Wednesday, March 31, 2010

First Thursday April 2010

Helicopter by Adam Satushek

This will be an amazing First Thursday to see art. I sent over my list of picks to City Arts yesterday but just realized that I forgot to include Adam Satushek's show, Annex, at Platform Gallery. I'm REALLY looking forward to these photographs.

My First Thursday picks here.
Regina Hackett's picks here.

Made in U.S.A. / Greg Kucera Gallery

I love it when galleries have shows with all their artists. Greg Kucera Gallery's latest show, Made in U.S.A., reminds Seattleites that art is a product and that we should buy locally. Tons of great art with some of my personal favorites.

NOISE REDUCTION - A SIDE, 2010 by Victoria Haven

Victoria Haven seems to get more streamlined every year. I love these ink and watercolor paintings.

STUDY FOR SPIRAL BLOCK, 2010 by Margie Livingston

Margie Livingston continues her beautiful paint experiments. This branch of her work has been fascinating to watch develop.

YELLOW VEIL 3, 2010 by Katy Stone

Katy Stone continues to find fresh ways of animating her cut mylar/acetate pieces which always manage to capture the beauty of nature in such an unexpected way.

THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, 2010 by Claudia Fitch

Can we all just agree that no one can draw like Claudia Fitch?? I haven't ever heard anyone describe her work except in absolute glowing terms. She'll be having a retrospective in Pullman next January.

CO-DEPENDENCE, 2010 by Josh Faught

I'm happy to see Josh Faught's inclusion. I hadn't heard of him before last year's Betty Bowen win but I sure like the work. It'd be great if he'll start showing with Greg.

ALTER EGOS: COWBOY, 2009 by Mark Newport

I think there's a tender sweetness in this piece by Mark Newport. But it also kind of reminds me of this.

Help 4Culture by listening to great free music!


"Dear loyal friends and customers:

Unfortunately due to local noise restrictions, building residents and management concerns, we have decided to postpone the late night portion of our Pioneer Square Opening Party, thus going against the usual Caffe Vita grain of partying first and answering questions later.

To celebrate the Opening of our new Caffe Vita and Pizzeria Napoletana location - we are still serving Free Coffee and extending the hours from 6am to 9pm and Free Pizza from 11am to close."

Seattle arts and culture organization 4culture is finally on the receiving end of the money stick. Instead of them giving to us, we have a chance to help support them.

In celebration of their new location (former All City Coffee space), Caffe Vita/Pizzeria Napoletana will hosting an all day fundraiser for their new neighbor 4culture beginning tomorrow (April 1) morning at 6am.
6am - 11am
*Free drip coffee.
11am - 4pm
*Free small pizzas from Pizzeria Napoletana
6pm - 8pm
4Culture Hosts a free performance by the TARANTELLAS
Then later that night (8-10pm) after art walk, they'll be hosting a series of performances by some of Seattle's favorites Tretn (Head Like a Kite / Fresh Espresso) and New Guarders Thomas Hunter (Kay Kay / Wild Orchid Children) and Fatal Lucciauno (love that guy!). Free food, drinks and music for the 21+ crowd.

All food and beverages are free but they're happily accepting donations - ALL the money goes to 4culture so don't be stingy!

Related: Jennifer Campbell is opening up a fantastic show of new work called Point No Point at Gallery4Culture.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

six-pack by Robin Green

"six-pack", 2010, 36" x 42", acrylic on canvas by Robin Green

"Lately I've been thinking about all of the rubbish in the ocean and in landfills. Yes, it's disgusting. But I also thought that there are probably already creatures who have adapted to the debris of our post-industrial, post-consumer bacchanal. They live on, and off of, the persistent junk we leave behind. The notion of adaptation is not so vile to me. After all, natural selection is totally agnostic with respect to our perceptions of good or evil or valuable or trashy. In my imagination, trashy creatures can turn plastic bottles, six-pack rings and blister packs into living things. Trashy creatures will persist, with us or without us." -
Robin Green

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Best Of Art Artwalk / Guest Judges

Nirvana (Skid Row, Ted Ed Fred, Pen Cap Chew, Bliss) (2010)
by Gretchen Bennett, image via Howard House

I'm happy to announce that Gretchen Bennett (artist) and Marisa C. Sánchez (Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seattle Art Museum) will be the inaugural guest judges for the first Best Of Art Walk Awards.

