2016 Annual Report

How do we speak our truth through Art?

A recent customer responded that we needed to continue to Act: Act justly, Act with integrity, and Act with compassion. All of these actions are Acts of love.

So as I took time to reflect on 2016 given this rubric, I discovered a few things I’d like to share with you. MBNCA is a place for people to create Art, and for Art to be showcased, finding ways to support underserved people in their creative pursuits.

Act Justly


For the Love of Our Earth empowered dozens of artists to submit work for our juried show. I had the opportunity to work with the Arts leadership program at Seattle University and had a fantastic intern, Alyssa Morales, who provided delightful insight into this topic and participated in the jurying process. I will again have an opportunity to work with an intern to curate our environmental focused exhibit titled Water is Life! Feb 1st-March 15th.

Act with Integrity

Our annual Please Touch show was an experiential, hands- on exhibit providing an opportunity to hold, feel, and enjoy art in tactile form. This show gave everyone an opportunity to “know and sense” art in a fun gallery setting. Please Touch celebrates creative expression in all its forms and explores how we all experience art in different ways.

15400937_583951378462902_5974748008870558997_nAct with Compassion

We are currently showing fantastic jewelry by a Maasai women’s artist cooperative in Kenya during our Holiday Treasures exhibit. Sales will occur through Dec. 24th and benefit their school for girls.

Acts of Love

During our Flower, Flores and Ubaxa show this spring, when Carol Casteneda was demonstrating how to make collage papers, I received a call that my dear artist brother Jerry had suffered a grand mal seizure. I didn’t know then that I would spend April in Fresno by his side in ICU and be involved in a major automobile accident that seriously injured Rod Herold, a good friend and supporter of MBNCA. Lauren Davis created a Gofundme campaign that helped me pay for medical expenses and gallery rent. Many of you contributed and also staffed the gallery to demonstrate acts of love, and strewn flower petals on my path to soften the journey home.

It was a spring of personal tragedy and yet a building block for the stabilization of the foundation of MBNCA. We looked to the future to design a sustainable organizational framework to build on. We are growing from being more than Barb’s vision, to a vision that clearly offers ART for ALL.

Thank you, everyone! Your support is so deeply appreciated.
– Barbara Oswald, MBNCA founder

15418364_585312628326777_5314891190686438965_oBecome a Friend of our Community

If you love South Seattle and MBNCA, consider making a tax-deductible monthly donation and becoming a Member of the Gallery! Members are our core monthly supporters and make a huge difference to our inclusive community of artists. 

How? Click the links below to visit our Shunpike donation page – enter the amount you will offer monthly and click the box to indicate this is a monthly recurring donation.

$5 per month — Friend of the Gallery
Your monthly donation creates a scholarship for an emerging or student artist to attend one of our classes. To maintain our commitment to serving under-represented artists and communities, our workshops are priced on a sliding scale and scholarships are available for those without the means to pay. MBNCA believes that a vibrant creative life should be accessible to ALL.

$15 per month — Community Builder
For only $15 per month, community builders help us create the funds to purchase most of our gallery services (printing, catering, design, supplies and more) from South Seattle-based businesses. We  support local businesses whenever possible.

$25 per month — Patron of the Arts
Gifts of this level help support the gallery to create unique exhibitions and showcase artists of all abilities. Many of our programs are non-commercial in nature, such as our yearly exhibition of Franklin High School students, and your patronage helps us create exhibitions that serve emerging artists.

$50 per month — South Seattle Super Hero
The South Seattle area is under-served in the arts. MBNCA fills a unique need by not only showcasing many local, neighborhood artists, but also providing an inclusive gathering place and learning center for the South Seattle area. We welcome students, audiences, and artists of ALL abilities. Your support makes our community grow.

$100 — Visionary Change Maker
You are a rock-star! Support at this level allows MBNCA to create brand new programs that serve special groups of people, such as our programs for elders with memory loss, workshops for artists with visual disabilities, exhibitions that celebrate the cultural heritage of our neighbors, and much more. We believe that creativity should be accessible to ALL and we are dedicated to the creation of programs that expand our inclusive community.

More Accomplishments in 2016

Popular artist Katherine Lewis taught an amazing 2-day willow basket weaving workshop sponsored by MBNCA.

14141845_537302516461122_8156644033220809840_nMBNCA partnered with La Sala: A Latino/a Artists’ Network for “La Cocina,” a group exhibition featuring nine artists representing the pan-Latino experience in the Pacific Northwest. MBNCA artist Fresia Valdivia exhibited in the exhibition, which also hosted a reception during the Mount Baker HubFest (part of the Seattle Design Festival)

MBNCA created a special project in October, pairing sighted artists with visually impaired artists to create a collaborative artwork. Shown here are artists Bryan Logan Garcia and Stacy Thurston creating their interpretation of a painting by Ezref Armagan, one of the world’s most famous contemporary blind artists. Fresia Valdivia and Sandra Over-Pressley also collaborated on an interpretive piece, with their work and subsequent public workshops being supported by Office of Arts & Culture.


MBNCA began hosting Yogalates (Yoga + Pilates) classes with instructor Lily Singh (also an MBNCA artist). These classes have now expanded to include regular sessions for visually-impaired and blind yoga students.

13407025_507419592782748_7328996500171826780_nFor the second year, we hosted the Franklin High School Art Show, showcasing wonderful youth artwork in photography, drawing, painting and ceramics. Working with the kids is a highlight of every year for MBNCA. This show is supported by the Office of Arts and Culture.

Gallery artist Hawo Ali made her voice heard during the election by donating her masterpiece, The Lion and the Bull, to the Hillary Clinton campaign. Her painting shares the story of the immigrant journey. We applaud Hawo for standing up for the rights of immigrants and Muslims during the election season.

13894986_530408847150489_768797237409520067_nMBNCA artist Sandra Over-Pressley held several of her popular workshops with highly impressive results from the students! Pictured is student work, “Ode to Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence”

The gallery will be closed from Dec 25th through Dec 29th for Winter Break.


We thank the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture for funding MBNCA in 2016!





a6614d_eb9ccf2ed6c646f7a74e3313a7665830mv2     We thank 4Culture for their funding in 2015/2016!






MBNCA is fiscally-sponsored by Shunpike, making your contributions tax-deductible!



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