Artists up mentors

HUMAIRA ABID (she/her)

Visual Art & Design  |  Public Art

Renton, WA

Abid is one of a small number of female sculptors to rise to the top of her field. Her commitment to her artistic career is illustrated by her continuous pursuit and participation in art residencies, art exhibitions, art fairs, symposiums, and workshops. She has exhibited her exquisite work nationally and internationally, including in Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Mauritius, Nepal, Kenya, Dubai, Bolivia, Germany, Russia, UK, and USA, won many awards, grants, fellowships, and in 2019 received the Art Innovator Award. Her work has been exhibited in prestigious galleries and museums throughout the world and been published in books, catalogues and newspapers internationally. Many documentaries have been produced on Abid’s work, and two of them (by PBS KCTS9 TV and Seattle Channel) got nominated for NW Emmy Awards. Abid was born, raised, and educated in Pakistan. She moved to United States about 12 years ago and now lives and works between both countries.

DONALD BYRD (He/Him)

Dance & Choreography

Seattle, WA

Donald Byrd is a TONY nominated (The Color Purple) and Bessie Award-winning (The Minstrel Show) choreographer as well as the Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater (Seattle). He was previously Artistic Director of Donald Byrd/The Group, a critically acclaimed contemporary dance company, founded in Los Angeles and later based in New York, that toured extensively, nationally and internationally. He has created dances for many leading dance companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, and Dance Theater of Harlem–among others–and worked extensively in theater and opera, nationally and internationally, including The New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, Seattle Opera, San Francisco Opera, and The Dutch National Opera. Awards, prizes, and fellowships include James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award given to a Washington State artist of any discipline whose work demonstrates exceptional originality, Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts (Cornish College of the Arts, Masters of Choreography Award (The Kennedy Center), Fellow at The American Academy of Jerusalem, James Baldwin Fellow of United States Artists, Resident Fellow of The Rockefeller Center Bellagio, Italy, Fellow at the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue (Harvard), and The Mayor’s Arts Award for Sustained Contribution to the City of Seattle.

MINH CARRICO (they/them)

Visual Art & Design  |  Public Art  |  Arts Education

Edmonds, WA

I am an art entrepreneur and visual educator. My career began with commercial photography while studying in Austin, Texas. My creative practice expanded into art direction while living in New York City. Clients include: Annie Leibovitz, Martha Stewart Living, MTV, Whole Foods Market, City of Seattle, and The Wing Luke Museum. My current studio practice focuses on designing and producing public art installations and curating gallery exhibitions that examines the issues of citizenship, displacement, standardization, and the construction of identities. My work has been exhibited in museums and galleries across North America and held within public art collections.

DAVIN DIAZ (he/him)

Arts Administration  |  Visual Art & Design  |  Public Art

West Richland, WA

Davin Diaz is the founder of DrewBoy Creative (DBC). DBC is founded on the idea that the experience is the most important objective for an organization. Through the arts, DBC develops exhibitions and events that create experiences that stimulate conversation and community development by celebrating and supporting amateur, outsider, and professional artists. They prioritize and promote art from individuals who are emerging artists, from diverse and/or marginalized backgrounds, and/or challenge the traditional school of thought related to art. Since opening, DBC has hosted 30 art shows, produced two film festivals, filmed two documentaries, and written a book. Davin is a multi-media artist, filmmaker, mentor, supporter, and promoter of other artists, as well as a community leader and advocate for underrepresented communities. He currently serves on the Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the first and only Latino to chair the Tri-Cities Legislative Council. Davin is the founder of the Tri-Cities Latino Coalition and is a former member of the Richland City Arts Commission. He was instrumental in establishing the region’s first TEDx talks, as well as developing several public art projects. Davin has held leadership positions on numerous community endeavors focused on increasing access to the arts. “Art has the ability to create a dialogue around difficult subjects like racism, addiction, and physical abuse; subjects that we often shy away from. Art is a door, not only of expression, but into the fabric that connects us as humans,” said Davin. Davin lives in West Richland with his beautiful wife and two wonderful daughters.

