Three Methow Valley artists — Susan Donohue, Perri Howard and Shaila Tenorio — are among 65 to have received grants from Artist Trust recently.
“Grants for Artists’ Progress (GAP) are unrestricted project-based grants of $1,500 for artists working in all disciplines across Washington State,” according to an Artist Trust press release.
The three local artists are part of the 10-artist north central Washington award cohort, which also included Scott Bailey of Douglas County; Susan Blair, Lindsey Bloomfield, Lindsay Breidenthal, Carly Fedderson, and Siri Rose of Chelan County; and Erin Meehan of Okanogan County.
Donohue is an oil painter who loves to work both in her studio and plein air, painting landscapes, still lifes, portraits, and abstracts. A Twisp-based attorney, Donohue said she began painting after studying art and cultural history for most of her adult life. Donohue is using the GAP grant to spend the month of November painting at Art Ichol, an art center in Madhya Pradesh, India.
Responding from a train en route to her destination, Donohue said, “Art Ichol is in the middle of India. Visiting India has been amazing so far, after three days in Delhi and on the train. It’s a different world and I think constantly about what I am going to paint and how I’ll do it, and how being in India will influence me.”
Dononhue said that she’s grateful for the GAP award: “it validates my work and encourages me to spread my wings,” she said.
Howard, who creates art at her studio on the TwispWorks campus, will use her GAP grant toward “creating a new series of large-scale drawings for an upcoming exhibition at the New Bedford Whaling Museum,” her first solo museum show.
Howard’s project, “Once Upon a Whale Song,” is “a site-responsive sound installation featuring field recordings, drawings, and tactile elements, advocating for marine quiet in a changing climate,” she said. “This work reimagines the world’s oceans, not as the watery backdrop of our human lives, but as precious habitat for marine life and the medium through which they communicate: sound. This work invites participants to reestablish intimacy with the sea, at a time when our coastal communities are more vulnerable than we have ever known.”
For Tenorio, who is an oil painter, the GAP grant is “a gift.” Tenorio said she has dozens of ideas of how she could use the grant to expand her art, but she needs to use it to provide some stability to her business: studio rent, website, paint.
Like many artists and others in the Methow Valley, Tenorio finds living in the Methow Valley financially challenging. “Financial instability is not a new thing for artists, I know,” Tenorio said, “and this little grant has been a welcome ray of sunshine. I am grateful for this support and the affirmation it brings from Washington’s artist community.”
Tenorio grew up in the Okanogan highlands and her paintings — many of which feature horses, elk, deer, and aspects of the natural world — reflect her awe and wonder of this place. Some of her paintings currently hang at Rocking Horse Bakery. Tenorio looks forward to completing fresh new oil paintings over the winter.
For more information about the Artist Trust GAP grants visit artisttrust.org/2023-gap-announcement.