) – Great Plains Project exploring family history through sculpture

Distinguished Artist

Jessika Kenney (2014) – Financial planning
David Shields (2015) – Estate Planning
Donald Byrd (2016) – Archiving

2015 James W. Ray Venture Projects awardee Storme Webber’s exhibition Casino: A Palimpsest is on view at the Frye Art Museum until October 29, 2017. Click here to learn more about Casino.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

AT x King & Pierce Counties: Sept/Oct 2017

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Here’s a list of Artist Trust’s upcoming programs and events happening in King & Pierce Counties.


Writing Your Artist Statement

In this workshop, led by author Nicole Hardy, you’ll look at examples of successful artist statements and create your own. By the end of the workshop, you’ll have a solid statement to use for grant, residency, or fellowship applications, on your website, and/or in your portfolio.

Sign Up


Artist Mentorship Night

This informal mentorship and networking event gives artists of all disciplines a chance to sit down with artists and arts leaders in small groups for casual conversations about opportunities, issues, and challenges in the arts world.

Save Your Spot


Work Sample Dos & Don’ts

In this workshop, Artist Trust Program Director Brian McGuigan discusses what makes a strong work sample and what doesn’t. The session covers practical advice on selecting and presenting work samples for grant and residency applications and other opportunities.

Sign Up


Creating Your Artist Website in a Day

These days every artist needs a website. In this hands-on, interactive class, artist and communications professional Natasha Marin will guide you through the steps to create your artist website from scratch.

Sign Up


Cultivating Professional Relationships for Artists

In this workshop led by creative strategist Robin Held, you’ll take the first steps towards cultivating professional relationships with gatekeepers, stakeholders, influencers, funders, supporters and collaborators

Sign Up


Understanding Artist Contracts / Seattle

In this workshop, attorney Mike Meints provides an overview of the different types of artist contracts, including grants, public art, commissions, and temporary work, as well as their key components and terms.

Sign Up for Seattle Workshop


Understanding Artist Contracts / Tacoma

In this workshop, attorney Mike Meints provides an overview of the different types of artist contracts, including grants, public art, commissions, and temporary work, as well as their key components and terms.

Sign Up for Tacoma Workshop

Need-based and Filipinx scholarships available by request.
AT Members: Contact Zach Frimmel at for member code.

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Gregory Pierce

Aaron Jin

Communications Intern

Who are you: An inquisitive explorer of backwater terrains.
Best thing about living in Yakima/Tricities: Affordable studio/housing, climate (when not fire season), and modest traffic.
Role models: People who make an impact on society without drawing a lot of attention to themselves.
Words to live by: ”Get a clue and go nuts.” (studio adage)

The Big Question: What was your experience as an artist working in the states versus working abroad, in terms of the culture and community surrounding art?
Having worked in several different regions of the US and abroad, I’ve noticed how the surrounding culture and landscape affects ones’ perception and practice as an artist. In the US, there are local/regional artist networks and supports but often less understanding of what contribution to the fabric of the community they’re located in. I attribute this in part to how our educational system has progressively winnowed “the arts” in many forms without valuing what the arts truly contribute to society on economic, cultural, and personal growth fronts.

Over a decade ago, I had the good fortune to be invited as a contributing artist for a three week event called the Migration Project in Kirkenes, Norway. Part of the goal was to transform a former locomotive building into an alternative arts space with installations by artists from Finland, England, Sweden, Russia, Norway, and the US. More importantly it was also tied to series of community-wide workshops and presentations on how the arts can be a catalyst for regional economic diversification for smaller communities. It was supported by a collection of state embassies, the mayor of the city, and a collective of visionary artists who proposed the project. It was a truly inspirational experience.

And what’s the best thing about working in Yakima/TriCities? For artists that find inspiration in solitude and reflection, there is a lower noise to signal ratio to distract one’s work. For artists who work with found objects or re-purpose materials, there are endless yard/garage sales and swap meets to mine. For my own work, I have plenty of blue highways to find rock materials while enjoying the journey to obtain them!

