AshaAung Helmstetter (She/Her) is an oil painter and mixed media artist who was born and brought up in Seattle’s Central District, where she is still based today. In 2017, AshaAung realized that she would dedicate very much of her life to art, and has spent the years since actualizing that reality for herself. Having left school early to manage chronic health issues while focusing on her personal and artistic development, she has very little formal training. In February 2021, AshaAung was SOIL Gallery’s Young Artist in Residence, and she was a 2023 cohort member of PrideFest’s Artist Retreat at Rockland Residency. She is currently part of Wa Na Wari’s 2021-2022 (extended to 2023) Artist in Residence cycle. Asha’s work has been featured in the Northwest African American Museum, on the cover of Real Change News, and she was recipient of the 2021 Foundry10 Young Artist Grant.
While she has many mentors, and takes inspiration from art that exists everywhere, her style shows the independent exploration that comes with somewhat isolated learning. Her paintings reflect her imagination, and perseverance: two things that are difficult to miss when encountering her person, or any of her creations.
When she isn’t painting, you can find Asha around town under her burlesque persona, Ms. Kitschy Kupid!
From the Artist:
No matter my limitations, my purpose is clear: create art, strengthen community, and be unapologetically myself. I create art with painting, crafting, and burlesque. I strengthen my community with love: learning history, teaching, and listening. And when I'm unapologetically myself, I hope to make space for others to do the same. I’m not me without these pillars, and throughout my growth, this purpose has always remained.