The exhibition includes a series of paintings from Eliaichi's daily practice of painting in her sketch book, along with larger works inspired by those sketches.

Eliaichi Kimaro was seven years into living full-time as an artist when the pandemic hit. During lockdown, she decided to create one small painting a day. So, she grabbed the smallest of her abandoned sketchbooks and let go of any expectations of perfection. Her only goal was to show up on the page and play with tools, materials, color, and form.

She was so energized by what emerged that soon her journal pages were all she wanted to do. This daily practice has made Eliaichi clearer about her likes/dislikes, better able to listen to and trust her instincts, and more efficient in her problem solving. This newfound balance between intellect and intuition is informing her larger oil paintings and spilling over into her life. 

Now, Eliaichi’s days start on the page ~ first writing in her journal (as she’s done the past 40+ years), then painting in her art journal. As she says, “Making art 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. Art helps me repair and restore the parts of my soul that are beyond the reach of words.”

Artist Talk
Saturday, February 17: 2pm

Free to the public

Accompanying Eliaichi's art exhibition, Eliaichi will share new research findings about how engaging regularly in a creative practice, regardless of skill level, transforms our brains and bodies. She will reflect on the most surprising take-aways from her daily writing and painting practice, including those daily journal pages on display in her exhibition. This talk it open to the public, at no charge.

Artist Biography

Over the past 40 years, Eliaichi Kimaro has used writing, music, photography, film, storytelling, and now mixed media art to explore her personal and family narratives. 

She worked for 12 years as a crisis counselor before her life took a creative detour. In 2003, she found filmmaking, and went on to produce over 80 videos for nonprofits addressing social justice issues. 

Her documentary film A Lot Like You (2011) explores her family’s stories through the lens of culture, race, class and gender. As a mixed-race, first-generation American (Tanzanian father and Korean mother), Eliaichi makes art to better understand her place in this flow between cultural inheritance and legacy. The film won 6 Best Documentary Awards on the film festival circuit before being broadcast nationally on PBS. After years traveling around the world with her film, Eliaichi distilled her keynotes into her 2016 TEDxSeattle talk, “Why the World Needs Your Story.”

View Eliaichi's TEDxSeattle Talk

Since 2014, painting has been her focus. Eliaichi was selected for the Center on Contemporary Art Residency and the Artist Trust Fellowship. She’s received multiple grants from CityArtist, 4Culture and Artist Trust for her work in art and film. Recently, she received the McMillen Foundation Arts Fellowship, the Denis Diderot Grant and the Chateau Orquevaux International Artist Residency in France.

Eliaichi has exhibited nationally and internationally. She is a member of Columbia City Gallery, COCA Gallery, and has served on numerous Boards, grant panels, film festival juries, and museum exhibition committees.

(photo credit: Jennifer Loomis)