Lisa Myers Bulmash: Holding Patterns

How can this be “an unprecedented moment in history” when Black people have seen — and survived — even worse? We are so often the first to be hit by tragedy. Today COVID-19 kills nearly three times more African Americans than white people. Forty years ago, we were dying of AIDS faster than any other group; before that, tuberculosis. You could make similar points about police-involved killings, sexual predators, climate change forcing people out of their homes.

We are all waiting for what comes next. But it’s hard to tell if we’re waiting to touch down into a more humane future, or waiting for The End.

I may be stuck in this holding pattern with the pandemic, the racist fallout from the last four years, and my rage at feeling so vulnerable as a Black woman. But as I wait, I can transform these anxieties into collages, altered books and other works of art. I can attempt to bring something more loving, truthful and melanin-rich into existence. And I hope to show viewers that they are not alone in this precarious time.

Lisa Myers Bulmash is a collage and book artist who works primarily in acrylics, paper and found objects. Informally trained, Myers Bulmash began her career making handmade cards. After her father’s death in 2006, the artist felt compelled to take more personal risks in her creative life. Questions of identity, trust and the imperfect memory now drive most of her work. The artist aims to nudge the viewer into recognizing our shared stories, especially those narratives that are usually experienced in isolation.

Collage work by Myers Bulmash resides in two city art collections: Shoreline and Seattle. The latter includes art by Barbara Earl Thomas, Dale Chihuly and Kara Walker. She is also the winner of a Sustainable Arts Foundation grant, an award to support artists with children under age 18. The artist’s work and commentary have been highlighted in five books as well. Myers Bulmash exhibits her work in group and solo shows throughout the Seattle metro area. On the East Coast, she is represented by Morton Fine Art Gallery.