Monday, May 31, 2010

NEPO 3: Air, Fire, Water (We Will Leave the Earth Behind)

Hopefully you've already heard of Klara and Scott's home gallery/collaborative project called NEPO. For the 3rd iteration, the theme will focus on three elements of air, fire and water. This one will have lots of one night only performances. I see some really great folks are lined up like Emily Pothast, David Golightly, Julia Haack, Rumi Koshino, Jason Hirata, Serrah Russell and Timothy Cross.

6:00 pm and ongoing:
Flying in Dreams by Lara Davis, Lauren Atkinson and David Lasky
Drone Chamber by Emily Pothast and David Golightly
Hecho en China by Janel Twogood
Spray Paint Cloud by Lauren Klenow
Kitchen Installation by Christopher Mc Elroy
Trash-Walk and Rubble full of Air by Rumi Koshino and Klara Glosova
Sea Wall by Mark Callen
Puddle by Julia Haack
Volcano drawings by Aaliyah Gupta
Dress as a fallen rain cloud by Serrah Rusell
Match and Stick drawings by Timothy Cross
Sunset by Gitane Versakos
The Missing Element by Stefan Knorr
8:30 pm
I want you to want me: experiments in synergy by Jason Hirata and Matt Hilger (hint: this project involves a cell phone launch to outer space - don't miss it!)
9:00 pm
Cloud Talk - Skype performance by SP Weather Station (Natalie Campbell and Heidi Nielson)
9:30 pm
Multi-projector star performance by Eric Ostrowski
10:00 pm
Musical guest Whiting Tennis
11:00 pm
Fire juggling by Matt Baker, Sebastian Shaw
12:00 pm
Lights out (NEPO over)

When: this Saturday (June 5), 6pm to midnight
Where: 1723 S Lander Street, Seattle

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Help Wanted / Alex Schweder

image via artist

Alex Schweder La will be back in town next month for a special 2 week performance and is looking for volunteers. Its Form Will Follow Your Performance was first realized in Berlin at magnus müller Gallery last summer. Continuing his exploration of performance architecture, Alex needs five recruits who could use some "free architectural advice". Alex and the participants will have a one hour consultation at Lawrimore Project in which Alex will make recommendations on how to renovate their apartment. These 'clients' will then go home and implement the suggestions and document the changes. They will continue to consult via email until architect and client have decided the renovation is complete. The ideal participants will be:
  • from outside the art world;
  • of limited means;
  • okay with the documentation process.
If this sounds fun to you or know people who might want to participate, email Scott (scott at with the subject line, 'Free Architectural Advice". If you are unfamiliar with Alex's work, here's an interview we did last year when he and Ward Shelley performed Stability.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Goodbye Howard House

An index to the history of lust by Matthew Offenbacher
Image via Howard House

There's not much I can really add to what Jen and Regina have already said. I've probably written about Howard House more than any other gallery since I started this blog. A lot of that was due in part to my frequent mentions about favorites like Gretchen Bennett, Matthew Offenbacher, Ken Kelly, Robert Yoder and so many more. There is just SO MUCH talent (past and present) that has shown there.

This was severely depressing news to hear. I wish Billy, Nancy and all of the amazing artists much success in the future. Thanks to everyone for all they've done to show us some of the most amazing contemporary art that Seattle has seen.

Billy's final day is Saturday, June 12th.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Retrofit Home's new location

Lori & Jon in their new location

Congratulations to Retrofit Home on their new location. They're moved around the corner into the beautiful former home of ARIA. Opening up over five years ago (has it really only been five years?), they've always made a splash on 12th Avenue. With an impossible-to-miss brightly painted facade, the explosion of color extended inside where you could always find a million beautiful things you never knew you needed. The new space has a spare white elegance which really makes their inventory pop.

They'll be having their big re-grand opening party next Saturday (June 5) from noon to 9pm. You might even win a couch!

