Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Anniversary



It's the 4th anniversary of Dragon's Eye Reordings! And to celebrate, they're giving us free music. The compilation is called Flowers, after the traditional 4th anniversary present. Congratulations Yann!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Perfect Lovers

"Untitled" (Perfect Lovers) by Felix Gonzalez-Torres

I've been thinking about relationships in my art a lot lately. While doing some reading, I came across this quote that I really liked.

"We are part of this culture, we don't come from outer space, so whatever I do is already something that has entered my brain from some other sources and is then synthesized into something new. I respect my elders and I learn from them. There's nothing wrong with accepting that. I'm secure enough to accept those influences. I don't have anxiety about originality, I really don't." - Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Monday, December 28, 2009

Album of the Decade...



I know this is old news for those of you who make end of year lists, but I just looked up the album of the decade. Kid A by Radiohead was listed as the #1 album by Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and others. As Pitchfork says, "No one will be shocked to learn that Radiohead’s Kid A has topped the chart." They barely nudged out Arcade Fire's Funeral. KEXP djs seemed split between the two.

I'm happy to see Kid A get top honors. I love that record. It was really cool to watch their dramatic shifts in musical styles from The Bends to OK Computer to Kid A, then hovering around Amnesiac all the while making some of the best music of the 2000s. I think my favorite is Hail to the Thief.

It kind of blows my mind that we're starting 2010 in a few days. I remember listening to Prince's song 1999 (which came out in 1982) thinking that the year 1999 would never come come.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Community!



Granted, I'm a relative newcomer to the Seattle art scene, but it seems like 2009 was one hell of a year for artistic community! People seemed really hungry for it and have been aggressively seeking it out in all its many forms.

Artists need physical places to gather and Canoe Social Club turned out to be a great place to do that. Warm, friendly, inclusive and fun. A perfect example - if you don't have plans for NYE - they're throwing a great event.

Scott Lawrimore's Art Klatch continued to a be a great forum to gather art lovers together over food and coffee. I know their "early" start time (7:30am) scares plenty of artists but it's so worth it!

During a really rough economic time, Greg Lundgren reactivated his series of $500 arbitrary art grants that allowed anyone to be an artist. Sometimes all we need is permission. And money. Greg gave us both.

For times when you can't get away from your studio but still need conversation, why not go digital? I can't tell you how many wonderful exchanges I've been a part of on artist blogs this past year. There has been a huge proliferation of artists writing about themselves, each other and our community. They've inspired me, challenged me and eased a lot of anxiety. I can't find a comprehensive listing of them, but Dimensions Variable, artdish and Another Bouncing Ball all have nice lists and are a good place to start. Do you have an art blog? Give us the url in the comments of this post.

Mr. Community Matt Offenbacher reminded us all that "You do not have to accept the context which you are given. Create your own context!" Employing a DIY passion, there were so many wonderful shows/performances in garages, basements, parks, streets and anywhere else creative people gathered.

Free Sheep Foundation did an amazing job of rethinking where we view art during 2009. From reclaiming a vacant office building for months to do temporary installations and performances to using the exterior of TUBS as a canvas all the way to their huge art orgy at Moore Theater, FSF did it their way.

Not everything was DIY this past year. One of my favorite transitions was the emergence of City Arts Magazine as THE bona-fide art magazine for Puget Sound (they have three versions, Eastside, Tacoma, Seattle). A little shaky at first, they really found their voice in 2009. After their merger with Sound Magazine, they've gotten even better. Not content with the status quo, they're constantly trying new and innovative things. City Arts, I salute you! (And yes, I'd still be saying this even if they didn't write the sweet article about the blog interviews.)

One of my new favorite ways to spend time with artists/art lovers is the Artist Salon series in my studio. Fall quarter included workshops by Jeffry Mitchell, Matt Offenbacher, Sol Hashemi/Jason Hirata and Erin Shafkind. Each one has been so memorable and so different from the one before - these artists REALLY stepped up and created fun events! Some folks have attended them all, others have just checked out one. It's a great way to spend creative time with a small group of like-minded individuals. I'm currently working on the second series for Jan/Feb/March. Stay tuned for more information and guest artists.

