Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
In recognition of the Coast Salish peoples on whose land the City of Seattle is built, the Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) is honored to open ARTS at King Street Station, a new arts and cultural hub with yəhaw̓, an indigenous-centered inaugural exhibition that will run March 23 – August 3, 2019.
yəhaw̓ is an expansive multi-city, yearlong project. It includes satellite installations across the Puget Sound region, performances, artist-in-residence, a publication, art markets, and culminates in a large-scale exhibition at King Street Station. The title yəhaw̓, is drawn from the Coast Salish story of Native people from all tribes uniting around a common cause and lifting up the sky together. yəhaw̓ will reflect a nuanced, inclusive narrative that firmly establishes Native creatives as belonging in the here and now. yəhaw̓ is an open call project; all Indigenous creatives living in the region were invited to participate and everyone who applied has work represented in the programming. The project was conceived and curated by Tracy Rector (Choctaw/Seminole), Asia Tail (Cherokee Nation), and Satpreet Kahlon.
The exhibition at King Street Station is the centerpiece of the yəhaw̓ project. In the spirit of the yəhaw̓ story, the exhibition will be a collective portrait of Native America featuring artwork by over 200 creators ranging from master artisans and elders, to gallery-represented and museum-collected artists, to youth and emerging creatives who will be exhibiting in a gallery for the first time.
The exhibition challenges divisions between craft and fine art, as well as traditional and contemporary practices, by equally valuing all artforms as integral to the cultural continuum. Artworks include sculpture, photography, design, printmaking, woodworking, film, metalwork, glass, and textiles, encompassing an astonishing breadth of creative practices. Site-specific artworks have been commissioned for the exhibition by Chai Adera, Natalie Ball, Demian DinéYazhi´, Malynn Foster, Sara Siestreem, Adam Sings in the Timber, Timothy White Eagle, Christine Babic, and more. In addition, 10 emerging artists including Priscilla Dobler, Randi Purser, and Asa Wright have been selected to participate in a mentorship program, receiving artistic guidance from established Native artists.
ARTS at King Street Station will be a new kind of cultural space where communities of color have increased opportunities to present their work and be seen and heard. Grounded in community feedback, the programming and cultural space on the third floor of King Street Station will be an incubator for artists and communities, experimenting with the best ways to respond to the cultural needs of an ever-changing city. A new cohort of King Street Station Advisors will select and respond to community exhibition and programming ideas. ARTS’ goal for King Street Station is to be a resource for the city and the embodiment of the Office’s commitment to racial equity. The 17,130 square foot cultural hub, designed by Olson Kundig with Schacht Aslani Architects, will offer dedicated multi-disciplinary arts presentation spaces, an artist-in-residence studio, modular public areas, community gathering and performance spaces, meeting rooms, and offices for ARTS.
yəhaw̓ is made possible through the financial support of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Na’ah Ilahee Fund, Muckleshoot Tribe, 4Culture, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, and ArtsFund, via fiscal sponsorship by Na’ah Illahee Fund. It is grounded in partnerships throughout the region with Alma Mater Tacoma, Artist Trust, Bellevue College, Centrum, Chief Seattle Club, Cowlitz Tribal Health, Feast Arts Center, Jacob Lawrence Gallery at the University of Washington, LANGSTON, Lettuce 253, Northwest Film Forum, Pratt Fine Arts, Race and Pedagogy Conference at UPS, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Public Library, Hedreen Gallery in the Lee Center for the Arts at Seattle University, Suquamish Museum, Teens in Tacoma, United Indians of All Tribes, The Vera Project and Vermillion Art Gallery and Bar.