Nia Tero is proud to provide Indigenous artists working in the Northwest of Turtle Island this opportunity for professional and personal support as part of their growing network of fellows that spans the globe.
The seven selected fellows will each receive an unrestricted award of $10,000 and will participate in a series of cohort engagement sessions. Engagement sessions will be designed collaboratively with the group and held virtually.
Nia Tero was proud to launch this Fellowship in Fall of 2020, when millions of cultural workers were experiencing significant income loss due to Covid-19. Even as Native populations were being hit especially hard by the pandemic, Indigenous makers were rallying to provide solace and sustenance during isolation. Artists continue finding innovative new ways of connecting us. It is clearer now more than ever that art and culture are fundamentally tied to the well-being of Indigenous Peoples, which in turn ensures the health of the lands we steward.
Please stay tuned for updates about applications for the 2023 cohort of Pacific Northwest Arts Fellowship.
Sean Gallagher (Inupiaq) is a visual artist and traditional watercraft vessel builder who specializes in carving, two- and three-dimensional art in multiple mediums. His works are influenced by traditional teachings and current experiences with a reverence for the future. Current themes include the stories of our time and honoring the connection between people, labor, and the planet as Sean is a part of a longshoreman union that stands for equitable working conditions and wages in addition to other areas of justice focused advocacy. Carving masks under the influence of master carvers and my peers increases Sean’s skillset and connections to fine art. Working with lands and waterways are recurrent themes within his work as Sean has extensive background in restoration, sustainable living, and movement via water. Recent works expand from previous works, including study of human physiology. Sean is based out of White Center, just south of Seattle in Washington.
Rena Priest is a member of the Lhaq’temish (Lummi) Nation. She currently serves as Washington State Poet Laureate (2021-2023) and has been named as the University of Washington Libraries Maxine Cushing Gray Distinguished Writing Fellow for 2022. She is the recipient of an Allied Arts Foundation Professional Poets Award and fellowships from Nia Tero, Indigenous Nations Poets, and the Vadon Foundation. Her debut poetry collection, Patriarchy Blues, was published by MoonPath Press and received an American Book Award. Her second collection, Sublime Subliminal, was published as the finalist for the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award. Her most recent book, Northwest Know-How: Beaches, includes a collection of Priest’s poems, retellings of tribal legends, and descriptions of 29 of her most beloved beaches in Washington and Oregon. Priest is a National Geographic Explorer and is currently at work on a series of short essays about the history of unjust criminalization of tribal fishers. She is also in the final stages of preparing a new poetry manuscript. Priest’s nonfiction has appeared in High Country News, YES! Magazine, Seattle Met, and elsewhere. She lives in Bellingham, Washington on the ancestral homelands of her tribe. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Learn more at www.renapriest.com.
Golga Oscar, a Yup’ik artist from Southwest, Alaska pursues modern textile that reflects his cultural identity. He seeks aspects to revitalize his ancestral work with a mix of contemporary materials and design. Oscar has been exploring different mediums that range from leather/skin sewing, grass weaving, and walrus ivory/wood carving. A strong cultural identity is evident in his work. Through his knowledge of traditional art forms and sewing skills, he creates cultural attire that becomes a strong visual element in his photographic imagery.
His images portray portraits of Indigenous people to show the world the importance of Native heritage and the validity of their existence. He is striving toward Indigenizing spaces in this Western environment.
Roquin-Jon Quichocho Siongco is originally from Yigu, Guåhan (Guam). They are a multidisciplinary artist that draws from their CHamoru heritage and Queer experiences. For Roquin, it is imperative that their work honors cultural customs that have survived throughout generations and has been persevered in the face of colonial erasure. By acknowledging these international practices and learning where they come from, their work holds the solid foundation it maintains as contemporary Pasifika art. Because of this, their work is able to take on new shapes and experimental forms, innovative combinations of materials, and the building of cross-cultural relationships that may not have happened otherwise.
