Arts (IDEA) Odyssey: A Collective


Founded in 2010, the International District Engaged in the Arts (IDEA) Odyssey was a collective dedicated to nurturing and supporting visual artists of diverse cultures, primarily those of Asian, African, Caribbean, Latino, Native American and Pacific Islander heritage, and artists who explore culture, diversity and identity in their work.
This was their website.
Content is from the site's 2010-2012 archives pages.

PO Box 14536
Seattle, WA 98114
(206) 922-9950




Local art gallery IDEA Odyssey closes its doors

September 3, 2012 By Northwest Asian Weekly

IDEA Odyssey founding artists Minh Carrico, Carina del Rosario, and SuJ’n Chon (Photo from IDEA Odyssey Gallery)

IDEA Odyssey Gallery, unable to negotiate an agreement with its landlord, closed its doors on August 24. The gallery was located at 666 S. Jackson Street in the International District. IDEA Odyssey Gallery, co-founded by Carine del Rasario, Minh Carrico and SuJ’n Chon, was awarded a space from Storefronts Seattle last year and had run eight shows, featuring 30 local and national artists. Its final exhibit, “One,” featured painter Victor Fuentes, photographer Wanda Benvenutti, and multimedia artist Jacque Larrainzar.



The Collective started in the International District because it is historically the cultural home for so many diverse groups. In a neighborhood with few arts destinations, IDEA Odyssey, in partnership with established organizations such as the Wing Luke Asian Museum (WLAM) and the Seattle Chinatown-International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda), uses its exhibitions and outreach activities to increase arts participation among neighborhood residents, workers and others who have limited access to arts and cultural activities.

After operating a gallery in the International District for one year, the Collective now organizes exhibitions in different venues in the greater Seattle area, still with a focus on promoting cultural diversity through contemporary art.


A Sense of Place II
History X, Contemporary Y
IDxID: New Identities
Dreams of Fire and Ice
A Sense of Place


IDEA Odyssey is a non-profit artist collective gallery dedicated to promoting cultural diversity, community development, and economic prosperity in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District through the visual arts. The gallery is located at 666 S. Jackson Street, Seattle. Open Thursdays, 2-8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 12-6 p.m. or by appointment: (206) 462- 1359. For updates on gallery events, artists, or membership,

IDEA Odyssey is powered by Shunpike. Shunpike is a 501(c)(3) non-profit art service organization whose mission is to strengthen the Seattle arts community by partnering with small and mid-size arts groups to develop the business tools they need to succeed. IDEA Odyssey Gallery is an Associate Program of Shunpike, a 501c3 nonprofit agency that fuels innovation in the arts community by building productive partnerships, cultivating leadership and supporting arts groups and projects of all kinds.




The artists contributing to IDxID: New Identities Revisited:

Minh Carrico
Mihai Coman
Carina del Rosario
Kat Larson
Kathy Liao
Dave Kennedy
Darius Morrison
Frederic Moffet
Rafael Soldi
Ilvs Strauss
Rodrigo Valenzuela
Zorn Taylor

IDEA Odyssey Gallery & Collective

Member Artists:
Minh Carrico
SuJ’n Chon
Carina del Rosario
Victor Fuentes
Darius Morrison

Partner Artists:
Kathy Liao
Zorn B. Taylor
Robert Wade



The ManBlue Roof
JokulsarionFarm Houses




OpalI Dream of a Mountain
Horses-20100416-Green Roof
Photo of Philippines city scapePhoto of child
Photo of dockPhoto of Bus


The artists contributing to IDxID: New Identities Revisited:

Dave Kennedy

Artist Statement

My interests are centered on the narrative. Using an alchemist approach, I re-contextualize dreams, intimate conversations, objects and things into allegories and personifications. Within each narrative, I use iconography to create a representation that stands somewhere between illusion and reality.

Interested in themes of passion, self-doubt, inner struggle, and introspection I explore multicultural worlds of religion, health and family. I approach each topic with serious play. I use parody, humor and the theatrical, ultimately drawing the viewer in through a mixture of beauty, reverence, disregard, ugliness, and tension.

Thinking of my body as an object, a thing that has a name and casts a shadow; an appearance that exists between spaces. I see myself as a physical embodiment of a liminal space that desires to be known — seen; beyond general assumptions and typologies.

Exploring and commenting on my world through a performance my personal experiences are retold and documented with photographs, objects and videos. I see myself as a narrator, interpreter, and above all an individual that formulates, for my self and others, my truth about my world and everyday lived experiences.

Attributing alternative meanings through while acknowledging the importance of placement within a context, I’m exploring a reconsideration; in an attempt to make sense of the complexities of personal identity, as well as, external projections of persona.


Kat Larson

About the Artist

My name is Kat Larson and I am a cross-disciplinary artist practicing in the Pacific Northwest. I am a painter, sculptor, printmaker and my current artistic focus is exploring the intersections of new media/digital technologies and performance art. Fueling my practice are themes of identity and spirituality and investigations of collective consciousness. At the core of my artistic expressions is a reverence for human connectivities and transformations. Mostly self-taught, my education includes Cornish College of the Arts and an apprenticeship with artist Catherine Eaton Skinner.

