Kellie Kawahara-Niimi & Hannah Mason
August 18 - October 2, 2021
Kellie Kawahara-Niimi (pronouns: they/theirs) is a non-binary asian-american artist based in Seattle, Washington. Kellie uses their artwork as a way to communicate kindness, comfort and compassion to the world. Each piece is made with vulnerability and authenticity, which makes Kellie’s work feel comforting and relatable. The paintings invite the viewer to find a space of quiet rest and respite in an ever-moving world. Kellie’s insatiable curiosity pushes their boundaries of creativity, allowing for
explorations into various art forms, mediums, techniques
Kellie has shown in galleries across the Pacific Northwest. They are currently artist-in-rotation at Ford Gallery in Portland, Oregon. They studied Art History and Arts Management at University of San Francisco.
Kellie Kawahara-Niimi’s art is quiet and meditative. The art is a reminder to take time to rest and recover. Their work is about finding a quiet space for reflection-- finding ways to bring ourselves back into our bodies and to rediscover our humanness. Their pieces offer respite and whimsical escapes. Kellie’s aim with their art is to be able to bring a sense of pleasure and delight through vibrant resin paintings. The works evoke sensations of playfulness and discovery. They are approachable, yet thought-provoking and insightful.
Kellie believes that being an artist is audacious. Each decision made in the creative process is a practice in courage to create something in a society that criticizes and devalues the arts. Their life's work is to create spaces that allow us to recognize that any artwork created is needed and necessary. Kellie’s hope is to allow color and whimsy to bring us strength and perseverance.
I’m joyfully surprised every day the sun comes out in the Pacific Northwest and try to get out in it as often as possible to go hiking or snowboarding. I hold a BA in business and work in the field of non-profit marketing and communications, raising awareness of social issues and solutions for youth and families. Art was always my favorite subject in school and I've been painting and drawing all of my life but I discovered and taught myself printmaking in 2017 and I've been all about it ever since. I have an affinity for owls, Instagram, good food and good friends and I live in Shoreline with my wonderful husband and our energetic Boston Terrier.
Carving is an act of destroying and subtracting to create something new. I draw inspiration from nature and humanity and seek to inspire that love and appreciation in others through my work. I fell in love with printmaking for it’s graphic quality of lines and patterns; the repetitive nature of printing yet the chaotic imperfections of texture and ink. Soft and strong, power and grace, I'm drawn to the paradox. A constant observer, I’m a critic and lover of humanity, preferring to withdraw and engage from a distance through art, reading and small circles of friends.