Asa Wright, MFA, Klamath/Modoc/Yahooskin
Visual Artist | Designer | Activist

Director Sa'aMaqs Studio
Asa is an enrolled member of the Klamath Tribes from Chiloquin, Oregon though he has called Portland home for the last 20 years. He is an artist of many mediums including painting, screen printing, graphic design and cultural arts such as beadwork, weaving, making drums, cradleboards and regalia. Asa has a Bachelors degree in Public Health from Portland State University and a Masters degree in Collaborative Design from Pacific NW College of Art.

Asa blends his backgrounds in public health and art/design to work on cultural
revitalization, decolonization and positive social change. Asa also creates art for action, art that brings about awareness of social justice issues that motivate communities, people and organizations to mobilize for direct change.
Asa wears multiple hats including work as a Suicide Prevention Coordinator at a local non-profit as well as the Director of the newly founded nonprofit Sa’aMaqs Studio, a space that inspires, supports, mentors and elevates Indigenous working artists; educates the community on traditional and contemporary Indigenous art practices; and empowers self-determination, social justice awareness and community mobilization through art for activism. Asa is also the founder of Portland Two Spirit Society.
Artist Statement
Art is like air for me: I need it to live.  It feeds me, it’s an outlet, it’s healing.  I don’t like to limit my art to any one medium but I would say that painting is my love.  I work mainly in acrylic.  I like to push myself and my self doubt around by getting outside my comfort zone with color. 
I am inspired by my trauma and joy, my heartache and happiness, my culture, my children, my love and loss.  I have pieces rolling through my mind all the time, yet the pieces I show and that come out on canvas tend to be pieces where I have taken time and wrestled with what is finished.
I’d like to say something intellectual and witty about my work but it is what is it, all fancy words stripped away, my art just is.  It’s raw, unravelling pieces of my heart that I choose to share with the world and often it represents my voice and how I feel and therefore no words are needed.
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