The Creator has left the sky too low. We are going to have to do something about it, and how can we do that when we do not have a common language? ...We can all learn one word, that is all we need. That word is yəhaw̓ - that means to proceed, to go forward, to do it.
— taqʷšəblu / Vi Hilbert (Upper Skagit) in her telling of Lifting the Sky
Lifting the Sky | This story comes from Chief William Shelton (Tulalip) (published in English, 1923). Vi told it as part of the Spring Revels, with the help of a cast of children and the attending audience. (Videorecording by Padma Guidi, Spring Revels, Scottish Rite Temple, Seattle, 5-2-93)

About yəhaw̓

yəhaw̓ is an Indigenous-led, yearlong project that includes satellite installations, performances, workshops and trainings, artists-in-residence, art markets, a publication, and partner events at more than twenty-five sites across Coast Salish territories and beyond. Our programs are accompanied by relationship-building and mentorship opportunities to support continued artistic development in our communities, with the intent that all participants will gain experience and exposure, and build sustaining connections. The exhibition at ARTS at King Street Station, running from March 23-August 4, 2019, is the centerpiece of yəhaw̓.

The title of the show is drawn from the Coast Salish story of people from many tribes uniting around a common cause and lifting the sky together. In the spirit of that story, we used a decolonized curatorial process, inviting all Indigenous individuals living in the region to participate. As a result, the gallery features work from over 200 exhibitors. Participants come from urban and reservation communities, use many types of media, and range from master artisans and Elders to youth and emerging creatives who are exhibiting their work publicly for the first time.

We hope that yəhaw̓ reflects a nuanced, inclusive narrative that firmly establishes the vital contributions generated by Native thinkers and makers here, and now. By organizing an opportunity for community to speak for itself through a wide range of individual - and sometimes opposing - perspectives, yəhaw̓ un-settles assumptions and centers Indigenous action, Indigenous innovation, and Indigenous agency to author our own stories.

We raise our hands to all the Indigenous artists, the Office of Arts & Culture, and the partners who have helped to realize this project. Thank you for your trust, your generosity, and your willingness to learn with us.

Together we lift the sky.

- yəhaw̓ Curatorial Team - Tracy Rector (Choctaw/Seminole), Asia Tail (Cherokee Nation), and Satpreet Kahlon

How to say yәhaw̓…

Listen and learn how to pronounce the Lushootseed word yәhaw̓ that means to proceed, go forward, do the work.

Exhibition at King Street Station

Exhibition Duration
March 23 - August 4, 2019

King Street Station, 303 S. Jackson St., Top Floor, Seattle, WA 98104

Gallery Hours
Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 6pm
First Thursdays, 10am - 8pm

Free and Open to the Public.

Guided Tours
Please see the Visit page for more information and to schedule a tour.

Exhibiting Artists

  • Aaron Parker

  • Abbey Pierson

  • Adam Sings In The Timber

  • Addison Karl

  • Adria Bennett

  • Adria Xvala Garcia

  • Aiyanna Stitt

  • Alex Britt

  • Alexander McCarty

  • Alexander Melrose

  • Alice Bugni

  • Alison Marks

  • Amber Wilson

  • Analisa McCloud

  • Ariane Xay Kuyaas

  • Arianne True

  • Asa Wright

  • Ashley Alvarez

  • Ayanna Fuentes

  • Bawny Vandaway

  • Brenda Ledesma

  • Brenda Mallory

  • Brian Oaster

  • Britt Rynearson

  • Carl Sam

  • Caroline Edwards

  • Carrie Chapman Schuster, Lady Palouse Creations

  • Catherine Cross Uehara

  • Celeste Whitewolf

  • Chai Adera

  • Charles Fiddler

  • Christina Oliver-Schuckenbroch

  • Christine M Babic

  • Cindy Chischilly

  • Clair Rand

  • Cody Morgan Gray

  • Corinna Stasso

  • Crystal Christopherson

  • Crystal Florez

  • Crystal Worl

  • Cynthia Masterson

  • D'Viek Washington

  • Daybreak Star Preschool Students

  • Dayton López

  • Delany Dharaseang

  • Demian DinéYazhi'

