Thursday, April 29, 2010

SAM's Michael Darling leaving in July

image via

Noooooooo! Worst news of the day (and it's not even 8am). Michael Darling, Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art, will be leaving Seattle Art Museum in July. Michael has been selected to be Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. While I'm really excited for Michael, this just feels likes a huge loss. I will respect this man forever just for Target Practice.

“Michael’s contribution to SAM has been critical to the institution’s success over the past four years. He leaves us with an extraordinary legacy on which successors will surely build. While I speak for everyone here in saying that he will be missed, we all wish Michael the best in his new challenge, and we hope to collaborate with him again at some point in the near future.” - Derrick Cartwright.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Clarklewis / The Oregonian

image via Clarklewis

One of my favorite places to eat in Portland just got a real nice review in The Oregonian. Two years ago, my good friend Dolan Lane took over Executive Chef duties for Clarklewis.
"Lane takes an array of basic ideas and repeatedly reimagines them on a shape-shifting menu. Pacific black cod might appear in a woodsy nettle brodo, or paired with a roasted fennel bulb whose layers reflect the fish's muscle structure, but either style captures and builds on the cod's glutinous, satiny texture." - David Sarasohn
If you haven't been (or haven't been in a while), I heartily encourage you to check it out! Congrats Do'!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Heather and Ivan Morison / Open Satellite

If you didn't get a chance to swing by Open Satellite last night for the opening of Heather and Ivan Morison's Frost King, here are some images. It's huge and beautiful.

There will be a lecture this Friday (Apr 28) at 7pm in the Henry Auditorium. $5 for non-members.

The show is up through June 19th - don't miss it!

Theo Chocolate's Chef Confection Project

image via Theo Chocolate

When it comes to sweets, chocolates aren't usually my first pick (team cheesecake!). But I think that's going to change now that I've heard about the Chef Confection Project.

Theo Chocolate has been inviting James Beard Award-winning chefs to partner with them to produce unique confections. First up was Tilth's Maria Hines who came with a mouth-watering list of flavors, “I'd love to explore savory caramels: white truffle, spot prawn-anise-hyssop, triple lemon, sumac-marcona. I love cardamom, olives, onion jam, dried strawberries, those tamarind-chili-lime dried mangos, Woodford Reserve..."

image via Theo Chocolate

Lark owner/chef John Sundstrom was the 2nd chef to participate. For John, "The flavors ranged from sweet cajeta (goat's milk dulce de leche), to intriguing pine resin, to downright illegal (tonka beans)." The thought of pine resin and chocolate makes my mouth water.

The 3rd chef to collaborate was Poppy's Jerry Traunfeld. He arrived with, "...a bounty of
greens like shiso, kinome (leaves from the Szechuan pepper plant), anise hyssop, and fresh bay leaves."

I'm not sure when we'll be able to sample these but I hope soon!

A Continuing Cultural Legacy

installation shot

If you follow local arts, you probably already know that Safeco Insurance had been slowly amassing a private collection of art over a 30 year period.

Earlier this spring, Safeco donated 840 pieces of art from Northwest artists to consortium of museums. The Washington Art Consortium is a group of museums scattered across the state that banded together in 1975 to purchase art collections that they would share as a group. By donating to WAC, Safeco has ensured that important Northwest works made by local artists will stay local.

As a tribute to Safeco, Beth Sellars has curated an exhibition of art by 85 contemporary and historical artists spanning a 100 year period.

The show is up now through June 25. To celebrate, Wright Exhibition Space will have extended hours. In addtion to their normal gallery hours of Thursday and Friday (10am-2pm), they will also be open on Saturday, May 22 & Saturday, June 19 (10am-2pm).

The Wright Exhibition Space
407 Dexter Avenue North, Seattle

Monday, April 26, 2010

Seattle artists in the news

by Molly Norris (click to enlarge)

As a sign of solidarity for South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, Seattle artist Molly Norris has created a poster that has gotten lots of attention - both positive and negative. It has been covered on numerous blogs (including Andrew Sullivan, SLOG) and here's a KIRO interview. Molly's initial goal was to push a few boundaries and to make a larger point about personal expression. However, since the poster's creation, it has taken on a life of its own. Someone created a Facebook page that's now full of negative comments. And that spawned its own protest Facebook page. Molly just wanted to make a point (that I agree with) that it's important to take risks for things we believe in. If you've ever met Molly, you already know she's about as nice as they come. She's updated her website with a new cartoon that expresses her anxiety around all the drama. Big hugs to Molly!

