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Eliaichi Kimaro

Eliaichi Kimaro

she / her
Seattle, United States


Eliaichi Kimaro’s film A Lot Like You (2011) won six Best Documentary Awards on the film festival circuit before broadcasting nationwide on PBS. After eight years on the international lecture circuit, she distilled her keynotes in her 2016 TEDxSeattle talk, “Why the World Needs Your Story.”

Painting has been her focus since 2014. Eliaichi was selected for the 2017 Center on Contemporary Art (COCA) Artist Residency and was the recipient of the 2018 Artist Trust Fellowship. She’s received numerous CityArtist, 4Culture and Artist Trust grants for her work in art and film. Recently, she was awarded the McMillen Foundation Arts Fellowship (2020), and a 4-week artist residency at Chateau d’Orqueveaux in France (2021).

Eliaichi is a member of Columbia City Gallery and COCA Gallery, and a juried member of the City of Seattle’s Ethnic Artist Roster. In addition, she has served on numerous nonprofit Boards, art grant panels, film festival juries, and museum exhibition planning committees.

Artist Statement

I am a creative storyteller who will learn whatever medium it takes to tell the story that is emerging. Over the past 40 years, I have used writing, music, photography, film, storytelling, and now mixed media art to explore my personal and family narratives.

As a queer, mixed-race woman of color, a daughter of immigrants (Korean mother, Tanzanian father), and a survivor of abuse, I make art to tell stories ~ because every time we contribute our story, we create a more expansive, inclusive portrait of humanity.

As a mother of a teenage daughter, I feel compelled to think about where I stand in the flow of cultural inheritance and legacy. Writing makes my subconscious conscious. It is my key to unlocking these stories I’ve inherited about who I am and where I come from. Making art illuminates the complexities of the story—with all its messy, complicated, conflicting truths.

I’ve been reflecting on the role of art in my life in these quarantined times. Carving out time to get into the studio each day is no longer an ‘if I have time’ matter. It has become as integral to my well-being as my daily writing practice. It is a must. It helps me repair and restore the parts of my soul that are beyond the reach of words.

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