  • Denise L. Emerson

  • Diane Covington

  • Don Bailey

  • Douglas Burgess

  • E. Gingrich

  • Eileen Jimenez

  • Eli Tail

  • Elijah Ramirez

  • Elise Snow Andrews

  • Elizabeth Rideau

  • Ellyn Carlson

  • Emma Noyes

  • Erik Sanchez

  • Erin Stagg

  • erin tail

  • Ernesto Ybarra

  • Eshara McCarty

  • Evan Ducharme

  • fabian romero

  • Fox Spears

  • Francine Cunningham

  • Fred Night Walker

  • G. Raquel Emeka

  • Gary Bigbear

  • Gloria Jean Milne

  • Haley Waddington

  • HollyAnna "CougarTracks" DeCoteau Littlebull

  • Huītzilcuāuhtli : Leslie Jimenez

  • Inanna McCarty

  • Itsa Shash and Mariana Harvey

  • Ixtli Salinas White Hawk

  • Izabelle Reiner

  • Jaci Wescott

  • Jacob Johns

  • Jake Prendez

  • Jarrod Da

  • Jennifer Wood

  • Jess Guecha Rojas Bunoan

  • Jess Lujan, Apache Arts

  • Jessica Mehta

  • Jimmy Nooksuklth Zahir

  • Joan Minodéquay Staples

  • John Feodorov

  • Jonathan Schooner

  • Joseph Aleck

  • Joseph Seymour Jr

  • Kalee Nelson

  • Kali Spitzer

  • Kanani Miyamoto

  • Karen Engel

  • Kathryn Miller

  • Katrina Quin-Telx Moomaw

  • Kayla Guyett

  • Kelly Cannell

  • Kimberly Deriana

  • Kimberly Miller

  • Lacey Warrior

  • LaKota Scott

  • Lalo Mihoiniwa Valdez

  • Lehuauakea Fernandez

  • Leonardo Rambayon

  • Linley B. Logan

  • Lisa Fruichantie

  • Lisa Villanpando Anderson

  • Lourdez Velasco

  • Lynette La Fontaine

  • Macario Rambayon

  • Malynn Wilbur Foster, Mike Foster, and Randy Foster

  • Margaret Morris

  • mario lemafa

  • Marisa Erven

  • Marjorie Kalama

  • Mary Babic

  • Mary Kelsay

  • MaryJane Ides

  • Matika Wilbur

  • Maureen Gruben

  • Maya López

  • Megan McDermott

  • Melissa Shaginoff

  • Michaila Konig Taylor

  • Miles Vahn Justice Hart

  • Morgan Greene

  • Mousy DeVilla

  • Nancy Burgess

  • Nancy S Raymond

  • Nataanii Nez Cottier

  • Natalie Ball

  • Nico Inzerella

  • Olivia Hart

  • Pah-tu E Pitt

  • Paige Pettibon

  • Pamela Louis

  • Paul Chiyokten Wagner

  • Philip H. Red Eagle

  • PJ Gilhuly

  • Priscidia McCarty

  • Priscilla Dobler

  • Puanani Maunu

  • Raven John

  • Raven Juarez

  • Raven Two Feathers

  • Rebecca Cesspooch

  • Rhea Vega

  • Richard Heikkilä-Sawan

  • Ricky Clousing

  • Roin Morigeau

  • Roldy Aguero Ablao

  • Roquin-Jon Quichocho Siongco

  • Roxann Murray

  • RYAN! Feddersen

  • Sam Stitt

  • Sara Marie Ortiz

  • Sara Siestreem

  • Sean Gallagher

  • Selena Kearney

  • Shaun Peterson - Qwalsius

  • Sky Hopinka

  • Sondra Segundo

  • Sonny Assu

  • Sonrisa Barron

  • Stephanie Fogel

  • Stephanie Leon Riedl

  • Storme Webber

  • Super Futures Haunt Qollective

  • Susan A. Point

  • Susan Ringstad-Emery

  • Sylver Hart

  • Tammie Dupuis

  • Taylor Dean

  • Taylor Wily Krise

  • Thomas A. Cannell

  • Thomas Stream

  • Timothy White Eagle

  • Toma Villa

  • Toni Ann Tanner Brend

  • Tony Boyd

  • Treena Ivie

  • Tsēmā Igharas

  • Tyera Alice Pete

  • Tyrone Patkoski

  • Vi Hilbert

  • Vi Levitt / KERUB

  • Whess Harman

  • William Frymire

  • Xulie Flor Olivos

  • Yvette L Diltz

By the Numbers

About Our Exhibition

  • 200+ Indigenous creators are featured in the yəhaw̓ exhibition at King Street Station (with many more represented in our programming and publication)