Melissa Shaginoff, is part of the Udzisyu (caribou) and Cui Ui Ticutta (fish-eater) clans from Nay'dini'aa Na Kayax (Chickaloon Village, Alaska). She is an Ahtna and Paiute person, an artist, a curator, and an Auntie. Melissa centers conversation as her art praxis, searching for deeper understanding through works of exchange and reciprocity. Melissa has completed residencies in Sweden, Italy, Canada, and throughout Alaska. She has curated and juried art exhibitions with the Anchorage Museum, Alaska Pacific University, University Alaska Anchorage, The Coe Center, the International Folk Art Museum, the Fairbanks Art Association, and the Arctic Arts Summit. She is a founding member of Łuk’ae Tse’ Taas (fish head soup) Comics, a new media collective focusing on Indigenous collaboration and representation in science-fiction narratives. Melissa has been published in the Alaska Humanities FORUM Magazine, First American Art Magazine, Inuit Art Quarterly, and the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Learning Lab.
Jay was born and raised on the Navajo Nation in Kayenta, AZ (Tó Dínéeshzhee). Currently living in Pendleton, OR near her husband’s tribal community, the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation. She is a self-taught graphic artist who using art to celebrate their culture and identity as Indigenous people. Her goal is to create art that empowers fellow Indigenous people, whether that is through fashion or speaking their mind on issues that affect our communities. Jay holds a Bachelors in American Indian Studies from Haskell Indian Nations University and a Master of Education from the University of Oregon.
Eastern Fraser Valley based artist, Carrielynn is a descendant of Coast Salish ancestors that have been sustained by S’olh Temexw (our land) since time immemorial & Western European ancestors that settled around Northern Turtle Island beginning in the 1600’s. Carrielynn was born and raised in S’olh Temexw and nurtured by many parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. With ancient and modern design principles combined, Carrielynn’s professional artistic practice takes the form of murals, canvas paintings, drums, paddles and in recent years, illustrations for scientific reports and children’s books.
Natalie Ball was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She has a Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Ethnic Studies and Art from the University of Oregon. She furthered her education in New Zealand at Massey University where she attained her Master’s degree, focusing on Indigenous contemporary art. Ball then relocated to her ancestral homelands to raise her three children. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, including at the Half Gallery, NY; Vancouver Art Gallery, BC; Blum & Poe, LA; Portland Art Museum, OR; Gagosian, NY; Seattle Art Museum, WA; Almine Rech Gallery, FR; and SculptureCenter, NY. Natalie attained her M.F.A. degree in Painting & Printmaking at Yale School of Art in 2018. She is the recipient of the 2021 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation’s Oregon Native Arts Fellowship, 2020 Bonnie Bronson Award, 2020 Joan Mitchell Painters & Sculptors Grant, 2019 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, and the 2018 Betty Bowen Award from the Seattle Art Museum.
Born, raised, and based in Coast Salish Territory, Dakota Camacho is a Matao/CHamoru multi-disciplinary artist / researcher working in spaces of Indigenous life ways, performance, musical composition, community engagement, and education. Camacho weaves knowing from both yo’-ña (their) bloodlines and the diverse lineages that inform yo’-ña Indigenizing journey. Creating opportunities for inter-Indigenous exchange as a method for Indigenous knowledge development is central to Camacho’s creative philosophy. Camacho holds a Master of Arts in Performance Studies from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Arts in Gender & Women's Studies as a First Wave Urban Arts and Hip Hop Scholar. Camacho has presented work in festivals, at universities, and in communities as a public speaker, facilitator, composer, and performer throughout Turtle Island (The Americas), Oceania, Australia, Europe, and Africa.
Denise Emerson graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Washington. She began researching and studying historical photos of Native American people and objects that led to a deeper connection to her family and ancestors. Through her studies she developed computer art skills and began importing historical black and white photos into Excel and used them to create compositions for new beading designs. She eventually moved into Photoshop and Illustrator, which allowed her to expand the use of layers over photos to create contemporary art pieces in vivid color. This method of layering created the 2-dimensional artwork from historical photos onto flat beaded bags, and is also the method used in creating Moss Babies and Generations One. Moreover, Denise is an accomplished acrylic painter, pencil, and ink illustrator.
