by Amanda Ong
At just 22 years old, Tamar Sunnam Manuel says someone could know him for decades and still know very few of his stories. Manuel is a practicing fine art and gallery artist who spent his formative years in the CID. While he started out in photography, he eventually found his way to mixed-media arts, meaning he does “a bit of everything.” But in his two-plus decades of life, Manuel has also been an amateur competitive tennis player, clothing designer, boxer, bowling champion, and dancer.
“I was a major business originally when I was accepted into [college],” Manuel said in an interview with the South Seattle Emerald. He and his mom had gone to visit her friend, who was a professor in the arts department at one of the universities he was accepted by. “I realized [art] was actually an option. I just don’t think I had grown up seeing somebody who had done art in a way that translated to me, because at the time, I still saw the need for monetary and academic structure and rigor.”
While Manuel eventually stopped pursuing his undergraduate degree, he gained traction as a photographer and exhibiting gallery artist while also working for a period of time as a car salesperson. Aside from pieces hung in residential buildings and galleries, Manuel has been a finalist in the “Seattle Restored” grant program and was able to exhibit a self-portrait reflecting on mental illness at the Wing Luke Museum, where he has a long-standing relationship .
📸 Featured Image: Tamar Sunnam Manuel is a practicing fine art and gallery artist who spent his formative years in the CID. Photo from “Reflections in Movement” by Tamar S. Manuel.
Before you move on to the next story … Please consider that the article you just read was made possible by the generous financial support of donors and sponsors. The Emerald is a BIPOC-led nonprofit news outlet with the mission of offering a wider lens of our region’s most diverse, least affluent, and woefully under-reported communities. Please consider making a one-time gift or, better yet, joining our Rainmaker Family by becoming a monthly donor. Your support will help provide fair pay for our journalists and enable them to continue writing the important stories that offer relevant news, information, and analysis. Support the Emerald!