Immigration Signs

September 2nd, 2017

The Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) and the Seattle Parks and Recreation (PARKS) commissioned me to create a temporary installation at The Ballard Commons Park. I did my installation about refugees and immigrants. I gathered information from ReWA ( that gives aid to women and immigrant families, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project ( and my mother a former ESL teacher to get content for the signs.


Language: Immigrants and refugees may speak many other languages besides English before they come to America. ELL (English Language Learners) classes could be available but some are afraid to attend because of a fear of authorities or have no access to transportation.


Isolation: Immigrants and refugees suffer from isolation. They may not know how to speak English or be in culture shock. Some suffer from depression or anxiety caused by economic instability and/or post traumatic stress.


Justice: In Washington State undocumented immigrants have no access to a public defender. If an immigrant or refugee is sent to a detention center and cannot afford to hire a lawyer they must face court alone and potential deportation.


Family Separation: Undocumented Immigrant families face potential separation at any time. Families have been encouraged to develop plans for what to do in such a situation. If the kids are allowed to remain in the US they must decide who the child will live with.


Driver’s License: It is possible for undocumented immigrants to get a driver’s license in some states. As of February 2016 the list includes California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Vermont and Washington. Driving without a license is illegal and if an undocumented immigrant is caught without one they can be sent to a detention center and be deported.


About Arts in the Parks

In 2018 the City is investing in a new online Citywide grants platform that will produce a better experience for applicants and aligns with race and social justice values by providing more equity in opportunities for artists and communities of color, is a major undertaking for ARTS and the City. While ARTS transitions to the new platform Arts in Parks will continue to partner with Seattle Parks and Recreation (PARKS) to increase arts and community events in parks throughout the city. The Arts in Parks Program (AIP) is an opportunity for the city to invest in the vibrant cultural work being done in and by diverse communities throughout Seattle.



Mural #3

August 21st, 2016

Mural #3 in a four story walk up in Amsterdam












Mural #2

August 21st, 2016


Mural #2 of The European mural tour

Mural #1

August 21st, 2016


The first mural of my European mural tour


September 10th, 2015

last year.001

Painted this mural for my sister’s apartment in Berlin last year. It is a copy of Matisse’s “1000 Nights”.

Twin Ponds Park Mural

September 10th, 2015

Commission by the Parkwood Association to do a mural at Twin Ponds Park.

Article here:


Parkwood Neighborhood Association awarded Neighborhood Minigrant to revitalize Twin Ponds
Parkwood Neighborhood Association (PNA), second place winner of the 2014 Neighborhood of the Year award from Neighborhoods USA, continues its placemaking efforts by adding a mural and community bulletin board to the restroom walls at Twin Ponds Park.
PNA chose this project as a strategic effort to create a space where residents feel inspired by nature, art and play. The mural, created by artist Michiko Tanaka of Seattle, was designed to celebrate elements of the park: trees, ducks, herons and the logo from the Parkwood Neighborhood Association. Tanaka was selected following a competitive open call for artists from the community.




Seattle Storefronts

October 24th, 2014

Doing a faux stained glass installation at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle. Opening November 2014. More information can be found at:

Just in time for winter – Water, water everywhere in South Lake Union

Shunpike’s Storefronts program returns to South Lake Union with a new series for the dark days of winter. From 3-D abstractions to carousel horses, manipulated photos of water, kinetic birds, and needle-felted white deer, we are proud to present these eight new installations from our roster.

Michiko Tanaka

Artist and scenic designer Michiko Tanaka’s Underwater installation is influenced by her stint as a stained glass artist working in churches and cathedrals. She uses traditional theatre set painting and lighting techniques to create a simulacrum of a stained glass window influenced by Japanese fables.

63rd Street Mural

July 6th, 2014

Recently I was chosen as the winner of The 63rd Street Mural contest. My design will be painted in July 2014 at the underpass of 63rd and Aurora. Below is a site dedicated to the mural and it’s process.


More press about the mural:


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rendering for the 13′ x 200′ mural



Volunteers painting in mural




Seattle Times article:


Seattle resident Jim Sykes paints an elephant as fellow volunteer Emma Mitchell, 14, goes for more supplies while they work Sunday on artist Michiko Tanaka’s mural design, “Animal Silhouettes,” which covers about a 200-foot span of an underpass on North 63rd Street at Aurora Avenue North. Previously, a mural painted in the 1990s decorated both sides of the underpass, but it was covered with so much graffiti that in 2012 it was removed. Soon after, Kerry Fowler, an area resident who wanted to bring a mural back, began organizing a community effort to paint a new one. Fowler said several community businesses have helped donate toward the $5,000 needed to match money from Seattle’s Neighborhood Matching Fund, while dozens of residents came to help paint over the weekend. “The community really stepped up,” he said. The committee in charge of the mural has agreed to maintain it for five years, and a graffiti-resistant coating will be applied.


Art Interruptions

July 17th, 2013

From August 1st-September 15th I will be one of twelve artists participating in “Art Interruptions”.  Each artist will be doing a temporary installation funded by Seattle Office of Arts and Culture.  My installation will be at various locations on the Seattle waterfront.  I will wheat paste posters, postcards and hang banners.

More info here:

husband copy

One of four banners based on my grandmother’s sayings

Marion Street Ferry terminal Entrance.




Art Beat Blog (Office of Arts and Culture)


Twelve emerging artists have been selected to create temporary art installations along the Beacon Hill Neighborhood Greenway and the Central Waterfront for the project Art Interruptions 2013, in partnership with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). The artworks will inhabit city sidewalks and parks and offer passers-by a brief interruption in their day, eliciting a moment of surprise, beauty, contemplation or humor. Each artist will develop a series of artworks on display for approximately six weeks beginning in August.




Twispworks Installation, residency and interview

December 17th, 2012

I spent three months as an artist in residence at Twispworks (Twisp, WA). In exchange for my stay I was commissioned to do a a project for the campus. I chose to do an installation in a facade on the campus. I chose to do a series of faux stained glass windows with fables of the Okanagans (a local tribe) featured in each one.



Methow Arts

Now in its second year, the TwispWorks artist residency is a partnership with Methow Arts Alliance and Confluence Gallery that invites artists working in a variety of media to visit Twisp for three months and interact with the local arts community. Visiting artists live and work on the TwispWorks campus, and either leave behind a piece of artwork for the TwispWorks campus, or create an educational art project. Local artists also use studio space at TwispWorks through the residency program.


Interview from KTRT 97.5 The Root