Seattle University offers a unique place for an artist to work with scholars and students across disciplines. At the center of the SU education is justice in all its, forms. 

The SUVAIR 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 will provide 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 artist talks, a projects studio, open studio time, and other forms of public programming and materials. Our residency is housed within the Seattle University campus with full access to the university library and facilities. The residency studio and offices are housed within two recently renovated buildings that once housed a streetcar turn-house. The Seattle University Fine Arts buildings are within the vibrant and bustling Capitol Hill neighborhood. The appointment is for six months beginning in July and ending in January, and has been made entirely possible by the Pigott Family Endowment for the Arts.

Current Visual Artist-in-Residence:

Past Visual Arts Residents:

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: Davn Cerny

2015: Matt Sellars

2014: Jason Hirta

2013: Jeffry Mitchell

2012: Mary Anne Peters

2011: Carolina Silva