PICA-WA’s mission amplifies Cultural Belonging as one of three mission points aimed at providing touch points for supporting community driven efforts to cultivate Pasifika arts programming that help keep our Pacific Islander diaspora communities (most especially here in northwest Coast Salish territories) grounded and rooted in their identities.

PICA-WA recognizes the general scarcity of arts development opportunities for Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander communities locally in addition to a lack of readily available artist mentors to help foster a more vibrant contemporary local Pasifika art scene.

To this end, PICA-WA presents the INS[PI]RED Pasifika Artist Residency in an effort to help set some foundational pieces of a thriving Pasifika Arts scene in the State of Washington. This residency is part of a comprehensive plan to engage Pacific Islander artists not only in the Puget Sound but in southwest, eastern, and other Washington regions that Pasifika communities have called home.


The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (The Burke): The Burke Museum’s mission is to care for and share natural and cultural collections so all people can learn, be inspired, generate knowledge, feel joy, and heal. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion informs our efforts in achieving each of these goals.

As a valued community partner and co-steward of the INS[PI]RED Pasifika Artist Residency Program, The Burke has committed to making work-space available for the resident artist in addition to providing access to the Pacific Islander Collection currently in its care.

One of the important aspects of this partnership is the establishment of uplifting practices that recognizes diasporic indigenous communities’ role as creators, caretakers of culture, stewards of relationships, and carriers of knowledge. Providing access to Pasifika Artists in the Burke Museum allows them the opportunity to engage directly with artifacts made by their ancestors and encourage them to continue ongoing traditions of cultural innovations which is crucial in the diaspora.
Photo courtesy of the Burke Museum.


This residency program will feature three emerging northwest Pasifika artists from a variety of artistic practices for the month of February, 2022. This will include:

  • Month-long artist residency including 1 day a week in-studio with access to Pacific Islander collection at The Burke (contingent on Burke glass studio availability and collections staffing confirmation)
  • Residency Artists will meet one-on-one with a mid-career Pasifika artist (virtually) to discuss your artistic practice, talk through some project ideas, or ask any career relevant questions as they come up!
  • At the conclusion of the residency term, artists will curate 2-3 personal works of their choosing to be featured as part of a community pop-up exhibit hosted by PICA-WA in the month of March.
  • Residency artists will make a guest lecture appearance for a UW class of which details will be determined leading up to the quarter of the residency. This will be scheduled during the month of the residency or no later than a month after the term.
  • Concluded Residency artists will be part of a growing community of Pasifika artists cultivating a thriving and lively Pasifika Arts scene in the State of Washington and the greater northwest.

Application available soon!