These are just a few examples where community really shined for me this past year. I know there are tons and tons of others. Let's keep all this fantastic momentum in 2010. I think an easy, non-threatening way of doing that is studio visits. Think of one of your favorite artists, maybe one you don't know very well (or even at all), find their contact info and see if they'd be open to a studio visit. Build bridges and connections.

Really good things are happening in Seattle right now. The air feels ripe with promise. Making art shouldn't be an isolating experience. Don't feel like there's a spot for you? Reach out, ask for help or create your own - we all have the power.

"Be the change you want to see." - Gandhi

Want to get your art out there?


Eloise's Peony, 2007 by Joey Veltkamp

I know not everyone has the time, energy or inclination to start a blog. Trust me, I totally get that (they can be exhausting with not much reward - a real labor of love)! And not all of us are showing in galleries. So how do we get our art out there? Consider this your personal invitation to participate in my Artist Explanation series. The concept is simple - select a piece of your art and write a paragraph about it then send it to me and I'll post it. Whatever you want to say. Maybe you want to explain your process, maybe you want to talk about color, maybe you want to say why you made it. Maybe it's not that concrete - perhaps a poem inspired you, please share it with us. I know for a lot of artists, the least favorite part of their practice can be writing about their art. This doesn't have to be high-minded. If you are authentic, people will be interested. Just so you'll feel more comfortable, I'll do one myself.

Artists who have participated so far include Matt Offenbacher, Ryan Molenkamp, Chris Buening, Troy Gua, Jesse Edwards, Neicy Frye Clark, Brad Woodfin, Matthew Cox, Virginia Broersma, Scott Garner and Scott Wilson.

- - -

The painting above certainly isn't the best of my flower paintings. In fact, it probably fails miserably to be recognizable as a peony at all. But it remains one of my favorite paintings I've ever done because it reminds me of my grandma Eloise. Gone for well over 12 years now, she was first person to permanently leave my life. My grandma ended up becoming my best friend during a rough Freshman year of college. It's one of the only paintings I ever had an emotional attachment to and was happy when dear friends purchased it. I still visit it from time to time. I don't think of her daily anymore, but I do think of her often. And I look forward to peony season every year!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Studio visits

Studio visits have been on my mind a lot lately. So I figured I'd share some links to folks who are also thinking about them.

Studio of Whiting Tennis, image via Erin Shafkind

Artist Erin Shafkind has started a series on her blog where she visits artists in their studio. So far she has visited Whiting Tennis (love the Laura Palmer pic), Claire Johnson and yours truly.

Margie Livingston (video still) by Bradford Bohonus

Bradford Bohonus has been taking folks on virtual tours of artist studios for a few years now. I wish my computer processed video faster or I'd be watching all 75+ of his VR videos.


Artist R.A. Jensen by John Hollingsworth

John E Hollingsworth takes beautiful portraits of Washington artists in their studios. To see them, click on people, then in studio.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!



Merry Christmas, everyone! There might not be any Christmas miracles of snow here in Seattle, but I think it's going to be a pretty lovely day. Hope you have a peaceful holiday spent with folks you love.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Old, Weird America

Detail from Nineteen Lincolns by Greta Pratt

In case you haven't seen it (and you should - it's so great!), there's just over a week and a half to view The Old, Weird America before it comes down January 3rd. Seattle is its third and final stop, so once it's gone, that's it. Though you can always pick up the nice exhibition catalogue in the museum store.

Video still from Winchester by Jeremy Blake, 2002
image via Frye

The show gets its title from the 1997 Greil Marcus book, The Old, Weird America. It's loaded with great artists like Eric Beltz, Jeremy Blake, Barnaby Furnas, Matthew Day Jackson, Brad Kahlhamer, Margaret Kilgallen, David McDermott and Peter McGough, Aaron Morse, David Rathman, Dario Robleto, Kara Walker, and many more.


Guilty as Hell by David Rathman

The exhibit is packed with great art, but my favorites were the David Rathman paintings. I hadn't ever seen them before this show and I love them.. I also thought Matthew Day Jackson and Brad Kahlhamer's pieces were amazing.