Greg will be teaching the workshop Pursuing Opportunities for Artists at the Yakima Maker Space on September 16. Make sure to sign up today so you don’t miss the opportunity to learn from this fantastic educator.

Aaron Jin is the Artist Trust communications intern. He was an Intiman Emerging Artist in 2016 and loves to think about his Facebook statuses. He will join artEquity’s national cohort after attending their facilitator training this fall. Follow him on Facebook & Twitter.

AT x Spokane: Fall 2017

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Here’s a list of Artist Trust’s upcoming programs and events happening in Spokane, WA.


Pt. 1: Building a Business Model for Artistic Success / Spokane

Learn what business model works for your practice, how to read and understand financial statements, and how to set and reach income goals.
Register here.


Pt. 2: Branding & Marketing for Artists / Spokane

Explore the basics of branding, including brand archetypes, logos, and typefaces, and how to use your online presence to build a platform and successfully promote yourself and your work.
Register here.


Artist Trust Toasts Spokane Grant Awardees

Join Artist Trust CEO Shannon Halberstadt and Spokane Program Coordinator Anne-Claire Mitchell for a happy hour celebrating Spokane’s 2017 grant awardees and hear about upcoming Artist Trust programs in Spokane. Free and open to the public. No host bar.
RSVP here.


Creating Your Artist Website / Spokane

Leave the workshop with your own artist website with pages for standard content, including a gallery, a newsfeed, and artist information. Websites will be mobile-friendly and will link to social media. You will select and purchase your own domains at the beginning of the class.
Register here.

Need-based and Filipinx scholarships available by request.
AT Members: Contact Zach Frimmel at for member code.

2017-09 (RE)SOURCE

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Happy 1st of the month! Read the September 2017 (re)Source here.

2017 Fellowship Recipient Yuki Nakamura’s 10 Year Vision

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Yuki Nakamura, Drift Bottles, 11 x 76 x 132", 2016.

Yuki Nakamura has been creating ceramic and multidisciplinary art in the Pacific Northwest for over 21 years. Her work and collaborations have been featured at Henry Art Gallery, Howard House Contemporary Art, DePauw University’s Peeler Art Gallery, SOIL Gallery, and many others throughout the Seattle area and across the country. She is a member of the Art Beasties Japanese Artist Collective.

Yuki received a BFA from the Joshibi University of Art and Design in Tokyo and an MFA from the University of Washington. She completed artist residencies in France, New York, Italy, and Seattle, and awarded grants from organizations including Artist Trust, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and 4Culture.

In addition to showing her work in galleries, Yuki also creates public art installations. These include TransFORM at Bay Terrace in Tacoma and Filament at Seattle City Light, as well as works at Evergreen State College and Redmond’s Overlake Transit Center. She credits her participation in Artist Trust’s 2003 EDGE Professional Development program with helping her set the course for her impressive arts career.

“In [my] 10-year career vision,” she explains, “I wrote ‘My goal is to establish my art career exhibiting my work at national and international art venues and generating incomes from my art, including sales of artwork, teaching, grants, and public art.’ The most useful exercise was to have a larger picture of my future goal and share [it] with peer artists in my class. Rhonda Howard, one of the teachers who shared her experience as [a] curator and business owner, taught how to create sophisticated portfolio in depth including resume, statement, proposal, and cover letter.”

In 2017, Yuki received an Artist Trust Fellowship, which will help her create new works for an upcoming Art Beasties exhibition called In the Shadow of Olympus, which will explore the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Funding from the fellowship will also allow Yuki to travel and ship her artwork for exhibitions. She plans to spend the next five years organizing and displaying her work in Art Beasties exhibitions around the world.

Artist Trust is offering a series of professional development courses through Art Business Night School. Inspired by the content and curriculum of the EDGE Professional Development Program, Art Business Night School’s evening classes focus on teaching valuable, fundamental skills to help prepare participants for a career as an artist.