  • Of the 200 exhibitors, about 130 identify as women, and more than 30 identify as Two Spirit or Queer

  • 100+ tribal affiliations and Indigenous communities are represented from across the globe

  • 149 of our exhibiting artists are based in Washington, with another 24 from Oregon, 19 from British Columbia, 8 from Alaska, and 1 from Montana

  • 280+ objects are in the gallery

  • Over 2,700 people attended our exhibition opening celebration on March 23, 2019

  • By our initial open call deadline on April 20, 2018, we received 133 submissions. 64 of those 133 also applied for our mentorship program - meaning nearly half expressed an interest in pursuing training opportunities to further develop their creative practice. 104 of the original applicants are in our final exhibition of just over 200 creatives, with the other half coming from continued outreach over the course of a year of community-based programming.

About Our Money

Please note, our budget is still in flux as expenses arise and new funds are secured, but in the spirit of transparency we are sharing our current planned expenses from 2016 - March 2019. These numbers reflect the monies we route through our fiscal sponsor Na’ah Illahee Fund, and do not account for costs that are paid out directly through our partners as part of joint programs, which together make up more than $20,000 in additional dollars going to Native artists and community events.

  • Offsite Programs and Event Costs (including artist fees, supplies, food, and community curator fees) - $32,036

  • Curatorial Team Fees - $27,000

  • King Street Station Special Commissions - $20,500

  • King Street Station Exhibiting Artist Honorariums at $100 each - $20,000

  • Art Transportation/Installation Costs and Contract Labor - $22,679

  • Na'ah Illahee Fund Fiscal Agent Fee at 8% - $11,841

  • Mentorship Program Costs and Artist Fees - $9,626

  • Documentation/Communications - $7,038

  • Publication Artist Fees and Online Design- $5,000

  • Graphic Design and Branding - $4,412

Land Acknowledgement


We would like to acknowledge that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people.

Code of Conduct Policy

yəhaw̓ is committed to creating programs free of harassment, discrimination, sexism, and threatening or disrespectful behavior. yəhaw̓ is intended to be a safe space for all, including Indigenous womxn, Two Spirit people, youth, and those most marginalized in our communities. We reserve the right to deny access to, or remove from our events and venues, those who have violated the sacred, especially those who remain unrepentant with no movement towards healing and reconciliation.

If you have in the past or are currently making others feel uncomfortable, or unsafe, we encourage you to begin a conversation with the curatorial team (Tracy Rector, Asia Tail, and Satpreet Kahlon), and for the sake of larger community values and empowerment of the Indigenous artists in our show, we request you remove yourself from yəhaw̓ programming.

Similarly if you have had negative experiences with anyone affiliated with yəhaw̓ please contact us. If in alignment with the wishes of the survivor, when reports are made regarding individuals we work with we will request their recusal and remove them from our programs while we address the circumstances. We are committed to doing everything in our power to minimize harm, and to support safety and healing in Indigenous community whenever possible. Email, call or text 253-336-6477, or use the contact form on

The names of any individuals reporting to the yəhaw̓ curatorial team will be kept confidential and protected. Reports may be submitted via the contact information above or anonymously via the box below. Please include first person experiences with dates and details when possible:

Programs and Projects

Check the events page on this website for upcoming public programs.


10 emerging artists were selected to participate in our training program to develop new work for the yəhaw̓ exhibition under the guidance of a mentor artist. Mentor artists - Ka'ila Farrell-Smith, Ryan Feddersen, and Roger Fernandes - will each work intensively with a small cohort of mentees in Portland, Tacoma, and Seattle respectively. The program will include group critiques and additional professional development activities. 

