In November 2019, PNB presented Locally Sourced, featuring three Seattle-based choreographers. One of them, Miles Pertl, highlighted additional Seattle-based artists in a pop-up art exhibit as part of his world premiere. He and his sister, artist Sydney M. Pertl, formed Seapertl Productions and issued a call for artist submissions. The Skid Road Gallery was open at Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall from November 8-17, 2019, and featured artists without current professional gallery representation. Over 10,000 ballet attendees visited the gallery during its run. Last fall, Seapertls caught up with five of the Skid Road Gallery artists for conversations about what they’re up to a year later, how they are doing during the pandemic, and what it means to be an artist in Seattle at this moment in time.
Shamika Taisha Rivera (ST Rivera) is an artist currently based in Seattle. Rivera is a Nuyorican, born and raised in the Bronx, New York. She spent most of her childhood indoors, reading encyclopedias, dictionaries, and fantastical works of fiction. She also spends much of her adulthood this way.
Her thirst for knowledge and love of the magical world carries over into her highly detailed artwork. Rivera combines elements of the subconscious realm with contemporary themes and issues. She considers her “circlism” work as fine craftsmanship conceived through obsessive repetition and meditation. She sees her doodles as brain vomit—an uncontrollable reaction to the world.
Rosa Marchita is a drag queen, sculptor, activist and fitness professional.
To understand more about her complicated mind and to see footage of her art, follow her on Instagram @intima.rosa.marchita
Chloe Collyer (they/them) is a 5th-generation Seattle-ite who works as a freelance photojournalist and teaches photography to young people. After 10 years of studying photography all around the Puget Sound, Chloe graduated from the Seattle Central Creative Academy and has now dedicated their life to telling the stories of others and documenting issues of human rights for both local and national news organizations.
AshaAung Helmstetter is a Seattle-based, contemporary portrait painter, who often works with oil paints in heavy textures. Originally, her awe for paint was found in museums as a child, looking through European/Western Classical and Impressionistic art, always most captivated by thick paint strokes and the way color describes depth. This helped shape visions of what she wanted to create herself; aiming also to capture in each piece beauty, imaginativeness, and life. With this in mind, she draws inspiration from the women around her, creating paintings that show confidence in their likeness, often in bold colors or slightly exaggerated. She feels a connectedness and energy in being a black/brown woman painting portraits of other women (also often black or brown as well). She uses her paintings to describe the strength she sees in each of her subjects, and shed light on strength that sometimes is even internally unseen.
In 2016, encouraged by a friend already enrolled, Helmstetter decided to visit a figure drawing class at Seattle Central College. It was after that class that she realized her art would paint the road in the path of her life. In the next year of school, art classes at SCC were a place of comfort while diagnosing the chronic pain that has remained an issue to her to this today. Eventually leaving school to focus on her health and personal development, Helmstetter was able to come into her own as an artist, dedicated to her craft. Her constant pain has been the largest detriment to her living, but when looking in the eyes of her portraits she is reminded of her strength and persists forward. She strives to remind the audience of their own persistence when looking at her art.
Carol Rashawnna Williams
Born in Topeka, Kansas in a military family, Carol is the only child of Bessie Williams & Willie C. Williams. Soon after birth Carol and her family moved to Frankfurt Germany where she grew up on a military base and went to German schools until she was 11 ½. At which time she and her mother settled in Tacoma, WA. Carol graduated from Mount Tahoma High School, went to the Evergreen State College, was an Upward Bound student of 4 years.
Carol’s mother was a certified missionary and gave her life to community service for over 25 years, feeding and sheltering those who were homeless. or re-entering society from prison. Carol’s father was a patriot and believed in American Democracy. He gave 28 years of his life to his country through military service.
After graduating from college Carol was accepted as a Vista-Americorps for 1 year in Seattle’s White Center neighborhood working with young single mothers of Head Start students get jobs and get into school. Carol had her first group exhibit at the Seattle Central Community College Gallery in 1990 when she attended Seattle Central College, it was a community college. Her second group exhibit was in 1996 at the Evergreen State College at which time her work was acquired and catalogued into The Evergreen State College’s (TESC) video art library and showcased into the TESC student anthology book.
Carol is a mother to 2 children. She currently resides in Seattle, WA and works to mentor emerging artists from various backgrounds. Carol is a musician of 21 years who plays the violin and the viola. Carol enjoys hiking in the Pacific Northwest’s numerous old growth forests. Carol was certified thru the City of Seattle Parks & Recreation Urban Forest Educator Program and loves to teach about conifers, indigenous and invasive species. You can find her walking all over Seattle.
Carol deeply believes in the power of art to build community, bridge community relationships and create authentic space for healing.
A Seattle-based, interdisciplinary artist who makes work that engages audiences in conversations about social, environmental and racial justice. Throughout her practice, Williams contends that the only way to shift race relations and understand climate change is through collective imaginings and re-imaginings of equitable relationships to the land, animals and resources. Williams’ aesthetic forms fall, swim, fly, drip and grow through various layers of reality, spirituality and data analysis. Her narrative installations reject the tidy, toxic logic of scarcity models, suggesting powerful alternatives in collective storytelling, collective ownership, collective re-valuing of biospecies and collective commitments to sustainable environmental practices over time. While in residence at Seattle University Williams that created 2 dynamic art installations that included prints, paintings and sculptures made of primarily recycled or reused materials. These participatory exhibitions were free and open to the public.
-Seattle University, Hedreen Gallery 2019
Carol earned a 4Culture Conductive Garboil Award (2018), an Artist Residency AADK Spain (2018), a 4Culture Artist Community Grant Award (2017) and was accepted to Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s Public Art Boot Camp (2018). She is the owner of K-Love 4 Art, co-founder of both Race & Climate Justice Art Collective and ARTifACTS, and the Co-Executive Director at Community Arts Create. She was recently accepted in the Environmental Leadership Program, a yearlong national fellowship to support emerging leaders in environmental justice.