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Sea, Still


  • Tacoma Art Museum 1701 Pacific Avenue Tacoma, WA, 98402 United States (map)

Sea, Still showcases how various children of the API (Asian & Pacific Islander) diaspora explore and reclaim ancestral memory, traditions and identity through their relationship and proximity to water.

Featuring artists Roldy Aguero Ablao, Julz Bolinayen, Jewel Castro, Derek Orbizo Dizon, Raychelle Duazo, Viviann (V.) Le Nguyen, Trenton Quiocho and Saiyare Refaei.


ROLDY AGUERO ABLAO is an artist and cultural worker from the island of Guahan (Guam). He is inspired by the stories and myths of the Oceania, weaving in themes of memory and renewal as an underlying foundation for his practice. Currently, he works at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience in Seattle, working in exhibitions and youth education. He likes cats, thrift shopping and social justice. 


JULZ BOLINAYEN is a trans/gender-non conforming, queer, femme, Ilokano singer-songwriter and ritualist. Julz' work draws inspiration from their love of the ocean, mythologies, textiles, motifs and serenades of their Ilokano ancestry. Julz dedicates much of their energy to the continued practice of Filipino cultural and healing arts in the diaspora. Learn more about Julz' work at www.julz.live


The main themes in JEWEL CASTRO's artistic practice are Samoan history, art forms and production, transnational identity, climate change as it relates to sustaining Pacific indigenous cultures, and her relationship with her ancestors. Jewel (Rasmussen) Castro was born in Chicago and raised in San Diego. Her father was Irish and Danish, and her mother was from American Samoa. Her maternal grandparents, the late Rev. and Mrs. Suitonu Galea'i, established the First Samoan Congregational Christian Church in San Diego in the early 1960's and lived on the church grounds for nearly two decades. “Much of the art, architecture, sounds, scent, people, food, colors, and textures that were in my Grandparents' house and church influence my art today. My grandmother though taught me specific Samoan ways and I’ve tried to remember her lessons through my art." Jewel earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Visual Arts from the University of California at San Diego, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art from San Diego State University, and an Associate Arts degree in Graphic Design from Grossmont College. Since then Jewel has made a career as an artist, teacher, curator, and public speaker. In 2013 Jewel was awarded an artist residency at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco. Two of her paintings are featured on the cover of the September 2016 American Studies journal, American Quarterly. Jewel has taught at the University of Washington in Tacoma since 2013. Jewel is also a speaker/mentor for the National Pacific Island Education network giving free presentations and workshops at K-12 schools for Pacific Islander students and their parents regarding the connection between cultural life experience and success in higher education. More information and examples of her art can be found at www.jewelcastro.com


DEREK ORBISO DIZON is a Filipino American cultural worker and grief companion residing in occupied Duwamish Territory. Born to immigrant parents from the Philippine Islands, the art Derek creates are expressions of a path in navigating and reclaiming the spirit, memory, and stories of his Ilokano, Cebuano, and Bikolano ancestry. Derek believes cultural work and artistic expression can be used as a vessel for healing and resistance for all peoples around the world who have been impacted by centuries of violence. Much of Derek's work centers stories of intergenerational grief and liberation.


RAYCHELLE DUAZO is a queer femme Filipina-American visual artist from the Pacific Northwest. Artistically, her specialities include portraits, comics, and typography. Her work focuses on themes of love, heartbreak, loss, memory, identity, and place. She has spoken on QPOC art & activism panels both in Seattle & NYC, is an alumni of the VONA Voices Graphic Novel Program (2014), and is an active member of the Seattle-based comics artistcollective, The HAND. Her latest work was exhibited at Vital 5 Productions' Out of Sight, Rajana Society's INTERXECTIONS, The CultureShock Collective's HIGH BLOOD, and Art Xchange Gallery’s BLOODLINES. She recently illustrated a commissioned gun reform protest poster for Amplifier Art's "March For Our Lives" artwork collection and is currently apprenticing at Osprey Tattoo.


VIVIANN (V.) LE NGUYEN is a second-generation, queer and trans Vietnamese-American photographer & multidisciplinary artist from California. A majority of Viviann's work centers on the daily and intimate lives of queer & trans people of color and themselves. In recent years, their work is a cathartic, visual narrative between their spirit and inner qualms. They believe that through exploring their vulnerability around queerness, gender, grief, memory, longing, and diaspora, they can begin to heal and cultivate meaningful relationships. They are currently based in Duwamish Territory (Seattle, Washington).


TRENTON QUIOCHO is a Tacoma-based artist dedicated to the craft of glass and to youth development through art. From his studies at Pratt Fine Center and Pilchuck Glass School, his work is focused on technique and craftsmanship using a variety of color patterns and applications influenced by Venetian tradition. Creating both sculptural and functional objects, Quiocho’s attention to detail shows his desire to push glass to its fullest potential.


SAIYARE REFAEI is a 25 year old living in Tacoma. She/They is Iranian and Chinese. She/They enjoys thoughtful and collaborative projects that have the potential to be life-giving for those who interact with them. Saiyare's work spans from printmaking, to photography and community murals.