Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dollhouse by Heather Benning

"Heather Benning’s Dollhouse is a larger-than-life piece that was situated in a Saskatchewan field. The artist replaced the back of the house with Plexiglass, allowing for a typical dollhouse viewing. Inside, Benning had redecorated the abandoned house with furniture of the 1960s, when the house was left empty." via

Saturday, January 30, 2010

TODAY - Claudia Fitch / Artist Talk

SPHINX STUDY #2 (2004) by Claudia Fitch
Painted cast polyester resin with flocking
Image via Greg Kucera Gallery

Today at noon, Claudia Fitch will be giving an artist talk about her new show at Suyama Space.

Updated 2/1/2010

Claudia's talk was great and the installation is beautiful. Also, I haven't seen much of her older work so it was great to hear about a newly launched website with a great archive.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Claudia Fitch and Isabelle Pauwels

Looking for an art-sy Friday night? This would be a great pairing.

image by Beth Sellars

Suyama Space is hosting an artist reception for Claudia Fitch tonight from 5-7pm. Her new show, FLOATING MECHANISM (nightshade), is a large tableau of colorful forms floating above the gallery floor. Claudia's work s ALWAYS amazing.

The show runs from Feb 1 - Apr 23.

W.E.S.T.E.R.N. (video still) by Isabelle Pauwels

After Claudia's reception, cruise on over to the Henry for inaugural Brink recipient Isabelle Pauwels' artist talk. The lecture is from 7-8:30. Free for Henry members, $5 non-members.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Welcome back Deathcake!

Starting tomorrow, Deathcake is back at Cupcake Royale. Sure, "a penny shy of evil" ($6.65) might sound pricey for a 'cupcake', but this isn't just any dessert. First off, there's no way you're going to be able to eat it alone - this is meant to be shared with a friend or lover! Make someone really happy and surprise them with one. It's only around through Valentine's Day - so don't dally.

And if you just can't wait until tomorrow, Cupcake Royale will be having a tasting party tonight from 6-8pm at all 4 stores. Swing by for some yummy Stumptown and chocolate decadence!

Sarah Jurado Photography

Do Not Disturb by Sarah Jurado

Just wanted to shine a spotlight on one of my favorite new people that I met last year - Sarah Jurado. She has an amazing ability to transform everyday moments into something beautiful. What's most amazing to me is her range - she can do rock shows, food, fashion, people, pets, nature, weddings - anything. Where she really succeeds is capturing tender moments.

Wild Orchid Children by Sarah Jurado

Sarah, along with her husband Damien Jurado, are the music curators for our New Guard project. Here's her flickr set and a blog entry from our most recent dinner.

me, Jason Hirata, Sol Hashemi

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Grey Gallery & Lounge is turning 2!

I can't believe that it's already been 2 years since Grey Gallery & Lounge opened up. To celebrate, they're having a big party on February 5th. They'll have live music by the Soft Hills at 8pm. After that, Gray Area DJs will spin music. Make a special souvenir (beanies, armbands or tank-tops) with folks from Sew People Experiment (6-9pm).

Little One by Sean Alexander

If you've wanted to show at Grey Gallery, there's currently an open call for art. The premise of 5 x 5 is that one of five national curators will each select one local artist for a group show. As folks submit work, Erik has been posting them on the Grey Gallery blog. Check them out. You have until Feb 15th to apply.


Also, this Sunday night at 8pm there will be a casual listening party. Garek Druss, Dave Segal and Scratch Master Joe will be playing a variety of their favorite music.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Guard, Volume IV

art by Jason Hirata

Last night was another wonderful evening of art, food and music in the form of The New Guard, Volume 4. Everything went great but one vital thing was missing - Whitney. Due to unpreventable circumstances, she couldn't be there. I'd like to thank Kim, Maggie, Hannah and Mike (and many more!) for stepping up to help make this a success. Visual artist Jason Hirata, chef Josh Henderson (Skillet) and Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground fed and entertained 70 guests by candlelight at Sole Repair.

With his Airstreamer parked right outside, Josh was able to make an amazing meal.