Learn more about Art Business Night School here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Natasha Marin Talks About AT Professional Development

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Photo: Erika Schultz

Born in Trinidad and raised in Canada, 2017 Fellowship recipient Natasha Marin is a Seattle-based poet whose work has appeared in Feminist Studies Journal, African American Review, and The Caribbean Writer. She is the creator of community-based interdisciplinary projects such as Miko Kuro’s Midnight Tea and Red Lineage. Her most recent endeavor, Reparations, has garnered both local and national attention for its invitations for People of Color to request what they need to “feel better, be happier, be more productive” and for people who identify as White to offer services and contributions to fulfill those requests.

Natasha has received grants from the City of Seattle, Artist Trust, and the City of Austin supporting her community-based projects. She credits her participation in Artist Trust’s 2012 EDGE Professional Development Program with helping her leap into her career as an artist.

“When I participated in EDGE, I was a mother with a new baby, trying for a foothold in the Seattle creative community. EDGE gave me the opportunity to finally, get to the nitty-gritty of what it means to be working as a professional in my field. Through my peers in the program, I’ve been connected to many more wonderful opportunities and this is of real value to me. No matter who you are, raw talent will only carry you so far—learning how to share resources in community leads to the kind of success that is sustainable!”

Artist Trust is offering a series of professional development courses through Art Business Night School. Inspired by the content and curriculum of the EDGE Professional Development Program, Art Business Night School’s evening classes focus on teaching valuable, fundamental skills to help prepare participants for a career as an artist.

Learn more about Art Business Night School here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Leilani Lewis

Aaron Jin

Communications Intern

We’re excited to start a new blog series to help you get to know our fantastic guest workshop leaders! There’s no better person to kick this off with than our first guest presenter: Leilani Lewis.

Who is Leilani: Arts educator and communications strategist in the greater Seattle area
Favorite place to eat in Seattle: My favorite chefs right now are Chef Tarik Abdullah and Kristi Brown-Wokoma
Defining characteristic: I’m a hard worker. People also tell me I’m very easy-going; I don’t see it but I’m like “oh, okay”
Fun fact: I once fell down 54 times while attempting to snow board. My friends counted.
Role model: Barbara Earl Thomas. She’s just amazing.
One thing you want to see in Seattle: I want our arts and cultural community to thrive. I want to see artists who can afford to live in the city, work in the city, and be appreciated, especially artists of color and underrepresented groups of artists. We’ll lose our artists if we don’t think about equity and especially affordability. What kind of city will we be without our artists?

As the first generation in her family to go to college and to graduate school, Leilani never felt particularly beholden to any linear trajectory in her career. In her first workshop “Developing Your Elevator Speech & Professional Relationships,” attendees can expect to experience some of these principles in action.

As a communications professional, Leilani knows how important it is for a person to talk about their work in a way that others will quickly and easily grab onto. This comes from speaking about your work in a way that is clear yet personal. She believes in the power of people using their own words to describe what they do. In Saturday’s workshop, Leilani will guide attendees through exercises in focusing on the words they want to use before practicing their elevator speeches in a safe, uplifting environment.

As someone who has only spent 10-15 years working in the Seattle arts community, Leilani considers herself an outlier among her peers. Her work in communications at the Northwest African American Museum led her to her current work with the University of Washington developing and advancing communications strategy for the UW President’s Race and Equity Initiative. She is guided through it all by a commitment to her community and a dedication to upholding the individual artist. Stay tuned for the second part of this series for an extended interview with Leilani to learn what “authentic collaboration” means in working with communities and how her arts background led her to a career in communications!

“Developing Your Elevator Speech & Professional Relationships” is presented for free in partnership with Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas and is recommended especially for artists of color. RSVP here:

Aaron Jin is the Artist Trust communications intern. He was an Intiman Emerging Artist in 2016 and loves to think about his Facebook statuses. He will join artEquity’s national cohort after attending their facilitator training this fall.  Follow him on Facebook & Twitter.

EDGE Grad Asia Tail on Artist Trust’s Professional Development Programs

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Asia Tail, Swallow Follow, Oil on canvas , 48 x 48", 2016.

