The Real Change Portrait Project

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Ariauna Turnauer

"Ariauna Turnauer" Oil Painting by Albert Mulkey
Whether it’s making ceramic art, writing music or selling Real Change, Ariauna Turnauer has a lot of projects. “I’m all over the board,” she said. Born in Tukwila and raised on the north side of Seattle, Ariauna first started selling Real Change in 2010 to help out her mother, who had sold the paper years earlier and gave Ariauna the lead on the job. This was after Ariauna graduated from Shoreline Community College with an Associate’s in Arts degree, an accomplishment that fills her with pride. “I took ceramics because I thought it would be an easy elective, but it wasn’t. It was really challenging.” Now she’s a ceramic artist. “I sell my work around town. I go to the Fremont Market in the summer; I go sit out near Pike Place Market on the street corners with a bag full of stuff and try to just get my name out, pass around my cards. I do wheel-thrown ceramics and I do all my own glazing art.” Despite her success in one artistic medium, Ariauna insists that her main passion lies in another: music. “I’ve been into music my whole life, since I was a little kid. I played violin from 8 to 15, guitar from 16 on.” She’s spending time in a recording studio, getting a handle on recording software and other digital tools. “I’m more hands-on, singer-songwriter, just energy flow.” If she can get financial aid, Ariauna would like to go back to Shoreline to study in the music program, which she says is one of the best in the country. An outgoing and engaging person, Ariauna finds great pleasure in meeting new people.

She volunteers as a ceramics tutor, not only because she gets to work on her own art, but because she likes helping people. “You get better as you help people; you learn little things that are hard to communicate through trying to communicate [them]. It’s the little things that make the biggest differences.” The same is true when she’s out on the street selling Real Change. “When the homeless people are nice to me on a bad day it makes me [think] ‘Wow, if they’re nice to me, and they’re opening up to me, then I just need to let loose maybe. I need to look at my life in a different perspective.’ ” The passion that Ariauna has for music and art extends to the issues that she reads about in Real Change. “I learn a ton of stuff from reading the paper,” she said. “I’m definitely for sticking up for the little person. Those people need a voice more than anybody.” And as an activist, Ariauna implores her customers to read the paper, too. “I want people to know that there is good stuff in the paper that you need to know about and you wanna know about.” Yet even with music, ceramics and Real Change, Ariauna is looking for more opportunities to network and, more importantly, earn a steady income: “I’m trying to be a bartender and a bar-back, and I wanted to advertise that. I got my mixology certificate at Bartending Academy of Mill Creek, and I have my liquor license. I did the best in my class. Help a sister out!”


Artist: Albert Mulkey
Albert Mulkey has a BFA in Visual Communications. He paints in oils, inks, and watercolors. He lives in Bremerton with his wife Angie, and works at bot the Silverdale and Poulsbo locations of The Artists' Edge.


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