Museum speaker series, new exhibition to open next month

Leader News Staff
news@ptleader.com
Posted 1/13/22

 

 

Jefferson County Historical Museum’s First Friday Speaker Series will celebrate Chinese-American voices from within the Port Townsend community and beyond.

Starting at 7 …

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Museum speaker series, new exhibition to open next month

Posted

 

 

Jefferson County Historical Museum’s First Friday Speaker Series will celebrate Chinese-American voices from within the Port Townsend community and beyond.

Starting at 7 p.m. Feb. 4, the series will peer through the lens of multi-disciplinary art, film, and academic research as speakers share their perspectives on historical and contemporary experiences of Chinese and Chinese-American peoples in Jefferson County and Washington state. 

Tessa Hulls, author of the forthcoming graphic memoir “Feeding Ghosts,” will host the first artist talk.

Through emotive drawings and insightful prose, Hulls tells the story of her grandmother, Sun Yi, a persecuted Shanghai journalist turned single mother who fled China shortly after the Communist takeover.

The story chronicles the reversal of mother-daughter roles due to mental illness, and Hull’s subsequent experience of growing up in a multi-generational home fraught with unacknowledged trauma.

While “Feeding Ghosts” explores loss of culture, mixed-race identity, mental illness, loss of language, immigration, and generational inheritance of trauma, it is ultimately about the ways in which mothers and daughters both damage and save each other.
Hulls is an artist/writer/adventurer illuminating the connections between the present and the past. As the mixed-race daughter of two first-generation immigrants who landed in a tiny town of 350 people, she grew up without models of how she fit within American culture.

She went quietly and happily feral in 2011 after a 5,000-mile solo bike ride from Southern California to Maine, and her restlessness has joyously dragged her across all seven continents.

Hulls is a compulsive genre hopper who has worked in various capacities as an illustrator, lecturer, cartoonist, editor, interviewer, historian, writer, performer, chef, muralist, conductor of social experiments, painter, bicycle mechanic, teacher, and researcher for organizations including The Washington Post, The Henry Art Gallery, The Rumpus, On the Boards, the Seattle Art Museum, Atlas Obscura, Microsoft Research, and others. She is the recipient of grants from The Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and 4Culture, and a fellowship from the Robert B. McMillen Foundation. She received the 2021 Artist Trust Arts Innovator Award, and has been awarded residencies at Yaddo, Hedgebrook, Ucross, and others.

As the 2019 awardee of the PEN Northwest Margery Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency, she spent 6 ½  months living alone in a remote off-grid cabin with no cell service or internet while writing the outline of “Feeding Ghosts.” She never fully left the woods and has no plans — or desire, or ability — to truly re-domesticate.

Hulls will be followed by two more speakers, Valerie Soe at 7 p.m. March 4, and Doug Chin at 7 p.m. April 1. 

Soe will discuss her film, “The Chinese Gardens,” and author Chin will speak on Chinese in Port Townsend and Washington state.

All events will be available virtually via livestream from the Northwest Maritime Center, or available to attend in-person, where audience capacity will be limited to 35 guests and will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Recordings of each event will be made available to registered attendees post-event.

Series passes guarantee a spot at all three events. Passes are available via pre-sale only until Jan. 28 for $25.

Purchase passes at simpletix.com/e/spring-series-pass-first-friday-speaker-se-tickets-97844.

Individual passes for Hull’s talk are available at simpletix.com/e/february-first-friday-speaker-series-feedi-tickets-97845. Suggested donation is $10.

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