Until It Completely Runs Out, 2010 by Elias Hansen

My friend Dave sent me a link this morning with a reminder that we almost never see Seattle in the Artforum Picks. But this month, Stephanie Snyder writes about Elias Hansen's show, We Used To Get So High. It's a great show that dramatically alters the layout of Lawrimore Project.
"Elias Hansen’s work possesses a threatening and pungent pitch. A native of the Northwest and an accomplished glass artist, for the past six years Hansen’s gritty, libertarian aesthetic has offered the region a critical antidote to the candy-colored daydreams of the Chihuly School." - Stephanie Snyder
The show is up through May 8th.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Soil in Residence tonight!

A quick reminder that tonight is Soil in Residence at the Seattle Design Center from 6-9pm.

Free parking, free music (Phantom Sons), free wine and snacks and 11,000 sq ft of art.

SEAF artistst

Dirty Mind (2010) by Troy Gua

Last year, Sharon Arnold was invited to be Seattle Erotic Art Festival's guest curator. She brought a lot of interesting folks together who didn't typically make erotic art. One of my favorite ways she bridged the two worlds was by interviewing each of the invited artists on her blog, Dimensions Variable.

This year, curatorial duties have been passed on to Chris Crites. And while Sharon might not be interviewing every artist this year, she is posting some some writings by them. So far, Tim Marsden, Kate Protage and Troy Gua have participated. She'll be posting a new one daily until the day of the festival. Check them out to get a little insight into the artists' process.

SEAF runs April 30 - May 2nd at Seattle Center.

If you just want to check out the art, there will be a free preview Sunday from noon to 4pm.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rain Shadow Meats / Capitol Hill

image via Rain Shadow Meats

Today at 10am, Rain Shadow Meats opens up in the Melrose Building on Capitol Hill. RSM will focus on locally-sourced meats and charcuterie from their on-site curing room. A big congratulations to proprietor Russ Flint! He's the former sous-chef at Boat Street Café and he's also one of the nicest people I've ever met.

This little triangle-shaped building has really become a one-stop destination of amazing tenants: Rain Shadow Meats will join The Calf and Kid (also opening today!), Sitka & Spruce, Marigold & Mint, Homegrown Sandwiches, STILL Liquor, Velouria and Sonic Boom.

Follow Rain Shadow Meats on Facebook or Twitter. Also on CHS, Seattle Metropolitan, and Voracious.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Heather and Ivan Morison / Frost King

Duncan, Ivan and Greg installing

I spent yesterday at Open Satellite trying to help British artists Ivan and Heather Morison install their enormous kite prototype. Selected by Eric Fredericksen, they've been doing a residency that has involved extensive research at the Drachen Foundation whose international goal is to increase knowledge about kites.

The Black Cloud (2009)

Heather and Ivan have been working with experts to develop a series of both small and large prototypes kite that they will realize once they return home. For their installation at Open Satellite, the artists have been milling and charring lumber to build a massive kite model/structure that extends the length of the entire space.

Installation view

It's going to be beautiful. But until it's finished, it's really messy. I don't think I've ever been more dirty. For some reason, the charcoal dust seems to accumulate around the eyes (maybe from rubbing them?) so by the end of the day, as Yoko Ott said, "Everyone looks like raccoons."

The show runs from April 28 - June 19 with an opening reception happening on Tuesday, April 27 from 6-9. The artists will also be giving a talk at UW on Friday, April 30 (7pm).

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Say hello to Christopher Martin Hoff

The Pulpit, oil on linen, 24" x 22"

If you've lived in Seattle for a while, there's a good chance you've seen painter Christopher Martin Hoff set up on sidewalks capturing moments of urban life. He has a new show opening up next month at Linda Hodges Gallery called At The Wall In His Wake (a reference to Melville's Moby Dick).

The Chase In His Wake, oil on linen, 30" x 22"

So why Moby Dick?