Mr. #20 by Kelly Rae Cunningham

murder of crows will be their inaugural show which will include renderings of crows by 16 artists like Kelly Rae Cunningham and Shelli Markee. The show will open up on Thursday, June 10 (Capitol Hill's BLITZ).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lundgren Monuments

image via Lundgren Monuments

As I headed over to The Hideout for a meeting last night (yes, a real meeting!), I stopped by Lundgren Monuments. I hadn't been in since its opening almost two years ago. As we all know, nothing stays static in the world of Greg Lundgren and he was telling me about a lot of cool things coming up.

Ellipse Urn-Vase by Stefan Gulassa
Image via Lundgren Monuments

I don't really know much about the death care business but that's okay because Greg knows plenty. In fact, he's kind of leading the way in getting folks to rethink their ideas around interment. I never would have thought to but I'm glad someone is asking us to reconsider the idea traditional tombstones and urns. Here's a beautiful short documentary that talks about this new way of thinking.

Image via Lundgren Monuments

Greg has assembled an amazing group of artists, architects and service providers to make sure that your loved one's memory will be as unique as they were. Some ways are custom paintings by Alan Hurley, beautiful non-traditional urn designs by Matt Sellars, Matthew Richter, Arne Pihl and Dante Marioni.

Perhaps you want something really different like a memorial action figure of your beloved by Mike Leavitt. Maybe you would like to create a Life Gem that you can wear to always remember them. Maybe a trip to space or being part of a reef is more apropos. The only limitation is your and Greg's imagination.

Greg has also written a forthcoming children's book, illustrated by the amazing Jed Dunkerley. He also invited a group of leading west coast architects to rethink the idea of the traditional urn for a new show called, The Architect and The Urn. "This will reflect the first time the field of architecture has turned its collective attention towards the cremation urn..." If you're interested in seeing the results, there will be an opening next Thursday (June 3) at 5pm.

If you'd like to hear more, you can find Lundgren Monuments on Facebook or sign up for their mailing list.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Seattle University Artist in Residence

Tradition as Adaptive Strategy, 2010
image via Lawrimore Project

Congratulations to Matt Browning - he'll be the next artist in residence at Seattle University. I think Matt will do something really cool that will engage the students and faculty. His residency will run from July through January.

Also, Matt's currently got a great show of work up at Lawrimore Project.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cochon 555: Seattle / John Sundstrom

If you're not already familiar with it, Cochon 555 is a national tour organized by Brady Lowe that celebrates local food and wine. Participating cities like Boston, New York, Atlanta, Washington DC, Seattle, San Francisco + more, each select a winner (Prince or Princess of Porc) who will compete in the Grand Cochon event in Aspen this June.

Seattle is the only city that didn't sell out. In Portland, the event started a fight that included a headbutt and a fractured tibia. As we were recounting the Portland drama last night, I said, "I'm so thankful that Seattle has John Sundstrom to set the tone for our chefs." So I'm especially pleased to announce that John Sundstrom is the winner of Seattle's Cochon 555.

In a world that rewards drama, bravado and in-fighting, it's so heartening to see good guys win. And they don't get better than John. An amazing chef and an amazing person, my love for Lark and John runs deep.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday talks / readings

By Tim Rollins and K.O.S., image via Frye Museum

Lots to hear today - a couple of great lectures and a dramatic reading.

Suyama Space will hosting an artist talk by Peter Nguyen starting at noon.

Greg Kucera will be hosting talks by artists Claudia Fitch and Whiting Tennis, also at noon.

The Frye will be having a dramatic reading of George Orwell's Animal Farm. "Featuring students from Holy Names Academy and O’Dea High School. Adapted by Nelson Bond from the book by George Orwell and directed by Next Stage Artistic Director Mark Jared Zufelt, this performance includes projected images from the Frye’s exhibition Tim Rollins and K.O.S.: A History." The reading starts at 2pm.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday night!

