Tucked away in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood is an almost miss-able nonprofit called the Artist Trust. Since 1986, the Trust has helped Washington State artists learn their craft and get the funding and support they need. Whether an artist is just starting their career or trying to keep it going, the Artist Trust aims to provide the support they need to be successful.
The Trust hosts classes, trainings, and webinars; provides opportunities for funding; and curates a collection of online resources on employment, healthcare, housing, and other topics of interest to artists.
They also offer a series of yearly awards, including the Arts Innovator Award, a Fellowship, and the Twining Humber Award. The winners come from a variety of backgrounds, each with a unique style and body of work. Here are just a few.
Sheila Klein, 2017 Arts Innovator Award (visual art)
Klein’s work combines visual art and architecture to recreate how viewers see the everyday. She has exhibited in New York, Florence, Pittsburgh, and Tokyo. She began her career as an architect with A2Z before moving into innovative visual art that builds architecture into something more.
Valerie Curtis-Newton, 2017 Arts Innovator Award (performing art)
Curtis-Newton, a writer, director, and educator, focuses her work on the African-American experience. She promotes the importance of sharing never-before-told stories from the African-American community. She is also the Artistic Director for The Hansberry Project, a professional theater lab that works with theaters across the country.
Jenny Hyde, 2017 Fellowship (visual art)
Hyde grew up in rural Washington, which has had a huge effect on her artistic themes of cultural geography and physical experiences. Her work, much of which is based in her background in electronic integrated art, highlights the balance between the physical and mental worlds. With the Fellowship, she intends to document the travel experience via several train lines in different New York City neighborhoods.
Ann Leda Shapiro, 2017 Twining Humber Award (visual art)
Shapiro has traveled extensively, both in the US and abroad, which has inspired her paintings. Also trained as an acupuncturist, she lives on Vashon Island and creates art based on her experiences of her surrounding environment and the body as a landscape.