I was curious what type of art is catching their eye these days and what they might be looking for this Thursday. Here are a couple of questions I asked each of them. [It looked like fun so I added my answers, too.]

Dream of Darkness (2010) by Aaron McIntosh
Juror's [Marisa C. Sánchez] Choice Award, Punch Gallery

What type of art or which artists are keeping your interest these days?

GB: The artists that interest me these days are taking from daily life and resetting things, somehow, talking more and writing. They define themselves and their practice by looking at what we all live with. This shifts over quite a wide field, of course, since there is a vast spectrum of things and experiences that shape us.

JV: I'm incredibly influenced by my peers and the world/art around me. I've been thinking a lot about personal mythologies and the stories we tell ourselves. Sharon Arnold continues to do really interesting things. If she weren't such a good friend, her piece Nixe [in the group show, "You're So Cool" at OHGE, Ltd.] would be a serious contender for my best of pick. [There is seriously an embarrassment of amazing art in April.]

MS: Some artists whose work I've been thinking about lately include Mika Tajima, Alex Hubbard, Robbinschilds, Joseph Beuys, Amy Blakemore, Trenton Doyle Hancock, as well as several artists working in our region.

What will you be looking for this Thursday that will make it stand out as the "best of artwalk"?

GB: I hope I find something humbling, something I've been dialoging with, presented in a new way.

JV: It's totally one of those, 'you'll know it when you see it' things. I'd love it to be something that totally surprises me.

MS: I plan to keep an open eye during artwalk. We're going to see a lot of shows, and I think the strongest work will rise to the top.

Dying Fawn sticker on newspaper kiosk (2005) by Gretchen Bennett

What are you working on these days?

GB: I've been thinking a lot of stage sets, and of the before and after facts of an event; the configuration of objects, light and drawings. I think about the afterlife of an event. I think about the idea of back-stage and of a space you can walk into and fill in their own way, as the viewer. I've been influenced by photos from Alice Wheeler and Charles Peterson, Jim Marshall, and from watching films like "Last Days", thinking about stillness, of a band member in a private moment, with the bus idling outside.

JV: I just finished a residency at Seattle University. I'm still working on fun projects like The New Guard. I feel like I've kind of let the blog wither a bit, so I'm hoping that now I have a little more time/energy to devote to it. I'd like to revisit the interview series.

MS: My most current project is love fear pleasure lust pain glamour death: Andy Warhol Media Works, an exhibition that opens at the Seattle Art Museum on May 13th.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Goodbye Giftshop!

I was just telling Matt how bummed I am to see this end. I can't believe this will be the 6th and final incarnation of The Gift Shop. Come stop by the space today from 2-4 for a tea party reception.

Champagne Truffles by Jennifer Campbell, Nicholas Nyland, Saya Moriyasu, Maki Tamura, Ian Toms. Up through April 11th.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shelli Markee / Cupcake royale

Even though I only ended up curating one show for them, I remain a huge fan. For their latest art show, Shelli Markee has installed an amazing flock of 100 wire birds. When you walk in the door, you can almost hear the whooshing of wings. They start right when you walk in and circle the walls of the entire cafe. The shadows of the birds double the density to create an odd sense of motion overhead.

Cupcake Royale
1111 E Pike St - Capitol Hill
Up through 4/30

Nest up - Darin Shuler!

A pair of great shows...

Every time I go out lately, one of these two shows comes up. Both open up on April 1st.

Julie Alpert & Erin Shafkind

OHGE, Ltd. will be opening a wonderful group show called You're So Cool, curated by Erin Toale. This show examines the uniting themes between artists' work such as structure, mythology, temporary vs. permanent, etc. There are 16 artists, including Sharon Arnold, Garek Druss, Eric Elliott, Whiting Tennis, Christopher Hoff, Daniel Carrillo and a dozen more.

