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Artist Spotlight: Ritu Tilwani

Ritu Tilwani
Ritu Tilwani is a designer, printmaker and vendor at Pike Place Market. Her detailed linocut prints often feature animals and nature.

The artists of Pike Place Market share their talents with locals and visitors from around the world. Many are longtime vendors at the Market and active in Seattle's local arts community.

Meet Ritu Tilwani, one of the artists featured in our KNKX Connects to Pike Place Market series and learn more about her work.

Q&A with Ritu Tilwani

Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Featured artwork: "Sea Otter"

Tell us more about this particular artwork.

"Sea Otter" is an original linocut relief print, hand-burnished on Japanese Washi paper.

A detailed black and white illustration of a sea otter.
Dot & Dimension
Ritu Tilwani
"Sea Otter"

Have you visited the sea otters at the Seattle Aquarium? Charming, intelligent, and delightfully grumpy at times! The resident lady Mishka, which means 'little bear' in Russian, is my muse for this piece. I think the artwork captures her expression just so!

What's next? Any new work or projects you're excited to share?

I have been working on a series of “Minimal Nature” prints. Inspired by a mix of Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics, they are striking and calm, graphic yet organic at the same time.

I will be releasing three new prints in the series this year. I am carving the blocks this month. I can't wait to print and share them with my customers.

How long have you been a vendor at Pike Place Market? Why did you decide to start selling your art there?

I've been a vendor at Pike Place Market for over three years. The market is a window into the world with local patrons and visitors from all over the globe. It is a privilege to be a part of the market and have such a diverse audience for my work.

Is there another local artist (at the market or elsewhere) that you admire?

The Pacific Northwest is home to many fabulous artists. One of the many artists I admire at the market is Leonardo Lanzolla. His art is delightfully playful while having a quiet intensity about it. I admire his vivid use of color.

What is something memorable you’ve witnessed at the market?

The market has the most beautiful flowers. Strolling through the arcade with the tulips, peonies or sunflowers is an unforgettable experience on any day. And on the first day of spring every year, the Market celebrates Daffodil Day. This year they handed out over 8,000 daffodils! What joy it is to see strangers connect over flowers and springtime bliss!

If Pike Place Market had a theme song or specific sound, what would it be?

Wow, it has to be a whole playlist instead of one song! If I had to pick just one, it would be "Walking on Sunshine."

The market, to me, is all about community. Amazing people who bring their best every day and do it all with a smile and much kindness.

You think you know Pike Place Market but you don’t know about...

"Short Cut" — A fun installation by artist Dan Webb.

It's not a faster way to your destination, but what illuminates the way. A series of seven lights, held by sculpted figures, accompany the viewer going up the stairs to Western Avenue.

Follow Tilwani on Instagram for more art and updates.

KNKX Connects is an ongoing series showcasing the people and places of our diverse and vibrant region. Your support helps KNKX connect listeners throughout Western Washington, presenting a much deeper look at the place we call home. Donate to this vital community service today.

Cara Kuhlman is KNKX's online managing editor. Prior to KNKX, she worked at Seattle-based technology and business news site GeekWire for six years. A University of Oregon graduate, she's also studied narrative nonfiction writing and journalism entrepreneurship.
KNKX Connects to Pike Place Market