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Event: ACES // Artists of Color Expo & Symposium

Dates: May 20 - 21st 2023
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Where: Gonzaga University Urban Arts Center, 125 S Stevens St., 3rd Floor, Spokane, WA 99201

Shunpike, in collaboration with Spokane Arts, is proud to present the 5th annual ACES // Artists of Color Expo & Symposium taking place on May 20 & 21, 2023 at the Gonzaga University Urban Arts Center, the Chase Gallery, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, and Pratt Fine Arts Center. This dynamic program is curated by and for BIPOC artists and creatives, featuring a multitude of programming including art exhibits, live performances, workshops, presentations, film screenings, artist talks, and networking opportunities.

The event aims to showcase the rich and vibrant artistic traditions and contributions of communities of color, while also providing a space for artists to connect with one another, collaborate, and explore the unique challenges and solutions facing our communities in the Pacific Northwest.

“Our goal with ACES is to create a space where BIPOC artists can come together with intentionality to value our work and see one another as resources,” says Martin Tran, Program Director for ACES. “We believe that by celebrating our diverse perspectives and talents, we can uplift and honor the contributions of communities of color to the artistic landscape of the Pacific Northwest.”

In addition to the Seattle locations, ACES is expanding to include simultaneous programming in Spokane, WA at Gonzaga University Urban Arts Center. The gallery space will feature works on display by local BIPOC artists, along with select performances. Attendees in Spokane can also stop by the Chase Gallery at Spokane’s City Hall, where a number of ACES artists are also exhibiting. 

ACES // Artists of Color Expo & Symposium is a must-attend event for anyone looking for a unique cultural experience celebrating diversity and community. ACES is free for all to attend and is produced by Shunpike, a 501c3 nonprofit organization located in Seattle, WA. Shunpike’s mission is to empower artists through equitable access to vital expertise, opportunities, and business services. ACES is co-presented by Pratt Fine Arts Center, Spokane Arts, LANGSTON, CD Forum, and Seattle Restored. 

For more information about ACES // Artists of Color Expo & Symposium, please visit

Please contact with any questions.

Ticket Cost: Free


Saturday, May 20, 2023

11:00 a.m. Olyvia Babinski Words

12:00 p.m. Truehoods Music

2:00 p.m. James Pakootas Music

Sunday, May 21, 2023

12:00 p.m. Afaria Duke – AJ The Wordsmith Words

1:00 p.m. Sinduh Surapaneni Talk

2:00 p.m. TS the Solution Music

Meet the Artists

Amber Hoit

PNW Based artist, Renton born and have spent my life between western Washington and eastern Washington. I am a female and person of color as an artist in Spokane it has been hard to find my voice. Growing up with a lack of diversity here in Spokane has been difficult. Art had become my savior and looking through the history books it was lacking black muses and powerful women. I would like to take that and revamp the art that has been so iconic through the ages to showcase the strength and beauty of black women and the beauty behind natural/cultural hair. This collection to me will be the highlight of my work.

Artist Website
Quinn Carl

I’m an artist by trade and a preschool teacher by day! I specialize in digital portraits, murals, and prints. My dream is to get more colorful murals in the town of Spokane, WA (or anywhere really, the world needs more art)! When I’m not creating art, I am usually hanging with my husband Jake and our dog Bailey. We love to hang in our yard, go paddle boarding, and visit the many parks of Washington! I’m glad you’re here, I’m glad we have connected, and I hope to work together soon creating one of a kind art.

Artist Website
Olyvia Babinski

Olyvia Babinski is a skilled and passionate visual artist, public speaker, and artist supporter. Olyvia creates cartoons, characters for book illustrations, and home décor using upcycled items. Along with creating art, Olyvia loves empowering artists. Currently, she is working with creatives in the city to host events that showcase their talent. Olyvia is developing a program for Soul Care and Professional Coaching for creatives, where she can come along people in their dreams and their spiritual health. Reach out to Olyvia if you are interested in a custom art project, book illustration, soul care, professional coaching, or assistance in hosting a creative event.

