Saturday, October 31, 2009
Save the date for good times! Next Friday (Nov 6), SAM has put together one heck of a fun evening. It's not an exaggeration when I say there's something for everyhone. Check out this schedule.
- A talk by artist Heide Hinrichs at 8:30 pm
- A temporary tattoo parlor featuring Michelangelo-inspired designs by artists Allison Manch and Ariana Page Russell
- A reading by poet Melanie Noel in response to SAM Next: Heide Hinrichs
- Mashups spun by Tigerbeat in South Hall
- Performances by Scratchmaster Joe and DJ Riz of KEXP in the Brotman Forum
- Cellist Paul Rucker playing live in the galleries
- Stilt dancer Janet Rayor in the Brotman Forum
- DXARTS Sound Lab with Stelios Manousakis and Nicolas Varchausky of DXARTS, Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media, University of Washington
- Appearances by The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Yodeling Dominatrix Manuela Horn, Teatro ZinZanni performer and recent contestant onAmerica’s Got Talent
- SAMtrax playlists in the Third and Fourth Floor galleries, curated by writers from The Stranger, artists, critics and more, including Derrick Cartwright, Bethany Jean Clement, Jen Graves, Nancy Guppy, Aaron Huffman, Mistress Matisse, Larry Mizell, Jr., Charles Mudede, Curtis Steiner and Joey Veltkamp
- A design competition using Seattle-based artist Curtis Steiner's 1,000 Blocks interactive sculpture; designs created between 9 and 10 pm will be judged by Steiner and the winner will be awarded a prize at 10:30 pm
- Participate in The World, A Giant Poem , an interactive project by Spanish poet and performance artist Miguel Angel Arenas
- Hands-on luminaria projects in conjunction with SAM's El Día de los Muertos tapete
- Fashion designs inspired by artworks in SAM's collection by designer Anna Dicklhuber, winner of the 2009 Masquerade Fashion Show competition recently hosted at Pacific Place
- My Favorite Things tours with local artists, critics and arts organizations, including Brendan Jansen, Margot Quan Knight, Joshua Kohl of the Degenerate Art Ensemble, Sherry Markovitz, Jeffry Mitchell, Dan Webb, Claude Zervas, Jen Graves, Kurt Beattie & Carlo Scandiuzzi (ACT Theatre), Colton Carothers (Advocates for the Arts and Outlaws, UW School of Law), and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
More info here.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Photo by Mike Wilkes for City Arts
The good folks at City Arts were kind enough to include me in their November 2009 issue. The feature is all about the interviews from the blog. Writer Bond Huberman spent a lot of time culling the interviews to find some really great quotes from some of my favorite artists. There's also a great article about Rachel Flotard. Michael Hebb talks about his tattoo, Robin Held selects this month's The Curator's Eye and Sharon Arnold talks about blogging. The November issue should hit the streets any day now.
Updated 11/22 - read the article here.
The second iteration of The New Guard took place in a beautiful loft space on Capitol Hill. Around 30 of us gathered by candlelight to enjoy food, wine, art and music. These nights have quickly become one of my favorite things to be a part of. There's something magical about this combination that leaves everyone full of love.
Damon and Amanda listen intently.
Gala Bent's art looked amazing on the walls - there's something about white on white that really appeals to me these days. Kate Tucker broke everyone's heart with her beautiful songs. And Eliot Guthrie (with help from Seth) made plate after plate of deliciousness. And if you happened to the see the "kitchen" (a burner and a toaster oven), you'd realize what a true genius this guy is!
Quilcene oystersCalf's livers terrine with onion and pomegranate marmaladeEndive and grapefruit saladPigs cheeks and quinceChestnuts with root vegetablesBaked mushrooms and chardFrommage blanc tart
Calf's liver terrine with onion & pomegranate marmalade
I just want to thank everyone for coming and for bringing so much to the table. These aren't paid gigs - folks do these as a labor of love and that really really comes through.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Have you heard of Google's wonder wheel? I hadn't until today. Apparently, it's a fast way to see relevant searches. Click on a spoke and let the time-wasting begin. I love visual mapping!