Erin Ggaadimits Ivalu Gingrich is a carver, painter, bead worker, photographer, and designer. Her arts practice is rooted in her Koyukon Athabaskan and Inupiaq heritage, which connects with the historically traditional beliefs of her ancestors on the value of our natural environment as gifts gathered from the land. A childhood spent across the state of Alaska imposed a personal impression of Alaska’s biological diversity, mixed with experience of Alaska’s sacred subsistence life ways, the immeasurable true value of our state's ecosystems, and a gatherable gift that was cared for by our ancestors. To establish these beliefs, Erin’s work explores representations of these living resources that make our environment unique through carved, painted, and beaded sculptural and mask forms. Erin also designs and makes modern kuspuk (Alaska Native snowshirts) to follow after her mother to continue the artform. Erin is currently based out of Dena'ina Homelands in Anchorage and Cohoe, Alaska.
Anthony Hudson is a multidisciplinary artist and writer, perhaps best known as Portland, Oregon’s premier drag clown, Carla Rossi – an immortal trickster whose attempts at realness almost always result in fantastic failure. They have been featured at the New York Theatre Workshop, La Mama (NYC), Portland and Seattle Art Museums, the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, the 2019 Portland Biennial, the Risk/Reward Festival, PICA's TBA Festival, Melbourne’s Yirramboi Festival, and more. Anthony regularly hosts and programs QUEER HORROR – the only LGBTQ+ horror film screening series in the United States – at the historic Hollywood Theatre. Anthony was named a 2018 National Artist Fellow from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, a 2018 Western Arts Alliance Native Launchpad Artist, a 2019 Oregon Arts Commission Fellow, a 2021 First Peoples Fund Artist in Business Leadership Fellow, and has received project support and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Performance Network, USArtists International, the Oregon Community Foundation, the Regional Arts and Culture Council, the Portland Art Museum & NW Film Center, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Ucross Foundation, Caldera Arts Center, and more. Anthony also co-hosts the weekly queer feminist horror podcast GAYLORDS OF DARKNESS with writer Stacie Ponder.
Eileen Jimenez is an Indigenous queer artist and a descendent of the Otomi people. Eileen was born in southern California, and her family is from Michoacán, Guanajuato and Mexico City. Eileen currently resides in occupied Duwamish Territory (Seattle, WA). The aesthetics of Otomi stories and her art reveal glimpses into her soul: “the visual representation of my soul, and the colors, the culture, the visions and the dreams that live there.” In her current body of work, she creates pieces that embody Indigenous life, joy, resilience, and relationship to land that represent the ongoing journey to heal and to share her family and community’s stories.
Jacques Trautman grew up on Duwamish lands and is a member of the Duwamish tribe. Jac feels deeply connected to the water, and as child would cross the train tracks every day to walk on the beach. In college, Jac was fascinated by the natural world, which inspired him to photograph the idea of landscape as a construction. For the past 11 years, he participated in Tribal Journeys – a canoe journey that unites tribes across the Pacific Northwest for cultural revival. Tribal Journeys inspired him to create photographs exposing how the use of contemporary technology “enables us to both forget and not forget our Indigenous cultures.” By taking a single exposure with multiple projected images contained within, Jac drew attention to the concept of splitting and projection in the ongoing historical interactions between the colonizer and the colonized. Jac currently participates in the Seattle Public Art Boot Camp program and will have a temporary installation of his photographs of Duwamish people at the Seattle Center.