It was one of those books that I had never read. It seemed intimidating. It also happened to be the favorite book of a friend of mine and needing a distraction in that friend's absence I decided to go whaling myself. What struck me right away about Melville was his incredible capacity to poetically link opposites: the historical & the modern, awfulness (in the sublime, Elizabethan sense of the word) & the aesthetically beautiful, profound meditation & passionate action, life & death, science & poetry etc. It also just so happened that I started reading the book in November, the very month Ishmael begins his tale and like him I too was experiencing a "damp, drizzly November of my soul". Though its effects were unexpected, I quickly recognized the influences of the book on my daily "urban meditations". The ruined skeletons of structures caught in limbo by the financial crisis became characters from the book, graffiti and street signs became "Belshazzar's writing on the wall (literally), telephone poles became mastheads and wires, whale lines. I felt really moved by the whole thing so I went with it. Looking back on things objectively, though I think the work is strong, I am also aware of their inability to approach what is truly horrible and ultimately most beautiful in the book. I find this "failure" interesting, and though I've made attempts in the work to visually undermine each of the paintings in subtle formal ways: spaces that lead into walls, the removal of structural supports so that if real, the building couldn't support it's own weight, and other apparitions/aberrations, each painting inherently falls short. Hopefully they at least fail in intriguing ways and are compelling enough to trigger further "digging" when considered with the chapter in Moby Dick to which each is linked. "Antiques buried beneath antiquities" as it may.

Ahab, oil on linen, 28" x 36"

Once you notice the absence of people and animals, your paintings can take on an ominous feel. I'm just curious as to why you choose to not include them?

The simplest answer is that they are temporary and therefore not part of the composition that led me to paint the site in the first place. I suppose you could say I have a certain "structural bias", which, when one considers that any given painting could require anywhere from a forty hours to twenty months to complete on site, makes it unlikely that these things would do anything but upset the quietness of the overall formal arrangement. Many painters have tried to incorporate both elements and most of the time these are studio painters rather than pleinair painters. Bruegel did this well for example, but his figures, like in most Flemish painting of his time, were there to support some moral narrative. Adding people creates this need for a narrative, which isn't really what I'm looking for.

The Symphony: For Ed and Mary, 24" x 22", oil on linen

Being a plein air comes with its own set of unique challenges. Mind sharing some of your craziest stories?

One of the strangest interactions occurred while working on Pine one day. It was sunny and foot traffic on the sidewalk where I was working was above average. I had been painting for about three hours, and my feet were starting to hurt, so I thought I'd take a break by sitting down against the wall of a building only a few feet from my easel. I had been sitting for about ten minutes, listening to something relaxing on my headphones like Erik Satie so all seemed ordered and well with the world. Now, often while I'm resting on days like this, folks will stop at the easel, and emboldened by not having to peer over my shoulder, go in for a closer look. So when a young man, probably about eighteen, came up to my easel and began to scrutinize the tools of my trade it seemed perfectly normal. However, this quickly came to an end, when he picked up a brush and started mixing some colors as if he were simply filling in for me while I rested. As he was lifting the paint-loaded brush to the canvas I recovered from my bewilderment enough to lunge across the sidewalk ready to tackle him if necessary. For a moment he truly looked shocked by my sudden action. When I said "WTF are you doing?", he simply put down the brush, indifferently replied "Sssssorrry", and walked off as if nothing had happened.

The Lee Shore, oil on linen tryptych, 62" x 20"

Walking around with a Nineteenth Century designed, French, easel bungee-corded to your back can cause panic in some folks. In fact, airlines won't let me carry-on my easel (empty of course) because it has "too many moving parts" (wood and brass). The panic isn't limited to the TSAeither. Twice I've ended up being interviewed by the police after being reported by fellow citizens while working on site. The first occurred last March while I was painting the power transfer station down on Fourth Avenue near Costco here in Seattle. I had been working for an hour or so that day when I had the feeling I was being watched. Turning around, I noticed a police cruiser about thirty yards away. Satisfied that my "radar" was working, I continued with my work. About twenty minutes later I was interrupted by the unique "Good afternoon!" of a police officer. Suspicious but polite, he proceeded to ask me what I was doing while he looked over my license. He scribbled some things in his notebook and after several minutes of questions he said that someone had reported that I might be planning some kind of attack on the power station. Hopefully there is a file started on me somewhere.

