2018 Apprenticeship Program

The Center is thrilled to announce inaugural participants in the Heritage Arts Apprenticeship Program!

Ten pairs of participants, from Ocean Shores to Spokane, will be immersed in diverse cultural traditions and practices from July 2018 through June 2019. Check back soon to learn more about each pair, and to find more information about the traditions they will pass on and learn over the next year.

2018-2019 Washington State Heritage Arts Apprenticeship Program Participants

Deepti and Rohini, photo courtesy Deepti Agrawal

Master: Deepti Agrawal

Apprentice: Rohini Mathur

Madhubani Painting: The Classical Visual Indian Art

– Bothell –

Deepti and Rohini will work together to teach/learn Madhubani painting—a visual art form originating in Mithila, today part of the Indian state of Bihar. Madhubani has been passed down over generations among women, who painted Hindu deities, social and religious scenes, flora, and fauna on plastered mud walls and floors of their homes. This was done after every monsoon season, originally using twigs and natural dyes. Deepti, who began learning Madhubani painting from her mother at age 7, and Rohini will use acrylic and watercolor paints as well as ink, on paper, canvas, fabric, wood, and stone, and focus not only on teaching/learning techniques, motifs, and styles, but also creating a business as a working artist.

Master: Preetha Babu

Apprentice: Lakshmi Priya Sekhar

Bhava (Emotions) & Nritya (Dance): Samarpanam (Dedication) to Bharatanatyam, an Ancient Classical Dance of South India

– Sammamish and Redmond –

Bharatanatyam is a major genre of Indian classical dance. It is known for its fixed upper torso, legs bent or knees flexed out, spectacular footwork, and a sophisticated vocabulary of sign language based on gestures made by the hands, eyes, and face muscles. Preetha, who began learning Bharatanatyam in Tamil Nadu when she was young, has taught Lakshmi in past group classes. This apprenticeship will give the pair an opportunity to work one-on-one, to teach/learn specific dances called Mallari (or Pushpanjali), thodaimangalam, padam, and thilllana. These dances are invocations or otherwise have religious significance or tell religious stories; they are believed to be purifying and auspicious efforts.

Beaded bag by Denise Emerson, photo courtesy of the artist

Master: Denise Emerson

Apprentice: Lorane Denise Gamber

Our Shared History & Modern Bead Design

– Shelton and Burien –

Denise will teach her niece, Lorane, skills for designing and weaving beaded designs—including different peyote stitches, brick stitch, loom stitches, and designs for vending. Denise notes that she will teach “beadwork from a shared historical context; it is art that is personal and striking, designed to pass on and teach. [It is] art that reaches out to reclaim images and tell a deeper story of our world in constant flux, family-centered and always seeking self-expression.”


The cheese-making process, photos and collage by Lora Lea Misterly

Master: Lora Lea Misterly

Apprentice: Kate Lebo

Mastering the Lost Art of Fresh Farmhouse Cheese

– Rice and Spokane –

Having grown up on a small dairy farm in Washington State, in a multi-generational family of farmers, Lora Lea notes that “farmhouse cheese styles were once a mainstay of farm and dairy cultures in the United States and remain so around the world. In Washington State these cheeses are familiar—think ricotta, paneer, and cottage cheese—but most of us rarely make them fresh, as part of our cooking practice.” This project covers the production of high-acid farmhouse cheeses, their traditional culinary applications, how to add them to modern home cooking practices, and their place in a healthy family diet.

Boo kein hahng (black leaf ball), created in spring for times to celebrate ancestry, like in cemetery rituals; photo courtesy of Tiffany Chan

Master: Shui Ng

Apprentice: Tiffany Chan

Made with Ingredients of Community Connections and Legacy: A Multi-generational Succession of Cooking from Taishan, China to Seattle, WA

– Seattle –

The Chinese diaspora influences the broad diversity of meanings and practices in food in the United States. Within this diaspora are families with grandkids from Seattle (e.g., the Apprentice), parents from Hong Kong, and elders from Taishan (e.g., the Master). This project’s successional story reflects the traditions of foods passed down through generations, unique to the pair’s family story, but universal in valuing connections to their communities. Six foods that are associated with traditional festivals or seasons have been chosen as the focus of this apprenticeship; the apprentice notes that “the six foods embody [a] narrative and are passed down from popo (grandma) to syun neui (granddaughter).”

