about the artists

Adetola Abatan (Instagram: @asouliliquy) is a collage artist, storyteller, dancer, drummer, and recent arrival to Seattle. Her artwork was recently featured in the 2021 ACES conference by Shunpike, the Collage Artists of America Parallel Dimensions exhibit as well as the Seattle Deconstruction Art Fair at Wa Na Wari, where she also recently completed an artist residency. She holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering and is currently earning an MFA in Arts Leadership at Seattle University. Her arts leadership plans include creating and curating the stories of Africans in the Diaspora.

Samantha Cremer (Instagram: @samcremer.art) is a film photographer and ceramicist currently based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her work focuses on the experiences of Black womanhood and kinship. Through the lens of Black Feminist Thought, from her time majoring in Sociology, Cremer strives to find a way to combine art and sociological research. This is in hopes to allow people to see themselves through art as well as for others to further understand the experiences of those unlike themselves. She graduated from Seattle University with a B.A. in Sociology.

Xavier Kelley (Instagram: @xavierrkelley) is a painter from South Seattle. His work focuses on the movement of marginalized bodies and peoples through society. Kelley uses sports and pop culture as a metaphor for the ways in which BIPOC are forced to strategically maneuver through society and oppressive structures. Through the layering of vibrant shapes and colors, Kelley is able to show the viewer what it is like to be a young black male in today’s society. Kelley uses the motif of the jumper’s foot to illustrate the inequalities BIPOC face in contemporary society, as well as the obstacles we have faced throughout history.

Ruth Zekariase (@ruthie.z) is a Seattle born and raised artist whose work lies at the juncture of her Habesha culture and Seattle upbringing. Her work challenges the traditional aspects of Ethiopian art and uses it as social commentary in response to 21st century Africa. Her other work focuses on vivid color, distorted bodies, and bold positioning. She is planned to have an installation at the Wa Na Wari gallery later this year and continues to build her art influence within the Seattle community.