This month the Office of Arts & Culture welcomes three new arts commissioners: artist Juan Alonso-Rodriguez; Steve Galatro, executive director of Pratt Fine Arts Center and Cassie Chin, deputy executive director at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. All three bring a wealth of arts and cultural experience to the commission.
Juan Alonso-Rodriguez arrived in the United States from his native Cuba in 1966. He is a self-taught artist whose transition from music to visual arts coincided with his move to Seattle in 1982. His work has been exhibited throughout the US, Canada and Latin America and is included in the permanent collections of the Tacoma Art Museum, Portland Art Museum, Museum of Northwest Art, Microsoft, Swedish & Harborview Hospitals and General Mills and he has created public works for Century Link Field, Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, King County Housing Authority, Epiphany School, Sound Transit’s Light Rail system and Chief Sealth High School. His awards include a 2010 Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award, The Neddy Fellowship, PONCHO Artist of the Year, two Artist Trust GAPs, a 4Culture Individual Artist Grant and a residency at the Centrum Foundation. In 2015, he completed artist residencies for the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture and Town Hall Seattle. Photo by Kseniya Sovenko
Steve Galatro, Pratt Fine Arts Center’s Executive Director since 2012, has extensive experience in nonprofit arts administration and higher education, elevated by an MFA in Arts Leadership from Seattle University. Previous management experience comes from various positions at Empty Space Theatre and the Seattle University Fine Arts Department, where he continues to serve as an adjunct professor. In 2014, Galatro was honored for his rejuvenation of Pratt as one of the top 40 Under 40 business leaders in the region by the Puget Sound Business Journal.
Cassie Chinn, Deputy Executive Director at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, oversees planning and implementation of exhibition, collection, public programming and education initiatives in collaboration with community members. In her 20 plus years with the museum, she has worked with numerous community advisory committees and community members to create exhibitions, gather oral histories and produce other museum projects, including The Wing’s recent multi-year exhibition on Bruce Lee. During the museum’s capital project, she led community-based program planning and served on the design team. She is the author of The Wing’s Community-based Exhibition handbook. She currently serves on the 4Culture Heritage Advisory Board. Chinn holds a BA and MA in art history as well as a Master in Teaching.
The 16-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the mayor and City Council, supports the city agency. Commission members include artists, arts professionals and other citizens with diverse backgrounds and strong links to Seattle’s arts community. The mayor appoints seven of the commissioners; the City Council appoints seven, and a 15th member is selected by those 14. An additional commissioner is selected through the YMCA’s “Get Engaged” program.