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Praise the Heart @ Studio TWOZEROTWO

Senitila McKinley was born and raised in the Tonga Islands, a small kingdom in the South Pacific. She met and married David McKinley in 1978 and moved to Waldport, Oregon. In Waldport, Senitila served on the National Literacy Board and worked for the Lincoln County School Districts all the while teaching herself the English language. In 1989, Senitila founded Seashore Literacy and was passing out books and meals from the back of her car. She has now been named the ‘Mother Teresa of Lincoln County’ and devotes her life to helping the homeless, hungry and sick. To learn more about Seashore Literacy or donate, go to


From Tongan men and women, to coconuts, and now hearts, Senitila has always used art to express her love of her home and people. When Eric Dunham came into her life, painting was one of the things they had in common. “Since neither of us had any formal training and were not boxed into any specific style, we were able to fully enjoy throwing paint around with a little wine, music, and laughter. In the end, I know we influenced each other styles. He used to say after painting together, “put a heart here, Mama”. I think of Eric every time I paint now, he has left a mark on my heart forever”.


RIP Eric Michael Dunham, May 30, 1970 – October 23, 2014. Senitila states “some of the hardest phone calls I receive in my line of work are those from families of a death as a result of suicide. Not to mention the pain when it is one of my own. We need to continue education and prevention. Community support for families and individuals is a must”. Proceeds from sales of art during this show will go back to a local organization for suicide awareness and prevention, Reach Out! Walla Walla.

Friday, January 12 at 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Studio TWOZEROTWO 202 E. Main St., Walla Walla, WA 99362

Event Type

Arts & Culture, Visual Arts, Food & Beverage, Tasting, Wine




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