Community · Partners

The Art of Harborview Medical Center

I invite you to take a look at some of the artwork created by the talented staff of one of our amazing Social Service Partners, Harborview Medical Center. Click here for more inspiration for our upcoming Spring quarter photography and portraiture classes, as well as wood, fiber, jewelry, and much more!

Photography

“Structured in Seattle”

I took up film photography last year – it’s been a great way to explore both the city and my creativity.

Rebekah Zaharia, Academic HR Manager, General Internal Medicine

Portraiture

“Portrait of Sheryl Feldman”

Andrea Gahl, RN, Trauma Nurse Coordinator, Department of Surgery

This is a portrait of my friend Sheryl Feldman. She is a writer, filmmaker, climate change activist, and co-founder of Hedgebrook, a women’s writers retreat on Whidbey Island. 32×32, oil on canvas.

“Diamonds are MMs BFF”

Jamie Leeds, Program Operations Specialist
Supply Chain Management

“Gladys A. Bentley”

Nikki Harris – Dones, Medical Assistant Sleep Clinic

Gladys A. Bentley (Aug. 12, 1907 – Jan 18, 1960) “was a Gender-bending American Blues Singer, Pianist, and Entertainer during the Harlem Renaissance. She was a pioneer in pushing the envelope of gender, sexuality, class and race. ” She played a major roll early on the Black Queer community. This piece is mixed media of painting with pens, marker and paper.

Partners · Poetry · Writing

We Are All Here

Pallet is a social purpose company on a mission to build equal opportunity access to housing and employment. Elevating the voices of people with lived experience with homelessness, recovery, and incarceration is integral to Pallet’s mission. In addition to telling the personal stories of their team and people living in Pallet shelter villages, they aim to raise the voices of system-impacted and marginalized persons everywhere.

Pallet has teamed up with Path with Art to support and amplify the voices of some of our participant artists with lived experience of homelessness. Check out this beautiful poem from PWA Ambassador Pam Winter, below. You can read the full interview with Pam on Pallet’s blog, and also check out the poetry and interview of PWA Ambassador & Blog Editor Aaron Hill!

We are All Here

by Pam Winter

We live in tent cities behind nylon walls, huddled in wool blankets in doorways of neglect.
We live in secured high-rises casting shadows below, houses flooded with desire, homes gated in fear.
We live with slumlords and in public housing too.
We live alone in our minds, wandering along pathways edged by open chains.

We work for corporate greed,
We dumpster dive for food,
We work for non-profits to build a better world,
We ask for spare change, sometimes shoot-up to heal a gaping wound.
We are honest laborers, the shrunken middle class,
We do not ask for handouts, but will reach for a helping hand. 

We race upstairs chasing freedom and we lounge on city streets,
We stand in long lines at food banks, waiting for leftovers we can’t afford,
We walk in parks and shop behind gilded walls.
Sometimes we steal in the night, while white collars take in the light to line their coffers gold.

Sometimes life feels darker than the backside of the moon;
we watch her catch her breath 
as she rushes to soften the edges of what we call urban blight.
Sometimes we feel the ecstasy of unity, especially on nights like tonight. 

We are a city on shifting tectonic plates, frayed at the edges, 
clothed in attitudes of love and dismay.
We are a city of others, separate and near.
We are teachers and students alike, but webs twist around our minds, our lives,
isolating us from those who look and think more different than we’d like. 

We are all here, polarized by red and blue fear.
We must break down the walls,
Step out of the shadow of Them, Other, They.
We must hold our sister’s gaze, grasp our brother’s hand.
Link our minds to overcome judgments about what we think is right.

We are all here; the me in them.
The drum beat of our city, the heartbeat of Seattle, 
the energy that makes our diversity vibrate with rhythm that unites.

 We are All here and we’re not going anywhere.

Community · Interviews · Partners

A Refuge in Little Saigon

Seattle Clubhouse members

by Tim ‘Birch’ Schooler

The setting was a snowy day in Seattle, and things were fine since we interviewed by streaming video. The Seattle Clubhouse proper is near the corner of 14th and Main Streets in the Little Saigon neighborhood. Clubhouse staff opened on that day, though there was to be an earlier-than-usual closure because of bad roads from the weather.

The Seattle Clubhouse is a safe space where members living with mental illness can step out of the shadows of social isolation and into the light of a healing community. Through meaningful relationships, our Clubhouse members have real opportunities to reintegrate into society by becoming gainfully employed, pursuing education, and attaining stable housing.”

In the digital sphere of Clubhouse and prior to our interview was the occasion for several members to chat by video conference from their homes. Nik, a Clubhouse associate, provided details from working on the Recovery Times newsletter.

He organizes a monthly schedule for production. He has taken it from a rudimentary packet that went out on a quarterly basis prior to his arrival to a monthly newsletter. We sat by our computer screens, and I started by asking Nik about the evolving Recovery Times newsletter.

“I thought that we could expand it,” he said.

Since it is now published monthly, among the benefits of improved formatting, there is further engagement with the members in the work of the Clubhouse. Recovery Times has become a creative outlet for writing and for poetry of the Clubhouse members. Nik went on to explain, “We have a lot of people who want to write. It so happened that it developed that way.”

Prior to his moving to Seattle, Nik contributed to a book created by the Clubhouse in Hawaii. Nik recorded responses of Clubhouse members in meetings in Hawaii. After he transcribed their comments, they were added to the coffee table book. He “wanted to give something back” to the Hawaii Clubhouse. A copy of that coffee table book was presented to lawmakers to emphasize the importance of the Clubhouse to its members.

Seattle Clubhouse photo collage

Then as now, Nik wants to give a voice to people who might not otherwise have a means of expression. Fast forward to his time in Seattle and Nik had no prior experience with the software that the Clubhouse uses for the Recovery Times. He uses that application because it is affordable.

Nik also talked about the editions of the Recovery Times which is a printed publication firstly, but also has a digital distribution. He said that making something only as one thing does not involve more people. Print and digital editions of the same Recovery Times publications benefit members and include people who don’t have computers or smartphones.

Nik said that a Clubhouse member doesn’t need to think about buying a computer, and that is a benefit because computers are not cheap. Nik includes care for the environment as inspiration which is an important value with the operation of Seattle Clubhouse.

“There are no filters,” he said. Writers may submit almost anything for Recovery Times. “For the most part, it is what members want to write.” That is important since the philosophy of Clubhouse International means that staff and members work together and move toward mental health wellness.

Nik learned about bringing up the enthusiasm and abilities of the members. When a member mentions wanting to write about a Clubhouse event, he starts out by asking, “What did you do?” Writing follows from his prompts like that one. Nik then emphasized, with a smile, a Seattle Clubhouse member who always has a topic ready.

“A vibrant Clubhouse program in Seattle provides family members, friends, businesses, downtown stakeholders, and persons living with mental illness a low-cost option for gaining respect, hope, and unlimited opportunity to access the same world of friendship, housing, education, and employment as the rest of the community.”

Community · Partners

A major gift to SAM

An art collecting couple recently gifted more than a dozen 20th-century abstract expressionist and European masterworks, collectively worth about $400 million, to the Seattle Art Museum. SAM plans on opening the collection to the public in October.

Included are works by Francis Bacon, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, and three often overlooked women artists of that era — Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler.

“The acquisition means that ‘in one gift, in one fell swoop,’ SAM will have one of the best public collections of New York school paintings in the country.”

Abstract expressionism developed in New York in the 1940s and 1950s.