  • Portland - Ka’ila Farrell-Smith - Asa Wright, Kanani Miyamoto, Stephanie Fogel

  • Tacoma - Ryan Feddersen - Priscilla Dobler, Paige Pettibon, Lisa Fruichantie, Catherine Cross-Uehara

  • Seattle - Roger Fernandes - Crystal Christopherson, Randi Purser, Jennifer Wood

As an extension of the mentorship program, Artist Trust will provide 3 free professional development classes for yəhaw̓ creatives covering topics like: Artist Statements and Biographies, Resumes and Budgets, Applying for Grants, and Work Samples Dos and Don'ts. Allison Bishins Consulting will also teach a free class on Social Media Marketing. Cowlitz Tribal Health therapists will provide a class on healthy strategies for dealing with rejection through a cultural lens.

yəhaw̓ is also mentoring emerging curators as they develop the following programs:

  • Seattle Public Library - Denise Emerson

  • Fashion Show - Lisa Fruichantie

  • Teen Art Show - Teens in Tacoma / Aiyanna Stitt

  • Zine and Related Exhibition - Sara Marie Ortiz

  • Latinx Showcase - Jess Ramirez

Satellite Exhibitions

yəhaw̓ artists will be featured in solo and group exhibitions at the following venues:

  • 950 Gallery

  • The Alice Gallery

  • Chief Seattle Club

  • Vera Project

  • Feast Arts Center

  • Alma Mater Tacoma

  • Vermillion Gallery

  • Seattle Art Museum Community Gallery

  • Suquamish Museum

  • Seattle University's Hedreen Gallery

  • South Puget Sound College Gallery

  • Bellevue College Gallery

Art Markets

yəhaw̓ Indigenous artists will show and sell their work at various markets over the course of the year in a range of media, including basketry, carving, beadwork, textiles, and more:

  • Tacoma Studio Tour

  • Artist Trust’s Amazon Pop Up Market

  • Lettuce 253

  • Short Run Seattle

  • Na’ah Illahee Fund’s Blue Jay Brings Back the Moon

  • SAM Fashion Show Market

  • Friends of Waterfront Seattle

Artist Residencies

The Seattle Public Library and yəhaw̓ hosted a series of Indigenous artists in residence in fall 2018 - Native Kut (Pah-tu Pitt and Sean Gallagher), Fox Spears, and Roldy Aguero Ablao. The residents each activated the right side of the 8th floor gallery in the library’s main branch for 3 weeks between October and November, including artwork displays, live-art making, and community engagement activities, all relating to themes of water and environmental justice. All of the artists participated in a public panel discussion following the residency period to share their experiences working in the library.

Indigenous artist Denise Emerson also served as the curator in residence at the library. The curator in residence worked closely with the yəhaw̓ team to organize and install an exhibition of Coast Salish art on the left side of the 8th floor gallery of the central branch displayed October through December. 

SAM is partnering with yəhaw̓ to host an Indigenous artist for their 2019 Olympic Sculpture Park Residency that will culminate in participatory art encounters January 25th and February 22nd.

In collaboration with the City of Seattle's Office of Arts and Culture, yəhaw̓ creatives will be selected as the first artists in residence for King Street Station, and will activate the glass-walled studio space in the gallery for through 2019.

  • March - Sasha LaPointe

  • April - mario lemafa

  • May - Jen Wood

  • June - Megan McDermott

  • July - Kathi Miller

  • August - Adria Garcia

  • September - fabian romero and raktahcu’ reewaki / Howie Echo-Hawk

  • October - Jordan Remington

  • November - Selena Kearney

  • December - Liz Rideau

Centrum will provide free lodging and studio space for 17 selected yəhaw̓ artists in one-week mini-residencies at their Port Townsend facilities in winter of 2018:

  • Lisa Anderson

  • Alex Britt

  • Rebecca Cesspooch

  • Taylor Dean

  • Marisa Ervin

  • Raven Two Feathers

  • Lehua Fernandez

  • Crystal Florez

  • Ixtli White Hawk

  • Kalee Nelson

  • Aaron Parker

  • Tyera Pete

  • Stephanie Reidl

  • Liz Rideau

  • Eric Sanchez

  • Roquin Siongco

Studio Space

We are partnering with Pratt Fine Arts in Seattle to give yəhaw̓ artists free access to their metalworking, printmaking, sculpture, wood, and other studios through the end of the 2018.

