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Our Mission

The Anxious Tomato provides education and accessibility to art and artists in Tacoma and the surrounding areas through networking and active promotion. We connect with the public by creating an experience that ensures every individual involved leaves with a renewed view of art and the artists behind it.

Our Vision

It is our goal to become a valued and sought after resource for the artistic community, providing services and education to artists and art enthusiasts  in Tacoma and the surrounding areas.

KnA Indoor Working

Hello, I'm...

Ashley Laufer

I’m Founder and Creative Director of The Anxious Tomato.

I started my journey through art way back when I was 8 years old and with the encouragement of my family, I pursued a career in art and eventually received my BFA in Visual Arts in 2014 from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. I moved to Tacoma, WA in 2015 in hopes to find the art career of my dreams. I have always been an advocate for sharing knowledge so I brought what I have learned over the years to the people in 2020 when my business partner Kate and I decided to keep the sense of community alive in the pandemic by creating our project, The Anxious Tomato. We are an educational, virtual gallery space where we assist individuals in feeling confident to share their work in a comfortable, non censoring environment. I myself have been painting for over 10 years and continue to create art as a side project while fulfilling my creative needs.

Creating is never a waste of time.

Hello, I'm...

Kate Roussell

I am one of the founders of The Anxious Tomato.

I graduated from the University of Washington in 2016 with a BFA in Arts, Media & Culture but constantly struggled to find my place within the artistic community. Creating art was never my driving passion, but being surrounded by it always seemed vastly more vital to my survival. In my search to find art to surround myself with, I stumbled upon a small community of artists trying to make a difference in the Tacoma area by bringing artists together however they could. This experience opened my eyes to the potential influence I could have in the artistic community, and thus my passion for helping other artists reach their potential was born. The Anxious Tomato is driven by the need to help others succeed in their artistic endeavors. I define our success by when other people see their true potential and feel fulfilled in the work they are doing. As our efforts begin to extend past the digital realm, I become increasingly excited to see where we will go and whose lives we will affect.


Hello, I'm...


Stephanie Harding

I’m originally from Connecticut but I moved to Washington in 2016 from Orlando, Florida. I have a 7 year old son named Rob and a 2 year old Blue Heeler named Lola. I’m a huge history nerd. If we get into a conversation I’ll probably blurt out some little known history fact that has little to do with what we’re talking about. I love local and ancient history but I can really devour anything from the past. I have an A.A. in Art History and I recently graduated from University of Washington Tacoma with my B.A in Global History. I’m currently working on my M.A in Library and Information Science so I can work as a librarian. The library was once the heart of the community and I want to bring it back to its grandeur. In my spare time I love to read and listen to podcasts. I host a podcast with my friend Alycia called So, What Are You Reading? It’s a History and Book recommendation podcast where we talk about the history of book genres and interview guests about their reading background and allow them to recommend a book. I also like to go for hikes with my dog and camp on the beach or anything beach related. History and art go hand-in-hand so I appreciate watching history develop through the eyes of artists.

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