Up next for the Frye is Tim Rollins and K.O.S. Here's a list of all the exhibits scheduled to open up Jan 23, 2010.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

‘C.P.1935mc’ by Scott Wilson


‘C.P.1935mc’, 2009, by Scott Wilson
Mixed media assemblage: natural human skull and animal bone, taxidermy, surgical instruments, steel, glass, rubber, leather, cloth, blood, insects, rust, paint, and pigment.

"This most recent piece, ‘C.P.1935mc’, is from what I’ve coined the ‘medical bag series’. Antique doctors medical bags are used as the base and I build on the sculptures from there using a variety of antiquated items. With these pieces I’ve began using objects from my personal collection as subject matter or ingredients. My obsession with medical antiquities of all kinds finds a new forum with this work. I myself value these antiques as art, or more appropriately, objet d’art, but using them to convey or speak for me in my work creates a new and exciting dialogue for me. Certainly this concept isn’t new, but for me personally, I guess I wasn’t aware of the line I had drawn between what is art and what is ‘collection’. Also, there is heavy inspiration from Daniel Spoerri (born 1930). Spoerri is a master and laid the concrete foundation for this particular kind of assemblage/object play." - Scott Wilson

Monday, December 21, 2009

the weird and the holy recap


New Guard artist, Amanda Manitach and sister Christobel

Thanks to all 65+ of you who came out last night to our largest New Guard dinner yet. Held in a great open space at Canoe, people showed in their holiday best. Folks mingled, grabbed drinks at the bar and looked ut Amanda's art.

Pie Table (over 20 pies)

Dana Cree and crew re-did holiday favorites from scratch. The cheese balls and onion dip were really good and always had a crowd of people around them. Then country hams sliced thin (like prosciutto), sour cream biscuits, Chinese long beans with mushroom gravy, and roasted sweet potatoes.


Fatal Lucciauno

Fatal did a great job of getting the crowd worked up and people excited! Because these events are still relatively small, it's such a treat to see the musicians in these intimate settings.

Finally, out came five types of pie: herbs & apple, bread & chocolate, pumpkin chocolate chiffon, chocolate malt and huckleberry buckle!


co-curators Whitney Ricketts, Sarah Jurado, Joey Veltkamp

Sunday, December 20, 2009

a year ago...

December 2008

I think I'm mildly depressed this December. What a difference a year makes - these are pictures from one year ago. I know not everyone enjoyed it but the SNOWPOCALYPSE! was the highlight of last year for me. Cookie parties, festive drinks at Smtih and CCs, sledding, snowball fights and no work! All that merry-making really made for a wonderful Christmas. I think it was so nice because it was the closest I've gotten to being a kid again in a long time. Everything felt new and safe and wonderful again.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Midday Veil / The Comet



Also tomorrow, Comet Tavern will be having a solstice party. Midday Veil (fronted by artist Emily Pothast) will be playing. And since it's Emily's birthday, you should go and buy their CD as a present for her and yourself! Emily's deep, resonant voice is trance-inducing. A great place to celebrate the (almost) solstice!

Sunday suppers

If you're not already attending The New Guard tomorrow, here are a couple other great supper options. YEA for Sunday suppers!


Vermillion is hosting their monthly Dinner & A Movie with chef Andre Hopper (from Black Bottle). Hopper will be serving a country-cured ham (from Bob's Quality Meats), mixed greens, braised green, roasted garlic soup and poached pears for dessert. Dinner is just $20 +tax! This month's film is a smorgasbord of snippets from educational, science, space and informational films.


image via Dave Lifson

Oddfellow's recently launched a Sunday Supper. Cooked by chef Sam Crannell, the first supper included prosciutto and provolone stuffed cherry peppers, tapenade and crostini Potato leek soup with duck confit. Slow roasted shoulder of Berkshire pork with creamed brussels and baked yams Carmel banana cake, bourbon bananas, and Molly Moon’s vanilla ice cream. The cost is $45/person and includes wine. It's at the back table so seating is limited to 16. Dinner starts at 6:30. For reservations call 206-325-0807.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Atlas of Gifted Ideas



The Atlas of Gifted Ideas, presented by Shaw Osha and Heide Hinrichs, opens up tonight at 7pm. This is the third incarnation of Matthew Offenbacher's The Gift Shop.