Raven Two Feathers (Cherokee, Seneca, Cayuga, Comanche) (he/they) is a Two Spirit, Emmy award winning creator based in Seattle, WA. Originally from New Mexico, they spent their childhood moving and exploring Indigenous cultures across the continent and Pacific. They started making films in Hawaii after they enrolled in a film elective, putting them on the path they’d dreamed of since they were three. They made their first explicitly Indigenous film during Tracy Rector’s Superfly program. They returned to New Mexico to attend Santa Fe University of Art & Design, graduating magna cum laude with a BFA in Film Production. After graduation, their path led them to working on and creating more Indigenous art than ever and things began to feel right. They have been able to explore new mediums without the Western fear of imperfection hindering them. They recently released a comic-based zine, “Qualifications of Being,” about their journey of realizing they are trans and Two Spirit. The process is long and difficult but filled with the laughter, care, and openness they had dreamed of seeing as a child. They continue to grow and explore their practice through the people they meet, and the stories that guide them.
Ciara Lacy is a kanaka maoli whose interest lies in crafting films that use strong characters and investigative journalism to challenge the creative and political status quo. She has directed content for film and television, managed independent features, as well as coordinated product placement and clearances for various platforms. Her work has screened at festivals around the world as well as shown on networks including Netflix, PBS, ABC, and Al Jazeera. In the digital space, she has created content for notable outlets like the Guardian and the Atlantic Online. Ciara is honored to be the inaugural Sundance Institute Merata Mita Fellow as well as part of the inaugural class of NATIVe Fellows at the European Film Market. She has also benefited from fellowships with the Sundance Institute and Time Warner Foundation, Firelight Media's Documentary Lab, the Sundance Institute’s NativeLab, Tribeca All Access, the Princess Grace Foundation, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, and the Independent Film Project (IFP).
Ciara holds a BA in Psychology from Yale University and has given talks at academic institutions across the U.S. She continues to work on documentary content for broadcast and digital while also expanding her intimate style of filmmaking into the branded content, commercial, and narrative spaces.
Lehuauakea is a mixed-Native Hawaiian interdisciplinary artist from Pāpaʻikou on Moku O Keawe, the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. Lehua’s Kānaka Maoli family descends from several lineages connected to Maui, Kauaʻi, Kohala, and Hāmākua where their family resides to this day.
They have participated in several solo and group shows around the Pacific Ocean. Most recently these include ‘A Gift, A Breath’ at Alice Gallery in Seattle, ‘Until We Meet Again’ at Blackfish Gallery in Portland, and ‘He Hae Hōʻailona Ia’ at Aupuni Space in Honolulu.
Through a range of craft-based media, their art serves as a means of exploring cultural and biological ecologies, spectrums of Indigeneity, and what it means to live within the context of contemporary environmental degradation. With a particular focus on the labor-intensive making of ʻohe kāpala, kapa cloth, and natural pigments, Lehua is able to breathe new life into patterns and traditions practiced for generations. Through these acts of resilience that help forge deeper relationships with ʻāina, this mode of Indigenous storytelling is carried well into the future.
The artist is currently based between Portland and Pāpaʻikou after earning their Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting with a minor in Art + Ecology at Pacific Northwest College of Art.
Linley attended the Rochester Institute of Technology for Industrial Design and Fine Art, and the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Linley is a multi-disciplinary contemporary artist and designer with a foundation in his Seneca traditional arts, and his applied artistic statement conveyed through contemporary artistic expression. Linley’s artistic experience includes printmaking, painting, pottery, traditional beaded jewelry and contemporary jewelry, 3-dimensional arts, sculpture, and design work. His fine arts background includes industrial, graphic and set design.
As an artist and by invitation, Linley attended five international Indigenous Visual Arts Gathering in Aotearoa and Hawaii from 2007-2019. He accepted the invitation to participate in “Creation, Migration, and Change” an indigenous arts forum, co-organized by the Seventh Generation Fund, hosted by the Longhouse Cultural Education Center at TESC, and sponsored by the Ford Foundation. He attended the International Indigenous Arts Exchange in Guatemala, 2010. His printmaking teaching experience includes teaching Hawaiian Native art students at HOEA, Hawaiian ‘Ohana for Education in the arts in 2011.
Linley has co-curated contemporary Haudenosaunee art exhibits, the Evergreen Longhouse’s 20th Anniversary art exhibition and the Tears of Duk’wibahl International Indigenous Visual Arts Gathering exhibition, authored articles on Haudenosaunee social dance traditions, served as a grant reviewer for national and regional arts organizations, and founded and directed a Cultural Retention Program in his Tonawanda Seneca home community.