To find the wonder wheel:
- Do a search
- Click more options
- Then scroll down the left hand
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Spray Cans by Jesse Edwards, oil on linen, 32 x 36, 2009
"This the last still life painting I have completed. I started out in the world of art as a graffiti tagger, This is my tribute to spray paint. I like the way the painting has various sizes of spray cans. It reminds me of the city and different buildings. I usually paint still life objects about the same size as they are in real life. In this painting tho I chose to make the objects a bit larger than life to give them a more monumental feel. These paint cans came from Portland recycling plant. My friend "Bruno" got them for me. I like the way older cans look. They have simpler design. In the fine art world I started out doing still lifes. I sold them at the Kimzey Miller Gallery. I did pretty well painting bowls of fruit. I like bowls of fruit. In the beginning it was what I painted because I didnt know what else to paint. Now I know more but that just makes me want to paint a bowl of fruit because they are simple and nice. Well before my bowls of fruit seemed to have no real meaning. Now If I paint one it will be out of meaning." - Jesse Edwards
image via Kelly O
If you missed Stokley Towles' performance of Waterlines you're in luck because he's added two more dates for November. Stokley gives a 45 minute performance about water and our relationship to it which sounds dry but his performance is anything but.
"...topics discussed: secret tunnels leading to springs, accidentally demolished in Israel; what parts of Seattle have the most fat- and oil-clogged sewers; the etymology of "rival" (those who share a river or a stream); and Seattle's professional water tasters, whose palates are more accurate than microscopes in figuring out what kind of algae are living in the water. Microscopes can only see what's in a tiny drop, but the tasters can detect a broad range of algae species in one mouthful and help the city figure out what kind of treatment methods to use. The tasters, Towles says, claim our source water has a potato flavor in October, then moves on to notes of cucumber, beets, and Brazil nuts as the temperature and algae content change." via
Added dates are Sunday, Nov 1st and 8th at 7pm at Noodle Works Studios. Tickets are $11 and you can buy them here.
Untitled by Matthew Offenbacher (via)
"No other Seattle artist is so unassuming and yet such a power source...he is Seattle art's community organizer." - Jen Graves
Read Jen's whole piece here. And there are only a few more days to see Matt's show at Howard House.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Last night was the official debut of the Artist Salon Series at Seattle University. 2009 Stranger Genius Award winner Jeffry Mitchell organized a loose evening full of activities built around the theme, "Turning something negative into a positive".
As folks arrived, Jeffry encouraged them to do quick portraits of each other. This was a great ice-breaker and I was blown away by some of them! If you're interested in checking out more pics, here's the full flickr set.
After everyone arrived, we jumped right in and started on the evening's activity of negative space. Each person took a piece of black clay and using their fingers, they hollowed out a form. Jeffry mixed up a bucket of plaster and filled in the empty space. While the plaster set, folks were encouraged to work on a group painting. Once the plaster hardened, we peeled off the clay and admired our new cast forms.
It was a wonderful way to spend some creative time with some of my favorite artists/art-supporters. A big thanks to Jeff Mitchell for being the inaugural participant. Many of you emailed me or called mentioning that you really wanted to participate but this time just won't work. Sorry about that, we tried to make the schedule work for the students. In the inclusive spirit of the project, Gretchen Bennett has graciously agreed to to do an Artist Salon on a Saturday. Once we nail down a date, I'll keep you posted! Next up is Matthew Offenbacher on November 9 at 4pm.
Special thanks to Francisco Guerrero and Seattle University for this fantastic opportunity to build community. Thanks to everyone who came out last - what a great group!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Fellow artist Harold Hollingsworth and I day-tripped up to Bow-Edison this week to check out an amazing show of work by R. Allen Jensen. I hadn't heard of Bob before (which seems shocking since he's been making art for decades) and so I'm really glad that Harold turned me on to him. And it also really makes me wish that the Northwest would have figured out a better way of remembering these past masters. I can already tell that just by spending an hour with this work, it's going to influence me in good ways.
"R. Allen Jensen's theater of art making was one of negation: negation of the avant-gardist concept of originality, negation of logic and reason, negation of the desire to assign uniform cultural meanings to diverse phenomena. His was the craft of making art that would become a record of a performance, mixed with very autobiographical references, and very universal ideas. In the 70's and 80's Jensen often did live performances with the works he created. He created works that were almost macabre, lifesize crosses that he would crucify himself on, nude, in the dark except for some clip lamps laying in and around the floor of the piece. From the pictures he showed us in class, the works looked powerful, well crafted, and always physically and mentally daunting." via
This show is coming down at the end of the month - that leaves you exactly one week to head north and check this out! It's a beautiful fall and Bow-Edison is the perfect distance to drive up for an afternoon of art-viewing followed by lunch with a friend.