Okay Seattle - the days of not having any options are over. Waaay over. It's become pretty overwhelming with all the multiple amazing things happening on almost any given night. This creates a lot of conflicts and that's kind of great actually. But it also means that we have to choose between things and that's real hard for some of us. (Or if you don't choose and try to make it to everything, you're simply going to exhaust yourself, get sick and no one wants that. Plus, you'll end up spending 15 minutes at each event before you have to run out to the next thing.) I have friends who are sheepishly telling me that they can't make it to BrüTübe tonight. Please don't ever feel bad if you can't make it one of my shows/events. We all have competing priorities and very busy lives.

Sketch by Erik Geschke, image via Gage

I constantly feel like I'm letting folks down or missing really amazing things. But the truth is that sometimes I'm a poor artist and can't afford gas to get to Kirkland. Or other times, friends are in town and we're going to dinner. Like most of us, I actually have some pretty tolerant friends who aren't involved in the art scene (gasp!) and I get missing them and need to relax and enjoy some non-art time. Sometimes, I'm simply exhausted and want to stay in and just read a book. And for the awesome folks who don't drive cars, do you know how stressful it is for them to have to figure out the bus schedule from Georgetown to Ballard or beg for a ride? The point is that we all have rich lives and we simply can't do everything, no matter how much we'd like to. And not making it to our friends' events doesn't make us bad people - it just means our lives require care and attention.

That all being said, I encourage you all to quit worrying about what you SHOULD do and start doing what you WANT to do. The entire artistic community will be better for it and we'll all be a bit more energized. If you want to check out BrüTübe tomorrow, we'd love to see you. But if you don't/can't/won't make it to Kirkland, you're in luck because there are lots of other things to do that might interest you.

installation shot of Peter B. Nguyen's exhibition at Suyama Space

Beth Sellars is making it easy for you overachievers who are trying to do multiple things. Start your evening out at Suyama Space to see Peter Nguyen's beautiful new show, Migration. The reception is from 5-7pm.

Have you seen love fear pleasure lust pain glamour death yet? If not, tonight's a pretty good night to check it out. Henry Art Gallery's Director Sylvia Wolf will be leading a "Highly Opinionated" Tour (and I'll bet she has some great opinions) from 6:30-7pm. Marisa Sánchez has curated an amazing show that should bring you to tears at least once (and if not, you might be a robot). And after the tour, stick around for a showing of Andy Warhol's Chelsea Girls.

Gage Academy of Art will be hosting a reception tomorrow for their new show Sketch and Repeat. This show is chock full of great artists like Dawn Cerny, Robin Crookall, Timothy Cross, Ryan Finnerty, Julia Freeman, Erick Geschke and Matthew Offenbacher. And to top it off, 2009 Neddy nominee Timothy Cross will be giving a talk at 7pm. I forgot to ask Lauren K. but I really hope that Dawn's inclusion means we might get to see this piece again!

No matter what you do tonight (art related or not), remember to be gentle on yourselves because you're awesome!

As usual, if I'm missing anything, please feel free to post it in the comments.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Damien Jurado / Saint Bartlett

Saint Bartlett Band by the incomparable Sarah Jurado

I don't post a lot of music on my blog (mostly cause I'm a grandpa and never get out to see live music). But if I didn't have something on the books already for Friday, I'd be at Damien Jurado's Easy Street live performance. I fell in love with Damien Jurado's music a couple of years after I moved to Seattle. The first time I heard the song Ohio I cried. It's still my favorite song of his. But time moves on and 11 years later, this guy is making his best music yet. Don't believe me? Listen to this. If you can't make the in-store, Damien is kicking off a huge tour for his new album, Saint Bartlett, next Saturday (May 29th) at the Triple Door with members of Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground helping out.

