Uriah De La O


Uriah De La O, 13, is an enrolled Spokane Tribal member and descendant of the Makah Tribe. He attends Shaw Middle School and loves to spend time sketching, hanging out with his paralyzed Frenchie Hoola, and playing video games. His art is inspired by nature, fictional characters and monsters, and his family.

He helped illustrate this 2-minute digital story (Cocoon Woman). It’s a traditional indigenous story used to process and discuss grief.

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Ruben Trejo


Ruben Trejo (1937–2009) was born in a Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad yard in St. Paul, Minnesota, where his father, a mixed Tarascan Indian and Hispanic from Michoacán, Mexico, and his mother, from Ixtlan in the same Mexican province, had found a home for the family in a boxcar while his father worked for the railroad. Trejo became the first in his family to graduate from college, and in 1973 he moved to the Pacific Northwest, where he began a thirty-year association with Eastern Washington University as teacher and artist.

His isolation from major centers of Chicano culture led him to search for self-identity through his art. Influenced and inspired by such writers and artists as Octavio Paz and Guillermo Gómez-Pena, he explored a dynamic, multidimensional worldview through his sculpture and mixed-media pieces and created a body of work that deftly limns his identity as an artist and a Chicano. Throughout his long teaching career, he worked tirelessly to create opportunities for young Chicanos through tutoring and mentoring.

Artist Statement

“Multiple backgrounds can form such two- and three-dimensional ideas that they take you to the brink of lunacy, but I have used this rich background and ethnic landscape for creating art. As a student at the University of Minnesota, I often wondered what the study of Russian history, Shakespeare, English literature, or Freud . . . had to do with cleaning onions in Hollandale, Minnesota, picking potatoes in Hoople, North Dakota, or visiting relatives in Michoacán. This diversity of ideas can produce a three-headed monster or an artist, and I chose the latter.” -Ruben Trejo


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Pok Chi Lau

With high intentions to go fishing, Pok Chi Lau has traveled to 36 countries, and he has ended up with more photographs than fish at the end of his fishing poles. Through the years, he has come to the realization that in the history of China, stretching from around 1700 to 1950, her poor coastal fishing villagers experienced some of the first Diasporas to different parts of the world, especially Southeast Asia.

He was born in British Hong Kong in 1950. Since 1967, Pok Chi Lau 劉博智, has been a documentary photographer.  His work on migration focuses on the Chinese Diaspora in the Americas, Cuba, and Malaysia and now Myanmar. For a decade, he also documented the Diaspora within China, where rural peasants/migrants from all over China moved to seek factory work in coastal Made-in-China regions.

Pok Chi Lau is Professor Emeritus of PhotoMedia in the Department of Design at the University of Kansas, which has provided him with numerous international research opportunities, and through which his work has been exhibited and published broadly. Besides his work as a documentary photographer, Lau’s work as a poet and essayist has led him to collaborate with professionals in East Asian studies, journalism, ethnic studies, anthropology and social science.


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Miguel Maltos Gonzales

Miguel Maltos Gonzales

Miguel is an American born artist from San Antonio, TX currently living in Spokane, WA. He’s a Chicano photographer documenting the bicultural lifestyle of living in a monocultural world.

The illustrated people of color are drawn onto the photograph to resemble a memory, and the yellow circles represent the indigenous heritage. His indigenous ancestry is symbolized as sunbeams guiding the person in the image. They are known as the people of the sun of the Yanaguana river. This land is now known as San Antonio, TX. Drawing colorful people is symbolic of how people of color are vibrantly expressive as they navigate an ethnocentric world, and at times still struggling to connect their internal mixed colonized family history. Mixing film photography and digital illustration represents the mixing of American and Mexican cultures. Balancing the existence between multiple languages, social practices, and at times a conflicting self identity. As each generation develops there is a language loss, and disconnection from ancestral ties. The Chicano arte (art) of Miguel Maltos Gonzales hopes to reconnect Mexican culture, American upbringing, and honor the indigenous heritage from pre colonization in each composition for future generations to know they will always be connected to their ancestors. Somos de aquí y de allá (I am from here and there).

Film photography captures the beauty in the land, and preserves the world we all share for generations to come. Each photograph is a finished image derived from a trusty fifty year old 35mm camera. The illustrated people of color are drawn on to the photographs to resemble a memory. Drawing colorful people is symbolic of how people of color are vibrantly expressive as they navigate an ethnocentric world, and at times still struggling to connect their internal mixed colonized family history. Balancing the existence between multiple languages, social practices, and at times a conflicting self identity. As each generation develops there is a language loss, and disconnection from ancestral ties. The Chicano arte (art) of Miguel Maltos Gonzales hopes to reconnect Mexican culture, American upbringing, and honor the indigenous heritagefrom pre colonization in each composition for future generations. In the Pacific Northwest, Miguel is developing ¡Taller Firme! to express his arte y cultura.


