Current Visual Artist-in-Residence:


Carol Rashawnna Williams

Seattle University Department of Art, Art History and Design hosts a summer SUVAIR residency with Carol Rashawnna Williams, a Seattle-based, interdisciplinary artist who makes work that engages audiences in conversations about social, environmental and racial justice.

Throughout her practice, Williams contends that the only way to shift race relations and understand climate change is through collective imaginings and re-imaginings of equitable relationships to the land, animals and resources. Williams’ aesthetic forms fall, swim, fly, drip and grow through various layers of reality, spirituality and data analysis. Her narrative installations reject the tidy, toxic logic of scarcity models, suggesting powerful alternatives in collective storytelling, collective ownership, collective re-valuing of biospecies and collective commitments to sustainable environmental practices over time.

While in residence at Seattle University Williams will create 2 dynamic art installations that include prints, paintings and sculptures made of primarily recycled or reused materials. These participatory exhibitions are free and open to the public. More details about each exhibition coming soon!  

HEDREEN GALLERY | AUGUST 16- SEPT 15 (wed-sat 1-6pm)
Opening Reception: Thursday, August 15, 5-7pm 

Reception: Thursday, Oct , 4-7pm

Carol Rashawnna Williams (Seattle) was born in Topeka, Kansas into a military family. She lived in Germany until the age of 11, when her family relocated to Tacoma. Carol graduated from Evergreen State College, and was immediately accepted into Vista-Americorps in Seattle's White Center neighborhood, where she worked with young, single mothers of Head Start.

After moving to Seattle, Carol became a mother herself. She resides in the TK Lofts in Pioneer Square and works to mentor emerging artists from various backgrounds. Carol believes in the power of art to build community, bridge community relationships, and create authentic space for healing. A large body of her work deals with environmentalism, PNW conifers, old growth trees, endangered animals, and climate change. Carol was certified through the City of Seattle Parks & Recreation Urban Forest Educator Program and loves to teach about conifers, indigenous and invasive species. You can find her walking all over Seattle.

Carol earned a 4Culture Conductive Garboil Award (2018), an Artist Residency AADK Spain (2018), a 4Culture Artist Community Grant Award (2017) and was accepted to Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s Public Art Boot Camp (2018). She is the owner of K-Love 4 Art, co-founder of both Race & Climate Justice Art Collective and ARTifACTS, and the Co-Executive Director at Community Arts Create. She was recently accepted in the Environmental Leadership Program, a yearlong national fellowship to support emerging leaders in environmental justice.



Carol Rashawnna Williams 

Hedreen Gallery | August 16- Sept 14, 2019

Vachon Gallery (SUVAIR) | Sept 23- October 11, 2019



About the SUVAIR Program:

The Seattle University Artist in Residence program was formed to facilitate research and support for artists in their creative process. This program, funded by the Pigott Family Endowment for the Arts, is designed to foster a unique environment for artists and students from which new ideas emerge that can change the way we see the world. The residency provides artists with the valuable resources of time and space for open-ended investigation, experimentation and collaboration. The program gives artists the opportunity to push the boundaries of their own practice. This freedom we hope will foster collaborations that promote new approaches to arts education, foster community building, and provide a catalyst for social change. The SUVAIR creates a forum for dialogue between the public and the artist in residence through studio space, experimental exhibitions and other forms of public programming and materials.

Past Visual Arts Residents:

Performers dancing in Vachon Gallery with green and blue lights and video projection


Tim Smith-Stewart | Jeffrey Azevedo 

Vachon Gallery (SUVAIR) | October 15- November 25, 2018

SUVAIR 2016: Dawn Cerny


This year’s Seattle University Visiting Artist in Residence is multidisciplinary artist Dawn Cerny. Cerny received her MFA in Sculpture at the Milton Avery School of Art at Bard College and works across the disciplines including drawing, photography, publication and time-based media. She has received a Washington State Artist Fellowship, Betty Bowen Special recognition award, and The Behnke Foundation Brink Award. Cerny has exhibited at galleries throughout the United States and in British Columbia.

Showroom is a survey of the work Cerny created during her tenure as SUVAIR, beginning in July 2016. These recent works on paper and in sculpture examine the formal articulation of value and power—or lack thereof—through everyday gestures, bodily postures, and personal aesthetic choices.  Corresponding physically to the body and readily personified, the monochromatic sculptural works central to Showroom also evoke racks, chairs, and cabinets of uncertain purpose, at once amplifying and distorting furniture’s connection to the human form. Amassed together within the gallery, they might comprise a warped retail sales floor as the exhibition title suggests, or they could be a domestic arrangement or a crowd of people, alone together in public space. Like Buster Keaton’s slapstick comedy—a favorite of the artist’s—Cerny’s sculptures can be seen as an absurdist response to the productive rationalism of modern times, one that both represents and is alienated from everyday life.

Exhibition: January 13, 2017- February 3, 2017
Vachon Gallery Monday- Friday 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
*guest artist residency made possible by the Pigott Family Endowment for the Arts

2016: Dawn Cerny

2015: Matt Sellars

2014: Jason Hirta

2013: Jeffry Mitchell

2012: Mary Anne Peters

2011: Carolina Silva