Artist Instagram
Tracy Poindexter-Canton

Through collage, vibrancy and portraiture, Tracy Poindexter-Canton examines Black American identity and melding literary imagery with visual art. An eclectic assortment of media and reusable materials are incorporated into her work – often including acrylics, oil pastels, ink, feathers, beads, magazine clippings, bubble wrap, scrapbook paper, nylon cord and found objects. Poindexter-Canton’s previous mixed media works include “To Shalimar,” an acclaimed series celebrating the literary greatness of Nobel Prize-winning author, Toni Morrison and her novels, “The Bluest Eye,” “Sula,” “Song of Solomon,” “Home” and “Beloved;” and “Lilac City,” a collection of mixed media collages inspired by iconic landmarks in Riverfront Park. Four pieces in the “To Shalimar,” series have been acquired by the Washington Arts Commission and Spokane Public Library for their permanent public art collections. She has exhibited her work across the state including Spokane (where she lives and works), Richland, Pullman, Seattle and Olympia.

Artist Website
Olivia Evans

Olivia Evans is a grant-awarded, multidisciplinary visual artist and producer based in Spokane, WA. Working in video, photography, drawing, film, and beadwork, her work is heavily influenced by motherhood, culture, nature, the subconscious, and personal experiences – intertwining traditional and digital media to create narratives of the self. All these influences echo her eclectic cultural background of growing up as a Black, Italian, and Native woman. She boasts a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art, and a minor in Film from Eastern Washington University, and graduated with the Dean’s Excellence Award for the Art Dept. Today, she continues to expand her art practice in many facets, such as grant reviewing, grant writing, gallery exhibiting, youth/ adult media projects, project collaborations with other artists, film festival panels, and opening her business, Mama Wolf Media LLC to teach and assist in media services.

Artist Website
James Pakootas

James Pakootas is a modern-day story weaver from The Colville Confederated Tribes. He is an award-winning vocalist, producer, and filmmaker who cultivates change in the world through the power of words. James comes from people whose future, present and past are expressed through art, song, and movement. As a vocalist who creates conscious hip hop and spoken word poetry, he carries on this tradition. James tells stories – stories that empower, stories that fascinate, and stories that speak truth to our existence. The core of his content speaks to the resilience of the human spirit, a deep understanding of trauma, and connection; the never-ending pathway back to ourselves. Whether performing with his artist collective, creating new bodies of work in music and film, or mentoring teams of multi-generational artists, James influences people to rise above their circumstances and chase dreams worth living.

Artist Website
Devonte Pearson

T.S The Solution creates music that reflects on personal experiences, societal issues, and the pressure of being a leader in his community.

Artist Website
Afaria Duke

My work can not, nor will not be confined to just one medium or intention , my art is a glimpse into my soul as a artist/ hue man

Sindhu Surapaneni

Sindhu Surapaneni is a creative young artist, TEDx speaker(x2), a cultural enthusiast, motivator, a bollywood dancer. In her talk & stories, her primary goal is to promote empathy above everything else; her personal mission is to understand and encourage those who are going through hard times. Sindhu currently runs Imaginations2Creation, a nonprofit with the dual goal of producing art that embodies positivity, and hope.

Artist Instagram
Sarah Torress

Sarah Torres is a visual artist based in Spokane, WA, working in painting, drawing, and photography. Their work has been included in numerous group exhibitions and their public works include projection and net-based work for the Black Lens’ Creating Health Initiative and numerous collaborative murals around the city of Spokane, including the BLACK LIVES MATTER mural commissioned by Seven2 + 14Four. Sarah’s illustrations have been published on the cover of The Inlander, an Inland Northwest newspaper based in Spokane, WA

Jun Soo Oh

Jun Soo Oh is a practicing artist who is from South Korea but lives and works in Spokane, WA. He is a part of an emerging artist collective in downtown Spokane called “Yes Is A Feeling”, that manages studio and gallery space. Though he works primarily with sculpture and painting, he explores what these mediums can mean. Oh earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Eastern Washington University in 2021.


With an emphasis on thoughtful lyricism and provoking subjects, Truehoods brings the old-school, independent hip-hop sound to the Spokane scene. Inspired by generations of emcees who take the craft of lyricism to the next level, rosethrow and Manny the 3rd carve verses out of their own tender experiences. All words are set to vinyl chops produced by Logan McDonald.