The Whale's Skeleton: Homage to S.B.C., 22" x 22", oil on linen

The other "brush with the law" had somewhat higher stakes. It occurred last June, in New York City, while I was working on the second painting of the World Trade Center Project. I had set up on a quiet sidewalk at Washington and Vessey, next to the now completed Tower 7 and overlooking Tower 1. It was day three, and I only had one more ten hour session to work on the painting the following day so time was precious. Once again I had that feeling of being watched AND once again I was greeted with that familiar "Good afternoon!". Officer Charles introduced himself and after claiming to be not much of an art critic, asked me if I had "permission" to be on this sidewalk. Answering this question any where else in the country probably wouldn't take much thought, but this site is different, so I proceeded cautiously. I told him that I had indeed spoken with the appropriate people at the Port Authority (the owners of the WTC property) about working in Tower 7 but that they were still working out the details with the building manager. Since I only had forty hours to work on the site before I headed back to Seattle, I had gone ahead and started this painting a few days earlier. He responded, "Yes - we know, building security has been watching you on camera and they don't want you here." He could see that this had caused me some worry and continued, "but you seemed to have tried to go through the proper channels so I'll see what I can do". He wrote down my license info, scribbled some notes about my contacts at the Port Authority, and headed back into the building saying, "If you see me again, it hasn't gone well for you". Fortunately he did not reappear that day, or the following, and I completed paintings #2 and #3 of the series in a mad spree of eighty hours in eight days. If only I could have gotten the surveillance footage of me working - that would have been amazing!

Painting on site for The Blanket

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kate Tucker / American Songwriter

It's been a little while since I've talked about the delightful Kate Tucker. She's this week's artist for American Songwriter. You can read it here. Also, Kate has been working on an upcoming album called White Horses. To raise some funds for the album's release, she's set up a Kickstarter profile here. If you'd like to donate, you'll get a cool prize ranging from a copy of the new CD all the way up to a private concert and dinner.

Timothy Cross

Jungle Island by Timothy Cross

Tonight, a group of us will be driving up to Edmonds to check out Timothy Cross' latest show, La La Land. When I think of Tim's work, I think of drawings like the one above. I checked out his website this morning and it looks like things have changed dramatically.

La La Land installation view

The most immediate thing that strikes me is how much more calm things seem to be. The work still feels a bit frenetic from the pulsing lines but things feel less chaotic. I really liked his older work (I'm not alone, he was a 2009 Neddy nominee), but I can't wait to see this new show.

Cooper Lake (2010) by Timothy Cross

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Capitol Hill Light Rail

installation by DK Pan (image via)

CHS is reporting that artist DK Pan has been selected as the lead artist for the construction walls around the Capitol Hill light rail station. Construction has already started and is estimated to take up to five years. This will be a long-term, evolving art installation located in the center of the hill. And as DK Pan said, "And ultimately, this project for me is all about love." Here's the current call for art.

One proposed component will be a story/memory walls. I think that's great - all the changes on the hill (especially around Broadway) have made folks really nostalgic. I've been hearing all sorts of stories lately about how things "used to be". It will be nice to have a place to collect these memories.

proposal by Mike Ross (image via)

Also, once the light rail station opens up, it will include art by Ellen Forney and Mike Ross. The last I heard, Ellen was going to be painting some of her amazing hand/finger murals and Mike Ross has proposed cut-up/neutered warplanes rearranged in an organic form. Dominic Holden wrote about it here.

Updated: corrected the attributed author

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Elliot Bay Book Company / Capitol Hill

photo via zenobia_joy

What a difference a year makes. The dramatic transformation of 10th Avenue between Pike and Pine has been amazing to watch. Molly Moon alone brought all the boys - and girls and children and hipsters - to her yard for milkshakes and waffle cones. And then the tasty Rancho Bravo opened up in the old KFC. A little over a year ago, Linda opened up Oddfellows Cafe (and gave us pork fritters!). I'm not exactly sure of the timeline, but at some point The Century Ballroom reopened, along with Tin Table. Henri and Flora also relocated to the Oddfellows Building, along with corner tenant NUBE Green.

Today there will be a block party from 4-7pm to celebrate the recent addition of Everyday Music and The Elliot Bay Book Company. I know the move of Elliot Bay is a huge loss for Pioneer Square. I loved that old building. But wait until you see this new location. It was hard to breathe yesterday because of the overpowering smell of wood. It's everywhere. And it's much more open than their previous location. They've really created a wonderful space that already feels historic.

