Mikaela Shafer is an indigenous mother, interdisciplinary artist, and writer living in Olympia, Washington. She has been a costume designer, sculpture writer, and painter since she was a child. Her writing and community-building work led to her being named one of Northern Utah's women who have influenced the history of the community and the development of education and are bringing the area forward for the next generation. Mikaela's current work is a return to her painting roots while exploring how to coalesce all the art forms she has been passionate about into one piece to weave together her story.
My work tells a story of disconnection— generational, cultural, and spiritual. I am currently on a journey to find my way in my culture, building a relationship with my mother on the reservation, and finally truly healing from my daughter's death 16 years ago.
My work at the moment is a visceral display of grief, loss, reconnection, and healing. It is painful and ugly and beautiful and bright. I hope this work inspires people to evaluate their trauma and history, come to terms with grief, and open old ragged wounds so they may heal properly.
The process I use to create my art is feral. My pieces are painted, burned, and sewn. I want people to feel the chaos and calm and see their own journey in the lines and jagged edges.
I like to use found materials and unconventional tools in my work. When I create, my biggest hope is that people walk away and want to find a way to forge and release what is inside of them as well.