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'I hope they feel that they aren’t alone': Spokane-based nonbinary Asian American artist prioritizes representation in their art

Remelisa Cullitan graduated from Eastern Washington University five years ago with a double major in fine arts and fine arts history.

SPOKANE, Wash. — An Asian American nonbinary artist in Spokane hopes to pave the way for others with a message of self-acceptance.

As Asian American Pacific Islander heritage month continues, KREM has recognized talented individuals who stand against racism, and speak through art. Remelisa Cullitan is a nonbinary Asian American artist. To be nonbinary means someone identifies as gender-neutral.

Cullitan graduated from Eastern Washington University five years ago with a double major in fine arts and fine arts history. Since attending art school, Cullitan said they’ve been able to experiment with different mediums.

“Ceramics, but I don’t have a working kiln right now but my golly when I do… I do love drawing, I think charcoal drawing is so good, the moment I discovered charcoal drawing, game over,” said Cullitan. 

Credit: Remelisa Cullitan
Remelisa Cullitan's self-portrait

“I want to be more comfortable in my own skin, I want everyone to be comfortable in their own skin, and it’s hard in our modern in age for a lot of us to exist. That kind of breaks my heart, I know what that’s like, I have to constantly hide parts of myself” Cullitan said.

Cullitan is of Filipino decent, or “Filipinx” and they said the journey to be truly proud of their heritage has been tough.

“Trying to tone down the Asian aspect of me, maybe it’s the weird food I bring to lunch and hiding it, concealing different identities within myself to fit palatable expressions for other people, that’s so tiring,” Cullitan said.

As a hard working artist, Cullitan said the mission at this stage in their life is to educate others. 

Cullitan said they never dreamed they could be an artist, but they're proud of who they have become.

 “I believe I need to be more vocal, I need to step up and provide some sort of representation,” Cullitan said. 

A dream that’s turned into a reality, as an Asian American artist, Remelisa will continue to pave the way for others just like them. 

Cullitan said they want those who view their work to take away a message.

“I hope that they feel that they aren’t alone, they should celebrate whether it’s parts of your body, identity, natural occurrences, this is who I am no shame in hiding it,” Cullitan said.

To view Remilisa Culitan's art portfolio, click here.