GINGER EWING (she/her)

Arts Administration  |  Arts Education

Spokane, WA

Ginger is an arts educator, advocate, and administrator in Spokane. She began her career as the Curator for Cultural Literacy at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture (MAC) where she developed and administered many successful programs. This includes an in-depth professional development program for regional high school students interested in becoming exhibit interpreters; a K-20 American Indian educational program; and a monthly after-hours program meant to draw in new museum-goers. At the MAC, Ginger also helped to curate many exhibitions and was trained in Visual Thinking Strategies, a student-centered teaching methodology centered around art. Ginger is currently the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the arts non-profit Terrain, which builds community and economic opportunity for the artists, makers, and culture creators of the Inland Northwest. In addition to putting on large-scale, annual events, Terrain runs a permanent gallery space, a performing arts space, a retail storefront, an arts-driven beautification program, and a professional development program for Creative Entrepreneurs. Ginger also sits on the Spokane Arts Commission, the Washington State Arts Commission, and a Joint Arts Committee helping to select public artwork going into Spokane’s regional parks. She also loves dogs, especially pugs.

ALMA GARCÍA (she/her)

Literary  |  Music  |  Arts Education

Seattle, WA

I am a fiction writing teacher as well as a manuscript consultant at the Hugo House in Seattle who specializes in both fiction and nonfiction; I am also a former journalist. My short stories have appeared as an award-winner in Narrative Magazine, Passages North, and Boulevard and have appeared most recently in Kweli Journal and elsewhere. I hold an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arizona and am a past recipient of a fellowship from the Rona Jaffe Foundation. My full-length manuscript, El Paso: A Novel, is currently on submission to publishers.

ANTONIO "TONY" GOMEZ (he/him)

Arts Education  |  Music & Composition  |  Folk, Traditional & Heritage

Tacoma, WA

Antonio is passionate about connecting learners of all ages with compelling cultural stories and inspiring arts experiences. A former K-12 teacher, he manages economically and culturally accessible education programs at Tacoma Arts Live, where he also designs curricula, as he has done for various arts nonprofits and public media projects. As a percussionist, Tony specializes in Afro-Latin, Mediterranean, and Arabic genres. He performs with Trío Guadalevín, the Eurasia Consort, and the national touring music-dance production Tango del Cielo. He has studied in Cuba, Argentina, Panamá, Spain, Italy, and Morocco. Artist Trust awarded Tony a 2018 J.W. Ray Venture Project for Ramas & Raíces – a transnational music project between Mexico and Washington state. He has been a frequent speaker for Humanities Washington on arts and culture and is a former Jubilation Foundation Fellow in arts education. He holds an MA in education from the University of California, Berkeley, and BA from the University of Puget Sound.

veronica lee-baik (she/her)

Dance & Choreography  |  Arts Administration  |  Arts Education

Seattle, WA

Born in Singapore, Veronica Lee-Baik studied art and dance. She is a visual artist whose medium of choice is the body using it as a tool for expression and communication. Her approach to movement activates the senses to become fully alive and involved. She founded The Three Yells to explore and translate social, political, and cultural issues through multidisciplinary performance. The Three Yells is a continual process of discovering her artistic voice as a choreographer and teacher. Lee-Baik has never been one to hew to traditions. Her idiosyncratic approach has been described as “a clear eye for an unusual landscape—her stage pictures are distinctive and disturbing.” Lee-Baik is a recipient of the Artist Trust James W Ray Venture Project Award, 4Culture Arts Project Award, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture City Artists Projects Award, Artist Trust GAP, Seattle Office of Arts and Culture smART grant. She was artist-in-residence for the 2015/16 Cornish Playhouse Arts Incubator Award which resulted in the first ever project produced by Cornish Presents.