Whiting Tennis / Greg Kucera Gallery

Cottage (2010) by Whiting Tennis, image via Greg Kucera Gallery

I am so excited for Whiting's new show Walleyed which opens up tonight at Greg Kucera Gallery. I'm not the only one either - I think this one of the most anticipated shows in Seattle in a while. Greg hasn't had a solo show of Whiting's work since 2006. This show is my pick of the month for City Arts print edition for June. D.W. Burnam wrote a beautiful essay about Whiting's work here.

Also opening up is a new show by Claudia Fitch. The Edge of the World takes its name from the 80s nightclub in New York's L.E.S. Greg previewed one of these last month and it was gorgeous. I love all of Claudia's work, but her drawings are probably my favorite.

Wonder Receding by Becky Birinyi

After Whiting's show, you should head on over to The Henry to hear Michael Darling's talk, Pulp Friction. We don't have that many more opportunities. (Okay, I'm still really bummed about his departure.) "Pulp Friction considers contemporary artists working on paper today, with an emphasis on those who are treating paper in an innovative and ambitious way."

The lecture is in conjunction with the Kirkland Arts Center show TEN: Seattle Prints Arts 2010 Anniversary, which Michael curated. The show is only up through June 5th so don't miss it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Roq La Rue turns 12

Bunny Cart by Mark Ryden / image from Roq La Rue

A big congratulations to Roq La Rue - they've just turned 12. Kirsten Anderson, along with partners John Kintz, Mark Long and Sarah Novotny, have done a great job of helping to build the lowbrow/pop surrealism empire. When Roq La Rue opened, it was one of only a few galleries promoting the scene. Kirsten is also the editor-at-large at Hi Fructose magazine.

May 18, 1980

image via

I was an 8 year old boy in Spokane when Mt St Helens erupted. I don't have a ton of childhood memories but watching the sky turn black in the afternoon is one of the weirdest ones I recall.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Alfred Harris / Froelick Gallery

Untitled #1777 (2010) by Alfred Harris

Someday I'll own an Alfred Harris painting. Maybe you want one too. If you're in Portland, he's got a show up (along with Leiv Fagereng and Sarah Horowitz) and at Froelick Gallery through May 29th. If you don't have a chance to see it in PDX, Alfred will have some new work up at SAM Gallery next month.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


When BrüTübe curator Cable Griffith invited me to participate in this fun project a few months back, I said yes immediately - mostly because I pretty much love all his projects. But once I saw the list other participants, I got a little nervous. Betsey Brock, Mike Pham, Jason Hirata, David Schmader and Chris Weber? Uh, can I go first please?

Here's a little preview of the direction I decided to go in. I just sent Cable my selections for his theme of OMG-LOL-ASAP and am feeling a little better. It'd be lots of fun if you could swing by Kirkland Arts Center this Friday at 7pm.


After I uploaded this cute image of two bears as my Facebook profile pic, artist Aaron Bagley shared a really cool collage he made that reminded him of it. I think it's awesome.

image by Aaron Bagley (click to enlarge)

Even if you think you don't know Aaron's work, you've probably seen it before on the cover of The Stranger or at The Hideout. Here's a great article Jen Graves wrote about him. He's currently working on illustrating a book (written by Kurt Reighley) for Harper Collins about old-timey things. I'll keep you posted when it's released this fall.

illustration by Aaron Bagley from United States of Americana

Aaron and his partner Jessixa also have a Tumblr where they post cool things they're working on - check it out here.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Gay 1 K recap

Gay 1 K participants

Last year, I participated in the inaugural run of the Gay 1 K. Initially, I think Shauna created this event to be a fun way to get to wear 70s athletic clothes but this year it's morphed into a fundraiser. It started at Cal Anderson and finished up at Purr (1 K = .6 mile) where they celebrated with shots! Year two has seen a doubling in size (thanks to Quake Rugby) and they were able to raise nearly $300 for Lambert House. Way to go folks!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cornish BFA 2010

Kris Dales' handmade mark-making tools

As I mentioned yesterday, Sharon Arnold and I headed down to check out the Cornish BFA show. We ran into several artists out showing their support such as Diem Chau, Will Owen, Randy Wood, Robert Yoder, D.W. Burnam, Dawn Cerny, Michael Williamson, Claire Johnson and Justin Lytle (one of last year's standout graduates). While I heard several folks say it's the best one in years, I haven't really followed it long enough to back that up. But I did see lots of great stuff and here are some my highlights.