To begin: Crostini, local squashes, chilies, lemon zest, first press olive oil
Roughage: Cucumbers, mussels, mint, baby greens, watercress, grilled fennel, cucumber grapefruit vinaigrette
Substance: Coriander braised duck leg, picholine, heirloom carrots, cous cous, chickpeas
Sweet: Star anise Ginger cake, coconut, spiced pistachio brittle, persimmon pear jam

Mmm...especially that duck!

After dinner, Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground filled the room with beautiful music. I kept hearing people say things like, "OMG - horns!". I think these nights become really magical when the musicians begin to play. I couldn't get the whole band in the picture but they're a large group, usually 10+ members.

Sol Hashemi and Jason Hirata draw
(not shown Amanda Manitach, Damon Mori)

Artist Jason Hirata hung six, large new pieces (photographics prints with paint). I love them! I'm not sure everyone got them right away but if they were hung in a gallery (like his upcoming show at James Harris Gallery), their merit would be even more obvious. People seemed to really enjoy them. As the art curator, I'm sure I'm partial but they were the highlight of the evening for me.

Thanks to everyone who came out!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tim Rollins and K.O.S. / Frye Art Museum

From the Animal Farm: Jesse Helms (after George Orwell), 1987
Graphite and acrylic on book pages mounted on canvas.
Courtesy the artists and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zürich.

"To dare to make history when you are young, when you are a minority, when you are working, or nonworking class, when you are voiceless in society, takes courage." - Tim Rollins

Tim Rollins and K.O.S. just opened up at the Frye. This show was unexpectedly touching. The ability of art to give people a voice is always a compelling topic.

Tim Rollins was an educator and K.O.S. (kids of survival) was the group of "at-risk" youth he taught. Frustrated with the traditional models of education, Rollins decided to take a new approach and opened up an after-school program where student read important texts and made art. "Today we are going to make art, but we are also going to make history." He was right and they had lots of success - including an Artforum cover and inclusion in 2 Whitney Biennials and several other important shows. NYT critic Roberta Smith said, "With Rollin's guidance, these students are producing artwork of a remarkable sophistication, which refuses to conform to known categories but alternates between the literary and the visual, the modern and the naive."

K.O.S. members at work

Former student, Angel Abreu said that Rollins was a kindred spirit of his students in the sense that they were all economically disadvantaged. Rollins quickly earned their trust. For an early project, bricks were collected by the students from their neighborhood and then they painted portraits of their homes on them. The bricks exhibited are all on fire.

photo by Karla Glanzman

This show was curated by Ian Berry, Malloy Curator, along with the artists, and was coordinated for the Frye by Robin Held, Deputy Director 0f Exhibitions and Collections. This is the third and final stop (Tang Museum, ICA in Philadelphia and here). I asked Robin how it ended up here. She mentioned that she and Ian have worked together before and that Ian saw similar energy in Seattle. To build on that synergy, the Frye put together a show called The Seattle Project.

The Seattle Project is actually three separate exhibits. I Wish I Knew Who I Was Before I Was Me is a show curated by Art Corps students and teaching artists Roberto Ascalon and Amos Miller. The students dug through the Frye's permanent collection and created musical responses to it. Public Belongings is an exhibition of photographs, videos and poems by ten (formerly homeless) adults working with Path with Art. In the museum gift shop, The Center School Connection is an installation of merchandise designed by students. Teacher Wyn Pottinger-Levy led her class through the process taking an idea and turning it into a product. Hand-screened tshirts, Sin guitar picks, Chief Sealth patches and other cool stuff is all for sale.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Don't fret

drawing by Nayland Blake

I love these little drawings by Nayland Blake. They're sweet, tender and vulnerable but their greatest charm is their simplicity. When I was curating for CR, I tried to sweet-talk him into a doing a show of them.

Friday, January 22, 2010

New exhibitions at Frye Museum

Tim Rollins and K.O.S. Amerika I (after Franz Kafka), 1984-1985.
mixed media on canvas, 71 ½ x 177 in, The JPMorgan Chase Art Collection.