Sara Porkalob (she/her)

Theater / Opera

Seattle, WA

Sara Porkalob is an award-winning artist-activist and creator of the DRAGON CYCLE based in Seattle but soon to be working all over the nation. She’s featured in Seattle Times “11 Movers and Shakers to Watch this Decade”, Seattle Magazine’s "Most Influential People of 2018," and City Art’s "2017 Futures List." She is a co-founder of the online journal of intersectional performance critique DeConstruct, and was a 2019 nominee for Americans for the Arts Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities. DRAGON CYCLE is a trilogy of plays about her family; one play for each generation built around a central female protagonist. The first in the cycle, Dragon Lady, is the recipient of three 2018 Gregory Awards for: Outstanding Sound/Music Design, Outstanding Actress in a Musical, and Outstanding Musical Production. The second in the cycle, Dragon Mama, premiered at American Repertory Theatre (ART) and won Best Original Script and Best Solo Performance for the 2019 Elliot Norton Awards. ART has commissioned the third in the cycle, Dragon Baby; it will premier on their stage in the near future. This year she is collaborating with the City of Seattle and their Creative Strategies Initiative (CSI), a new City effort that uses arts- and culture-based approaches to build racial equity in non-arts policy areas like the environment, housing, workforce, and community development. Also in 2020: Artswest will produce the world premiere of her new play Alex & Alix and Cafe Nordo will produce her other new play, The Angel in the House.

E.T. RUSSIAN (They/them)

Film & Media  |  Visual & Design  |  Public Art

Seattle, WA

E.T. Russian is a multi-sensory artist, storyteller, animator, and maker of zines and comics. Russian is the author of The Ring of Fire Anthology and has been published in a number of books and periodicals, including Disability in American Life: An Encyclopedia of Concepts, Politics, and ControversiesPEN MagazineThe Stranger, The Seattle Weekly, Real Change, When Language Runs Dry, The Graphic Medicine Manifesto, and Gay Genius. Russian’s graphic journalism is currently in the international exhibition “Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived and Well Drawn” hosted by the National Library of Medicine. Russian’s forthcoming video comic installation DOUBLE CLEAR opens December 2019 at Seattle’s Hedreen Gallery. Russian is Co-Director of the documentary Third Antenna and has received support from Art Matters, 4Culture, Seattle Office of Art & Culture, Jack Straw Foundation, and the University of Washington.

ANDREA WILBUR-SIGO (SHE/HER)

Folk, Traditional & Heritage  |  Public Art

Shelton, WA

Andrea Wilbur-Sigo lives in Shelton, Washington, where she was born in 1975 and is a member of the Squaxin Island Tribe. She is the daughter of Andy and Ruth Wilbur-Peterson, granddaughter of Bert and Arline Wilbur, great-granddaughter of Andrew and Betty Peterson, and great-great-granddaughter of Henry and Alice Allen of which Henry was one of the major historical and cultural informant for an ethnographic study of the Twana and Salish people. Andrea is the first known native woman carver of many generations of carvers. She grew up with many types of art around her. She started out with beadwork and has since learned the Coast Salish art forms including bentwood boxes, welcome figures, house posts, masks, panels, button blankets, twine, twill, and baskets weaving. Her artistic life began at the age of three surrounded by an artistic community that included elders such as Louisa Pulsifer, Emily Miller, Great Grandfather Andrew Peterson, Aunt Bertha Visser, and her grandfather Bert Wilbur. She has recently worked with well-known master carvers such as Andy and Ruth Wilbur-Peterson, Loren White, Susan Point, Pete Peterson, and Joe and George David. Andrea is continually researching and applying her knowledge to her art forms today. Andrea is an active member of her tribe, volunteering her time and artwork for several community events including being an active member of the tribal museum board. She also teaches Coast Salish art classes on a regular basis to children and adults of all ages for many of the local tribes.

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