Glyphland by Troy Gua & Cable Griffith

Troy Gua & The Collaborati present Meet Greet Rinse Repeat. This show would be amazing if only for the sheer amount of work Troy has had to do to make it happen. Have you ever tried to wrangle a group of 50 artists? It's a nightmare! This show takes a look at communication through a series of glyphs. For each artist, Troy designed and hand cut a unique glyph. The artists then poked, cut, painted, added to, and a bunch of other things to create a really cool collaboration. There will be nearly 50 of these at the show - at least one makes noise. Should be quite a spectacle. Artists include Harold Hollingsworth, Robert Hardgrave, Molly Norris, Damon Mori, Amanda Manitach, Cristin Ford, Erin Frost, Ken Kelly, Saya Moriyasu, Warren Dykeman and tons more!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Rathman Rumbles in the Jungle"

“Louisville” 2010 by David Rathman

Woo-hoo! One of my favorite artists (and all around nice guy) David Rathman just got interviewed for The New York Times Style Magazine. You can read it here. And watch the video they're talking about here. I love it. I really want him to make more videos - especially one of his cowboys.

Coming up on e4c

I really love 4Culture's video wall that you can only watch from the sidewalk. Even though they're inside, by placing the monitors to face out, they turn into this cool public art piece that showcases a rotating set of videos by artists such as Scott Groeniger, Kenny Schneider, David Kwan, Ann-Marie Stillion, Sabine Gruffat, Noah Klersfeld Laurel Beckman, Ann Oren, Tess Martin, Heather Dew Oaksen, Tina Aufiero and Stephen Hilyard. Beginning in April, two more artists will begin showing work at e4c.

Across Land and Sky (video still) by Tomiko Jones

Tomiko Jones will be showing Across Land and Sky along with snippets from Some Things You Cannot Forget. Jones says, “Insects stand-in for human activity in frenzied pursuit, while a moth in a decrepit state tries to free itself from the last thread of a spider web's hold. Set against the sky above, and the land below, these videos ruminate on a simple existence.”

Sur Face (Water) (video still) by Margot Quan Knight

Margot Quan Knight will be showing a group of video experiments called Sur Face, created during her 911 Seattle Media Arts Center residency last year. The videos will be of Margot examining her relationship with everyday objects like bubbles, windows, etc. Knight writes “I was thinking about two things: the relationship between an image and the object in the world that it is “of” (in this case my face), and the relationship between an image and the surface on which it appears. That surface, so necessary for the image’s existence, seems both fragile and impenetrable, a barrier and an opportunity."

Margot also has a new show of work at James Harris Gallery opening up on April 1st.

Updated 3/25: There's currently an open call for e4c submissions. Info here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thanks for the memories

Artists Gretchen Bennett, Jeffry Mitchell, Will Owen

After a really great run, my residency at Seattle University is winding down. I can't imagine how I could have had more fun or enjoyed it more. Well, actually, I do wish that the students would have been a little more interested but I think that's an age old problem. Perhaps I should have been a little more Chris Burden-y.

Matthew Offenbacher, Franc Guerrero

I had so much fun and learned so much from everyone who stopped by to visit. Hands down, my favorite things were the Artist Salons. It really showed that no matter what your ability, talents, or interests, folks really like to gather and be creative. I just wanted to take a moment to thank all the artists and attendees - it really felt like something special.
Sol Hashemi, me, Jason Hirata

Thanks to everyone in Seattle University's Fine Art Department, Chair Josef Venker, Ops Manager Steve Galatro and Admin Katie Manteca. Tons of thanks to Gretchen Bennett for all her support, guidance and coffee breaks at Stumptown.

Last but certainly not least, I want to give a huge THANK YOU to Francisco Guerrero - his passion and enthusiasm for art and people is what made this happen.

Related: Article in the Seattle University Spectator.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Get Well, Kimberly!

Self-Portrait by Kimberly Trowbridge

Oh dang! For those of you who haven't already heard, beloved Seattle painter Kimberly Trowbridge got into a serious wreck last week (right after her opening no less). She broke a collarbone and an arm and her car is totaled. But on the bright side, Kimberly is doing great (outside of some serious pain).

Her friend Jenny Heishman thought it might be nice to post a little something here for folks who might not have heard and would like to send Kimberly some words of encouragement. If you send an email to, it will automatically be forwarded to her regular email address.