The Frye will be opening up some new exhibitions tomorrow. These shows will be much different than the two shows (The Puppet Show and The Old, Weird America) that dominated the Frye for most of last year. I loved those and spent lots of time there but I'm ready for something a lit less polished. So I was thrilled to hear about Tim Rollins and K.O.S: A History and The Seattle Project: I Wish I Knew Who I Was Before I Was Me, Public Belongings, The Center School Connection.

There will be a member reception tonight.

Tomorrow (Saturday, Jan 23), curator Ian Berry will be giving a lecture called, Tim Rollins and K.O.S.: A History - free and open to the public.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Moonlight Requisition / Intellectual Property

The fourth installment of the Gift Shop project opens up tomorrow. Moonlight Requisition contains work by Debra Baxter, Margot Quan Knight and Matthew Offenbacher. While they have "No pretense to a significant event occurring.", with a big communal sink (with homemade soap), gum sculpture, a make-out room, and "fake roses - sticky nostalgia", something good is going on!

Matt is also participating in Yoko Ott's final exhibition for Hedreen Gallery, Intellectual Property. Through March 20th, Hedreen Gallery will act as an academic archive for both the university and general community.

"Each week participating artists will visit their assigned academic professional, learn about their work, and select material to add to Intellectual Property. In total fourteen artists will pair up with fourteen academic professionals over the course of seven weeks. Updates announcing artist-professional pairings and items accumulating in the collection will be disseminated regularly."

Sounds like a really interesting project. I can't wait to visit. There's no opening reception but it's open already so swing by and check it out.

Dan Webb / Cornish Main Gallery

Dan Webb opens up Unring the Bell today at Cornish's Main Gallery. This is the second installment of Jess Van Nostrand's awesome series spotlighting former college alumni. These shows are fantastic because they really delve into all phases of the artists' work. The show starts with work from his college years and runs right up to present day. In lieu of a show catalogue, Dan and Cornish student Kelly Martin have created a comic book detailing Dan's history. The show is up through February 26th.

Opening up a week before the Cornish show closes, Dan has a show of new work up Greg Kucera Gallery. Stones and Flowers will focus on recent work and both shows together will act as a pretty comprehensive look into the art of Dan Webb. For this show, Dan will continue to examine dandelions, gift boxes and busts but be prepared for a few big surprises!

Unring the Bell: Jan 21 - Feb 26, 2010
Stones and Flowers: Feb 18 - Mar 27, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sharon Arnold / City Arts Blog

"Carefully planned accidents, cut in paper."
image via City Arts Blog

City Arts Blog (The CAB) posted a great status update by Sharon Arnold. Read all about it here.

2009 recap

Abandoned Crates (2007) by Chris Engman
Image via Greg Kucera Gallery

I just came across this piece by Greg Kucera on ArtSlant. It's a really nice (and thorough) recap of 2009.

And in 2010, Greg is looking "forward to Isaac Layman’s show at Lawrimore Project, Michael Darling’s “Kurt” show at SAM, which will feature photographers, such as Alice Wheeler, and their takes on Kurt Cobain." I'm really looking forward to Kurt as well. It includes favorite local artists like Gretchen Bennett, Jeffry Mitchell, and Alice Wheeler - I can't wait.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Strange Coupling kick off party!

by Heide Hinrichs

Arts organization Strange Coupling is having a kick off party and silent auction this Thursday from 7-9pm. Strange Coupling is a independently run student organization that pairs up UW art students with local artists to create a collaborative piece of art. Click here for a list of previous participants. This year's artists include Gala Bent, Heide Hinrichs, Britta Johnson, Sean Landis, Kate Lebo, Mike Pham, Tim Roda and myself. I think it will be all sorts of fun.

