Featured Artists from Our World

Basketry Artists

A single donation of basket weaving supplies in April, 2018 brought about an unexpected talent discovery among the Bhutanese elders. It turns out a few of these gentlemen used to be prolific basket makers! They have taken up their old craft with great relish and skill, much to our delight.


Laxuman is a cancer survivor, talented flutist, and basket weaver from Bhutan, and is enjoying the opportunity to work with his hands again after so long. He is also happy to teach others his skills!

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Tek is a basket craftsman from Bhutan, finally returning to his creative passion after 20 years in a refugee camp in Nepal, and years spent resettling in the U.S. He practiced the English words just to be able to tell us how grateful he was!

It has been 30 years since I was able to make a basket. Thank you for bringing back these memories.
— Tek

Fabric Artists

After our very first donation of yarn in early 2018, we discovered the hidden talents of several ladies in this lovely group from Bhutan. Blocked by language and cultural barriers that seemed insurmountable, many of the seniors had been plagued by depression and health issues. The introduction of art supplies to this group has had an overwhelmingly positive effect, giving many crafty seniors new purpose and a chance to bring in money for their families. Mostly, they have enjoyed their newfound hobbies as pure creative outlets. Their enthusiasm has been infectious.


Jewelry Makers


Mohammad Akbar Sabori

Sabori is a third generation jeweler from Afghanistan who owned his own jewelry store situated on the U.S. military base in Kabul for over a decade. After extremist violence forced him to seek asylum, he found his way to Seattle in 2016 and immediately set about helping others in his new community. Sabori teaches his jewelry making skills to women from his community who need a way to become self sufficient. An extremely independent and resourceful entrepreneur, he has already become proficient in English, obtained his Washington State business license, and is on his way to being a successful local business owner.

It is not about making money for me, it’s about helping those who are less fortunate.
— Sabori

Photos by Elizabeth Coon

Painters / Sculptors

In Alphabetical Order

Abraham H. Awalom

Abraham was a professional studio painter in Eritrea, represented by multiple galleries and showing in numerous international exhibitions including Kuwait, Sudan, and Abu Dhabi. Persecuted by a violent government regime, Abraham was forced to flee the country. He arrived in the U.S. in 2014 and is hoping to one day have the opportunity to return to full-time painting.

An insightful 2011 interview with Abraham goes into fascinating depth to explain the meaning behind his profound series "Deliberations and Dreams."

With artists, it is all about the soul.
— Abraham Awalom



Igor Kashinskiy

Igor is an accomplished painter, having attended the State Academy of Art in St. Petersburg, Russia, and later received his BFA from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA. He has exhibited internationally and is currently represented by the Patricia Cameron Gallery.




Olha Moisiuk, Phd

Olha came to the U.S. from Ukraine in 2016. She works primarily in oils, acrylics, and graphite to create these stunning pieces. She is also an accomplished muralist, book illustrator, and author!



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Hai Tran

Hai Tran escaped Saigon by boat to Indonesia in 1979.  There he would spend 9 months in a refugee camp before immigrating to the U.S.  Hai has lived most of his adult life in Seattle and Bellevue. He earned his engineering degree from the University of WA and recently retired from the Boeing Company.

Hai’s oeuvre includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, and wooden boat models.  His favorite subjects include people, boats, and animals Inspired by childhood memories, nature, and dragon boating.  Active in his Vietnamese community, Hai’s work has been used to decorate community floats for Seafair parades and as auction items benefiting local nonprofits.  A teacher at heart, Hai loves working with children and encouraging their creativity. 



Ermias Tsadik

Ermias Tsadik is a painter from Eritrea, where he attended the Asmara Fine Art School from 1998-2000. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions in Eritrea and South Africa, including an exhibition at the Nelson Mandela Art Museum. Ermias resettled in the United States in 2011. His works evoke empathy, humanity, and raw emotion.





Jit is a woodcarver and farmer from Bhutan. He enjoys keeping busy and puts so much love into his craft and into the community garden he helps to cultivate. For his signature walking canes, Jit selects the perfect fallen tree branches, carving by hand with beautiful vintage tools gifted by a generous donor.





To help explain the agricultural techniques used in his old home country of Bhutan, Santa carved and painted two perfect, tiny replicas to display at our group exhibitions. Each plow has a yoke suitable for two oxen, while the farmer follows behind on foot, guiding the plow through the soil.

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