Arrington di Dionyso SWJ 2020

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Artist Bio

I was born in Chicago in 1975 and attended the first fully bilingual public elementary school (Spanish and English) in the USA while taking frequent field trips to the Art Institute and other museums in the area. After then studying theater in Little Rock, Arkansas for several years, I moved to Spokane in 1987 and then to Olympia in 1992 where I attended the Evergreen State College until graduating in 1996. My work as a visual artist has always developed alongside my work as a performing musician. In both fields I would say I am primarily "self-taught" in the sense that the techniques utilized are not reflective of any specific instruction I received in my academic studies. I use art and music making to integrate and reflect upon my studies of topics such as global mythologies, spirituality, psychological healing with entheogenic medicines, and the search for ecological and racial/political justice. 

I would say that the artists who have made the most impact upon me are the anonymous workers whose names have been lost to history- from the cave painters of the Sahara and Ice Age Europe, hieroglyphic scribes of the Ancient Egyptian and Mayan empires, illustrators of illuminated medieval bestiaries, etc. In our historical era I could also pinpoint a visionary such as William Blake- not only a painter but a poet, a singer, and a book maker- as another important influence. 

In the pre-Covid 19 era, my work as a musician resulted in many invitations to travel around the world- I've performed or taught workshops on every continent except Antarctica. I've never gone anywhere as a "tourist," and nearly every voyage has resulted in cross-cultural collaborations and life-long friendships. As a painter, most of my work is done in a small studio in Downtown Olympia, using various kinds of paper and a variety of both acrylic and natural pigments.