Pacific Northwest Awardees

Dao Strom Postwar Tablefruit

Dao Strom, Travelers Ode (still), 2019. Photo: Roldan Dahwen, E.P. Davee.

Over 40 artists that have received the Creative Capital Award currently live in the Pacific Northwest in cities like Portland, Seattle, Eugene, and Bellingham.

Artists working in performance, literature, architecture, film, and social practice have received Creative Capital Awards. See a selection of their projects and backgrounds below.

All Pacific Northwest Awardees

Lisa K. Bates (Portland, OR)
Maria del Carmen Montoya (Eugene, OR)
Degenerate Art Ensemble (Seattle, WA)
Hasan Elahi (Portland, OR)
Harrell Fletcher (Portland, OR)
Wes Hurley (Seattle, WA)
Josh James (Seattle, WA)
Zeke Keeble (Seattle, WA)
Heather Kravas (Seattle, WA)
Deborah Lawrence (Seattle, WA)


Zhi Lin (Seattle, WA)
J Mase III (Seattle, WA)
Not An Alternative (Vashon, WA)
Ahamefule J. Oluo (Seattle, WA
Amy O’Neal (Seattle, WA)
Lead Pencil Studio (Seattle, WA)
Lorelei Pepi (Vancouver, CA)
Jarrad Powell (Seattle, WA)
Joanna Priestly (Portland, OR)
Susan Robb (Seattle, WA)
David Russo (Seattle, WA)

Joseph Scanlan (Corbett, OR)
Kerry Skarbakka (Corvallis, OR)
SuttonBeresCuller (Seattle, WA)
Dao Strom (Portland, OR)
Michael Swaine (Seattle, WA)
Sharita Towne (Portland, OR)
Trimpin (Seattle, WA)
Chris E. Vargas (Bellingham, WA)
Shontina Vernon (Seattle, WA)
Holcombe Waller (Portland, OR)
Chel White (Portland, OR)


Ahamefule J. Oluo received a Creative Capital Award to create his project, Susan, an evening-length spoken word and musical performance that tells the story of his single mother. The project combines stand-up comedy and an original musical story that advances the story. The work premiered at On the Boards in Seattle and Joe’s Pub in New York in 2019. Read our interview with Oluo.

Degenerate Art Ensemble received an award in 2013 for their project project, Predator Songstress fuses live music, dance and media to create an immersive art environment set in a world of hyper-surveillance, interrogation and data mining. The work premiered at On the Boards in Seattle and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 2015. Read our interview with Degenerate Art Ensemble.

Holcombe Waller is a singer-songwriter musician who received an award in 2013 to make LGBT Requiem Mass. The performance, which has traveled all over the US, leverages the unique trans-disciplinary, trans-institutional convention of the modern Mass to honor LGBT people persecuted, or abandoned to persecution, in the name of religion. Read more about LGBT Requiem Mass.


Social Practice

Sharita Towne is a transdisciplinary artist and educator who is focused on highlighting Black life in the Pacific Northwest. She received an award in 2019 for her untitled project, and she will use support from Creative Capital to work locally to develop work that brings together archival research, family narrative, and oral history to weave Black collective imagination into cities and landscapes. Read more about Towne’s project.

Chris Vargas received an award to develop a project within his Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art, a visual and material exploration of objects that hold significance in narrating the history of transgender communities. Creative Capital support has allowed Vargas to expand the museum’s collection, and take it to cities across the US. Watch Vargas present about his project.

Visual Arts

Dao Strom is combining lyrical poetry, musical composition and installation to tell stories about Vietnamese diaspora and personal history in unique ways. In 2016, she received an award for her project Postwar Tablefruit, a multimedia literary project that explores the diasporic identity as an ethos and confluence, both, of place and displacement. Read more about Postwar Tablefruit.

Susan Robb merges new media, social engagement, and site responsive art as an invitation to explore wildness as a geographic idea. She received an award in 2013 to complete her project Wild Times, in which she hiked the Pacific Crest Trail and made artwork along the way, sending it to galleries and other arts venues. Read our interview with Robb.