My work has been exhibited at Sheehan Gallery of Whitman College, The Hedreen Gallery of Seattle University, and various Seattle based locations such as Seattle New Guard, Seattle Storefront with Idea/Odyssey, MadArt, NEPO5K and Pun(c)tuation. I am the inaugural artist for the Center for Art and Thought, founded by Sarita See of UC Davis and scholar Jan Christian Bernabe. (CA+T is a developing forum for Filipino-American artists, academics and scholars.) My work has been published by Rutgers University.

Stay tuned for upcoming exhibitions with Cairo EXPO91, and Vermillion.


Minh Carrico |

Artist Statement Kings to King reflects upon on a number of pivotal transitional periods as a result of a relocating from Brooklyn to Seattle. The recollections of my previous life in comparison with my new found consciousness have become intertwined and sometimes faded. The layering of events provides insight to the complexity of existence while furnishing a segmented memoir.


About the Artist Minh Carrico is a photographer, designer and educator in Seattle, WA. He received a B.A. in Photo- communications from St. Edward’s University. His career began with photography while studying in Austin, Texas and expanded into graphic design while living in New York City. His fine art process includes photography, video, installation and mix media that addresses cultural and political identity. Minh’s visual works have been exhibited and published nationally and internationally in magazines, advertisements, and gallery exhibitions. His work can be found in private and public collections including the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. He is presently a tenured professor and co-chair of the Visual Arts Department at Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood, WA. He is also co-founded the IDEA Odyssey Gallery in Seattle’s Historic International District, a gallery dedicated to the multi-cultural artist and their visual art wo

Mihai Coman

Coloring Romania

Romania’s past is often compared to present day North Korea as it involves an extended period of economic and cultural isolation at the hand of a dictatorial regime. For decades, western media and goods were largely outlawed, and a secret police enforced a series of cultural and ideological regulations prescribing everything from proper men’s hair styles to acceptable poetry. Much of the nation’s prior cultural heritage was suppressed, intellectual and artistic figures censored, and cultural institutions eradicated. Emphasizing uniformity, these standards frowned upon ostentatious color and decor in architecture, leaving cities and towns today with a legacy of grey concrete apartment blocks, businesses, and homes.

In 1989, the fall of Communism brought with it a new freedom and an insurgence of Western habits and values, often sudden and dramatic. From direct imports like McDonald’s to mashups of traditional Gypsy music and hip hop, the country is dealing with external pressures of globalization while trying to make sense of its recent history and searching its past for a unique identity.

This series of photographs chronicles the progression of this cultural transition into the architectural medium. In the last few years, many urban and rural building facades have broken out into hot pinks, greens, and other exaggerated colors - seemingly overnight. The change could be interpreted as a search for identity, as the colors are somewhat reminiscent of architecture in nearby Germany, a culturally influential region. But the lack of moderation and subtlety suggests a scramble to match (and surpass) the perceived modernity of one’s neighbors – in a local sense and national sense.

While dramatic changes like this are nothing new, the slow-changing and relatively permanent nature of architecture makes this development a reflection of a meaningful cultural transition. These facades serve as a testament of a people that have at last won their freedom of expression and are now faced with the difficult task of finding something to say that is both modern and relevant, but also their own.


About the Artist Mihai Coman is a Romanian-born photographer and engineer currently residing in New York City.



Kathy Liao

Artist Statement 

My creativity is fueled by direct observation. My work is developed through an exploration of lines, shapes, and color through the visceral act of painting, scraping and collaging materials. I draw upon images of the people, objects, and places that I observe and identify with on a personal level. These images are given substance and transformed through the discipline of the painting and printmaking processes.

Duality is a theme that repeatedly makes its way into my work. Having spent my childhood in Taiwan, I am strongly influenced by my dual Chinese and Japanese heritage. Coming to America, I found my deeply held beliefs being constantly reevaluated, challenged, and sometimes compromised. My work is a medium for me to revisit and gain new understanding from my immigration experience.



Carina A. del Rosario |

Artist Statement

I use photography to explore the desire for community, for being part of something larger than oneself, and also the pull of solitude, for shrugging off ties that tangle and constrain. I present the tension between these two very human impulses and the benefits and pitfalls of each.

I take inspiration from documentary and street photographers such as Bruce Davidson, Raghubir Singh, Graciela Iturbide and Stephen Shore. I present images that evoke different moods and often contain layers of stories. Whether I am working on specific projects about cultural communities and social issues or wandering streets around the world, I capture people’s lives unfolding or reflect on the evidence they leave behind. Through this act of looking at others and their artifacts, I am able to grapple with my own conflicting desires, to present the longing for balance.


Born in the Philippines, Carina A. del Rosario immigrated to the United States as a young girl. She earned her B.A. in Communication from Santa Clara University in 1991. She has studied photography Magnum Photographer Alex Webb, Rebecca Norris Webb, Raul Touzon and Eddie Soloway. In addition to her own creative and documentary projects, she is a teaching artist and helps youth use visual arts and digital media to explore their communities, advocate for what matters for them, and express their own experiences. She collaborates with non-profit organizations and educational institutions to help illustrate issues such as poverty, education, health and civil rights. She is the co-founder of International District Engaged in Arts (IDEA) Odyssey Gallery, a collective that promotes cultural diversity, community development and economic prosperity in the International District/Chinatown neighborhood through visual arts.




