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Artist in Residence

Michelle LassalineThe City of Auburn and the Auburn Arts Commission were pleased to welcome artist Michelle Lassaline, to serve as the first-annual Mary Olson Farm Artist in Residence from June to July, 2018.. 

The Mary Olson Farm Artist in Residence program began in the summer of 2018. The City of Auburn program offers the opportunity for an artist to pursue their work in, and to be inspired by, the unique and beautiful setting of the Mary Olson Farm in Auburn, Washington. The residency lasted two months providing the artist with a large indoor barn studio and a stipend, and included a variety of public programming that was free and open to the public.

Lassaline’s art practice includes both painting and papier-mâché mask making. Often working from photographs taken at outdoor sites across the country, the artist’s imagery focuses on “the systems that shape the natural world,” hoping to “capture the details of each stone, leaf, or sliver of light in order to show the sublime moments I find in nature.”  The Mary Olson Farm’s seven historic buildings and 67 beautiful acres were an ideal setting for the artist to create a body of work inspired by “places where wilderness intersects with architecture.”



2018 Artist in Residence Public Programming included:
  • Open studio days: The artist provided two open-studio days, allowing the public to meet the artist, learn about her process and inspiration, and see her works in progress!

  • Auburn Studio Tour: Art lovers spent a fun summer afternoon out enjoying private in-person tours at the art studios of four talented Auburn artists. Featured artists included: ceramicists, Susan Lochner and John Harris;  award-winning sculptor, Marita Dingus; welder and sculptors, Greg Bartol and Studio B; as well as Michelle Lassaline, the 2018 Mary Olson Farm Artist in Residence. 

  • Watercolor on the Farm with Michelle Lassaline: This free and fun workshop class began with a walking tour of the historic Mary Olson Farm. Artist in Residence Michelle Lassaline led participants in observational drawings, finding subject matter in the history and natural environment  surrounding the farm. Participants then gathered in the large barn to learn basic watercolor techniques, bringing their drawings to life!

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Michelle Lassaline, Coyote Mask, Papier-mache mask.

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Michelle Lassaline, State Capitol Conservatory, Watercolor on paper.

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Michelle Lassaline, The Lost Coast Trail, Watercolor on paper. 


For more information on the artist Michelle Lassaline, please visit her website.

To apply for future Artist in Residence and other art opportunities with the City of Auburn, visit our Call to Artists page

For more information about the Mary Olson Farm, please visit the White River Valley Museum website


This art program is coordinated in partnership between the City of Auburn, Parks, Arts & Recreation Department and the White River Valley Museum, with the support of the Auburn Arts Commission.