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Artwork copyright Tomie Arai. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.

AAPI Heritage Month is celebrated in May to remember the achievements and contributions of people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in the United States. In 1978, Congress passed a joint Congressional Resolution to celebrate Asian American Heritage Week during the first 10 days of May. This date was chosen because two important anniversaries fall during this time: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in the United States on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad by many Chinese laborers on May 10, 1869. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush and Congress voted to expand the celebration, and since 1992, May has been designated as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Here we feature all artists of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage who are part of Washington's State Art Collection. This web exhibition celebrates the rich and varied creative expression of these artists of via drawings, paintings, cut paper, prints, collage, photographs, ceramics, sculptures, and site-specific installations.

Washington's State Art Collection is an “every citizen” asset to be celebrated, experienced, and explored. It evokes both our heritage and community connections, representing who we are.