Smith & Vallee Gallery is open Wednesday - Sunday, 11am - 5pm
5742 Gilkey Avenue
Troy Gua and the Collaborati present Meet Greet Rinse Repeat (working title):
";-) This little happy face is a digital hieroglyphic of the future. Where we study the early cave drawings of the Cro-Magnon, the three-key happy face is the crude beginning of our online, text-based art world. Who invented the winking happy face, anyway?...There is a chapter in art history devoted to text-based art - presenting characters in different compositions, giant, repeating, nonsensical, graphic - it is no new idea. Still, I am struck by the seed of the happy face that concludes so many e-mail correspondences, so young and so prevalent - a wink, a smile, a frown - it is a new way to express our emotions in a sterile and remote landscape. I just have to think this is the first step, the beginning of a new text-based iconography." --Greg Lundgren, The Vital 5 Cookbook
Cave paintings>Cunieform>Hieroglyphics>Kanji characters>The Alphabet>Words>Sentences. Written communication has evolved with mankind over the centuries, and is, with the aid of technology, continuing to do so. Or is it? Some may say the written language is in a state of de-evolution. The advent of online social networking and hand-held devices has forced the modern populace to conform to a new communication rife with abbreviations, acronyms, and 'emoticons'. The written word is reverting back to a collection of symbols and characters. Is this a bad thing or a good thing? Should we be cynical or hopeful?
Arriving hand in hand with this new language is the mind-boggling ability and opportunity to communicate with our fellow man at the press of a button or the touch of a screen. We can make connections we would have never otherwise made. We can construct a history and a friendship before, and many times without, ever meeting face to face. Working as an artist (especially in the drearier than not Pacific Northwest) can feel like working in a vacuum, and this relatively new form of communication is extremely helpful to an artist such as myself struggling to navigate the Seattle art scene; learning about other artists and their work, making friends, giving praise, finding inspiration, becoming a part of the arts community.
With 'Meet Greet Rinse Repeat', I am asking fellow artists to communicate with me in our respective unique visual languages. I begin the conversation with a hand cut, futuristic and highly graphic character of invented symbolism. I hand this off to my collaborator for a reply, who does with it what he/she will, infusing the character with whatever creative spirit they deem fit. The collaborator then passes his/her visual response back to me for the conclusion of the interchange: a resin coating to seal our work together. I am inviting the collaborator to assign a conversational title to the finished piece: "It's not you, it's me," "I've been standing here the whole time," "I love you more today than I did yesterday", etc.
I am approaching this project with a sense of anticipation and wonder. What will my collaborators and I say to each other? What will our work say as whole? Will this project bring our community of local artists closer together? I hope so.
If you would like to participate in this project, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, October 23, 2009
The Seattle Gay & Film Festival is in full swing - full schedule here. I haven't seen any of the films yet but I plan to rectify that Sunday. There's already been tons of buzz around the short film called DISH. Since it's premiere at Slamdance, it's been on the film circuit picking up awards left and right!
I emailed writer/director Brian Harris Krinsky and asked him what separates DISH from the other films in the festival.
"I think DISH is a relevant film because it's what I call a "post-out" film. The film is not about questioning one's own sexuality but rather what to do with it. The queer Latino kids in DISH get to take for granted the same security that their straight counterparts always did when they spoke brashly and graphically about their sexual antics."
It might be too early to change the name of my blog to the MATT OFFENBACHER SHOW, but if the fella wasn't always doing such great things, I wouldn't have to keep writing about him!
You asked for it (during the "Vancouver Problem" discussion at Art Klatch) and now Matt has delivered. La Norda Specialo (the new, more international name) now has a web presence, courtesy of Jon Kvistad. The website has a great preview of the current issues, down-loadable back-issues (.pdf), a list of contributors, an index and lots more. Check it out - there's some really great writing in these!
Issue #5 is out now and includes the following:
- Erik Peterson: In Defense of Painting
- León Ferrari: Written Painting (1963)
- Leo Saul Berk and Claire Cowie take time to talk
- Mary Ann Peters: The Split ...
- Jenny Heishman: Do you believe in heaven above, do you believe in love?
Endless Night (detail) by Josh Faught (image via)
Don't get your dates mixed up like I did - the Betty Bowen Award ceremony is TONIGHT! Come celebrate and congratulate the recipients tonight at Seattle Art Museum. There's a special ceremony from 6-7pm and then a public reception from 7-8pm. Both events are free and open to anyone.