Kris Dales

I loved Kris Dales' pyrographic works on paper. I'm so used to seeing Etsuko Ichikawa's swirling organic forms, that Kris' pieces were a jolt. The geometric patterns were beautiful. As the son of a Montana rancher who has his own brand (Y standing Z), this work was really compelling.

Allyce Wood

Reimagining nature through paper and string, Allyce Wood created a great installation in a corner of the gallery. I loved string-art in the 70s and it's great to see a new generation updating this.

Neutral Log Test by E. Dughi

It was so crowded last night that I probably would have missed the video gem by E. Dughi if Sharon hadn't excitedly told me I had to see it. {i} .... [you] is a text-based exchange between the artist and her partner. This piece was presented in two ways; I first watched it in a darkened room, almost as if we were watching it in a seedy adult theater from the 70s. I preferred the second presentation of three small monitors, each under 10 inches. This forced you to step closer and created a type of intimacy I haven't felt in a while.

Ashley Hempelmann

These large format photos by Ashley Hempelman were really nice. They reminded me of a forgotten 1920 photo shoot starring Clara Bow and friends. I'm not sure if it was intentional, but there was a beautiful, fragile tranny-vibe coming off them.

I also really liked Derek K.W. Ghorley's wooden minotaur hoofs, Nisse Ferguson's exploration of the Black Dahila and a few of Cameron Nagashima's digitally altered portraits really stopped me in my tracks.

Cornish BFA reception tonight

Tonight, Sharon Arnold and I will be checking out the Cornish BFA show. As a Cornish alumni, Sharon takes this show pretty seriously and has written lots about previous exhibitions. Last year's was great and I have high hopes for 2010.

If you're looking for something else, Roq La Rue will be opening Tiger Tiger Burning Bright (which includes Robert Hardgrave) or swing by SAM for a talk by author Charles Cross.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Whiting Tennis' "Walleyed" by D.W. Burnam

Whiting Tennis empathizes with his surroundings. His propensity for cataloging objects rendered soft by neglect and disuse engages him in the generative process of translating their representation into personal, shareable projections. Like Don Quixote, Whiting peoples his singular cosmos with characters born of interplay between inert materials and his imagination.

A show of these works presents a storehouse of material that refers directly to its points of origin: backyards, gardens, alleyways and outer-urban roadside landscapes. Each work also belongs to a narrative in which it is cast as a protagonist bearing the malaise of stigmatized personhood.

Often camouflaged at the world’s margins, the objects under Whiting’s scrutiny are easy to miss. He tells an anecdote about stopping short on a walk through the city to converse with a tin can. It has been crushed, stepped on. “You and Me,” he quips. Veering onto the shoulder of a stretch of highway, Whiting bounds out to an abandoned piggyback trailer about a hundred yards from the road. His gestures suggest a person-to-person introduction. Attentive to the trailer’s space without rescinding familiarity, he complements its originating influence. For Whiting, roads are paved hallways that traverse whole museums of significance: from tin cans to trailers, from bunkers to barns. (It can be unnerving as a passenger.)