Get well soon, Kimberly and let us know if there's anything we can do! xo

"The Greatest Living American Abstract Painter"

Highline Cottonwoods by Anne Appleby

If you haven't checked it out yet, Tyler Green (of Modern Art Notes) is hosting a bracket tournament to determine (tongue firmly in cheek) The Greatest Living American Abstract Painter.

Maybe you want Anne Appleby (about whom Tyler said, "Appleby might be the best American painter (mostly) ignored by the museum establishment...") over Terry Winters. Well, you can still vote.

Check it out and have a little fun.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My new Sunday ritual!

I was born in the 1970s and really never got enough of that great decade. I've always felt like I got shortchanged. Over the years, I've been purchasing dvds that takes me back to my childhood. Boxed sets of cartoons like The Amazing Superfriends, Spiderman, Dungeons and Dragons, School House Rocks and many more. I love to watch them on Saturdays and eat cereal and just be nostalgic.

This morning I made my favorite new discovery in a while. While flipping through radio stations, I found out that KJR reruns Casey Kasem's Top 40 countdowns from the 70s - long distance dedications and all. Say what?!! I'm in heaven.

"Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars."

David Rathman / NYC

Dang - sure wish I was in NYC for David's opening. If you're there, check it out.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Stones and Flowers walk-through

STONE FLY (FOR PETRUS), 2010 by Dan Webb
Carved gray marble, 8.5 x 19 x 11 inches
image via Greg Kucera

Dan Webb will be giving an informal walk-through for his current show, Stones and Flowers, at Greg Kucera Gallery.

"Resiliency is a transformative, even creative act in the face of adversity, and I frequently use the dandelion to represent that. The dandelion is a hardy survivor despite our prodigious efforts to kill it. That it does so, attracts bees and butterflies, and is edible from flower to tap root doesn't seem to endear it to us. That it follows us as we disturb the soil, thus creating a symbiotic relationship to our destructive ways, goes unnoticed." - Dan Webb

This Saturday (March20) at noon!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Sharon Arnold and I swung by Fremont yesterday to preview THE LOUDER THE SUN. Consider me impressed! Co-collaborators Ben Waterman, Noah Grussgott and Robet Yoder have transformed an empty theater space (literally) into a huge temporary gallery - complete with freestanding walls.

installation shot

At first you don't realize how complex it is. It's a pretty large room, full of 2d work and sculptures. Utilitarian work lights dot the floor. It's raw, but with just the right amount of polish for the perfect presentation. From behind, the made-on-site walls (they went up in a day!) look temporary, like a movie set. But from the front, they look just like any other gallery space. The walls only extend up about ten feet so above that, the entire room opens up. Even though there's nothing there, you're eyes are still drawn up and somehow the empty space turns into a vast expanse like the sky.

Necessity dictated that they light the art from the floor up (that might have their preference anyway), but it creates this cool effect that when you move in to get a closer look at the art, your body (well, at least mine) obscures the light source creating an eclipse.

I know all three artists' work individually but when I walked in the room, I couldn't immediately tell what work belonged to which artist. Part of that is because how integrated the work is. It's tight enough that if you didn't already know it was 3 artists, you might assume it's a solo show. Another part is that these artists are showing all new stuff.

Untitled 2 by Noah Grussgott

The last time I saw Noah's work, it looked like this. I talked to him recently and he had told me about some new drawings, but I certainly wasn't expecting these! I just love them. Fast scribbles of drippy ink, overlaid with dense graphite fields. You'll get totally lost in them. I think they might my favorite stuff he's done.

When I Crawled Under the Table it Became the Sea Beautiful and Magnanimous
Ben Waterman

Ben Waterman's work deals with time, repetition, text and is realized in clay, found materials and whatever else is around him. He executes concepts but they still feel human. I didn't know he painted. I really like them. His sculptures add a weight to the show that really grounds it.

Untitled (Scar) by Robert Yoder

Robert and I talked a while back about his new paintings and I've been anxiously looking forward to them ever since. I think they're really beautiful. Fields of white frosting with tiny peaks and drifts of color mapping itself across the surface of the canvas. I totally love them. So modest but so dense. His recent collages are much more figurative. They're also feel warmer than his previous, more austere works. I love them both (the cool and the warm) and would love to see them together sometime.