Some interesting things...

Cat Power (Chan Marshall) by Ellen Forney

Take a graphic novel class taught by the fantastic Ellen Forney at Cornish this summer.

I Was Nine by Sean M Johnson

Lucas Spivey talks to Sean M Johnson about This Growing Up Stuff...

Untitled (SP_017b) by Justin Beckman

Justin Colt Beckman is awarded a 3rd Ward Solo Show Legends residency which lasts for 3 months in Brooklyn and he gets $5000 cash and a solo show.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Saint Bartlett by Damien Jurado

The immensely talented Damien Jurado has a new album coming out May 25th. I know I'm biased (he's a co-curator for New Guard) but this album is going to be amazing. Don't believe me? Here's a preview of his song, Arkansas.

Margie Livingston, 2010 Neddy Artist Fellowship

LARGE DRAPE (2009) by Margie Livingston
image via

A big congratulations to 2010 Neddy Artist Fellow (Painting), Margie Livingston! I've written about her lots this past year. She's both an amazing artist and person. I think it's quite a small group of folks who have won both The Betty Bowen and The Neddy (Cris Bruch, Brian Murphy and now Margie).

262 ANGLES MOSTLY BLACK (2010) by Margie Livingston
image via

Also, all of us (Margie, Ken Kelly, Matthew Offenbacher and myself) will be in an upcoming exhibition at Tacoma Art Museum celebrating 15 years of the Neddy Artist Fellows. To mark the celebration, all previous Neddy winners will also show a piece or two.
Tacoma Art Museum
June 5 - Aug 22, 2010
Opening June 5th

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Go Missoula!

image via

Earlier this morning, the City Council "adopted the first equality ordinance in Montana that protects people from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity." By a vote of 10-2!

That's a pretty big deal. Granted, Missoula (University of Montana) has always been the more liberal counterpart to Bozeman (Montana State University). When I started college (20 years ago at MSU), I don't think there was even a gay group on campus. Or if there was, I didn't know where to find it.

Way to go, Missoula!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nooksack by Claude Zervas

Nooksack (2005) by Claude Zervas
CCFL lamps, wire, inverters, steel. 216" x 108" x 40" variable
Seattle Art Museum permanent collection

Many Seattleites would say the appeal of our city is due in large part to being surrounded by monumental mountains, verdant forests, and a plenitude of lakes, rivers and waterways. When it comes to awe-inspiring landscapes, we are pretty blessed. With all this nature, it becomes hard to not contemplate our relationship with our environment.

The Northwest has a rich artistic vocabulary in terms of subject matter and materials. Many regional artists reference our landscape in both direct (Matthew Offenbacher, Justin Colt Beckman, Eirik Johnson) and indirect (Gretchen Bennett, Susan Robb, Whiting Tennis) ways. Seattle also sits at a unique crossroad where nature meets high tech.

Our abundance of resources has spawned the rise of many technological revolutions. North Carolina might have been first in flight, but Boeing dominated the last half of the 20th century. Albuquerque’s loss became Seattle’s boon when Microsoft relocated here in the late ‘70s. Taking a cue from the world’s largest river, Amazon became the world’s largest e-commerce site.

Claude Zervas, a Washington native, makes art about nature but with a decidedly technological bent. While his materials might vary, each piece is imbued with a Northwest sensibility - videos of forests that grow a fungus based on a computer program, chainsaw-carved bears fitted with glowing eyes that change colors, and ‘clouds' created by rolls of paper and a computer.

Building on the Northwest trinity of nature, technology and recycling, he creates works that explore the nexus of what makes our region so unique. Claude is a master of many mediums but where he really shines is in his work with light. I can’t think of any piece of art in Seattle that is more representative of this convergence than his sculpture, Nooksack.

Comprised of fluorescent lamps and other electrical components, Claude’s sculpture takes both its name and its form from the Nooksack River. It’s a series of lights laid end to end with dangling cords that form ribbon-y trails that act as artistic tributaries tracing the river’s path towards the Puget Sound.