Spare building materials compose his sculptures: reclaimed plywood, weathered shake and shingle, canvas, tarp, steel wire and string, nails and rivets. More or less human in scale, Whiting assembles structurally complex, balanced contraptions that border on architecture but function instead as unassuming morphological presences. Their hue is essentially uniform, as weather-beaten rural and suburban improvisation goes; in some cases the whole business is slathered in monochrome. Whiting’s paintings are similarly built-up facades of either woodblock-printed textures onto newsprint or thickly brushed hatchings and fades of oil paint. Diagramming planes and hardware with a practical, structural logic, he freezes his subjects like portraits in moments between their firmest cohesion and their most vulnerable. Whiting’s wall sculptures further realize the diagrams. The Nevelson-esque “Airport,” a white, wall mounted slab gridded-out in a succession of pocket architectural tableaus in relief, traces an ungrounded trajectory through space. Smaller studies like “Ghost” and “Donkey” sever objects' moorings in any real or simulated space. Echoing Cubist concerns with visual distortion in representation, the wall sculptures synthesize painting and sculpture onto one skewed plane. Extracted from the larger narratives to which his work tends, each of Whiting’s studies is an analytic exercise in decision-making, dimensionality and the evasive resolution of abstract and literal modes of perception.

Whiting engineers a kind of dilapidated-baroque. His irruptive figurations, usually modeled after animals and marginally subverted literary tropes, manage to radiate icon-like significance despite their awkward edifices. In 1957, Flannery O’Connor remarked of the grotesque character-type in Southern fiction, “it is when the freak can be sensed as a figure for our essential displacement that he attains some depth in literature.”

In some of Whiting’s earlier sculptures, occasional latches or drawer pulls invited viewers to search a work’s interior, often revealing bare compartments. Whiting’s assemblages demand a kind of self-assessment by provoking expectations as to their utility. Human identity depends on this kind of use-value. Purportedly hard-won claims to style, manner, vocation and ideology are so many cobbled together skins drawn over a receptacle that awaits self-affirming gifts from without. In The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard devotes a chapter to the psychology of furniture interiors, “Wardrobes with their shelves, desks with their drawers, and chests with their false bottoms are veritable organs of the secret psychological life. Indeed, without these ‘objects’…our intimate life would lack a model of intimacy. They are hybrid objects, subject objects.” Whiting scaffolds a gap between the perceptual uniformity of the human shell and the diverse grounds of deep judgments and deeper desires.

Whiting Tennis has little concern for archival materials. Newsprint, cardboard and sometimes spray paint are his essentials. Permanence lies at the whims of an elemental time. His sculptures, in all states of completion – framed as such they never are complete - litter his Greenwood property, soaking in rain that hairs and warps the wood grain; the surfaces build up mottled patinas of grit and rust. “We don’t last, and we discolor,” replies architect John Hejduk to a rebuke for using “one coat of rubber cement” on “the pasted in elements” of his sketchbooks. Whiting’s move to still life painting seems a natural progression for an artist who isn’t particularly rattled by rot and collapse. In his submission to degradation Whiting squeezes out the hyperbole of natura morta (literally, dead nature), breeding mute zombies not just from the tabletop, but from houses, wheelbarrows and tree stumps as well. The painting, “Go Seahawks. New Menus,” unfortunately not on view, frames both a restaurant reader board -lacking a complete set of black letters - and the quiet sadness of phoning in team spirit for more business. One could argue that Whiting only makes still life.

If it seems that in the present treatment thus far Whiting is just a depressive, it is because I have omitted that he finds his attraction to infirmity rather hilarious. The reader of Don Quixote, if their imagination is close to par with that of the protagonist, casts sickness in doubt in order to grasp the sensibility (read: the fun) of invoking the imagination’s ability to reverse the path of vision. A mythic “Triclops,” one of the centerpieces of Whiting’s new show is an absurd and hilariously invasive aesthetic move. A three-sided white ovoid column, looming like a sentinel, observes the entirety of the gallery. A cynic would presuppose its judgment; but perhaps it is just curious. Like the “Bovine” of Whiting's last show, a full-scale replica of a trailer replete with homespun ornament and the indices of habitation, its programs remain inaudible. Observations tend to follow causal trajectories that evade empirical fact; the true face of chaotic reality gets obscured by disbelief in what is magically, ineffably present. It is in the interstices of an irreconcilable stereoscopic flicker that a more “rational” world is spotted: an angelic monster, fractured and patched-together in places, who just wants to be our friend.