"An atlas is usually a collection of maps, charts and tables, most commonly of the earth's geography, but there are also atlases of the solar system, moons and planets and things further out. In the end, an atlas is a collection of visual material and text on any subject of interest. Atlas is the brother of Prometheus. Prometheus plays with fire and Atlas has to hold up the skies; he creates space and separates the divine from everyday experience; his duty is not to mix up things and to keep the overview. Our atlas consists of a selection of ideas, sent to us by people we know and others we don't, from Seattle, Missoula and Berlin a.o.: poems, drawings, photographs, xeroxes and essays. We kindly invite you to visit this black and white constellation."

Heide and Shaw have gathered a great set of selections from wonderful artists like Damali Abrams, Gretchen Bennett, Buddy Bunting, Jennifer Combe, Kate Costello, Claire Cowie, Simona Denicolai & Ivo Provoost, Carola Deye, Dahlia Elsayed, Richard Gleaves, Michelle Hagewood, Elizabeth Haines, Alfred Harris, Jenny Heishman, Benno Hinkes, Naotaka Hiro, Allison Hrabluik, Barbora Klímová, Leora Lutz, Sid M. Duenas, Rebar Niemi, Melanie Noel, William Owen, Matthew Offenbacher, Vesna Pavlovic, Barak Reiser, Susan Robb, Rob Schlegel, Mary Simpson, Simpson/Meade, Steven Sewell, Max Suedhaus, Maki Tamura, Jo-ey Tang, Regina Weiß, and Julia Zay.

The Atlas of Gifted Ideas will be open through Sunday, January 17th.

Check the Henry's website for hours.

studio group


image via Amanda Manitach

Have ever I mentioned the awesome studio group I belong to? Organized by Susanna Bluhm, it also has Anna Callahan, Troy Gua, Ryan Molenkamp, Margie Livingston, Sharon Arnold, Etsuko Ichikawa, Thom Heileson, Laura Ward, Saya Moriyasu, Amanda Manitach, Damon Mori, and myself. It's quite a wide array of amazing artists that gather once a month to talk about the host's art. Last night, we went over to Amanda's to hear about hysteria - a subject that plays heavily into her wonderful art. I'm a big fan of her work - I especially love her lines.

It's just so great to get to meet with a group of supportive artists to talk out ideas, get feedback or anything else we might need. If you're not already doing it, I highly recommend starting or joining a studio group.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

pine needle bears


From time to time, my dad in Montana will forward me nature and/or art things. Here are some images from an email about a country artist named Richard Carpenter who makes these bears out of pine needles. I love the texture.
"A couple of hundred thousand of them in one large bear.
The pine needles were gathered off the ground, sorted, washed, trimmed and hand woven.
Over 8 months in making the life size bear!"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

SBC Fundraiser


Barely in Need (image via sbc)

Help out SuttonBeresCullter TONIGHT at 8pm at Canoe Social Club at Theatre Off Jackson.

SBC have been invited to the MacDowell Colony! They need our help. $15 gets you in and here's what you get:
An evening of music and dance including:

John Roderick of the Long Winters
Bandylegs Johnson
Nancy Guppy

Amy O'Neal
And MORE!
Full bar with ID
The Canoe Social Club is a program of Theatre Off Jackson, a 501 (c)3 non-profit corporation.

Monday, December 14, 2009

the weird and the holy

Période de clownisme I by Amanda Manitach
2009, graphite, 30 x 45 inches

the weird & the holy: the new guard christmas party.


Say goodbye to traditional holiday dinners and say hello to the new guard. Beautiful art by Amanda Manitach, followed by delicious food by Dana Cree and then a great concert by Fatal Lucciauno.

