Amazon has selected five artists from across the Pacific Northwest to join its annual Artist in Residence program for 2021. For the first time and as part of the company's growth in the Puget Sound, Amazon has expanded the program beyond the Seattle campus to host artists at the new Bellevue campus as well.
This year's artists include glass artist and educator Matthew Szosz, sculptor and light-based artist Ben Zamora, Chickasaw and Choctaw visual artist Addison Karl, contemporary visual artist and jeweler Esther Ervin, and science and technology artist Haein Kang.
Each selected artist will receive a $15,000 grant and studio space for 10 weeks in either the newly remodeled, 400-square-foot Seattle Doppler Expressions Studio or the 800-square-foot Bellevue Expressions Studio, a brand-new studio space opening in fall 2021. Residents will have the opportunity to exhibit their current work at both campuses and to contribute a piece to stay on display once their residency is complete.
"The Amazon artist residency will afford me the luxury of having time and space outside of my usual environment, which I expect might alter my perspective on my project and on my work in general," said Esther Ervin. "I am particularly excited about learning how to engage Amazon employees and sharing my project with them, which I anticipate will have a life beyond my residency."
The Artist in Residence program supports local artists with access to quality work spaces while also providing opportunities for engaging dialogue and creative expression with Amazonians. In partnership with Shunpike, a Seattle-based organization empowering artists in the region, the program received over 220 submissions from local artists for this year's residency. The first residency will begin on April 12, 2021.
"We are thrilled to welcome the local artist community to Amazon for the fourth year of our residency program," said Lara Hirschfield, Senior Program Manager for Global Real Estate and Facilities at Amazon. "This is the first time we will host artists at our new Expressions Studio in Bellevue, so we look forward to providing another safe environment to inspire and foster creativity as these artists bring their projects to life."
The Amazon facilities team is diligently managing the Artist in Residence Expressions Studios to ensure the safety of all artists. In addition to following local health authorities' guidelines, frequent tabletop and art supply cleaning will take place at the artist's discretion.