Congratulations to Josh Faught - the 2009 Betty Bowen Award recipient. Jenny Heishman received the PONCHO Special Recognition award and Matt Offenbacher picked up the Kayla Skinner Special Recognition Award.
Updated 10/24 with pics of ceremony.
Matthew Offenbacher received his award.
Jenny Heishman receiving her award.
Josh Faught receiving his award.
All three of these folks gave amazing speeches last night. A real highlight!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Interlocutor by Gala Bent
Hello all! The second New Guard dinner is right around the corner. In fact, it's a week away on Thursday, October 29th.
The amazing Kate Tucker will be the featured musician this month. Gala Bent will be making sure the walls have lovely art on them. And Eliot Guthrie will be cooking up a feast. By the way, Eliot just revamped Smith's menu. YUM - check it out!
This time, it's being held in a more intimate space (fewer seats, so reply early). All the details are here.
Adult books, firewood, and truck for sale, Port Angeles, Washington.
by Eirik Johnson (image via Henry)
Eirik Johnson will be giving a talk at the Henry Art Gallery this evening from 7 - 8:30. The talk is in conjunction with his current exhibit, Sawdust Mountain.
"The culmination of four years’ photographing throughout Oregon, Washington, and Northern California, Sawdust Mountain showcases the strained relationship between industries that rely on natural resources and the communities they impacted."
And then don't forget about the Henry's Open House tomorrow. We'll get our first official glimpse into the Matthew Offenbacher and Friends project, The Gift Shop. In its first (of six) incarnation, Jenny Zwick and Joe Park offer us this preview:
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The Guggenheim opened its doors 50 years ago today. In addition to building the museum, Frank Lloyd Wright also still holds the record for most visits during a single exhibit. A big happy birthday to the Guggenheim. And if you're in NYC - there's no admission charge today.
via pacific standard
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Poster by Joey Veltkamp
The Sorrento sure has a lot of cool things going on lately courtesy of Night School. Next up is the launch of the new series Chamber vs. Chamber.
"Each “Chamber Vs. Chamber” evening will include multiple performances that culminate in a conversation between musicians and leaders in both the classical and indie rock universes. We will fill the Fireside Room at the Sorrento with music, people, cocktails, a roaring fire, and thoughtful conversation."The first event will include performances by cellist Lori Goldston, Loch Lomond and Spectratone.
City Arts Executive Editor, Mark Baumgarten and music critic Zach Carstensen will co-host the event.
November 7, 2009
Sorrento Hotel, Fireside Room
7:30pm / $15 tix here
Monday, October 19, 2009
As part of my residency, I really wanted to tap into the spirit of community found on a college campus. I thought a good way of doing this would be to turn the studio into a bridge between the students and the Seattle art community at large. To that end, I invited a group of artists to come into the studio and engage with the students in some way.
Like the format of my residency, I wanted to keep it loose. I don't know what the artists will do - it could be a workshop, a discussion, a lecture - whatever they want. But with this line-up, you know whatever they do it will be very interesting. Stay tuned, I'll probably add a couple impromptu workshops as well. And while the target audience is the Seattle University art undergrads, I'm hoping other folks will stop by to enjoy the series as well so the students will get to interact with the local arts community members (artists, art-fans, curators and anyone else you can think of are invited!).
The series begins a week from today with the inaugural artist, Jeffry Mitchell (2009 Stranger Genius winner).
Jeffry Mitchell: Monday, October 26th at 5pm
Matthew Offenbacher: Monday, November 9 at 4pm
Erin Shafkind: Monday, December 7 at 5pm
Hope to see you there!
The studio isn't huge and I'm not sure how big of a group we'll get. It's going to be real loose but real fun, too.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I could have happily spent the whole evening at SOIL's Fishing Pond on Friday night. For $5, you got to 'hook' a Chinese take-out box with SOIL member-made art. I got a tiny 'HI' by Nicholas Nyland and a cute little creature by Saya Moriyasu. A friend got a killer piece by Margie Livingston. Erin Shafkind's cupcake wasn't part of the event, but I got it this weekend and it looked so cute with the other pieces.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Untitled (bouquet) by Sol Hashemi
Friday, October 16, 2009
Eagle Spoke Woe (detail) by Claire Cowie
Sorry for the late notice (my internet is down at home)! Yes, I know that you're probably already going to the SOIL auction tonight, but if you aren't going, you should be at Gage Academy! One of my all-time favorites (and the first of the interview series) Claire Cowie is opening up an amazing new show based on the Book of Revelation. Claire's art is always good, but this new body of work is so dark and such a departure from her usual bright paintings. And to top it off, she'll be giving a lecture starting at 7pm.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
(click to enlarge)
While I'm a pretty political person at heart, I tend to keep it off the blog. Referendum 71 is a big exception to that rule. To me, this is just common sense - please approve 71. If you have questions as to why I think this is important, I'm always available offline to answer.