FOOD
dana cree, poppy's resident pastry magician will present a four-course dinner of bizarre, eccentric, and dark turns on favorite holiday food. cree has a meticulously conceptual culinary vision, honed from tenures at the fat duck, veil, and molly moon's before landing in her current role as jerry traunfeld's right-hand-lady. – wr

ART
amanda manitach's art is dark and moody and beautiful—just like christmas. psychologically dense and intriguing, her art sings with rococo flourishes. amanda will be hanging a suite of drawings that will reference the nutcracker, freud and doppelgangers. think sad little children and you'll have an idea of what's under the tree this year. – jv

MUSIC
"Besides being a renown battle rapper, Fatal Lucciauno has been an artist on Sportn' Life Records since 2003. For more than five years he has been the hype man for label mate D.Black on stage while simultaneously honing his skills, recording and releasing songs as street singles and for mixtapes."

sunday, december 20th. 7pm. $40. cash bar.
more details here and info on how to get tickets.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

studio time

rainbow bears , 36" x 50"

I've been kind of a hermit this weekend, spending most of my time in the studio. Did ten hours of art today. Hope to do the same for the rest of the week. Just kind of working on new things, experiments, etc. I'm going to start posting studio pics up at flickr. So if I'm a bit quieter it's because I'm trying to get stuff made.


diary drawing painting (detail)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Open studios


print by Juan Alonso, image via

Just in time for the holidays, Juan Alonso is having the last studio sale of the decade.

"Please join me for some holiday cheer, bubbly and my notorious drunk-on-rum-cake for the last 2009 OPEN STUDIO/SALE Saturday, December 12, 11 am to 3 pm.

New for the studio sale: A suite of 8 works on paper very reasonably priced to encourage giving the gift of art to your friends and loved ones.

Each piece is untitled 1-4 (top row) and 5-8 (bottom row), 2009, ink & graphite on paper, image size: 7" x 7", signed on the back, matted and backed with white 100% rag matboard to 20" h x 16" w, unframed, priced at $250 each through the rest of 2009. Many other paintings, drawings, boxes and greeting cards available as well. Visa & MasterCard accepted."

Juan Alonso Studio
Grand Central Arcade
214 1st Ave South, Suite B15
206-390-4882

image by Susanna Bluhm

In conjunction with Georgetown's Art Attack, artist Susanna Bluhm will having an open studio tonight (Dec 12) from 6-9pm. Be some of the first to see her new series, The Song of Songs. I really love Susanna's work.

Studio 203
Equinox Studios (the old, blue Mastermark building in Georgetown)
6555 5th Avenue South

Also tonight - Beg For It and TARL presents Older Than Dirt.

Copyright workshop



Need some free legal advice on copyright? Come to Pravda Studios this Wednesday (Dec 16).

"Doors open at 6pm and the seminar starts at 7pm. Arrive early and network among Seattle’s creative community while enjoying a bounty of delicious appetizers and beverages.

After the social/networking hour four intellectual property lawyers will speak to the audience in a discussion format. This format, using plain English, is designed to cut through the legalese and demystify the steps you can take to better protect your work. These steps are applicable to many artistic disciplines. Our panel of experts will offer practical advice to protect your creative property, your livelihood, and your time and money. Q and A follows each discussion.
Discussion topics
“Embedded metadata as copyright information”
Using the “Plus” standard.
• “Hitting them where it hurts”
Using the DMCA to get a response to your ‘Cease & Desist’ letters.
“Creating a good photography license”
Writing licensing agreements that incorporate specific rights covered by Copyright law.
• “Practical steps in protecting your work”
Discussion of: registering, including visual mark, embedding info in metadata...
• “Filing a copyright walkthrough”
Attorneys will be available to assist with actual filing of copyrights.
• “Copyright 101”
Basics for all Photographers and Artists
• “Fair use basics”
When should you be concerned about your photo/artwork violating another’s copyright? When should you consider legal action if someone else is using your image?j"
Bring: Laptop and jpegs of a visual work of art for the interactive Copyright registration demonstration. Free WIFI
When: Wed December 16th Doors at 6pm, seminar at 7pm
Where: Pravda Studios, 1406 10th Ave., Ste. 200, Seattle
Contact: Jim Anderson (206) 910-8140
Cost: Free

Full details here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Projections: Paint The Town


Luv Hurtz by Wayne White

In conjunction with Henry Art Gallery, artists Matthew Offenbacher and Margie Livingston have organized a presentation that shines a light on painting. They invited local artists to select 4-5 slides of paintings of that we're really into right now. The only caveat is we couldn't select our own art and hopefully the majority of folks wouldn't have seen the paintings before.

