artist profile | KUOW News and Information

artist profile

Niki Keenan at work in her home studio
photo courtesy of the artist

It’s no secret that Seattle’s hot housing market is driving up property values and squeezing out affordable places to live. But for thousands of Seattle artists, high rent on light industrial spaces is squeezing out affordable places to work.

Amanda Morgan, left, dances during company class with instructor Peter Boal on Thursday, May 24, 2018, at the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

You can’t miss Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Amanda Morgan. For one thing, at five-feet, ten-inches she’s one of the tallest women onstage. But more obvious is Morgan’s race. While more than 20 percent of PNB dancers are people of color, she is the only black ballerina in the company right now. 

Victoria Victor gets ready to host Fashion Lab Inclusive, an all inclusive fashion show, on Friday, March 30, 2018, at Columbia Tower Club in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Most weekdays you’ll find Victor Loo at his office at Seattle’s Asian Counseling and Referral Services, where he’s the Director of Recovery Services. Loo’s been with the agency for more than a decade, but he has a thriving second career as an internationally-known high fashion model. You’ll find this Singapore-native strutting the runway as Victoria Victor, Seattle’s only genderless Asian model.

Here's Victor's story, as told to KUOW's Marcie Sillman.

Filmmaker, photographer, and King County Metro Transit bus driver Nathan Vass.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Nathan Vass is an 11-year veteran of King County Metro Transit - no small feat at 32. Even more impressive is his ability to stay engaged and delighted by his job over all those years. He's been called 'the only happy bus driver in Seattle', which he's quick to dispute on behalf of other equally cheerful colleagues. But he's pretty stoked to be here.


Yizjuani Watson, 11, has help with her costume from Simya Gibson, 13, during a rehearsal on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at Rainier Beach high school in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The end of the school year is a time for students to show off — debates, sports championships and performances abound. And for high schools around the state, it’s musical theater season.


Che Sehyun poses for a portrait on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, near his home in Renton.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Like so many children of immigrants, Che Sehyun was raised to pursue the traditional American dream: college and a professional career.

“That was, to me, to be a doctor,” he says.

Things didn’t quite work out that way.

Felicia Loud poses for a portrait on Monday, March 12, 2018, at Artspace Hiawatha Lofts in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Felicia Loud barely remembers a time when she wasn’t performing. She’s been a regular on Seattle stages for more than 40 years, singing with local bands and acting with most of the major theater companies.


Rosa Joshi poses for a portrait on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at the Lee Center for the Arts on Seattle University's campus in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Rosa Joshi wasn’t supposed to be an artist.

“I’m the daughter of Asian immigrants,” she says. “I was supposed to be a doctor.”

Jessica Rycheal poses for a portrait on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, at the Northwest African American Museum in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

As a kid in Macon, Georgia, Jessica Rycheal never imagined she’d become an artist. It  was something to do in her spare time.

She was the first in her family to go to college and she felt the unspoken pressure to be a professional.

Photographer Marilyn Montufar poses for a portrait on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Marilyn Montufar is fascinated by life on the edge.

Not the metaphorical risky edge; Montufar means civilization’s edge.


Visual artist Ari Glass poses for a portrait in front of one of his paintings on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, at his artist loft in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

You may not know Ari Glass now, but you will soon. This Southeast Seattle native has set his sights high.

He’s wanted to be an artist ever since childhood, inspired by masters like Pablo Picasso.

Dancer Jon Boogz.
Photo courtesy of Marcie Sillman/marciesillman.com

One of them went viral in a collaboration with Yo Yo Ma; the other played Michael Jackson for the Cirque du Soleil. But you might know dancers Lil Buck and Jon Boogz best for their collaboration on the haunting video Color of Reality.

Jade Solomon Curtis poses for a portrait on Tuesday, January 2, 2018, at Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle has a rich and diverse arts community, but many people believe the city's African American artists don't get the widespread attention they deserve. 

We asked you for the names of local artists you're excited about; we received more than 80 names. Here are four of those artists.