Nick Petrish

Nicholas with his lijerica, photo courtesy of Nicholas Petrish

Master: Nicholas Petrish

Apprentice: Emily Hillenbrand

Croatian Music and Dance: Lijerica and Lindo

– Mount Vernon –

This apprenticeship focuses on a square dance-like tradition from the southern coastal area of Croatia called Dalmatia—Lindo (aka Poskocica) and the instrument central to that dance (lijerica). Nick has dedicated much of his life to the study of Lindo and lijerica, and the costuming and culture that surrounds it, including multiple trips to Croatia to learn from the source and give back to local communities. In this apprenticeship, he will teach Emily fundamentals of Lindo (calling steps, dancing) and lijerica, including building a lijerica by hand.

White Whale_Ed Salerno_front
White whale in Tenino sandstone by Ed Salerno, photo courtesy of the artist

Master: Ed Salerno

Apprentice: Colby Russell

The Fundamentals of Stone Carving in Tenino

– Tenino –

For over 100 years stone carving has been an essential part of Tenino, WA’s character—from the beginning of the 20th century, when the first sandstone quarries were established and regional government and commercial buildings were adorned with stone carvings. Ed, a member of the Tenino Stone Carvers guild, will teach Colby, for whom stone carving is a family trade, how to master a range of carving tools and techniques: design, pitching and point chiseling, tooth and flat chiseling, contour carving, texturing, inscribing, and decorative relief. Ed will also teach Colby a history of Tenino sandstone carving, the Tenino Stone Carvers, and how to interpret or communicate historical knowledge to the broader community.


DJ and Clayton
DJ and Clayton. photo courtesy of Clayton Tupper

Master: DJ Stull

Apprentice: Clayton Tupper

Ocean Shores Forge

– Ocean Shores –

The craft of blacksmithing—a centuries-old functional art form—has served Northwestern coastal communities for more than a century. Early day blacksmiths repaired and created innovative tools and equipment to the benefit of early local manufacturing, logging, and fishing industries. DJ, who is a certified welder that took his first blacksmithing classes through the Northwest Blacksmith Association—an artist-blacksmith group formed in the 1970s. He has made a late career out of blacksmithing, including giving public demonstrations for the last 15 years. The pair will work on techniques such as heading, bending, and scrolling; leaf work (reproducing organic shapes in iron); chasing and repousse (creating 3D reliefs); drawing down (making materials longer and narrower); upsetting (making material thicker); tapering (a controlled form of drawing down); punching and drifting (making punched holes larger); traditional ironwork joinery; power-hammer maintenance and use; various forms of welding; tool-making; and job estimating and planning.

Tamdin Tsetan with Dramyen. Photo by Tenzin Jinpa, @tjinpa72 and @tenzinjinpaphotos

Master: Tamding Tsetan

Apprentice: Courtney Elton

Open Road, Where Land Meets Sky: Dramyen and Tibetan Folk Music

– Vancouver and Brush Prairie –

Tamding, who escaped Tibet in 2002 and lived in India (and played for His Holiness XIV Dalai Lama) before coming to the United States, is passionate about teaching Tibetan music in order to preserve Tibetan culture outside of Tibet. He notes that the Dramyen is important because it is the only instrument made in Tibet that is native to Tibet, and that was made primarily for public entertainment (as opposed to drums, cymbals, etc. that were created for religious ceremony). The pair will focus on learning to play Tibetan folks songs on the Dramyen, but also learning associated dance steps, rhythms, and stories.

The Washington State Heritage Arts Apprenticeship Program is generously funded through the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and funding from the Washington State Legislature through the ArtsWA/Washington State Arts Commission.