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Joel Gaytan


Joel Gaytan is a Mexican artist who is a BFA graduate from Eastern Washington University (2018). He has been a practicing artist from a young age. More recently his work consisted of 2d figurative artworks such as drawings and paintings. Joel’s artwork portrays familiar scenes and experiences from his upbringing, as he feels that Latinx voices or perspectives are often dismissed within the mainstream. In his work he creates scenes within the lives of his subjects often giving his art a candid or voyeuristic approach. Creating familiarity with the viewer is an important motivation for Joel’s art and equally it is essential to produce a more inclusive space for a variety of experiences.

Artist Statement

The works from this body of work are meant to bring recognition to the Latinx community within Walla Walla, Washington. The images represent the strength of a community that is in many ways a seminal part of this city, and yet is often underrepresented. Flipping through the pages of a publication such as Walla Walla Lifestyles might give you a slight indication that there is a lively Latinx community that resides here, why is that? It is extremely frustrating being part of a community where the social construct fails to acknowledge the work of a minority community, yet willing to reap all the rewards for said work. The drawings in this series are meant to symbolize people, stories, and experiences that I have seen, heard, and lived. There is more to this town than the renowned, superficial wineries, and the posh downtown will lead you to believe. I would like the Latinx community to know that their participation in the Walla Walla valley is valued, appreciated, and an integral part to the growth of this city.

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Ginny Zermeno-Brennan

Artist, Life Coach,Watercolors, Acrylics, Mixed Media

Having grown up in Sunny Southern California, into a very colorful and artistic Latinx family, Ginny has been exploring art since early childhood. Her father would spend time drawing animals for her and encourage her to know both Spanish and English names of each animal they would draw together. Life and career allowed the fortune of living in the beautiful western cities of Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle and Spokane all bringing on the continued exploration with art. While also residing in the central US in Chicago brought a new connection to urban appeal for painting buildings and lastly while thriving in Southwest Virginia where there is sunny, natural beauty abound provided more exploration in beautiful Appalachia.

Ginny has spent over twenty years painting and studying art. Her art has also been influenced by her early introduction to use of color with her mother teaching her how to sew and the colorful selection of fabrics that were used. Ginny’s love of visiting Mexico and wonderful artist studios and museums, while vacationing in Mexico she schedules studio art time with local artist to continue to learn more about Mexico and local art. Ginny’s background in commercial interior and furnishings career allowed her to continue to study the use of color. Throughout her adult life Ginny has studied art study with art instructors, as she moved around the country and all the while studying the works of her favorite artists, Winslow Homer, Roldolfo Morales, Charles Reid, as well as English Artist, Richard Taylor.

During her residence in Seattle Ginny was part of the Seahurst Co-Op Gallery and participated in one of the largest watercolor societies in the country, the Pacific Northwest Watercolor Society also taking advantage of the many great local artist workshops that were available. She also welcomed and is still a member of the Arts Depot in Abingdon, VA during another career move there.

Now a second-time resident of Spokane, Ginny has become actively involved in the art community not only with her art but with her work in advertising sales with Art Chowder Magazine and is a member of Avenue West Art Gallery, Spokane Watercolor Society and River Ridge Association of Fine Arts .

The uncertainty and excitement of watercolor and the challenges of new artistic directions keeps Ginny striving for an even better composition or capturing a great light or finding just the right color. Ginny is always searching for a beautiful landscape, a great human interaction, or a lovely flower.


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Frances Grace Mortel


Frances Grace Mortel (she/her) is a photographer and filmmaker, born and raised in Manila, Philippines. She studied in University of the Philippines Film Institute (UPFI) and worked as art director/production designer for several film and television projects. She moved to Spokane, Washington in 2016 and completed the Digital Media Production program at Spokane Falls Community College (SFCC) in 2019. She graduated with a BA Film degree at Eastern Washington University (EWU) in 2021, receiving the Dean’s Student Excellence Award, Social Justice Advocate of the Year Award, and Achievements in Screenwriting and Criticism.

A member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia, Filipino American Artist Directory, and Spokane Film Project — she has exhibited in Terrain, FemFest Art Festival, Spokane Arts’ Saturate, Pagdiriwang’s Larawan in Seattle Center, and other group shows with local collectives such as LFrances currently works as Communications Specialist for APIC Spokane and serves as board member for Spokane Film Project. A member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia and Filipino American Artist Directory — she has exhibited in Terrain, FemFest Art Festival, Spokane Arts’ Saturate, Pagdiriwang’s Larawan in Seattle Center, and other group shows with local collectives such as La Resistance and Shades of Me. She participated in Santa Barbara International Film Festival – Film Studies Program (2020), Telluride Film Festival – Student Symposium (2021), and is part of the pilot batch of WA Filmworks Media Mentorship Program (2021). She recently won the Most Promising Filmmaker Jury Award at the Spokane International Film Festival 2022 for her short film, Dear Nanay, which also took the Honorable Mention Jury Award at the Local Sightings Film Festival 2021 and Cinemetropolis Award for Best Local Short at Seattle Asian American Film Festival 2022. You may find her upcoming exhibits and screenings here: mortelmedia.com/calendar

About her work

The challenges of being a mother, immigrant, and queer artist of color fuel her desire to tell empowering visual stories that expose human truths and stand for social justice. Frances is currently capturing conceptual portraits with focus on women and QTBIPOCs (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Color), exploring street reportages highlighting the working class, writing and producing fiction & non-fiction films about the plight of immigrants, and experimenting on other alternative and accessible ways to create intersectional and intergenerational media.


