Summer of Learning Artists
The Library and local artists collaborated on artwork for the Summer of Learning.
2022 - Superhero Summer!
Brandon “BT” Thomas
Brandon “BT” Thomas has been painting professionally since age 14. Their pop-surrealistic artwork is filled with visual portmanteaus and juxtaposition of styles. They have reached such high-profile clients as MoPOP, MTV, and the PNW Pride Foundation. BT is a founding member of the “Vivid Matter (Art) Collective” – a contributing artist to Seattle’s BLM mural during the protests of June 2020.
Gabby Park (she/they) is an illustrator and pastry chef who has lived in the Seattle area for nearly her entire life. When they are not laminating croissants or working on their webcomic, they are usually napping with their cats, snacking, or watching a K-drama.
“I’ve been drawing since I was a kid. Some of my earliest memories were from daycare and grade school. My teachers and classmates told me my drawings were really good. I remember winning a prize of $5 dollars in first grade for submitting a Valentine’s Day card contest, which motivated me to create every day. My fifth grade teacher kept all my artwork till he retired for future classmates to see. My dad and brother can draw extremely well too. As I grew into my teenage years, I started to feel I wasn’t good enough and didn’t create as much. I had to grow up fast as I became a mom at 15. It wasn’t easy parenting a kid when I was a kid myself. But it was part of my life. When I became an adult and when my son didn’t need much ‘taking care of’ I struggled hard to find who I was again. It wasn’t until 2018 that I picked up a pen and paper and participated in Inktober, a drawing challenge to draw every day for the month of October. And now here I am still drawing every day.”
Sloane Miller is a Seattle-born visual artist and illustrator. Having just received her BFA in the visuals arts, Sloane is creatively exploring herself as a Black artist and pushing the boundaries as to what a creative can be. Her colorful work explores expression of self, truth and the ebbs and flows that we experience in life all while keeping a fresh perspective that opens up connections and conversations within the BIPOC community. When she is not illustrating, Sloane uses painting, collage, makeup, fashion, singing and dancing as a form of embracing and expanding her artistic spirit and abilities.
When Cyrus is not making art or going to school, he loves to be in nature, skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding and hiking. If Cyrus had a superpower, it would be Teleportation, which would allow him to see all the places he wished to visit, instantaneously. He also imagines his teleportation skills would enable him to deliver food and medicines to people in need, exactly when they need it most. Cyrus wants to learn more about painting murals and block printing and thinks he might enjoy being a tattoo artist or a stuntman.
2021 - What's YOUR Story?
Eileen Jimenez’s mother is Maria Cruz Jimenez, her grandmother is Eloisa Saavedra and her great grandmother is Isidora Saavedra, matriarchs of the Otomi people. She is an indigenous queer artist currently living in the occupied Duwamish Territory (Seattle, WA). She was born in southern California, but her family is from Michoacán and Mexico City. Her soul speaks through her art. In her art, she sees herself and the stories and the strength from her ancestors. In her art you will see the aesthetics of her Mexican and Otomi stories - you see the visual representation of her soul, and the colors, the culture, the visions and the dreams that live there. As an indigenous leader, community member, and as an artist, everything she does and creates is influenced by my many intersecting identities and lived experiences. She creates the art, the structures, the programming and the educational experiences she wishes her community and she would have seen and had access to as a girl from the ‘hood’. Her leadership is grounded in community and specifically, she believes it is her role to continue to show up, disrupt the dominant narrative, and gain access to institutional resources to share them with her community. Her family’s stories, values, theories and practices keep her feeling whole throughout this process and she finds support through community care.
Stephanie Morales is a homegrown, Seattle born and based artist. Creating art from a young age, she returned to her passion through acrylic and pencil mediums nearly five years ago. Travels throughout the US, Europe, and Africa influenced her work which often includes themes of duality and false dichotomies, femininity, and the temporal nature of time and circumstance. Much of her work is intended to ask the viewer to reflect on themselves and the world around them in new and more fluid ways. Her Afro-Latina and Filipino background, education in social justice and varied life experiences also contribute greatly to the subject of her personal work.