Nooksack the sculpture is everything Nooksack the river isn’t. The sculpture is white and gleaming; the river can be silty and turgid. The river is sinuous and at one point, provided electricity to the region while the sculpture is angular and sharp and requires electricity to activate it. Simply put, it’s a masterpiece of form and technology.

Later this year, Claude will install a site-specific artwork at the Brightwater Environmental Education and Community Center. Continuing his exploration of light and nature, Claude has been awarded the commission for a “Recycled Materials Chandelier”.
"I think because of the word 'chandelier' I started thinking about Rococo style and came up with a design that references both bacteria and Rococo flourishes. The exhibition hall site has a very modern 'green' design and my piece will provide a pretty stark formal counterpoint.”
Claude is illuminating nature, both figuratively and literally. Who could ask for anything more as we enter darkness of winter?

Jennifer Campbell / Point No Point

Tree-swings, rainbows and sprinklers? I'm already hooked.

In her new show Point No Point at Gallery4Culture artist Jennifer Campbell creates rain, makes Mt. Rainier erupt, turns into a lighthouse, walks on clouds and becomes a rainbow. The 5 pieces in this show (2 photographs and 3 videos) are each built around one of these actions.

Point No Point (2010) by Jennifer Campbell, image via

My favorite (it's so hard to pick) is the title piece, Point No Point. In this video, Jennifer (wearing a wetsuit) enters a lake, walks a ways out and climbs onto a submerged boulder. Here she pulls out a flashlight, aims it at the camera and becomes a lighthouse. The action is so simple but the message feels profoundly poetic. What is she trying to communicate? Is it a warning? Or is she just standing in the middle of lake in the middle of nowhere beaming her message to the universe?

Rainbow (2010) by Jennifer Campbell

Rainbow is a photo of a person doing a back flip in a verdant park. The figure is wearing striped clothing that creates a rainbow effect when in motion. I've been mildly obsessed with rainbows lately so watching someone turn into a one is about the coolest thing ever.

If you haven't already done so, you should head on down to Gallery4Culture (open M-F, 9-5) to see them in person. I think this show is amazing and I wouldn't be surprised if we see Jennifer showing at Western Bridge in the near future.

Updated 4/18 - great review by Gary Fagin on Artdish.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hollingsworth & DiPietro at Wooodside/Braseth

Congratulations to Harold Hollingsworth and Nathan DiPietro. They've both been picked up by Gordon Woodside/John Braseth Gallery. Woodside/Braseth is probably best known for representing the Northwest Masters like Graves, Tsutakawa, Callahan, Tobey, Cumming and more.

Juan de Fuca Reenactment by Nathan DiPietro

I already know and love Harold's art. He's shown around Seattle for a long time (including such esteemed galleries like Linda Farris and Esther Claypool). I'm not as familiar with Nathan's work. He also shows at PUNCH Gallery with awesome artists like Jason Hirata, Sol Hashemi, Justin Colt Beckman, Patricia Hagen and more.

If you want to see their work and say howdy, Woodside/Braseth will be hosting a reception for the current exhibition, A Spring Salon: Our 49th Anniversary Group Exhibition on April 15th. The show is up through May 1st.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Kimberly Trowbridge / The Painting Center

Susanna by Kimberly Trowbridge

It's no secret I love Kimberly Trowbridge! And I'm definitely not alone. She's been invited to show in the Project Space of The Painting Center in New York City. But she broke her arm and collarbone last month and can't build her frames like she normally would. In order to pay for the frames (and some crates), she's hoping to raise some fast money. The project budget is $2500. She's applied for a grant to help fund the show, so fingers crossed.

No one likes asking for money. Certainly not Kimberly, but it's also really nice to know that the community is there to support each other. You never know when you might get a golden opportunity and need some fast cash. Consider it as investment into your future. And if twenty folks each donate $25, she's already met her goal and immediately doubles her money. And if folks pitch in more, maybe she could even hit a museum or two. I'm donating for sure!

I'm always just so happy when Seattleites get to show in NYC. I'm damn proud to have Kimberly reppin for the NW!

How to donate via PayPal:

You can follow this PayPal link: and use a credit card to make an easy donation.You do NOT need a PayPal account to do this. You do NOT need to log in. Under the Personal tab choose Send Money. Use my email: as recipient and under Personal, choose Gift.