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Consuelo Soto Murphy

Consuelo Soto Murphy studied Art and Art Education at Eastern Washington University and Spokane Falls in Spokane Wa.

In second grade, her teacher declared her an artist when she brought Consuelo up to the front of the class and she held up a drawing of a twisted and very large and brightly colored octopus. Consuelo believed her and from then on she was an artist.

Consuelo graduated from Sunnyside High School in 1979 and Graduated from Eastern with degrees in Art Education, Studio Art and K-12 Education. In 1989 Consuelo began teaching Art at Richland High School in Richland, Washington where she taught Art for 32 years while continuously pursuing her painting career.

Consuelo Soto grew up as a child migrant worker along with her family, doing field work across the United States, season to season, before eventually settling in the Yakima Valley of the Pacific Northwest.

Despite the grueling, backbreaking work, Consuelo’s art pieces are inspired by the positive memories of the beautiful landscapes, the flourishing crops, and the love and relationships forged with her family and friends. Consuelo was the seventh child of nine children. While the older ones worked all day in the fields, Consuelo was able to go to school during the day, working before and after school and during the summers.

While Consuelo works primarily in acrylics on canvas, she is far from limited to this medium. The magnificent pieces produced by Consuelo Soto Murphy have gone to homes all over the world. Her work has been featured in publications and galleries as well as featured on television productions.


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Chip Thomas

The question I’m asked most frequently is how a black doctor in his 50s working on the Navajo reservation started doing street art on said reservation. In retrospect, it was only natural for this evolution to occur.

I started working in a small community between the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley called Inscription House in 1987. I’d always been drawn to photography and built a darkroom shortly after my arrival on the Navajo Nation. My passion photographically is shooting black and white in a documentary style inspired by people like Eugene Smith, Eugene Richards, Joseph Koudelka and others. By going out and spending time with people in their homes and family camps, I have come to know them as friends. Interestingly, these home visits enhance my doctor/patient relationship by helping me be a more empathetic health care practitioner.

I’ve always been drawn to street art, graffiti and old school hip-hop. I was attracted to the energy of the culture in the 80s and though I was miles away from the epicenter, I thought of myself as a charter member of the Zulu Nation. I would travel to New York City to see graffiti on trains, on buildings and in galleries. I did some tagging in the 80s before coming to the Navajo Nation and participated with a major billboard “correction” on the reservation shortly after my arrival. My early interventions on the street were largely text based saying things like “Thank you Dr. King. I too am a dreamer” or “Smash Apartheid” and so on.

In 2009 I took a 3-month sabbatical to Brasil which coincided with a difficult period in my life. Though I wasn’t looking for an epiphany, I was fortunate to stumble upon a passionate group of artists working on the street who befriended me. It was during this time that I appreciated how photography could be a street art form.  Inspired by Diego Rivera and Keith Haring, I’d become disinterested in showing my photographs in galleries isolated from the people I was photographing and wanted to pursue a more immediate relationship with my community reflecting back to them some of the beauty they’ve shared with me.  And in truth, I was infatuated with the feeling I got being with the artists in Salvador do Bahia and wanting to find a way to keep that vibe going I started pasting images along the roadside in June 2009.

My early photographic influences include the work of Joseph Koudelka, Garry Winogrand, Charles Moore, Robert Frank, Eugene Smith, Gordon Parks, Larry Towell, Mary Ellen Mark, Susan Meisalis, Roy DeCarava, Sebastio Salgado and Eugene Richards.  I was blown away by Richards’ work in the late 80s and early 90s for Life Magazine and had an opportunity to spend 5 days picking his brain at Santa Fe Photographic Workshops in 1991.  It’s this one person with one camera, frequently with only one lens shooting black + white film in ambient light aesthetic that informs my eye as well as 25 years spent in my home darkroom pursing the zone system.  It’s been an interesting challenge attempting to bring that look to black and white prints on regular bond paper coming off a toner based plotter. I’d like to think that my vision is a part of the storytelling, first person, humanist tradition of the people I look up to mixed with a healthy dose of Diego Rivera + Keith Haring.

Regardless, I give thanks that the journey continues.

In beauty it is finished.


Our Stories Our Visions Continued