Asia Tail (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma) is a Tacoma-based painter and arts administrator whose work has been featured in New American Paintings, and exhibitions including the Tacoma Art Museum’s Northwest Art Now @ TAM and Vermillion Art Gallery’s Women on the Brink. She has served as a panelist and juror for several arts awards in the Seattle area, and currently works as the Arts Program Coordinator for Tacoma’s Office of Arts and Cultural Vitality.

After completing her BFA at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York, Asia returned to her hometown of Tacoma. She was a Haub Fellow at the Tacoma Art Museum from 2014 to 2016, and developed the museum’s Contemporary Native Voices project as part of her fellowship. The project integrated commentary on Native American representation in art from over 20 Native individuals into the museum’s galleries. In 2016, she also curated Protect the Sacred: Native Artists for Standing Rock at Tacoma’s Spaceworks Gallery. The exhibition featured work from more than 20 Native artists and benefited the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) resistance.

In the same year, Asia graduated from Artist Trust’s EDGE Professional Development Program. “During my time at EDGE, I particularly enjoyed the sessions working on my artist statement, biography, resume, and other written materials. Having peers and teachers review my work and offer suggestions with fresh eyes was invaluable. I also learned how to file my taxes and track my expenses more efficiently as an artist, which saved me significant money and time during tax season,” she reflected.

“The EDGE program was incredibly valuable for me and immediately resulted in new opportunities, lasting friendships, and a positive change in the trajectory of my career as a professional artist. I’m excited to see the program moving to a more accessible and equitable model with the Art Business Night School, while maintaining high quality teaching and meaningful experiences.”

Asia received a GAP award from Artist Trust in 2015, which helped her move into her current studio at Spaceworks Tacoma’s 1120 Creative House and will support her in creating new works, including a coloring book for local Native youth. Her work will also be featured in the upcoming Moon Moan: Works by Asia Tail and Raven Juarez exhibition at Spaceworks Gallery in Tacoma.

Artist Trust is offering a series of professional development courses through Art Business Night School. Inspired by the content and curriculum of the EDGE Professional Development Program, Art Business Night School’s evening classes focus on teaching valuable, fundamental skills to help prepare participants for a career as an artist.

Learn more about Art Business Night School here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Artist Trust at Seattle Art Fair 2017

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Takashi Murakami and Vulcan Inc. Curator/Artist Trust Board Member Greg Bell at the 2016 Seattle Art Fair. Photo: Robert Wade

Are you curious about what we do at Artist Trust? Don’t miss your chance to talk one-on-one with an Artist Trust advocate at this year’s Seattle Art Fair!

Artist Trust is a proud Cultural Partner of the Seattle Art Fair. We are honored and extremely thankful to have been named the Beneficiary Partner for the inaugural event in 2015, which funded our Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) awards that year.

The third edition of Seattle’s largest annual art event opens to the public today, August 4 at 11 AM. Be sure to visit our Cultural Partners booth, located near the lobby of the theater. Our team of dedicated staff, interns, and volunteers are happy to answer any questions that you have about our annual grants, artist support programs, volunteer opportunities, and membership program.

We are offering Artist Trust friends and supporters a 20% discount on Seattle Art Fair tickets including single-day tickets and three-day tickets. This discount is only redeemable online. Purchase tickets now.

Many exhibitions and arts events are being held during this exciting weekend. Just a few minutes away from CenturyLink is King Street Station. The recently transformed space is hosting BorderLands, an exhibition organized by the Office of Arts & Culture. BorderLands explores the ideas of belonging and resistance through 2-D and 3-D works. Artist Trust grant recipients featured in the exhibition are Ryan Feddersen, Satpreet Kahlon, and Carina A. del Rosario

Also presented by the Office of Arts & Culture is And She Persisted: Voices of Women Artists, which features 38 pieces by female-identified artists from the City’s portable works collection. Artist Trust awardees Humaira Abid, Ross Palmer Beecher, and Yuki Nakamura are among the list of talented artists selected “who challenge assumptions, take risks and break barriers to create objects of incredible beauty and depth.” View more details at

Imani Sims: Shaping the Way of Pursuing Her Craft

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Imani Sims, Making Magic, 2015. Allyce Andrew.

