- Metamorphosis 2022
- Lagom 2023
- Meraki 2024
- Ikigai 2025
- Ubuntu 2026
52nd Annual Northwest Folklife Festival, May 26-29, 2023
Welcome to Folklife; it’s good to see you!
It’s good to see people out and about. It’s good to see people out at shows or in museums, inspired by art and inspiring others with their creativity. It’s good to see people talking in the streets and neighborhoods, tending to their gardens and each other. It’s good to see that amidst all the things going on in the world, and we can still come together to celebrate our joy for the things that keep us connected and uplifted!
We hope that your folk lives will be brimming with moments, reflections, conversations, and celebrations throughout the weekend and that you will have ‘just enough’ to keep with you through the rest of the year. We invite you to dance with each other, make-believe with your inner (and in real life) kid, sing songs like no one (and everyone) is watching, and tend to the crops that will nurture you through the most trying of times. That is the power of folk--that it compels us to share our stories as a beautiful reminder that we belong to each other.
Yeah, it’s good to see you. It’s really good!
Peace & Aloha kākou
Michelle Demers Shaevitz
NWFL Board President
New to the Festival
Threads of the People
Threads of the People is our take on a
fashion show, featuring a mix of
runway shows, workshops and
demos, vendor booths, displays
and material swaps. This new
addition to the festival will
explore fashion as a folk art, the
ways in which fashion and
culture are interwoven, and
seek to bring fashion back to its
roots - when our clothing was
created in homes, by hand, and
from materials found in our
NW Folklife’s exploration of the
Folk vocation, bringing the
organizations, and cooperatives
who are actively engaging in
techniques that promote bio-
diversity, support sustainable &
healthy food production, and
give strength to the cause of
food justice, security, and
The Maker’s Space
The Maker’s Space is designed
to showcase and give hands-on
demonstrations of the wide
world of craft. We want to
encourage and instill a sense of
wonder and imagination in our
own creative imaginings and
Adetola Abatan is a collage artist, drummer, engineer, and public art project manager with deep roots in Nigerian and American culture. Her artwork has featured in the 2021 Seattle Deconstructed Art Fair at Wa Na Wari (where she also completed an artist residency), the “After the Quiet: On Black Figures and Folds” exhibit at Mini Mart City Park and the December 2022 PublicDisplay.Art magazine. Upcoming exhibits include Bainbridge Island Museum of Art’s BIMA Spotlight exhibit in Summer 2023. She holds an MFA in Arts Leadership from Seattle University, as well a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.
@asouliloquy on Instagram
My work follows a quote from local KEXP VJ Gabe Teodros
"If a tree can't grow there, I can't grow there" highlighting
the struggle of what it means to grow in difficult spaces.
My work often depicts nature and animals thriving in the
manmade circumstances of their mural sites; industrial
areas, urban landscapes, etc. Places where we might
overlook the order of nature. I accomplish this by using
color fluidly; selecting palettes from the area around me
and playfully experimenting with shades, complimentary
colors, and my favorite, neons! My figurative work lends
itself to the imagination, for example how a wolf would
appear in a fantastical technicolor dream. My goal is to always experiment and
play with shapes and color,
bringing the outside in.
Keele was born in Los Angeles, California. His passion for art began very early. His mother, Mary M. Scott, an alumni of the Art Institute of Chicago passed on to him her complete course of books. With these materials, he learned to see and produce art in a wide variety of methods.
Keele benefited from great mentors along the way. He is a self taught artist with traditional education from Platt College where he studied Graphic Arts and Drafting. Before his love of acrylic paint, the complexity of pen and ink held a special place in his heart.
Vincent Keele is an American artist – His work uses bold colorful and rhythmic movements to create abstract expressionist artworks and symbolic figurative works. He uses various fields from traditional to contemporary to portray his visual narratives. Keele’s work has been showcased in numerous countries around the world.