Silent Art Auction
Thursday, January 21
5 - 9 pm · Auction closes at 8 pm
Gallery 9, School of Art, University of Washington

Monday, January 18, 2010

John Boylan's Conversations

Geomorphic Solutions Contracting - Arches National Park Phase III, Grand County, UT
by Jed Dunkerley (image via)

John Boylan will be hosting of one his Conversations at Vermillion tomorrow. The guest list is heavy of folks who are passionate about both drawing and teaching drawing. Jed Dunkerley (artist, teacher, performer, provocateur), J.C. Schlechter (artist, teacher, curator), Lisa Bade (artist, teacher, and activist), Jon Gierlich (artist, teacher)

"This month we'll be looking at drawing. The session follows on an irregular series about art disciplines, including last year's sculpture conversation and "Persistence of Painting in a Digital Age" in 2005. Both of those conversations had overflow crowds, and the discussions were passionate. I'm curious to see what happens with drawing. Despite the ubiquitous nature of drawing, I know of few artists who see themselves as illustrators with the same resolve and intensity as those who identify as sculptors, painters, or printmakers." - John Boylan

The conversation runs from 7-9pm at Vermillion. They're usually packed so get there early for a good seat.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Harold Balazs

image via A Balazs

"The purpose of art is to create wonder." - Harold Balazs

After a nice long day in the studio yesterday, it was a treat to come home and watch a program about Northwest master Harold Balazs. The show was from a series called The Living Treasures Project. I hadn't heard of it before. Other artists in the series are Robert Sperry, Ramona Solberg, Russell Day, Virginia Harvey, and Evert Sodergren.

I've previously mentioned that Harold was my introduction to art-as-a-career when he visited our high school in Spokane. I think he created such a recognizable style. And his work with enamel seems pioneering even today.

image via

He talked a bit about how he does pieces like this. Basically he carves Styrofoam pieces into molds and pours in concrete. He said it was really economical - around a $1/foot. It's a really interesting process to watch. Beth Sellars even shows up. I always forget that she moved here from Spokane.

Dinner & a movie

"Dr Frankenstein’s grand-children Maria and Rudolph have moved to the American West, in order to use the prairie lightning storms in their experiments on unwilling victims. After a number of failures, Rudolph is finding it increasingly difficult to hide the trail of bodies."
Come watch the campy Jesse James meets Frankenstein's Daughter at Vermillion tomorrow. The low-budget movie, made in 1966, is being screened as part of a film series by local filmmaker Jon Behrens. The movie is free and starts at 7pm.

Guest chef Andre Hopper has created a special menu to accompany the movie. Soup, salad, meat, potatoes and vegetable for $25 (or $40/couple). Full info/tickets here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

monument by Troy Gua

Monument by Troy Gua opens up a week from today at Fulcrum Gallery in Tacoma. Here's Troy talking about his motivations behind the show.


“If the conflict in Vietnam was notable for open access given to journalists as the war played out nightly in bloody newscasts, the Iraq war may mark an opposite extreme: after five years and more than 4,000 American combat deaths, [internet] searches and interviews turned up fewer than a half-dozen graphic photographs of dead American soldiers...opponents of the war, civil liberties advocates and journalists argue that the public portrayal of the war is being sanitized and that Americans who choose to do so have the right to see ‘in whatever medium’ the human cost of a war that polls consistently show is unpopular with Americans.”

- Michael Kamber and Tim Arango, New York Times, July 26, 2008

Loss: everybody’s doin’ it. It is an inevitable part of our lives. We lose our innocence, our loved ones, our memories, our health, our money, our homes, our friends. And eventually, we all lose our lives, many of us sooner than nature should allow and too many of us in the monstrosity of war.

This loss, in particular, is mounting. How do we reconcile this loss? How do we grieve? We all censor our personal losses to varying degrees – we deny, we avoid, we make light, but how do we honor these service losses amid a censored and sterilized public portrayal of the horrific reality of war? Do we just put a blanket over our wounded, dead and dying and turn the camera away from the truth?

What about our soldiers who will live out their days with a missing limb or two as a constant reminder of their loss? This generation of warriors who in eras past would have perished from their wounds will now return home with an agonizing memento of loss for all to see.

With ‘Monument’, I address these issues with an incisive yet sympathetic approach, culminating in a sculpture and photo installation. Depicting an historic monument, I have erected a commemorative pillar of roughly hewn tiles representing our wounded and fallen troops, with a reflection pool of symbolic red Plexiglas – segmented and incomplete. Working in concert with the sculpture, the high-luster, resin-coated photographs of action-figure amputees satirically illustrate the government-mandated American media’s glossing over of the painful, graphic and disturbing human cost of war.