Presenting artists include Betty Merken, Cable Griffith, Chris Crites, Colleen Hayward, Elise Richman, Eric Elliot, Erik Peterson, Gillian Theobald, Joey Veltkamp, Kiki MacInnis, Kimberly Trowbridge, Lisa Buchanan, Margie Livingston, Mark Miller, Matt Offenbacher, Nicholas Nyland, Pamm Hanson, Philip Miner, Robert Hardgrave, Scott Foldesi, Shaw Osha, Susanna Bluhm, Tim Cross and Whiting Tennis.


Everyone is welcome but space is limited (first come, first served). This event will take place in the Henry’s education studio. Henry members and students FREE, general admission $5.

Beg For It by Grant Barnhart


studio (untitled) by Grant Barnhart

Grant Barnhart will be opening up Beg For It at Ambach & Rice this Saturday. This new body of work "...assembles boundless imagery and a penchant for the indefinite and absurd, reflecting an age of unlimited information and visual bombardment. Combined the works assert Barnhart’s frantic attempt to decipher and assign significance to his own experience through the kaleidoscope lens of contemporary reality."

Gallery co-owner Charlie Kitchings has called it some of Grant's best work yet so I can't wait to check it out. I love his messy, fluid style and imagery.

The opening reception is this Saturday (Dec 12) from 7-9pm. If you can't make it then, the show will be up through Jan 24.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"It's not the end of the world"


It's not the end of the world, pen on paper

This piece titled It's not the end of the world by Amelia Layton arrived in the mail the other day. The photo doesn't do it justice - it's much prettier in real life. If you're in Seattle, you can check out some of her other work tonight at Rattle My Cage.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

2010 Neddy Nominees in painting


Livingston, Veltkamp, Kelly, Offenbacher

Holy cow! I just got a phone call earlier letting me know that I'm one of four nominees for the 2010 Neddy Artist Fellowship (painting). The other nominees are Margie Livingston, Ken Kelly and Matthew Offenbacher. I couldn't be in nicer company. Truly a case where just being nominated is an honor!

Past painting fellows have included Michael Spafford (96), Juan Alonso (97), Lauri Chambers (98), Jeffry Mitchell (99), Mary Ann Peters (00), Mark T. Miller (01), Donnabelle Casis (02), Susan Dory (03), Claire Cowie (04), Joe Park (05), Brian Murphy (06), Whiting Tennis (07), Randy Hayes (08), and Eric Elliot (09).

Gallery4Culture call for artists


Taxidermied Bigfoot (detail) by Eugene Parnell
Currently on view at Gallery4Culture

Hey artists and curators, Gallery4Culture is now accepting proposals for the 2010/2011 schedule. You've got just over a month to get your submission in.

"Dedicated to presenting solo, small group, and curated exhibitions by studio artists living in King County, WA, Gallery4Culture offers exhibiting artists with curatorial direction and an exhibition space of approximately 1200 sq. ft. The gallery is located in the Tashiro Building in historic Pioneer Square (Seattle). Exhibitions open on the First Thursday of each month.

Artists working in all media and genres are encouraged to apply, including those whose media and method of work is under-represented in commercial galleries. Curators interested in applying may submit proposals for group exhibitions."

Important: You can't be currently represented by a gallery and have to live in King County.

You can apply online here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

TARL presents Older Than Dirt



TARL's first public exhibition opens this Saturday. Vancouver artists Raymond Boisjoly and Ryan Peter have been collaborating on this project since 2008.

