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Seiko Atsuta Purdue is Associate Professor in the Fibers/Fabrics area in the Department of Art at Western Washington University.  After receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Kyoto Seika University in 1992, she came to the United States where she received an MA at Montclair State University and a Masters of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  She has exhibited widely, including participating in shows in New York City, Washington State (Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Vancouver, Bellingham, Anacortes, Bainbridge Island, San Juan Island), Illinois (Chicago, Evanston, and Bloomington), Canada (several sites including Montreal, Toronto, and Quebec City), Japan (Kyoto, Fukui, Kurashiki, and Osaka), Kherson, Ukraine where she received second prize at Scythia 5, and Kaunas, Lithuania at the 5th International Kaunas Textile Art Biennial, among other locations. In December 2005, she produced an art book as a 10-year retrospective of her ongoing art inquiry “Wish Tying.”  In fall 2007 she co-curated a textile exhibition, “Fabric of Identity,” that investigated the representation of identities from a number of different perspectives. In 2011, she collaborated with her colleague Cara Jaye on an extension of the wish project, “Lofty Aspiration,” a large-scale paper sculpture made for the 50th Anniversary of the Viking Union at WWU.  

Much of her work is installation-based, using fiber materials (handmade paper, polyester, etc.) or ideas of fiber, seeking to connect East and West. She explores both traditional and contemporary textile techniques, as well as casting and digital media, and also involves the public in her art-making.  “Berry Grove” and “Hyoga (Iceberg)” are recent large installation works.  “Hyoga” is based on the concept of global warming and is an investigation of a landscape of melting ice using polyester and handmade paper. She has also explored the theme of motherhood in works such as “Toy Series,” and continues to work on the “Bullet Cloth” series.  In 2017, she curated Coded Threads: Textile and Technology.  Besides the main exhibition she organized 5 pop-up exhibitions, one performance event, 8 speaker events, and one workshop.  She also gives workshops in various places including Ragfinery in Bellingham and BARN on Bainbridge Island.




Curriculum Vita

Associate Professor, Fibers/Fabrics
Department of Art, Fine Arts Complex 226a
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225-9068

Education: Master of Fine Arts, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL, 1997
Master of Arts, Montclair State University, NJ, 1995
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Kyoto Seika University, Japan, 1992

Western Washington University, Department of Art, Bellingham, WA
2008-present, Associate Professor, Fibers/Fabrics
2002-2008, Assistant Professor, Fibers/Fabrics
2001-2002, Lecturer, Fibers/Fabrics

Main Exhibitions and Creative Activity:


  • Curating Group Exhibition: Coded Threads: Textiles and Technology, Western Gallery, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA

  •  Invitational Group Exhibition: Matzke Fine Art Gallery, Camano Island, WA


  • Solo Exhibition: “Hyoga,” Gallery Gallery, Kyoto, Japan

  • “Fiber Fusion,” traveling group exhibition (juried), Richland, Redmond, Port Towsend, WA


  • Green Chalk Contemporary, Solo Exhibition, Monterey, CA

  • Residency on Papermaking and Solo Exhibition, Udatsu Paper and Craft Museum, Echizen, Fukui, Japan


  • “Casting: Labor of Love”, Solo Exhibition, Anchor Art Space, Anacortes, WA


  • “Wishes for the Planet”, Public Participation Project during the Vanishing Ice Exhibition, Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, Seattle

  • “Warp and Weft: The Northwest and Japan”, Solo Exhibition, IMA (San Juan Islands Museum of Art), Friday Harbor, WA


  • Window Installation, Mindport Gallery, Bellingham, WA

  • “Show Us Yours”: 2012 CoCA Members Show, Georgetown, Seattle, WA


  • “Peace 2011”, Group Exhibition, The International Center in New York, NY

  • “Tan-nan Art Festival”, Invitational Group Exhibition, Fukui & Kyoto, Japan


  • “Lofty Aspirations”, Indoor Permanent Sculpture, Viking Union 50th Anniversary project (Collaboration with Cara Jaye), Viking Union, WWU, Bellingham, WA


  • “Craftforms”, International Juried Exhibition, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA


  • “Tattered Cultures, Mended Histories”, invitational group exhibition in conjunction with Textile Society of America 2008 symposium, Academy Art Center, Honolulu Department of Art and Art History/University of Hawai'i at Manoa, HI


  • “Fabric of Identity”, co-curator and participating artist, Western Gallery, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA


  • “Intersections: Contemporary Work by Japanese American Artists”Invitational Group Exhibition, Bainbridge Arts, Crafts, & Education, Bainbridge Island, WA

  • “Nakami”, Solo Exhibition, Honmachi Art Gallery, Osaka, Japan


  • Wish Tying, Book production to document ten-year “Wish Tying” project

  • “Wish Tying”, Solo Exhibition, Mindport Gallery, Bellingham, WA

  • 5th International Kaunas Textile Art Biennial (See http://www.smic.lt/textile/next/entry.htm) M. K. Ciurlionis National Museum of Art, Kaunas, Lithuania

  • “NuArt 05” Anacortes Art Festival, Invitational Group Exhibition, Anacortes, WA


  • The Fifth International Biennial on Contemporary Textile Art Exhibition &Conference SCYTHIA 5, Kherson, Ukraine