This installation is my memorial to loss, but it is not an attempt to answer questions, because I don’t know that there are any answers. If anything, I hope that it invites questions and provokes thought in its viewers on a subject that we as American citizens have been sheltered from. I’m not a soldier and I have never seen war. There are terrific horrors that our service men and women are experiencing that I can scarcely imagine. The least I can do is acknowledge their loss and pay tribute.

Troy Gua, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Helping in Haiti

Sent, 2005, color pencil on paper, $1750
19" x 14" image / 33 ½” x 28 ½” framed

Artist Juan Alonso wants to help out in Haiti but like a lot of us, he isn't in a position to donate a big wad of cash. Instead, he's donated a beautiful piece of his art called Sent. You have until Friday at noon to bid on it. Currently, the high bid is $550. All money raised goes to MercyCorps. More information here.

Friends of Ken Kelly

Heart (2008) by Brian Murphy, giclee print

You've probably already heard about the Friends of Ken Kelly fundraiser. Alfred has been uploading the art as it comes in (if you're donating, the last day to submit an image is Jan 17).

Artists are keeping their prices low and all money goes to Ken. Some pieces have already sold. Check out the art here.

untitled 1662 (2002) by Alfred Harris

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sound Plans / Ryan Molenkamp

San Juan (2008) by Ryan Mokenkamp

Sound Plans by Ryan Molenkamp opens up Thursday at the Tacoma Public Library Handforth Gallery. The show includes work from both his Place and San Juan series, including the large (8'x12') piece Puget Sound.

Opening reception: Jan 14th, 5-8pm

Vote for D.Black / MTVU

Awesome! Over at MTVU (MTV University), local rapper D.Black is up for Freshman video of the week. If you have a second, please click and vote for him. There's no registration - it's literally just clicking a button. And you can vote more than once. If his video wins, it will play on normal MTV (how many MTVs are there?)

Click here to see his video Yesterday (with label mate Marissa).

Congrats to D.Black and Sportn' Life Records!

Monday, January 11, 2010

2 great shows - Thursday

Darin Shuler has been working on a series of large, colorful paintings for a while. I've really been looking forward to seeing these in person. Live music by Masters and Johnson, Eric Ostrowski, and Slippers at 8pm.
Mythos Sorta by Darin Shuler
Thursday, January 14, 6-10pm
Ursa Minor Gallery
3308 E. Spring Street

Jaimie Healy will be showing her beautiful watercolors of different cuts of meat. She's actually been working with a butcher to get exactly the form and shape she wants. I can't wait to see these in person!
Thursday, Jan 14, 7-9pm
2425 E. Union Street

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Shadow Paintings / Joe Penrod

I don't know how I missed these beautiful tape paintings by Joe Penrod. In a similar vein to Mary Temple, Joe Penrod captures the temporary beauty of shadows through the use of blue painter's tape.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Artist Talks

by Gretchen Bennett

Sorry about the last minute post, but there are some great artist talks today.

by Yuki Nakamura

Gretchen Bennett and Yuki Nakamura will be talking about their new shows at Howard House today at noon.

by Mark Newport

Mark Newport will be discussing his new show at Greg Kucera Gallery at noon.

Check them out - they all should all be fantastic!

Friday, January 8, 2010

In-city getaway

image via evil robot 6

To celebrate my birthday (Jan 6), I decided to cash in some trade and stay at the Sorrento this weekend. One of my favorite things is to stay in hotels in the city you live in. I'm going to turn it into a in-city escape. Leaving the car at home and taking taxis or that cool Sorrento car that drives guests around. My only concrete plans are a happy hour and dinner at Cafe Campagne tomorrow. I'm going to enjoy spending time with Claudia's drawings in the Fireside room, attend Gretchen's and Yuki's talks tomorrow and lay in bed drinking bourbon and watching bad tv. Sounds so nice!

