Tariqa Waters manages a multi-faceted practice as a visual artist, alternative gallerist, curator

and educator. Waters was born in Richmond, Virginia. She taught herself to be a painter,

learning from other artists in her family and a period of time working as a muralist in Sicily. She

exhibited her paintings in group exhibitions in the Metro D.C. area and in Atlanta where she

lived prior to moving to Seattle in 2012. In only four years in Seattle, Waters has made an

indelible mark on the city’s arts community and the Pioneer Square neighborhood. The move

to the neighborhood also shifted Waters’ practice as her life and work began to merge in

unexpected ways. In 2013 Waters opened, Martyr Sauce: A “renegade” gallery and platform

for generating press and attention for marginalized perspectives. Originally located in the

stairwell/storefront entry to her live/work loft space, Martyr Sauce recently re-located two

blocks away in a larger underground space that used to house, Bud’s Jazz Records. In the

summer of 2017, Martyr Sauce became a Cultural Partner to the Seattle Art Fair.

In 2014, Waters’ public art installation, No I in Self in Pioneer Square’s Occidental Park was

commissioned through ARTSparks and the Office of Arts and Culture. Waters’ commitment to

providing a creative platform for other artists is evident in First Thursday openings, exhibitions,

and performances at Martyr Sauce and in her co-curation of a series of exhibitions at The

Paramount Theater. She and co-curator, Jonathan Moore, describe the mission

of Re:definition as a place to “showcase, within the historic cultural space of The Paramount

Theatre, the work of Black Seattle artists. By providing sustained exposure for ideas and

perspectives too often marginalized, we hope to challenge preconceptions and facilitate

awareness and understanding.”

Waters’ own artwork has been garnering support and critical acclaim in the region and

abroad. Her art and her gallery were featured in 2017 spring issues of French Rolling Stone

and Madame Figaro magazine. She created cover art for The Stranger three times and was

herself featured on the cover of City Arts Magazine’s annual 2015 Future List edition. Waters

was photographer contributor for City Arts Magazine 2018 cover issue. She has been

included in group exhibitions at Vermillion, The Art of the City Festival, Seattle Public Utilities

Cultural Perspective, The Frye Art Museum, Pivot Art + Culture, and Out of Sight.

In 2016, Waters was nominated for the prestigious James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award and recipient of the Conductive Garboil Grant. Her solo exhibition, 100% Kanekalon: The Untold

Story of the Marginalized Matriarch, exhibited at the Northwest African American Museum June 4 - October 16, 2016. Waters led a Teen Fashion Intensive designed to invite area youth with any level of art or fashion education to explore concepts of identity, vision, and empowerment in conjunction with the exhibition Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair (BAM), Posing Beauty (NAAM), and Cornish College of the Arts’ prestigious Teen Summer program.

Waters was a featured speaker at the 2017 Seattle Art Fair and she also works as a teaching

artist at the Seattle Art Museum, where she presented two interactive mural installations as

part of the Pop Departures and City Dwellers and Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic.