Being a Working Artist in Tacoma, Artist Trust Workshop

Diana Leigh-Surma working on her Artscape mural at the Valhalla Hall demolition-site in the Hilltop Business District. Photo by Kris Crews.

In this round table discussion, artists Lisa KinoshitaMasahiro Sugano, and Asia Tail discuss how to make it as an artist in Tacoma. Moderated by Artist Trust Program Manager Katy Hannigan, the panel will talk about the opportunities, challenges, and resources for Tacoma artists and share their own experiences as working artists.

Audience members are invited to ask questions and share their own perspectives. A happy hour precedes the discussion honoring 2017 Artist Trust grant recipients from Tacoma.

Open for artists of all disciplines at all career stages

Free Registration

Being a Working Artist in Tacoma

Thursday, December 7, 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Union Club Tacoma 
539 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402

Refreshments: There will be a cash bar with suggested donations.


  • 6:00-7:00 p.m.: Happy Hour
  • 7:00-7:30 p.m.: Intro and talks from featured artists
  • 7:30-8:30 p.m.: Round table conversation

About the artists:

Lisa Kinoshita

Lisa Kinoshita, Eight Belles’ Dream, 10″ x 70″ x 6″, 2015. Photo by Roger Schreiber.

Lisa Kinoshita is a Tacoma-based visual artist and independent curator. Her most recent curatorial project, Tacoma Food Forest: Art, Edibles + Sustainable Culture, was the largest-ever outdoor art exhibit in Tacoma, taking place in a 373-acre wilderness and permaculture test garden. Her instincts have led her in many directions from collaboration with prison inmates practicing longstanding forms of Western craft, to building steel sculptures that support living canopies of sedum plants using greenroof technology. Kinoshitas artwork has been shown at Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Northwest Art, Seymour Botanical Conservatory, Foss Waterway Seaport Museum, Vetri, and other galleries and art venues.

Masahiro Sugano

Masahiro Sugano, video still from “Headlock (working title)”, HD Color / Filmed in Seattle, WA , 20 Minutes, Short Narrative, 2017. Directed, filmed, and edited by Masahiro Sugano.

Masahiro Sugano (Tacoma) is an award-winning filmmaker whose accolades stretch from a 1997 Student Academy Award nomination to the 2016 Documentary Award given by the National Asian American Journalists Association. Through his media lab Studio Revolt, he created short videos on issues of Cambodian deportations. Continuing his narratives on deportation, he received the 2013 Center for Asian American Medias Innovation Fund for his series Verses in Exile, which was broadcast online on PBS. Masahiro’s second feature CAMBODIAN SON is the winner of several awards including Best Documentary Award CAAMFEST 2014 and Special Jury Prize at Cultural Resistance Film Fest of Lebanon 2014.

Asia Tail

Asia Tail, Seer Seen, Oil on Canvas, 48″ x 48″ , 2016.

Asia Tail (Tacoma) received her B.F.A. at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York. Her practice focuses on oil painting but also includes collage, digital media, sculpture, and installation. Asia also works as an arts facilitator and administrator with a focus on local urban Native American communities. Through her work at Tacoma Art Museum she created the Contemporary Native Voices interview project and co-organized the 6th annual Northwest Native Festival. Asia is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.