yəhaw̓ is hosting monthly co-working sessions at Alma Mater in Tacoma on third Thursdays 6-10pm through July 2019. All Indigenous artists are welcome to come use the studio space for free on their own, or they can participate in group art activities led by the following guest artists:

  • Clarice Tail

  • Asia Tail

  • Lisa Fruichantie

  • Cynthia Masterson

  • Fox Spears

  • Kayla Goyette

  • Ellyn Motas

  • Rebecca Cesspooch

  • Crystal Christopherson

  • Olivia Hart 


Indigenous artists have been invited by the yəhaw̓ curatorial team to create commissioned artworks responding to the Lifting the Sky story for the exhibition space and on the plaza of King Street Station, accompanied by commissioned performative works that will debut at the opening celebration.

  • Chai Adera

  • Natalie Ball

  • Demian DinéYazhi´

  • Malynn Foster

  • Alison Marks

  • Timothy White Eagle

  • Sara Siestreem

  • Adam Sings in the Timber

  • Kimberly Deriana (Plaza)

  • Christine Babic (Performance)

  • Tsēmā Igharas (Performance)

Outside of these special commissions, all yəhaw̓ artists will be paid a modest honorarium to acknowledge their time and their contribution to the show.

Special Projects

The yəhaw̓ team is working on a series of additional special projects, including an all-Indigenous fashion show, a curated poetry zine and reading events, the activation of King Street Station's plaza in conjunction with the Seattle Art Fair, and an installation as part of the University of Puget Sound's Race and Pedagogy Conference.



Tracy Rector

Tracy Rector is a mixed race (Choctaw/Seminole) filmmaker, curator, community organizer, co-founder of Longhouse Media and a 2016 Stranger Genius. She has made more than 400 short films, and is currently in production of her fifth feature documentary. As co-producer of the award-winning film Teachings of the Tree People, producer of March Point, co-director of Clearwater, and director of Ch'aak' S'aagi; Rector has developed an awareness and sensitivity to the power of media and film as a modern storytelling tool. After years of galvanizing community and working in a directorial role, Rector has begun to transfer her method of storytelling to gallery exhibitions including RE:DEFINITION at the Paramount Theatre Gallery, YOU ARE ON INDIGENOUS LAND at Core Gallery, Women On the Brink at Vermillion Gallery, and BLOODLINES at Bridge Productions. 


Asia Tail

Asia Tail is from Tacoma, Washington where she is currently based. Asia attended the Cooper Union School of Art in New York on a four-year full-tuition scholarship and graduated with a BFA and the Brandon Burns Stewart Memorial Prize for Excellence in Painting in 2014. Her work has recently been featured in NW Art Now @ TAM (formerly the Northwest Biennial), in Quota at SOIL Gallery in Seattle, and in the two-person show Moon Moan at 950 Gallery in Tacoma. As an extension of her art making practice, Asia also curates special projects and exhibitions, with an emphasis on empowering Indigenous artists. She is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. 


Satpreet Kahlon

Satpreet Kahlon is a multidisciplinary artist who is based in Seattle, WA + Providence, RI. Born in Punjab, India and raised in the Midwest, she is interested in creating visual language and immersive encounters that express and explore intersectional experiences as well as the structural systems of inequity that dictate their boundaries. In addition to her studio practice, which has been featured in Artforum, she curates with a philosophy of embedded equity at The Alice Gallery in Seattle, is the founder of Deep Space Gallery, and, between 2015 and 2017, she designed and taught social engagement programming in partnership with the Seattle Art Museum. She is currently studying at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she received a full fellowship to pursue her MFA in Sculpture.