Written by D.W. Burnam

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Planning your 2nd Thursday

If I've been hearing one complaint about art in Seattle of late, it's that there's too damn much of it to see (a nice problem to have for sure). I think it was Ryan Molenkamp who joked that the only thing we're missing is 4th Thursday. I expect we'll be seeing that real soon.

In the meantime, here are a few spots you might want to hit (and I know I'm probably forgetting tons - feel free to post missing shows in the comments).

Undeclared Goods at SOIL

SOIL is having the opening reception/artist talk for the show Undeclared Goods. This month's artists came from Holland and the volcano threw some major kinks into their plans. It would be really great to pop in and say hi - the work is great. Jana Brevick also has a real nice show in the backspace.

Seethe by Ariana Page Russell (image via Platform Gallery)

Plaftorm Gallery will showing Save Face, new work by Ariana Page Russell.

Matt Browning (image by Sol Hashemi)

Lawrimore Project is being super over-achievey and will be opening THREE new solo shows. They all look great but I'm most excited to see Matt Browning's new work. If you think you know what to expect, think again. He's branched out into some new directions lately and if you want to know more, pick up the current issue of City Arts. And yet another thank you to Scott Lawrimore for all the energy and support he infuses into Seattle.


If you're on the hill, there's plenty to see during Capitol Hill Blitz.

The Tinkerer by Jed Dunkerly (image via artist)

Vermillion has Backdrop, a group show with new art by Jed Dunkerly, Curtis Taylor and Jason Puccinelli.

the unveiling by Darin Shuler (image by Kate Hailey)

Darin Shuler has installed a bunch of energetic, colorful paintings that deal with myths and legends at Cupcake Royale.

Fresh by Eamonn Parke

Joe Bar is opening a new show of photographs by Eamonn Parke.

# # #

OHGE, Ltd. is having a closing party for their awesome show, You're So Cool. SAM Gallery is having a reception for their new show, Urban. Penetration at Unicorn is a great way to end the evening. And don't forget about Belltown's Art Walk either! Emily Pothast has also put together a great list of things to see here.

And a big thank you to everyone who's taking time from their busy schedules to get out and see all this great art! Seattle artists really appreciate it.

i don't blame you by Gretchen Bennett

video still from i don't blame you

While I talked about Gretchen's video piece at SAM when it debuted, I didn't get the chance to actually see it until yesterday. Now I'm kicking myself because that would have been an extra two months that I could have been enjoying this.

We saw a shit-ton of great art yesterday at the Kurt/ Andy Warhol press previews (expect a supersaturation of reviews over the next few weeks), but this piece was the standout for me. Gretchen's ability to retain what is essential while integrating new materials and concepts is one of my favorite things about her. For her 2nd video piece, Gretchen uses a snapdragon to sing Cat Power's sentimental tune I Don't Blame You to a rock star (who may or may not be Kurt Cobain).

The piece comes off as effortless, like she might have just been at home one day and the impulse to capture this came on. The reality is that it was carefully planned and executed over a period a few months. She learned to play to play the song on the piano and she did the actual filming in Iceland. Like many of Gretchen's project, it was very collaborative.

This piece is so sweet and so tender that it's hard not to tear up. The simple materials (a video made with a Canon Powershot), the dedication in learning the song, and the vulnerability of her singing all come together to create a poignant lullaby.

Monday, May 10, 2010

URBAN / SAM Gallery

Heading North by Kate Protage

Okay, I don't know how I messed it up so bad but if you showed up at SAM Gallery at last Thursday, I'm sorry! If you still get a chance you should definitely check out their upcoming show, Urban which opens this Thursday.

Artists like Rachel Maxi, Kate Protage, and Christopher Martin Hoff capture the daily moments of urban life. Those three artists alone would be one helluva foundation for an amazing gallery.