Otherwise, if you want to help get Ref 71 approved but don't know where to start, Greg Kucera and friends are making it easy on you. Next Thursday (Oct 22) from 5:30 - 7pm, Greg is hosting a wine reception with appetizers from Tom Douglas, Chris Keff and Thierry Rautereau. Stop in, make a donation and get involved. More info here.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Funny How Time Flies by David Rathman (image via)
The Old, Weird America has really turned me on to some really great new art. One inclusion I found perfect was David Rathman's series of square snapshots of Hollywood's version of the Wild West. I couldn't find an image but one of my favorites is a man with a noose hanging below the words, "My vices were magnificent."
David Rathman (this piece is currently on view at The Frye)
I love the spare silhouettes over sepia washes. Remixing text and images from iconic Western movies, his paintings retain the original spirit but their meaning gets amplified. The Montana in me will always have a soft-spot for this type of sappy depiction of cowboys.
Some of his earlier work has a resonance with Dan Attoe.
Scott's Cat by Brian Murphy
Don't forget about the SOIL 2009 Art Auction this Friday at Lawrimore Project. Here's a page with images of the donated art. It's quite a line-up, including favorites like like Jeffry Mitchell, Matthew Offenbacher, Gretchen Bennett and so many more!
Lawrimore by Joseph Park
It's $10 to get in and the party starts art 6pm. There's food, drinks and music. And if you're a little tight right now, you can play the Lucky Fishing Game for $5 and everyone's a winner ("artwork by SOIL members, art books, handmade objects, cool tee shirts, and much much more.")
She Searches for The Way by Erin Shafkind
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
video still from Human Opera XXX, 2007
Curator Yoko Ott has been busy putting the final touches on Meiro Koizumi's new installation at Seattle University's Hedreen Gallery. My Voice Would Reach You takes its name from a video piece included in the show. Meiro's films can be, "Characterized by child-like role playing, physical discomfort, and absurd scenarios, Koizumi’s videos treat the medium with brutal disregard. Inner struggles both sensual and sinister are brought to the surface in a dark, claustrophobic universe. Rough production values and a grandiose mash of comedy and physical theater, often centered upon the male body, disturb Koizumi’s submissive viewer." via
video still from My Voice Would Reach You, 2009
I haven't had the chance to see the work yet but folks much smarter than me have been raving about it! It sounds psychologically dense and and mildly uncomfortable - just up my alley. It will take a while to get through all 11 videos so plan on spending some time with it.
In addition to My Voice Would Reach You at the Lee Center, Koizumi will also be showing a new piece called The Corner of Sweet and Bitter at Open Satellite. This new work (opening Nov 10) explores Bellevue's pre-WWII history of Japanese-American strawberry farmers.
The show at the Hedreen Gallery will open up tomorrow (Wed, Oct 14). The reception will run from 5-8pm and the artist will be in attendance.
If you didn't get the email, Crawl Space is closing. I couldn't be more sad to hear the news. It's always been one of the most exciting spaces to see art. Recent hits have included the Jeffry Mitchell curated show, Call and Response and Emily Pothast just wrote a great review of Brendan Jansen's show.
Stranger Circumstances, opening Nov 7, will be both their final and most ambitious show ever.
Related: Crawl Space director Jennifer Campbell is doing a performance piece in Vancouver this Saturday (Oct 17) from 3-6pm. More info here.
Monday, October 12, 2009
image via Keith Haring Foundation
Sunday, October 11, 2009
If you didn't make it to the launch of the Northwest Artist Editions at Open Satellite, you missed a nice party, including music by Whiting Tennis and Cable Griffith's The Phantom Sons.
The actual installation of the art was great, too. Very thoughtful placement and each display really fit the work.
Coming up next at Open Satellite: Meiro Koizumi, The Corner of Sweet and Bitter.
Jeffry Mitchell created a parade of elephant lamps.
Gretchen Bennett remixed her fawn into a beautiful Neoclassical sculpture.
Dan Webb offered up a scaled down version of his "The New You Machine".
Greg Lundgren got to the root of things with his with glass casts of cash.