Brandon “BT” Thomas
Brandon “BT” Thomas has been painting professionally since age 14 and has reached such high-profile clients as MoPOP, MTV, and The PNW Pride Foundation. Their Pop-Surrealistic artwork is filled with visual portmanteaus and juxtaposition of styles. BT is a founding member of the “Vivid Matter (Art) Collective”- a contributing artist to Seattle’s BLM mural during the protests of June 2020. Since, BT has co-created Blaque Mass Studios; a revolutionary community art studio that aims to reclaim space through Black creation and joy.
2020 - Every Day is Earth Day!
Yegizaw “Yeggy” Michael
Yeggy is a Seattle visual artist who creates public art murals and mosaics that adorn parks, banks, residences, restaurants, and museums and whose work has been widely collected and exhibited throughout Africa, Europe and the United States of America.
Yeggy’s vision is to provoke questions about natural cycles, provide a sense of place and to reflect on the movement of time. His paintings are personal and positive contacts for vibrant thoughts and spiritual moments. Yeggy’s inspiration comes from what has stayed close to his heart.
Seattle based artist Kimisha Turner creates multifaceted work exploring empowerment and process while blurring the lines between abstraction, surrealism and symbolism. Her work evokes mystery while remaining grounded in current societal revelations, aiming to challenge and spark new thought-provoking perspectives.
The Seattle Art Museum, Northwest African American Museum, Seattle Theater Group and The Seattle Public Library are just a few of the organizations to partner with Kimisha to show her work and host community art and empowerment events. While she isn't creating work for personal shows or commissions, you can find her creating with her beautiful 7 year old son.
2019 - Explore Your World!
barry johnson is a self-taught interdisciplinary artist, author and TEDx speaker. barry's work is a reflection of events happening around the world and in his daily life. He's known for constantly changing the medium and nature of his pieces and his work focuses on three areas, community, culture and connection. barry's works made of house paint and his installations have been shown around the world, he's held residencies throughout the NW, Mexico and Argentina, he wrote and illustrated the book "Oh What Wonderful Hair" and he's received multiple grants and awards including the Edwin T. Pratt Award and the 2018 GAP Award.
Yessica Marquez was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and raised in South Central L.A. Ms. Marquez has always had a passion for art. While growing up in Southern California, she became attracted to expressing not only her personal interests but a lot of her Mexican heritage through paintings and illustrations. Her art shares a piece of herself that speaks authenticity and fulfills a sense of enchantment. Yessica enjoys connecting with community and local artists to create spaces to motivate youth to share their passions in art. Yessica Marquez lives in Everett, WA where she dedicates her life to raising her daughter and perfecting her craft.
Susanna Ryan is a proud library employee and a self-taught cartoonist and illustrator. In her free time she enjoys going on walks, listening to music, and admiring her large collection of plastic bread tags.
2018 - Make a Splash!
Roger Fernandes is a Native American artist, storyteller and educator whose work focuses on the traditional arts, legends, and teachings of the Coast Salish tribes of the Puget Sound region of Western Washington.
He is a member of the Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribe and has a degree in Native American Studies from the Evergreen State College and a Masters Degree in Whole Systems Design from Antioch University. He also studied graphic design at the University of Washington and has focused on learning, creating and teaching Coast Salish art for the past 20 years.
Ty Juvinel has grown up in Washington since his birth in 1987. Ty is a local Coast Salish Artist from the Tulalip Tribes, located in Tulalip, Washington. He grew up as the creative curious type, day-dreaming and drawing every free moment. Ty did his first carving at age 12 and has been creating Coast Salish art on and off since then until he started working as an artist full time.
As well as art, Ty Juvinel is also an author writing his first children’s book “How Mouse Moved The Mountain” written and illustrated by Ty as a Coast Salish Art project, and is determined in his pursuit of art and Coast Salish Cultural Heritage.