Balik/Ibalik means “come back,” “restore” in Tagalog, my first language. In September 2011, I returned to the Philippines after a 22-year absence. I came back and the language that had been used for so many decades emerged from my tongue. The connections with relatives I thought were frayed to threads by time and an ocean were restored. And the ideas I had about my birthplace were deepened, made more complex by the people I met, the places I explored and the experience of being back. WHile I’ve always attempted to connect with my subjects/collaborators in previous works, my approach went much deeper in the Philippines as I clearly saw myself, my family, my people in what I photographed. In doing so, I came back and restored parts of my self.

Carina A. del Rosario

Balik/Ibalik is on exhibit February 2 to March 24, 2012




SuJ’n Chon |

People go to places both strange and familiar. Typical tourist photos look ‘out’ in the form of candid portraits and landscape photographs; they show safe comfortable distances between the photographer, subjects, and environments.

From 2005 to 2007, I created a handful of self-portraits in oft-clichéd settings like Waikiki Beach and the Great Wall of China. I sought to break travel photograph conventions – not by adding a contrived artificial element to suggest absurdity, but by introducing a thoroughly banal element: my feet. These photographs looked ‘down’ instead of ‘out’; they compressed the distances between the environment and me, creating a deeper sense of intimacy.

When photographing ‘place’, there are typically two audiences. First, I capture what my friends and family might want to see in their annual holiday calendars. I then capture for my personal travel journals. These self-portraits tend to be less focused on technical aspects of photography, such as aperture and sharpness, and more on documentation of myself in iconic or memorable settings. They serve as markers not only for what I saw as a tourist but also where I trod as a pedestrian.

Over the past 25 years, I have not shared my work beyond my close friends and art teachers. I am now challenging the perfectionist in me: to stretch my skills, pursue more difficult subjects, and most frighteningly, expose more of my inner creative self to the outside world. I therefore submit to you my first public series, “Pedestrian: Where These Take Me”. I hope they will evoke for you a grounded and visceral sense of place.

SuJ'n Chon 'Plastic Shrine' 2008 


Dreams of Fire and Ice

Dreams of Fire and Ice

I once heard it described that when one meets a soul mate, it’s like meeting someone from one’s tribe for the first time. I’m not sure if there’s a translatable term for finding a ‘soul-place,’ but when I arrived in Iceland for the first time, it was as if I had stepped into a home I never knew. Six months later, I was back – and fell more in love with the country. I’ve been preoccupied by dreams of returning as an immigrant ever since. If Iceland were a person, it would be my soul mate, making ‘Dreams of Fire and Ice’ a love poem.

It’s difficult to explain the role of inspiration that the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’ had on my art-making. My visits were akin to sojourns not projects. What beckoned me was less about a creative impulse and more about a yearning to be reunited with a beau. There were times when the island made it clear she didn’t want my motivations divided. Like when I first saw the Northern Lights. I fiddled with my camera equipment for a few minutes before having the lucidity to remember why I was there. I put the ‘stuff’ away, allowed myself to caught up in the enchantment, and ended that night without a single viable photograph.

The work in this exhibit is unabashedly sentimental: golden flax field grasses brushed up against a lively creek, voluptuous moss-covered lava rocks leading to a backdrop of a massive (and hidden) glacier, quirky roadside advertisements popping out of a mostly barren landscape. These naturally vivid landscapes challenge commonly held notions that Iceland is a cold and drab country. I enhanced the colors even further; I added my own biases – not to allege exact depictions, but to express my own romanticized ones. Ultimately this editing decision acknowledges one key truth: the lover doesn’t see the object of her affection in its dispassionate form; she sees a manifestation of her own inspired hope.

SuJ’n Chon

Dreams of Fire and Ice is on exhibit March 1 to April 28, 2012



Zorn B. Taylor

For my entire life I have been asked “what are you?,” or “where are you from?,” or “what race are you?” or even “are you full black? “ My responses are usually “what do you mean by that question?,” “New York”, ”human race” and” what does that even mean?” Often I find that those answers are unsatisfactory for the people who asked (even the “New York” response. For some reason people seem to think that I am from California. Or the West Indies). I set out to respond to those types of questions with a concept entitled Mi Familia: Portraits of My People (an invitation to re-imagine community). The three pieces you are viewing are part of that larger body of work.  It is a conversation I am initiating about community; about who we call family; about who takes care of us and who we take care of; about how blood is the family you get and friends are the family you choose.  It is my visual acknowledgement of people that have touched me in such a way that I can only see them as people near and dear to my heart; my family, my fam, mi familia. My belief is that in order to move forward; frankly in order to evolve as human beings we must find a way to open our tribal and cultural spaces to others and to allow ourselves to be open to different ways of doing and being and, ultimately, to recognize that wherever we go in the world, if there are people there, we can be with family. Mi familia, meet the fam.