Guest Curators

photo credit: Shann Thomas

photo credit: Shann Thomas

Jessica Ramirez
Latinx Showcase at Vermillion

Jessica Ramirez is the Community Curator for the Indigenous Latinx Exhibit at Vermillion Gallery. Jessica is a queer fourth-generation Mexican American. She was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas and has lived in Seattle for 15 years. She is a media creator, events producer, and community advocate. Jessica has over ten years of experience working with community organizations led by people of color from all over the state of Washington in varying social justice issue areas such as farmworker justice, environmental justice, and immigrant rights. She attended the University of Washington Seattle where she received a bachelors degree in American Ethnic Studies with a concentration in Chicano Studies and minor in Labor Studies and Law Societies and Justice. This is her first time curating an art exhibit.

photo credit: Timothy Aguero

photo credit: Timothy Aguero

Denise Emerson
Coast Salish Exhibition at the Seattle Public Library

Denise Emerson was born in Shelton, Washington, the eldest daughter of Bertha Allen who was an enrolled Twana (Skokomish) Tribal Member and Danny Emerson, Sr. who was an enrolled Diné (Navajo) Tribal Member from Sanostee, New Mexico. Her parents were both creative, and Denise grew up wanting to be like them. Denise’s sketchbook went with her everywhere as a child, including when she visited her aunt on the Skokomish Reservation. During her teenage years, she began painting with acrylics, beading, and sewing to expand her artistic talents, and she later studied graphic design at UW to bring design training to her work.


Sara Marie Ortiz
ʤə́ kʼʷ Zine Publication with Bellevue College

Sara Marie Ortiz is an Acoma Pueblo educator, scholar, poet, performance artist, and Native community advocate/activist. She earned her BFA in Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts and her MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Antioch University (Los Angeles). Ms. Ortiz has been publishing and presenting her creative work since the age of eighteen and her writing has been published in publications such as Ploughshares, the Kenyon Review, New Poets of the American West, the anthology Sing: Indigenous Poetry of the Americas, Indian Country Today and The American Indian Graduate among many others. She is the author of the mixed-genre collection Red Milk and currently serves as the Native Education Program Manager for Highline Public Schools in Burien, Washington.


Lisa Fruichantie
Lifting the Sky Fashion Show at Seattle Art Museum

My art merges traditional Seminole/Creek Patchwork design with other aspects of my heritage, my lust for texture, and influential cultures surrounding and shaping me growing up. Being raised in Alaska was wonderful however my own culture and family felt very removed from me growing up. My family became those chosen by me, social activism, fringe music scenes, and underground art movements became my social outlet. As an adult I have had the privilege to embrace my own culture and find balance between the influences that shaped me and the roots of my heritage. Reuniting with my family, my own tribe - especially through art, dance, music and language - has healed my sense of belonging. My art work now finds that balance in nodding to tradition, cultivating the new and being content with the current. Designs carried out through blends of new fabric, patterns, textiles and hemlines, all the while keeping the precision and the delicate intricacies of patchwork tradition in the forefront.

photo credit: Nicole Pasia

photo credit: Nicole Pasia

Aiyanna Stitt, Moe’Neyah Holland, and Michael Anderson
Indigenous Teen Art Show at the Vera Project

Aiyanna Stitt (Choctaw) is a senior in high school and a visual artist interested in pursuing art therapy and studies in health.

Moe’Neyah Holland, a senior at Curtis High School, is the Executive Director at Teens in Tacoma. Michael Anderson is the Assistant Executive Director and Social Media Director at Teens In Tacoma, and is currently a junior at Bellarmine Prep. Teens in Tacoma is an organization that hopes to reveal the artistic potential of teenagers in Tacoma while extending expression to artists who are not expressed in a holistic way. Teenagers are not always highlighted or included in artistic projects, or viewings. With this blog being made, we hope to build connections with teen artists, extend networks, change the perception of an art museum’s audience, and to inspire others to build ideas for Tacoma.

photo credit: Micheal B. Maine

photo credit: Micheal B. Maine

Kimberly Corinne Deriana
Brings the Medicine Sundial at King Street Station

Kimberly Corinne Deriana is a Mandan and Hidatsa architectural designer and artist who specializes in sustainable, environmental, Indigenous architecture, housing, and planning. Her design methodologies focus on incorporating Indigenous lifestyle practices in relationship to past and present: design for seven generations. Deriana strives to achieve exceptional design by weaving together respect for individuality, honor for cultural identity, and appreciation for contemporary quality, manifested in the shape and structure of sustainable buildings and communities.