And as far as a fun opening, this space couldn't be better suited. In addition to the large gallery space, there's a huge separate room where DJ Funkscribe will be spinning . I'm guessing there might be some snacks and beverages. I have a feeling this will be a real fun evening. Also, they made a really cool DIY catalog (which is super slick)! Pick one up at the opening.

Also, I think it's important to note - this is another great example of artists creating an experimental space with full autonomy. As Matthew Offenbacher says, "Create your own context!".

The opening reception is this Saturday (March 20) at 7pm.
Michael Peck Space
3509 Fremont Ave North

Facebook invite here.
Full details here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Upcoming shows...

Daisey (white), Daisey (Grey)

Well, if you're looking for something to do this Thursday (and I doubt you are with everything going on), swing on by SAM Gallery for their Introductions show. I'll have five new pieces (2 paintings, 3 drawings), along with Julie Alpert, Emily Pothast, Kimberly Trowbridge and more.

Meet Greet Rinse Repeat by Troy Gua and The Collaborati

And then on 1st Thursday, I'll have a piece in Troy Gua's huge collaborative project at Monarch Contemporary. Nearly 50 artist personalized unique glyphs Troy designed. Should be an amazing show with lots of interesting takes. Here's more info.

And then I'll also have a collaborative piece with Lucy Alma Brennan as part of Strange Coupling VIII: Matches Made, where UW art students are paired with local artists. A really great roster of artists and interesting pairings (by Marisa Sánchez and Michael Van Horn).
Gala Bent :: Nuala Ni Fhlathuin
Heide Hinrichs :: Matt Hilger
Britta Johnson :: Christopher McElroy
Shawn Patrick Landis :: Sohroosh Hashemi
Kate Lebo :: Bryan Schoneman
Mike Pham :: Acacia Marable
Tim Roda :: Hanita Schwartz
Joey Veltkamp :: Lucy Alma Brennan
And don't forget about the post-1st Thursday party at the Hideout. Someone's going to win $500!

New Guard - March

Hi folks! Barring any unforeseen circumstances like month, the next New Guard dinner is a go for Sunday, Mar 28 at The Sanctuary in West Seattle.

Chef Tyler Palagi

This month, we'll have chef Tyler Palagi (and pastry chef Garrett Melkonian, both from Spring Hill) cooking up dinner for us. If you haven't been to Spring Hill (or Kurtwood Farms, where he also cooks) yet, you're in for a yummy surprise.

Stumpy by Chauney Peck

Chauney Peck is probably best known for her beautiful ‘paintings’ of collaged vinyl, each one depicting a pile of garbage around the city. Her art frequently questions how humans impact their environment. Peck’s latest work involves letting her work develop using chance and intuition as tools for creation. She has shown at SOIL, Gallery4Culture, Helm Gallery and more. She has a new show, Bang, Universe, Everything, opening up March 31 at SOIL.

Christopher Mansfield

"You may have heard these sweet sad songs of Chris's played under another name; but for our New Guard event we've convinced him to share his songs solo, acoustic. Damien [Jurado] often says the best test of a songwriter is to strip away everything to the bare bones, to see if it still holds up. Christopher passes, with flying colors. The kid who was once 'Forever Bummed' has turned the tide, and his songwriting has more depth and soul than ever before. " - Music Co-curator Sarah Jurado.

The ticket email goes out this morning. If you haven't signed up for the list yet, head over to

Monday, March 15, 2010

Learn to paint

Thieves: Pitbull (2008) by Mark Takamichi Miller
image via Howard House

At her recent artist salon, Kimberly Trowbridge set up the event almost like an art class. Not surprising at all since in addition to being an awesome artist, she's a full time instructor, too. It was a marked contrast from the other salons and I really enjoyed it. It got me thinking about maybe taking some art classess down the road. But then whenever I go to the class schedules, the cheapskate in me is always put off by the couple hundred price tags. I know it's totally worth it but it always demotivates me.

Enter Mark Takamichi Miller. Mark, as you probably know, is amazing artist who really pushes the limits of paint. He makes some of the most charmingly weird paintings I've seen. And he's all set up in his new Georgetown studio and ready to teach you to paint! Mark's format is really non-threatening and a good fit for all levels. His classes alternate between experimental and figure painting, depending on what you're looking for.

