Local artists included in state Public Artist Roster

The state Art in Public Places program has shared their list of artists accepted to the 2021 Public Artist Roster, and two local artists were included. 

The Roster is said to be the primary tool for selecting artists to create new artworks for the State Art Collection. 

Roster portfolios from the list will be shared with local art selection committees at K-12 schools, colleges, universities, and state agencies throughout Washington.

At its August meeting, the ArtsWA board unanimously approved 476 artists and artist teams for the Roster. They will serve four-year terms.

Locally, mosic artist Jennifer Kuhns of Elma and “neurodivergent intra-disciplinary artist” Laura Halsey Brown of Long Beach made their list.

According to ArtsWA, the group worked hard to make this roster their most diverse and inclusive ever. 

They say that nearly half of the accepted artists were first-time applicants, and many are experienced studio artists new to public art. 

Washington artists hail from 22 counties statewide. 

“The number of artists of color, female, non-binary, disabled, and Central and Eastern Washington artists have all more than doubled from the 2018 Roster. We see this as a great starting point to center equity in our program and to reflect and celebrate Washington’s diverse communities. We can’t wait to start new projects with the 2021 Public Artist Roster.”

In the FY 2021 capital budget, the legislature approved a modest sum for ArtsWA to fund capital projects in Washington’s Certified Creative Districts. 

Projects were installed in Edmonds, Chewelah, Olympia, Langley, Port Townsend, Twisp, Tenino, and Issaquah.

ArtsWA has been granted funding by the state legislature to continue this program in this biennium and fund more capital projects across the state.