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Two new artists selected for Bridge Artist-in-Residence

This fall, as drivers cross and boaters pass underneath the University and Fremont Bridges, comics artists will be observing and documenting the rhythm of the city from the bridge towers. In partnership with Seattle Department of Transportation, the Office of Arts & Culture selected E.T. Russian and Roger Fernandes as the two artists that will have a temporary studio in the towers of University and Fremont Bridges. 

Roger Fernandes, 24 page graphic novel “Nettle Girl” created for the U.W. Native Center for Cancer Control in 2015.
This shows images that are part of a fictionalized story of a Native girl who has a special relationship with the stinging nettle plant

This unique opportunity of providing the space to creatives has been a program since 2016 and has hosted visual artists, poets, musicians, lighting artists, and now comics artists to use the historic bridge locations as inspiration for the creation of new work.  The artist-in-residence will run from September – December 2020.

E.T. Russian, Handle With Grace, 2016
Brush pen, paper

E.T. Russian is a multi-sensory artist based in the Pacific Northwest and has been making zines, comics, video and installation art about disability, queerness, and life since the 1990s. As part of the application and interview, E.T. shared ideas about bridges being a location of transition and access (open and closed) and shared their potential ideas about a multi-sensory project as part of the residency for the public to be able to access experiences that otherwise wouldn’t be accessible.

Roger Fernandes, or Kawasa, is a member of the Lower Elwha Band of the S’Klallam Indians from the Port Angeles, Washington. He is a writer, storyteller and educator, and a skilled comic artist. As part of the application and interview, Roger shared his experiences of the Fremont site location both as the Ship Canal serving as racial line growing up in South Seattle, but also from working at a neighborhood service center adjacent to the bridge for many years. Roger’s traditional style and important message of this site will be shared as part of his residency. 

This residency project is funded by SDOT’s 1% for Art Funds and administered by the Office of Arts & Culture.