Linley has resided in Bremerton for 20 years and currently serves on the Boards for local art organizations and as a Washington State Arts Commissioner. He currently serves as the Managing Director of the Northwest Heritage Program – Artist in Residence program at the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA.
“I strive to incorporate both traditional and contemporary design elements. It is important that my work will be recognizably Coast Salish while being truly original." D.J.M
Danielle Morsette is a Coast Salish Weaver residing on the Port Madison Indian Reservation in Washington State. She is from the Suquamish tribe and Stó:lō Nation Band Shxwhá:y Village.
In 2003, Danielle participated in a beginners weaving class hosted by the Suquamish Youth Program taught by Marjorie Lawrence - Tulalip Tribes. She was fortunate to apprentice with the late Virginia Adams - Suquamish Tribe. Her other teachers from one on one time and workshops include Noel Rosario - Suquamish Tribe, Marcie Baker - Squamish Nation, Tracy Williams - Squamish Nation, Alroy Baker - Squamish Nation, Debra Sparrow - Musqueam First Nation, Delores Churchill - Haida, and Evelynn Vanderhoop - Haida.
Her weaving is made completely by hand using minimal tools on a traditional style loom frame. Such work includes regalia items to be worn by First Nations and Native American people as well as wall hangings made to be displayed. She has been fortunate to be featured in multiple art exhibitions in Washington State, Oregon State and British Columbia. She is also the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships that have helped her personal artistic development over the years.
Jennifer Angaiak Wood is Yup’ik, Irish, and Italian. Her parents are Andy and Marie Angaiak of Fairbanks, AK, and her grandparents are Mike and Susie Angaiak of Tununak, AK, and Kip and Pat Morey of Menlo Park, CA. Jennifer was born and raised in Fairbanks, AK. The Yup’ik side of her family is from Tununak, AK, and she spent summers there with her family when she was growing up. The experiences she had there greatly inform her artistic expression, and her main focus is on carving masks from that region. Her first carving teacher was Ron Manook, her high school Alaska Native Arts teacher. He passed away in 1999, so she has been mostly self-taught since then, though she has been able to work with some artists in the Seattle area since moving there in 2015, and they have shown her how to use adzes and traditional bent knives. Jennifer now lives in Indianola, WA, with her husband and two kids, and works out of her home studio.
Sara Siestreem (Hanis Coos, 1976-) is from the South Coast of Oregon. She graduated Phi Kappa Phi from PSU in 2005 and earned an MFA with distinction from Pratt in 2007. Her studio work is multi-disciplinary. Her primary language is painting, but she also works in photography, printmaking, drawing, sculpture, video, and traditional Indigenous weaving. She has been represented by Augen Gallery since 2010.
The social practice component of her work branches into education, curation, and institutional reform. She teaches collegiate arts in Portland, created and runs a tribal weaving program, and works with several institutions regionally as a curation and education consultant.
Siestreem was a recipient of a Ford Family Gold Spot Residency at Crows Shadow and a Matrix Residency in Missoula, MA. She has received two Creative Heights Grants, as well as support from The Oregon Arts Commission, The Ford Family, The Andy Warhol Foundation, The Evergreen Longhouse, The Potlatch Fund, The Burke, and the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians. Her work has been shown at Museum of Northwest Art, Missoula Art Museum, Hallie Ford Museum, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, The Whatcom Museum of Arts, Museum of Contemporary Native American Art, The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, The Evergreen Longhouse, Spaceworks Gallery, Littman Gallery, Archer Gallery, Crossroads Carnegie Arts Center, COCC, OSU, 1Spot Gallery, Jacobs Gallery, Mark Wooley Gallery, Modern Zoo, Zeitgeist Gallery, Pip Gallery, and many others. Her work figures in public and private collections around the world.
Delve into highlights and stories from our Fellowships.