If you've been on the fence, I recommend checking out his studio and taking a couple classes (a 4 class punch card is only $200 - including all the supplies you need!). So you'll get a 3 hour class, with materials provided, for only $50. That's a really great deal!


Also, if you have children (or adults) that would like private lessons, contact artist Sharon Arnold - she's great!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Upcoming at SAM

Self-Portrait [with Skull], 1977, by Andy Warhol
Polaroid Polacolor (reprint), courtesy of the Andy Warhol Museum

I know that some folks are still a bit iffy about the idea of a museum show around Kurt Cobain, but I really think it's going to be great. I think it's a daring show for Michael Darling to put together. And if it were done anywhere else, I'd probably hate it. But because Seattle Art Museum is one of the few institutions that could pull it off, I'm really excited for it.

And I think some of their other upcoming programming really shines a light on how unique the Northwest is. For example, the Twilight phenomena has brought the name of Quileute Native Peoples into the forefront of popular culture. Barbara Brotherton has chosen to respond with Behind the Scenes: the Real Story of Quileute Wolves, a small exhibition that will address concepts of cultural appropriation and present objects related to wolf imagery.

Additionally, to complement the Kurt show, Marisa Sánchez curated a show of media works by art-god Andy Warhol. Like Cobain, Andy was fascinated by themes of love fear pleasure lust pain glamour death (conveniently, that's the title of the exhibit).

Related: Andy in drag, Matt Offenbacher's Green Gothic

Friday, March 12, 2010

SOIL in residence

Susanna Bluhm

SOIL was recently approached by the Seattle Design Center to do a three month installation in one of their vacant spaces in Georgetown. Almost every one of the current 25 members is showing something. And with 11,000 square feet, there's plenty of room to stretch out.

Ben Hirshkoff

Being brand new to the gallery, I was a bit nervous as to how this would all go down. The veteran SOILers are aces at diplomacy though and I thought the process was pretty painless. The majority of the group met up on a Monday. Folks who couldn't make it sent in their requests ("good light"). We walked through the space and discussed the relationships we thought would work best. Then, over a week period, everyone came down and installed their work.

Randy Wood

The space feels connected but there's also plenty of surprises around each corner. In one end of the gallery there's a grouping of medium sized cubes that make perfect mini-galleries. There are cut-outs that make perfect homes for a painted-on-site piece by Cable Griffith and plywood crystals by Chauney Peck. Susanna Bluhm was able to show many of her large paintings for the first time. I lucked out and got a 28 foot wall and was able to install a new piece called Rainbow Bears.

Chauney Peck (front), Timea Tihanyi (back)

In the front of the temporary gallery, the members of SOIL are working on a large collaborative drawing on two walls. We'll add to it each time we're there. I think it will be open Thursdays from 11-4. We'll also be hosting an opening soon.

Joey Veltkamp

I think it was 3 weeks from when we were asked to when we had the whole show installed. I think that's pretty dang good. Full fllickr set here.

To visit the installation, the SDC is at 5701 6th Avenue S. and we're in suite 288.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Painted people

Look at his hands - they're not painted.

Wow! These are blowing my brain. This artist (I didn't see a name) paints actual people to look like paintings. It's pretty jarring seeing them off the canvas and on the subway.

Thanks Karann (via)

2nd Thursday, Seattle

There's plenty of art to see tonight!

Waking the Dead (1991) by Jay Steensma

Jay Steensma, Ree Brown and Elizabeth Aurich at Vermillion.

Photo by Kelly O

Open Wider, Hole on the Hill's closing party.

A closing party for Work Song - a group show with Gretchen Bennett, Ben Chickadel, Leo Berk, Eric Fredericksen, Tyler Cufley, and Joe Plummer - at The Gift Shop.

Birds by Shelli Markee

Shelli Markee at Cupcake Royale on Capitol Hill.

image by Chris Sheridan

Ten and Change (curated by Kate Protage) at Twilight Artist Collective in West Seattle. Includes Sharon Arnold, Ryan Molenkamp, Chris Crites and more.