Seattle native Imani Sims is an accomplished performer, poet, and educator. Hailed by the Seattle Art Museum’s Priya Frank as “a force of nature with the ability to create platforms that bring people together,” Imani founded Split Six productions, which is a POC, LGBTQ, and Allied production company.

Imani holds a BA in English from Hampton University and an MA in teaching from Seattle University. She currently teaches at Hugo House, Seattle Arts and Lectures, and South Puget Sound Community College. She was a 2016-2017 Rain City Teaching Fellow.

Although she started writing at a young age and began performing poetry since she was fourteen, Imani notes that her participation in Artist Trust’s professional development programs helped her grow and channel her ambitions as an artist.

“[It] gave me practical knowledge to apply towards my writing career,” says Imani. “I learned how important it is to consistently submit work to multiple sources and I left the program with a binder full of knowledge that I reference often. It was also helpful to encounter working artists in my field and ask them questions. Their advice shaped the way I see myself as a writer and the aggressive way in which I pursue my craft.”

In 2016, Imani received an Artist Trust GAP to help fund The Fresh Brewed Tour, featuring work from her latest collection, (A)live Heart, and two other women of color performance poets. The Fresh Brewed Tour aims to integrate performance, ritual, and audience participation while increasing the visibility of women of color poets.

Artist Trust is offering a series of professional development courses through Art Business Night School. Inspired by the content and curriculum of the EDGE Professional Development Program, Art Business Night School’s evening classes focus on teaching valuable, fundamental skills to help prepare participants for a career as an artist.

Learn more about Art Business Night School here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

2017-08 (RE)SOURCE

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Happy 1st of the month! Read the August 2017 (re)Source here.

Join 2015 James W. Ray Venture Project Awards Winner in a museum-wide celebration!

Aaron Jin

Communications Intern

Jim Guptal-Carlson. Blues Divine, 2010. Photograph.

On August 12, the Frye Art Museum will present Community Day in celebration of Casino: A Palimpsest, the first museum solo exhibition of Seattle-based performance artist and poet Storme Webber.

“A song of the stone that the builder refused.”

A palimpsest is a document where old writing has been erased and written over by a new text but still remains visible.

Webber brings those written-over narratives of Seattle to the forefront of the exhibition, honoring the Duwamish, the Black Migration, the pre-Stonewall queer community, the Mothers, the works, the hustlers, the multiracial poor folks. The exhibition links the struggles of the past with the present and stands in witness to ways “in which our Ancestors’ survival informs and inspires our own.”

“It’s especially important to acknowledge that, even in the progressive city of Seattle, there is a long history of backlash against vulnerable peoples who are just trying to live” says exhibition curator Miranda Belarde-Lewis. Webber certainly doesn’t shy away from that, using her own deeply personal family photographs to tell bigger stories from late nineteenth century Seattle and inviting everyone to consider the unknown stories behind their own family artifacts.

A Community Day for Families and All

The Frye is holding a Community Day in honor of the exhibition with activities from 11 am - 5 pm. Highlights of the day (and check out the full schedule here):

- 1-4 pm: Drop-in Art Making: Memories Map – Bring your own family photograph from home and stop by to create your own art in the Art Studio!
- 2-3:30 pm: A Space of Ancestor Honoring – Storme Webber and her cousin Valerie Rosa welcome souls and witnesses to a collaborative performance of poetic text and song.
- 4-5 pm: Gallery talk with Storme Webber and Miranda Belarde-Lewis – Storme Webber and exhibition curator Miranda Belarde-Lewis give an informal tour of the exhibition.

Frozen treats will be provided by our friends at Full Tilt Ice Cream.

Aaron Jin is the Artist Trust communications intern. He was an Intiman Emerging Artist in 2016 and loves to think about his Facebook statuses. He will join artEquity’s national cohort after attending their facilitator training this fall.  Follow him on Facebook & Twitter.

Deborah Faye Lawrence’s “Strumpet of Justice” Opens Aug. 3

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Deborah Faye Lawrence, Targeting the American Dream

2015 Twining Humber Award Recipient Deborah Faye Lawrence’s satirical collages will be shown in a solo exhibit titled Strumpet of Justice opening at BONFIRE Gallery in Seattle’s Chinatown International District.