The Sweetest Thing / The New Guard

I just heard that Whitney (and Sarah & Damien Jurado, myself) won Daily Candy's The Sweetest Thing for 2009 in the Fun category for The New Guard dinners. Whitney totally puts her heart and soul (and time and energy) into these so it's great to see her get some recognition - she's a total sweetheart and I just love her to death! More info on upcoming dinners here.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


image by Travis Homung

I have been staring at this picture for the past couple of days. The location is at the entrance of the Geisel Library at UCSD. It's an intallation by John Baldessari called READ/WRITE/THINK/DREAM (2001). Colored panes of glass encase a lobby. As you enter through the automatic doors, the colors overlap to temporarily form new colors (yellow + blue = green). I can imagine myself escaping from the California sun and settling down here for some good people watching. This is a perfect spot for it, too, because local artist Roy McMakin has a pair of eucalyptus benches in the lobby to sit on. Read more here.

photo by Nitin Gupta

This is an exterior shot of Geisel Library (named in honor after Dr. Seuss and wife Audrey). Wow - talk about a brutalist masterpiece!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

First Thursday / Jan 2010

Untitled (tower) by Amir Zaki

James Harris Gallery will be showing new work by photographer Amir Zaki. I love his supersaturated (digitally altered) images of lifeguard towers and VWs. "The beach-side architectural structures seem to float in the sky, as all access to the towers has been digitally erased. Colors in both the skies and the small buildings themselves have been intensified, adding to sense of the fantastic. Several structures read like military outlooks, all streamlined angularity, while others would not seem out of place at nearby Disneyland."

Garland (2009) by Nicholas Nyland
Acrylic on paper, grommets, rope

Nicholas Nyland makes some of my favorite art in Seattle. He'll be showing new work for The Problem of Universals in the backspace of SOIL. Colorful paint in simple patterns strung up as garland = WOW!

How to Draw Dogs by Salise Hughes

Animated Art at Northwest Film Forum rethinks "...the boundaries of animation, visual art and experimental filmmaking, this program of films by mostly local talent brings together artists working in different disciplines that are rarely shown together." Artists include Jon Behrens, Drew Christie, Martha Colburn, Matthew Cox, Webster Crowell, Stefan Gruber, Salise Hughes, Britta Johnson, Sarah Jane Lapp, Davis Limbach, Cathy McClure, Tess Martin, Jeffry Mitchell, Amanda Moore, Clyde Peterson, Tommy Thompson, Friese Undine, and Brent Watanabe.

Thursday at 7pm, NWFF, tickets $6-$9

End This Night, If It Be Your Will, by Gretchen Bennett
Video Still, 2010

Gretchen Bennett just got home from a residency in Reykjavik where the sun is only out for a couple of hours a day this time of year. Iceland's reliance on artificial light extends itself into her new body of work at Howard House. World Community Theater tells a variety of stories through the filters of light, weather and music. This is the show I'm most excited to see tonight! I'm such a fan.

Also at Howard House, Illuminant by Yuki Nakamura. This show should be amazing, too.

Fulguratus #5 (2009) by Juan Alonso

Local artist Juan Alonso is hosting his final open studio according to his blog. I know that times are really tough right now but I just hate the thought of Juan (or anyone) having to take a break from their passion. Support your local artist if you can.

Lawrimore Project and Greg Kucera Gallery also have great shows opening up.

Before I post my 1st Thursday lists, I like to check out other blogs to see if anyone has made a list so I can include them in the post. I always feel guilty when we all pick the same things - I swear we don't do it intentionally. In fact, I'll bet we all groan a bit when we realize it. Right now, I'm working on three art lists - this one, City Arts Magazine Visual Art Picks, and the CAB, so there's bound to be some overlap each month but I'll try to keep them as unique as possible. I always like Translinguistic Other's 1st Thursday lists - maybe if we ask nicely we'll get lucky and see a list for January. :)

Jen Grave's 1st Thursday picks
Regina Hackett's 1st Thursday picks
My 1st Thursday picks for the CAB

My January show picks for City Arts Magazine, Seattle (p. 52). Opening - Gretchen & Yuki at Howard House, Michael Brophy at G. Gibson Gallery, Jesse DeLira at Gallery4Culture, Marc Dombrosky at Platform Gallery. Continuing - Grant Barnhart at Ambach & Rice, Warren Dykeman at Grey Gallery and Polaroids: Mapplethorpe at The Henry.