Erin Shigaki (she/they) is a yonsei (fourth-generation) Japanese American born and raised on Duwamish land (Seattle, WA). She creates art that is community-based and focused on BIPOC experiences, often the World War II incarceration of her community. She is keen to explore intergenerational trauma and the emergence of beauty and intimacy despite unspeakably harsh circumstances. Her work also examines the act of reclamation: of land, language and culture. Erin is the recipient of grants and commissions from City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, 4Culture, the Wing Luke Museum, Densho, the Kip Tokuda Memorial Washington Civil Liberties Grant, the Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the National Academy of Design’s Abbey Mural Prize, among others.
Erin is a community activist and helps run an annual pilgrimage to Minidoka, the American concentration camp where her family was incarcerated. She is active with Tsuru for Solidarity, a nonviolent, direct action abolitionist project of Japanese American social justice advocates. She also serves on the board of Look Listen + Learn, a public access television show that inspires radical Black joy and advances early learning in young children of color.
Erin believes that wielding art and activism to tell these stories can educate, redress and incrementally heal. She holds a B.A. from Yale University.