Featured in Strumpet of Justice are Deborah’s signature collage works that serve as a reflection of the artist’s long-time concern towards contemporary politics and social issues, which she describes as “a force that drives my work regardless of who has hijacked the presidency.”

A member of Seattle University’s MFA faculty, Deborah also teaches collage making to community groups and public school students. In addition to receiving a Twining Humber Award from Artist Trust, Deborah was awarded multiple Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) and Fellowships.

One of her awards helped to produce “Eighty Words,” two affordable five-hour feminist collage workshops. Open to the public, the two workshops used Deborah’s list consisting of 80 gender-specific words meaning “bad woman” to engage in conversations about language bias among its female, male, and LGBTQ participants.

In 2008, Deborah received national attention for her “impeachment ornament,” which she created for the White House, upon invitation from former First Lady Laura Bush. The full story about the controversial bulb, which briefly decorated the White House’s Christmas tree, can be viewed here.

“These days, I keep my scissors extra-sharp, taking heed from the words of Bertolt Brecht: ‘Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it,’” comments Deborah on her upcoming show.

The opening reception for Strumpet of Justice will be held on Wednesday, August 3 from 6-8 PM at BONFIRE gallery with an artist talk beginning at 7 PM. For more information about the show, contact Bill Gaylord of BONFIRE Gallery by email or phone at 206/790-1073.

BONFIRE gallery is located in the historic Panama Hotel, a six-story building in Nihonmachi (Japantown), an area in the Chinatown International District. During WWII, the basement of the Panama stored the belongings of dozens of Japanese-American families who were sent away to internment camps. More information about the Panama Hotel can be found on the Wing Luke Museum’s website.

2010 EDGE Grad Elissa Washuta and the “Business of Being a Writer”

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Elissa Washuta, My Body Is a Book of Rules Reading at Hugo House, Performance still, 2014. Photo: Sarah Samudre.

Born and raised New Jersey, Elissa Washuta is a Seattle-based writer of personal essays and memoirs whose work has appeared in Salon, The Chronicle of Higher Education, BuzzFeed, among other publications. She was named a finalist for the Washington State Book Award and is the author of two books, Starvation Mode and My Body Is a Book of Rules.

Elissa received a BFA in English from the University of Maryland and a MFA in creative writing from the University of Washington. She is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and currently serves as the undergraduate adviser for the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington. She is a nonfiction faculty member in the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, a faculty advisor for Mud City Journal, and the Saturday editor for The Rumpus.

Although Elissa is a gifted writer, she once harbored apprehensive feelings toward applying for grants. “I’d spent a lot of hours learning the craft and working on my prose, but I didn’t know much about the business of being a writer. I remember hearing that I’d be learning about how to apply for grants and thinking, I’ll never, ever get a grant. I thought my work was too weird and too far out on the margins for someone to want to fund it,” she lamented.

In the past few years, Elissa has received fellowships and awards from major Washington State organizations including Artist Trust, 4Culture, Potlatch Fund, and Hugo House. She attributed much of the successful outcomes of her grant applications to the skills she gained from participating in Artist Trust’s EDGE Professional Development Program, which she enrolled in after completing her graduate studies.

“The EDGE program taught me how to present my work and its significance on paper, how to present myself as a professional, and how to delineate what I needed and why I should receive it,” Elissa explained. “I began receiving smaller grants to support my writing, and in 2016, I received the Artist Trust Arts Innovator Award, $25,000 in unrestricted funds, in large part because of the professional presentation (on paper and in person) skills I gained from the EDGE program.”

Beginning this summer, Artist Trust is offering a series of professional development courses through Art Business Night School. Inspired by the content and curriculum of the EDGE Professional Development Program, Art Business Night School’s evening classes focus on teaching valuable, fundamental skills to help prepare participants for a career as an artist.

To learn more about Art Business Night School, read our blog post here.

Take the 2017 Annual Artist Survey!

