Meet this year's Tough Artists! You can see their work in the Tough Art 2023 exhibit, opening this fall.

Asia Ward

Asia Ward has a portfolio of large-scale public sculptures and installations currently on display at sculpture parks in the Midwest. Her smaller sculptures on display at major science museum maker spaces around the nation. Ward has a background working with science museums as an education and exhibit project manager, her most recent with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History about the Anthropocene and Climate Change. She has participated in several Artist Residencies around the US, and has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts board, Northern Lights, Public Art Saint Paul, Institute on the Environment, and the Knight Foundation.

Learn more about Asia:

Ling-lin Ku

Ling-lin Ku’s art plays between digital and tangible elements.  Ling-lin’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Ling-lin received her MFA from University of Texas at Austin and BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently an assistant professor of art in Carnegie Mellon University.

Learn more about Ling-lin:

Kolton Cotton & Tate Abdullah

Kolton Cotton (he/him) and Tate Abdullah (any/all) are both MFA graduate students in the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University. Kolton specializes in video and media design, and is complemented by Tate’s specialization in sound design. As they further their studies, both artists are looking to expand into immersive artforms and more experimental theatre.

Kolton began his career as a Technical Director and educator for students ranging from K-12.

Tate has moved between audio engineering and conceptual sound design work in their time at undergrad and grad school.

Both artists wish to engage with the greater Pittsburgh community and create meaningful experiences for all ages.

Learn more about Kolton:

Learn more about Tate:

past tough art

See the previous year’s Tough Artists at pittsburghkids.org/exhibit/tough-art

tough art residency

The Tough Art summer residency is offered every year.

Learn more here.