Tariqa Waters to curate new exhibition exploring consumerism, cultural codependency at Bellevue Arts Museum

October 15, 2020
Tariqa Waters, Yellow No. 5. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

October 15, 2020
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Yellow No. 5 is on view at Bellevue Arts Museum November 6, 2020 – April 18, 2021

Bellevue, WA—Curator and artist Tariqa Waters is bringing the ethos of her Pioneer Square-based gallery, Martyr Sauce, to Bellevue Arts Museum in a new exhibition this fall. Yellow No. 5, which opens at BAM on November 6, takes a critical and humorous look at culture, consumerism, and how the two forces often work in tandem to conceal their connection.

The project-based, multidisciplinary exhibition will feature newly commissioned works from 11 regional artists—Romson Bustillo, Monyee Chau, Ari Glass, Aramis Hamer, Christopher Paul Jordan, Clyde Petersen, Kenji Stoll, arts trio SuttonBeresCuller, and Waters herself.

Through their own specific practices, the artists will explore the grab-and-go nature of material goods and how these products shield us from our intrinsically codependent relationship with consumerism. Together, the works in Yellow No. 5 thread a common narrative about contemporary American culture through humor and caustic social commentary.

In describing her vision for the exhibition, Waters says, “How we reconcile our personal choices with our outside view of the world is worth exploring. America’s greatest privilege is the opportunity that we have to access one another’s cultures in appreciation rather than appropriation. As a result, we unknowingly blend experiences that shape the core of who we are with objects and spaces constructed without us in mind. Have we supported and represented one another merely through co-existing? How can we best lampoon cultural codependency while maintaining the ability to laugh at ourselves?”


Romson Regarde Bustillo is an interdisciplinary artist whose works explore how knowledge is transferred through visual cues and privileged information. Born on the island of Mindanao, the Philippines, Bustillo immigrated to Seattle with his family in 1978. Since his late teens, Bustillo has spent extended periods of time working on his art in the Philippines, SE Asia, Central America, Mexico, and Spain. He has taught at Pratt Fine Arts Center, Seattle Art Museum, and the UW School of Art. He is a 2019 Artist Trust Fellow. His art studio is in the Pioneer Square District of Seattle.Learn more at instagram.com/romsonbustillo

Monyee Chau (b. 1996) is a queer Taiwanese/Chinese American artist based in Seattle. They received their BFA from Cornish College of the Arts in 2018. Monyee works with themes of labor, ancestral healing, decolonization, and community building spanning through multiple mediums spanning from graphic illustration to sculpture. She has exhibited at Pilchuck Glass School, Bellevue Arts Museum, Wing Luke Museum, SOIL gallery, and has curated various DIY exhibitions throughout Seattle and internationally. Learn more at chinesebornamerican.com

ARI Glass (born in Seattle on September 7, 1988) is thee multidisciplinary artist from South Seattle. In his artwork, he uses gold as his primary medium, the element that has represented the Sun, royalty, and divinity since time immemorial. The ethereal essence of gold has the power to transfigure images from being decorative to the spiritual and supernatural. Through vivid color, gilding, and philosophy ARI's goal is to shine the solar power to the people—uplifting and uniting them with radiant self-realization. Learn more at arimuseum.com

Aramis O. Hamer is a visual artist and muralist living in Seattle, WA. Her subject matter is inspired by the cosmos, music, nature, divine femininity, and the complexities throughout the Black culture. Aramis has exhibited her colorful creations at many different exhibitions in the greater Seattle area, including The Museum of Pop Culture, Paramount Theater, Martyr Sauce Gallery, Columbia City Gallery, and more. In 2019, she was awarded the Cornish College of Arts Neddy Award in the painting category. As a self-taught artist, Aramis lets the pull of her imagination be her guide. Learn more at aohamer.com

Christopher Paul Jordan integrates virtual and physical public space to form infrastructures for dialogue and self-determination among dislocated people. His paintings and sculptures are time-capsules from his work in community. Christopher’s installations and public projects have been implemented internationally including Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, and Mexico. His work has been recognized with the Neddy Artist Award in painting, the James W. Ray Venture Project Award, the GTCF Foundation of Art Award, and a commission for Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park. Learn more at chrispauljordan.com

Clyde Petersen is a transgender Northwest artist, working in film, animation, music, installation and fabulous spectacle. He is the director of Torrey Pines, an autobiographical stop-motion animated feature film. His award-winning work has been featured in museums, galleries, DIY spaces and film festivals around the world. Clyde founded and runs The Fellow Ship Artist Residency on Guemes Island, a free artist residency space for Queer and BIPOC people. He is currently working on two feature films: Even Hell has its Heroes and Our Forbidden Country. His solo exhibition Merch & Destroy was featured at Bellevue Arts Museum in 2018. Learn more at clydepetersen.com

Kenji Hamai Stoll is a visual artist based in Tacoma, Washington. Known for bright and bold floral designs, Kenji’s work weaves imagery and concepts inspired by Japanese American / Hawaiian culture, fabric textiles, and woodblock prints to create pieces that speak to themes of impermanence, conflict, and interdependence. Learn more at yokenji.net

SuttonBeresCuller is a group of three Seattle-based artists—John Sutton, Ben Beres, and Zac Culler. The trio has been working collaboratively for more than 20 years creating sculptures, installations, gallery works, and public art. Their engaging, interactive works have been exhibited nationally and internationally. Currently, they are transforming a derelict gas station in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle into a pocket park, community center, and arts space called Mini Mart City Park. SuttonBeresCuller is represented by Greg Kucera Gallery. Learn more at suttonberesculler.com



Born in Virginia, Waters developed an early interest in oil painting. Self-taught, she started working as a muralist while in Sicily where she lived from 2003–2007. Returning to the States, she began exhibiting work in Washington DC and Atlanta. Tariqa relocated to Seattle in 2012 where she opened a gallery in the historic arts district of Pioneer Square showcasing underrepresented artists called, Martyr Sauce. In 2015 Waters founded the Re:Definitiongallery at the Paramount Theatre in 2015, a partnership with Seattle Theatre Group (STG) to redefine historic cultural space.

Waters’ own artwork has been garnering support and critical acclaim in the region and abroad. In 2016, her popular solo exhibition, 100% Kanekalon: The Untold Story of the Marginalized Matriarch, exhibited at the Northwest African American Museum.

In spring 2017 she was featured in issues of Rolling Stone France and Madame Figaro magazines, while that summer Martyr Sauce became a Cultural Partner to the Seattle Art Fair where Waters was a featured speaker. That same year Waters was nominated for the James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award and she was awarded the Conductive Garboil Grant. In 2018, she received the Artist Trust Fellowship Award. In 2020 Waters was a finalist for The Seattle Art Museum’s Betty Bowen award and recipient of the prestigious Kayla Skinner Special Recognition Award

Yellow No. 5 is guest curated by Tariqa Waters and organized by Bellevue Arts Museum. Presented by Microsoft. Sponsored in part by Tory Burch. Media Sponsors: KCTS 9, The Seattle Times, and Xfinity. In-kind support from Seattle SignShop.



Bellevue Arts Museum provides a public forum for the community to contemplate, appreciate, and discuss visual culture. We work with audiences, artists, makers, and designers to understand our shared experience of the world. bellevuearts.org