Shannon Halberstadt

Chief Executive Officer

Dear Washington State Artist,

I’m writing to invite you to take Artist Trust’s Annual Artist Survey. Year after year, Artist Trust works hard to provide funding, support, and connections for the talented artists in Washington State. This is our third year conducting an annual survey, which has proven crucial in our ability to respond effectively to artists’ needs. Your feedback is core to the work we do and we are so grateful for your participation.

I’d like to invite you to share your perspective with Artist Trust: Click here to take the 2017 Artist Survey Now.
It takes an average of just five minutes to take this survey, which closes midnight on August 30, 2017.

It’s important to us to hear from artists of all disciplines, geographies, cultures, and ethnicities, so please share this survey with other Washington State artists in your network. As an extra incentive, artists who take the survey will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 gift card to a store of your choosing, which one lucky individual can use to get supplies to support their creativity.

Thanks in advance for your input. This survey will help inform our work and will be shared with hundreds of organizations that support artists in all corners of the state. A few minutes of your time can make a huge difference for Artist Trust, and for your fellow artists in Washington State.


Shannon Roach Halberstadt
Chief Executive Officer | Artist Trust 

A Look Behind the Curtain of Art Business Night School

Katie Creyts

Board Member

Katie Creyts, Goldilocks, As Told by the Mirror, gilded and etched glass, ready-made frames, 12”x24”, 2013.

I am an artist and an art professor and never had a course or workshop focused on professional practice. My interest in the Artist Trust’s professional development program started as a participant in the EDGE Professional Development Program, a week-long seminar held in Port Townsend. The experience was profound for a number of reasons; the people, the seminar content, and the synthesis of content by artists to suit their professional goals. The people involved in this program included efficient and accommodating staff, a wide range of enthusiastic seminar leaders who were experts in their fields, and 18 visual artists eager to network and grow their practice. The comprehensive content ranged from the artist statement to issues of copyright to grant writing. Embedded in these learning sections were opportunities to apply this new knowledge, critique in small groups, and revise.  I left feeling pleased and slightly overwhelmed with new business goals and practices.

Why change a good program?

• The structure of the EDGE program was exclusive in that it was costly and participants had to be able to leave work for a week;
• The program was not inclusive of the range of artists Artist Trust would like to serve, such as musicians, performers, filmmakers, and interdisciplinary artists;
• The intensive nature of the program did not allow time for thoughtful reflection, implementation of practice, and follow-up questions;
• A modular program would allow participants to focus on certain facets of development. This also allows Artist Trust to package smaller programs and workshops throughout the WA State;
• The EDGE curriculum needed to be updated to reflect current trends in creative careers, financial management, digital culture, and business practices.

When Artist Trust approached me about revising the EDGE curriculum, I was eager to help. My process for rewriting the curriculum involved editing, updating, and streamlining hundreds of pages of curriculum into four themed modules. I researched best practices in books, online, and sourced ideas from successful practicing creative people. I submitted and revised based on the invested feedback of Brian McGuigan, Artist Trust’s program director. The work resulted in a new structure for the Artist Trust professional practice workshop, Art Business Night School!

The curriculum addresses all the aforementioned changes. There are four themed sections that are taught in six-week modules. Participants meet once weekly for a two-hour section taught by an expert in the subject matter. Meeting weekly allows participants to digest and implement the curriculum. The coursework is interdisciplinary in the arts, promoting networking and cross-pollination. The curriculum is flexible and relevant, allowing the instructor to prioritize the participants’ needs and encourage connective conversation.

In a nutshell, if you are looking to start a creative career or need to jump start your practice, Art Business Night School will give you a great support system, tactics, structure, and resources to help you on your way to success. It’s all in there, and after meeting the instructors I can’t be more excited for the implementation of this program.

Based on our long-running EDGE Professional Development Program, Art Business Night School provides a comprehensive survey of business practices through a hands-on, interactive curriculum. Topics covered include: Business Fundamentals, Career in Focus, Polish and Prep for Opportunities, and Promotion Fundamentals.

View our current course schedule on our website at Programs Calendar.