Henry Jackson-Spieker

Awarded 2022

I grew up in Seattle exploring the arts and outdoors from a young age. When I was younger, I was shy: I loved working with my hands but didn’t feel comfortable taking up space. That changed when I was thirteen and took my first glassblowing and welding classes at Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle. At the time I was the only kid taking classes with adults, and the only Black student. This never deterred me as a kid, but I do wish I could have seen other Black artists working at that time.

Pratt taught me the value of community, where investing and building people up made the entire community stronger. The collaborative aspect of my art practice and the fact that it requires the presence of a community is a huge part of what motivates me to make art. This is also why teaching is a cornerstone of my practice; I have been an instructor at Pratt for over six years.

Another big part of my life is the outdoors and riding bikes. Around the same time, I started getting into glass at Pratt I started attending bike Mechanic classes at Bike Works. As an adult I came full circle at Bike Works when I led bike tours around the Cascades and mechanic classes for kids. Biking gave me the freedom to explore and experience Seattle and surrounding areas in a more intimate way.

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