Community Conversation: Supporting Mature Artists – Recording & Feedback Form

Published: May 23, 2022

Categories: Community & Networking Events | Featured

On Thursday, May 19 from 5-6:15 p.m., we hosted Community Conversation: Supporting Mature Artists. Moderated by artist, educator, and cultural producer Nichole DeMent, and in conversation with Clyde Ford, Pamela Awana Lee, Norie Sato, and Cappy Thompson, this panel discussed risk, exploration, building connections, and archiving guided by the question: “What do mature artists need now and how can artist-serving organizations support them?” 

If you have any feedback or you’d like to join a future conversation, please fill out our feedback form. This conversation and others, as well as feedback shared will help shape our transforming organization as we move forward in community with artists.

About the Moderator

Nichole DeMent is an artist, educator and cultural producer with over 20 years’ experience in nonprofit arts organizations. Her passion for inspiring artists of all kinds led her to teach art, and the business of it, at higher education institutions including Pacific Lutheran University, Photo Center Northwest, and Cornish College of the Arts, and was a Program Manager for EDGE Professional Development and Creating A Living Legacy (CALL) programs at Artist Trust.

Nichole has served in a wide range of curatorial and leadership roles in both nonprofit and commercial galleries including as Executive & Artistic Director for Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA) and currently the Executive Director at SOLA (Support of Old Lady Artists) in Seattle.

As an artist herself, she studied art and archetypes from prehistoric to contemporary in caves and prehistoric sites in Europe and received a BA in2002 from The Evergreen State College with an emphasis in Fine Art Photography and Art History. Her personal artwork is represented by Seattle Art Museum’s SAM Gallery.

Everything she does is informed by the complex beauty and hope she finds in the world through art and creativity. She resides in West Seattle with her artist husband and two furry kids with paws.


About the Panelists

Clyde W. Ford is the author of thirteen works of fiction and nonfiction, including Think Black (2019), which garnered numerous awards, among them the 2020 Washington Center for the Book award in creative nonfiction. He’s also a psychotherapist, an accomplished mythologist, and a sought-after public speaker. In 2006, Ford received the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation Legacy Award in fiction and in 2019 he was a finalist for the foundation’s legacy award in nonfiction. He was named a “Literary Lion” by the King County Library System in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2019. Clyde was voted “Best Writer of Bellingham, Washington” in 2006 and 2007 by readers of the Cascadia Weekly, and he received the 2007 Bellingham, Washington, Mayor’s Arts Award in Literature. Ford is currently a speaker for Humanities Washington, an affiliate of the NEH.

Pamela Awana Lee is a biracial American artist who has lived surrounded by Palouse rolling hills and magnificent cloudscapes since 1979. Her art is inspired by place, atmosphere, mood, memory, mystery, temporality, and precious moments connected to the drama and beauty of being alive. P A Lee recently retired from 32 years of service as a professor of art history for Washington State University’s Fine Arts Department and Honors College. She loved sharing pictures and stories of the human experience (also known as art history) with (literally) more than twenty-thousand students. P A Lee embraces the path ahead: creating painted and drawn images of her shared existence with creatures, cats, clouds, plants, birds, bugs, artifacts collected on Palouse-Land wanderings and pictorially marking the quotidian.

Norie Sato, based in Seattle, creates artwork for both a studio practice and for public places. She has created individual, collaborative, design team public art projects as well as creating various public art plans for projects both large and small. She works from site and context-driven ideas first, then finds the appropriate form and materials, striving to add meaning and human touch to the built environment. Because of this attention to the specifics of a project, her work is different from project to project, rather than pursuing a specific style or material. Her work addresses a diversity of audience and variety of needs and uses.  She has worked in universities, airports, libraries, transit, city halls, convention centers, infrastructure and parks all over the country including Seattle, Scottsdale, AZ; Ames, IA; Madison, WI: Portland, OR; San Francisco; Miami; San Diego; San Jose, CA; and Wheaton, MD, for example. Her public art work has been recognized 5 times by the Public Art Network’s Year in Review.  She works in a variety of materials, also depending upon context and concept, including: metal, both fabricated and cast; glass; terrazzo; wood; mosaic; plant materials; paving materials.

Cappy Thompson is an internationally recognized Seattle artist known for her mytho-poetic narratives on glass using the grisaille painting technique. Described as “the major practitioner of the art of transparent enameling in the American Studio glass movement,” her pieces are included in museum, corporate and private collections worldwide.  An innovator in her field, Cappy has taught and lectured extensively.  She has served as a board member for the Glass Art Society, the Bellevue Arts Museum and Pottery Northwest. Her commissioned works include large-scale installations at SeaTac Airport, the Museum of Glass, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and The Evergreen State College. She has been honored with fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Seattle’s Artist Trust and has received Pilchuck Glass School’s Libensky Award for her contributions to glass art.