2024 20 Year show

Cultivating Creativity: How to Foster a Resilient Art Community

Date & Time:

Sunday, July 28, 2024
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM


Seattle Art Fair Christie's Theater

In this panel discussion, we delve into the essential strategies and practices necessary to cultivate a thriving and resilient artistic community. Creativity is the lifeblood of any artistic ecosystem, but it requires organization, care, and support to flourish sustainably. Through insightful dialogue and shared experiences, our panelists will explore the ways by which individuals, organizations, and communities can come together to foster an environment where creativity thrives. Our panel experts will include artists, art administrators, gallerists, and curators from the larger Pacific Northwest Area.

From providing accessible resources and spaces for artists to offering mentorship programs and fostering collaboration, this panel will examine the multifaceted approach required to nurture the arts community at every level. We will also explore how inclusivity, diversity, and equity create a stronger and more resilient arts community.

Drawing upon real-world examples and innovative initiatives, our panelists will offer practical insights and actionable strategies for building resilience within the art community. Whether you’re an artist, gallerist, collector, or enthusiast, join us as we explore how to cultivate a creative community and foster a robust and adaptable artistic ecosystem that can weather any challenge.

Moderator, Amanda Triplett, Shift Gallery member 

Making art in the space where fine art and craftwork intersect, I manipulate, layer, and embroider salvaged fibers into abstractions of biology. I create sculptural, performance, and installation works about human relationships to biological narratives.

Recycled materials are central to my process and inform the themes I work with as an artist. I disassemble salvaged towels, sweaters, and t-shirts that have warmed and wiped the bodies of their previous owners. Fascinated by wear on the weave of recycled fibers, I treat aging and deterioration as a part of the creative process. Using needle and thread, I manipulate and sew the fiber into new form. Making becomes a mending practice, a way to rework and renew ubiquitous materials into something unique and beautiful. The resulting pieces are organic and biologically inspired, utilizing the natural tendency of fabric to crease and flow. Utilizing surface, texture and vivid colors as my main tools, the work addresses ecology, the complexity of the internal human landscape, and identity.

Judith Rinehart, Owner & Director of J. Rinehart Gallery

Judith graduated with her BFA in Art History from the University of Utah and has been working in fine art galleries in the Seattle area since 2007.

With over 15 years’ experience as a professional art dealer, Judith previously managed two highly successful art galleries before launching her own space in 2019. In this time, she has curated, planned, organized, marketed, and executed more than 150 successful exhibitions and openings in the gallery and at art fairs across the US. She has established herself as a fixture in the gallery community, serving for three years as treasurer of the Seattle Art Dealers Association, as the curator and panelist at the Seattle Emerging Arts Fair in 2018, and the lead organizer of the Seattle Deconstructed Art Fair in 2020 & 2021, and a founding board member of Art + Culture Week, Seattle – we week-long city-wide event to be held in September 2024.

Judith is a member of the Board of Trustees for Artist Trust, the longest-running arts organization in Washington State that supports and encourages artists of all disciplines that enrich community life, and on the Board of Directors for the SOLA Awards, which recognizes and celebrates mature female artists in Washington. She is a member of the Association of Woman Art Dealers (AWAD), an international network of women art dealers committed to upholding professional standards and positively impact the enterprise of each member. Through her gallery and her volunteer work, Judith continues to advocate for art and artists in the Puget Sound region.

Jo Mikesell, Shunpike 

A compassionate, creative leader with over 20 years of experience in the art and culture field, Jo Mikesell is the Program Director for Arts Business Services at Shunpike Arts Collective. Her specialties include arts programming and exhibition management, arts funding, and digital humanities. Her work is dedicated to nurturing social equity by facilitating meaningful and transformative arts experiences for diverse audiences.

Jo earned an M.A. in Visual Arts Administration from Columbia University, New York, and a B.A. in Art History from the University of Washington. Their diverse professional background includes roles at organizations such as ACA Galleries, Creative Time, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Barnard College, The Northwest School, Artist Trust, and Amazon.com.

Outside of work, Jo serves as a Board member for Pratt Fine Arts Center, curates exhibitions, and is a member of the Council of Readers for the College Art Association.

Nichole DeMent, Creative Strategist, Cultural Producer, Professional Artist, and Spiritual Mentor

Nichole DeMent, a creative strategist, cultural producer, and professional artist, has 20+ years  experience in the Pacific Northwest nonprofit arts and is currently the Executive Director of SOLA (Support of Old Lady Artists). Her journey intertwines art, spirituality, and conscious leadership, with a mission to elevate Creativity to its rightful place in society through supporting visionary change makers.

Embarking on a fulfilling journey as an artist and change facilitator spanning over two transformative decades, I’ve had the honor of intertwining the realms of art, spirituality, and conscious leadership. This privileged experience has shaped my mission: to share the profound insights gained along this path and contribute to the world by elevating art, culture, and spirituality.

My Highest Goal: To empower individuals through the creative expression and expansion of consciousness, fostering spiritual well-being.

Miha Sarani, Shift Gallery member 

Miha Sarani is a visual artist, art historian, and an art educator. Born and raised in Ljubljana, Slovenia, he moved permanently to the US in 2007. Returning to school in his late 30s, he earned a BFA in 2015 and an MA in 2019 – both from the University of Washington. Miha was a student speaker at the graduation ceremony for the School of Art + Art History + Design in 2015, and received the Husky 100 award in 2019. He was appointed to be one of the Washington State Arts Commission Curators in 2022.

His work has been shown at museums and galleries, featured in art journals, publications, promotional materials, and on music covers. His large Koncentrik Painting series is owned by the University of Washington and on permanent display at the Mary Gates Hall. Miha currently teaches art history and studio practices at Seattle University.

Also passionate about music, Miha released his first music album Emona Au Revoir in 2016, which was included in the Seattle Public Library’s PlayBack program the following year. Miha is a member of the Shift Gallery in Seattle – where he lives with his wife Tomitha, children Edmond and Ana, and their dogs Blue and Sister Ray.