And if you're uncomfortable using PayPal, you can email Kimberly and she'll send you her address and you can mail a check.

Also, if you're in NYC, the show is up June 8 - July 3. Opening: Thursday, June 10th.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bang, Unverse, Everything / Chauney Peck

Star Offering by Chauney Peck

Yesterday, I got to gallery sit at SOIL and spend the day with Chauney Peck's Bang, Universe, Everything. I wrote the short essay in the show brochure so I've already been thinking about this new body of work a lot.

I really like her new approach of using chance as a framework to build these sculptural accretions. Brightly colored pieces of wood are wrapped in string and nylon cord then displayed on modest plinths of found timber. Some have had plaster added to them, others are embellished with fake flowers or ceramic bears. There's a looseness to them but they feel resolved.

They also feel very Northwestern. The re-use of discarded materials, a nebulous spirituality, and the strong presence of timber all exude a variant of what Jeffry Mitchell described as "Hippie magic" in his curated show, Call and Response, at Crawl Space Gallery last March.

One of my favorite surprises about this show is that many of the pieces are offerings. They're not for sale but if you connect with one of them, you should contact Chauney (contact info is at the gallery) and explain why and maybe you'll end up with it at the end of the show. Amanda Manitach wrote a great essay about how this additional element of gift-giving echoes the potlatch (a ceremony unique to the NW Coast region).

Chauney continues her work in cut vinyl. Only this time, instead of documenting piles of neighborhood trash, she's turned her eye toward representing nuclear test data and visualization of exploding stars. With poetic titles like "A Powerful New God is Coming", and "Imperfect Sun", these new pieces more abstract than her previous work.

Everyone I've talked to really likes this show. I've heard a couple of artists refer to it as their highpoint of 1st Thursday (and that's saying something because there was a bunch of great art!). You can preview the show here but it really has to be seen in person. I believe Chauney will be gallery sitting on Thursday, April 22 if you want to ask her any questions. This show was also my pick for City Arts NOW spotlight.

Also, in the backspace, Ben Hirshkoff present Floating. I really want one of his Asteroids drawings.


BLESS THIS MESS (2010) by Josh Faught

Ever since I saw this new piece by Josh Faught at Greg Kucera last week, I haven't been able to quit thinking about it. I have a real sweet spot for fiber arts. My aunt Anna owned a store called "Yarn and Needle Arts" in Bozeman, Montana during the 1970s. I'd spend my summers at her place making these killer macrame plant holders in earth tones with wooden beads. I loved brushing out the bottoms until they were super fluffy - I remember thinking, "Maybe I'll be a dog groomer when I grow up.".

After watching Josh's lecture at the Betty Bowen Awards, I got the feeling that Josh must have fallen in love with the fiber arts at as a young, gay boy himself. His presentation included an amazing video of how to dye yarn an indigo color. When I was there last week, SAM still has this piece installed by the elevators. You can see more of his work online here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Save the date: April 24

On April 24 from 6-9, come join us at the Seattle Design Center for Soil in Residence. There's plenty of free parking, wine and at 8pm, The Phantom Sons will rock the design center. Directions here. Hope to see you there!

Participating artists: Iole Alessandrini, Nola Avienne, Susanna Bluhm, Christopher Buening, Chris Engman, Curtis Erlinger, Cable Griffith, Ben Hirschkoff, Claire Johnson, Derrick Jefferies, Kirk Lang, Margie Livingston, Kiki MacInnis, Philip Miner, Saya Moriyasu, Nicholas Nyland, Chauney Peck, Adam Satushek, Timea Tihanyi, Joey Veltkamp, Randy Wood, Ellen Ziegler and Jenny Zwick.

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 5, 1994 (RIP Kurt)

My friend Gretchen and I ended up on a spontaneous walk today. As we meandered through Madrona we wound up at Kurt Cobain's memorial site. We added our offerings to the grafitti'd bench that already held candles, flowers, cards, and other items. I can't believe it's already been 16 years. I still think it's so sad.

MAN: The Tourney-ish: The finals

Ellsworth Kelly, image via

Okay - one final post about Tyler Green's unscientific tourney to determine The Greatest Living American Abstract Painter. The final two are Ellsworth Kelly vs. Cy Twombly.

Cy Twombly, image via

Who will win? Vote here.