"Using a specious art historical reference as their starting point, Raymond + Ryan have created a wooden dinosaur sculpture with a sound component, a text piece, and a series of collages for their exhibition, THIS IS THE FUTURE, the Rest is History. Mistaking the part for the whole, they have replaced the idea with its realization–the work itself. Indexing the creative possibilities of misreading, Raymond + Ryan seek to find what was never there in the first place."

The exhibit opens this Saturday (Dec 12). There will be an artist talk at 6pm at Western Bridge, then head over to 1447 21st Ave (between Pine & Union) at 7:30 for the opening. If you can't make it this Saturday, the exhibit will be open every Saturday (noon to 5) through January 9.

Artist Salon #4 - Erin Shafkind

Klare gets ready to text.

Last night, local artist Erin Shafkind led Artist Salon #4. She began the evening by leading a discussion about the decline of writing. ("When is the last time you wrote a letter?") Erin's point is that we do all these repetitive motions without producing any tangible objects like a letter or journal.



For tonight's salon, Erin wanted us to think about the motions we make using our cell phones. Especially the motions for iPhones since they've become so ubiquitous and introduced many of us to a new style of communicating.

Folks were able to create pieces of art by using a keyboard to make prints, recording our motions in paint on paper cell phones, and by adding texts to wooden phones to give to friends.

me and Erin

A great evening spent with a great group of people. Thanks Erin and everyone who showed up! More flickr pics here. Sorry for the bad pics, guess I need (another) new camera.

Monday, December 7, 2009

"History of Art in Seattle, Chapter One"


Ariadne's Thread VI (2008) | Strange Stars 1 (2008)
images via

I showed up pretty late to the Seattle art scene so this is about when I first saw Alfred Harris' work.

FUNCTIONARY PROJECT 888 STATE (1993)
image via

But maybe you knew Alfred from this time period.


Under the Big Black Sun by X (illustration by Alfred Harris, 1982)

But did you know about this Alfred Harris? The one that illustrated X's 1982 album, Under the Big Black Sun. Vocalist Exene Cervenka's has a soft spot for the album, "You know, my favorite record is Under the Big Black Sun, . . . I'm saying if I had to sit down in a room and put on an X record—which I don't generally do—I have recently listened to some X records but I generally don't listen to myself—the record I would pick to listen to would be Under the Big Black Sun."

Alfred Harris, Jeffry Mitchell (with a cigarette and beer), Ken Kelly

And after an evening of drinks, this picture should really be titled, "History of Art in Seattle, Chapter One." The fantastic stories these boys can tell span 20+ years of local history. All three of them together should be illegal.

Artist Salon #4 - Erin Shafkind


image by Erin Shafkind

Tonight is the 4th and final Artist Salon for 2009. I'll be starting a new salon series in 2010 with a more convenient time than Mondays at 5pm.

For tonight's salon, artist Erin Shafkind explores the relationship between analog and digital.
Our hands are always busy texting, typing, clicking and pushing buttons but at the end of the day, do we have anything to show for it?
Swing by the studio at 5pm and find out.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Margie Livingston artist talk


Greg Kucera introduces Margie Livingston

I went to Margie Livingston's talk yesterday (along with about 50 other folks!) at Greg Kucera Gallery. I really liked the format; instead of talking about her process in general, she walked us through the show and talked about each piece specifically. Because this entire body of work is different than her previous art, it was really illuminating. The title of the show is Riff--New Paintings and refers to her riffing on some her major show influences like Charles Ray, Sol Lewitt, Lynda Benglis, and Jackson Pollock.

Paint Line (detail), image via gallery

While it's obviously apparent, I never realized that much of this work is about documenting time. Much like Sharon Arnold's recent show, the simple act of repetition builds into something monumental. The whole idea of art-making as a measure of time is new to me and I find it fascinating. I do it a bit with my diary drawings, but it's a much different motivation. My jaw dropped when Margie mention that her piece Paint Line contains 8,000 paint dots (it's 16 feet tall!).

Peak 193, image via gallery. The title refers to the number of layers of paint.

I also love it when artists reveal things you'd never guess. By her own admission, Margie is fairly serious, and takes her art very seriously but she told us that she likes the accretion works because they just make her laugh. It's impossible to not like them or her even more after hearing that.