The opening is Thursday from 5-7pm.



image by Susan Robb

Imagine a gorgeous day like yesterday. Now add an art-infused trail walk designed by Paul Rucker, Stokley Towles and Susan Robb. Sound fun? Weather permitting, you'll get your chance this Sunday if you head down to Soos Creek Trail for their "playful, interactive" game called Caribou. For two hours, you'll meander down a 3 mile trail exploring the wetlands and interacting with nature.

It's one part of a several month project called Trails Project (sponsored by 4Culture and King County's Department of Natural Resources and Parks). An rsvp is required.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Eli Hansen Finissage

Eli Hansen + Scott Lawrimore

If you weren't one of the 50'ish folks at Lawrimore Project yesterday, you missed a great talk/finissage/brunch. Eli and Scott walked us through the ideas behind We Used To Get So High. Much has already been said about this show.

Afterwards, we gathered outside for grilled hot dogs, bloody Marys and Rainiers. The talk was great, the weather was perfect - it was a real nice send off for an amazing show.

As I was drinking a Rainier, I noticed an old-timey Rainier can beside it. I don't know if someone brought it or just found it, but the juxtaposition of the old and the new cans seemed to be the perfect statement about the show.

Related: NYT Magazine wrote a piece about Caleb Larsen's A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter.

Happy Mother's Day

I can't think of a harder job than being a mother. So to celebrate mothers everywhere, I'd like to share a song called Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother from outlaw country-singer, Jerry Jeff Walker.

M is for the mudflaps you gave me for my pickup truck
O is for the oil I put in my hair
T is for T-bird
H is for Haggard
E is for eggs, and
R is for REDNECK!

If you like Jeffry Jeff Walker, here's my favorite song of his (actually by Gary P Nunn), London Homesick Blues.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hip hip hooray for CakeSpy!

by Jessie Oleson

Congratulations to Jessie Oleson. The sweetheart behind CakeSpy is now expanding her empire and has a brick and mortar shop. And where did she open it up? Capitol Hill, of course. Joining neighbors like Wall of Sound, Area 51 and Bauhaus.

Jessie was a guest expert this past week for The Stranger's Questionland. Someone asked her about the new CakeSpy shop. Here's her explanation:
CakeSpy Shop is an extension of my studio and business - specializing in cake art, but no actual cake for sale. However I am still maintaining a lot of the art that was in the former Bluebottle space, so what you can expect to find is a lot of cool indie art and crafts, but with a serious emphasis on cake and my own artwork (oh, and a mural of cake vs. pie on the back wall). As my postman said after I tried to explain my business to him: "'s like, all of the sweetness, none of the crumbs?" (via)
She's been open for a little while now but tonight (5-8pm) is her grand opening party!

CakeSpy Shop + Bluebottle Art Gallery
415 E Pine Street (near Summit)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Ghost Gallery closing party tonight

Dishware by Urban Soule: Set of 3 teacups for $20 (image via)

If you're looking for something fun to do tonight, swing by Ghost Gallery. They're having a closing party for their "Best Of' show.

It's free and it's from 6-9pm. More info here.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thank you!

I just got home from the Best of Art Walk Awards (vol 2). What a fun night. Beautiful weather, great art and a big crowd made it a really fun art walk. There's just never enough time to see everything. It can get a little stressful picking a finalist. No matter who we choose, we're always going to disappoint somebody. I just wanted to reiterate that this is just meant to be a great way to draw attention to the art scene and put $500 in a talented artist's pocket!

Anna Wetzel at Some Space Gallery

I'd like to take a quick chance to do some thank yous. First off, I really want to thank the fine folks at City Arts (Mark, Bond, Tim, Jake and more) for giving me this opportunity. It's been a really fun project to be involved with and they're all so great. I love what City Arts has become - a community oriented celebration of art in all its forms! I can't say it enough - I'm just really proud to be associated with them.

I'd also like to thank the guest judges Sharon Arnold and Cable Griffith. I respect them both so much as artists and in their 9-5 jobs where they nurture art. They were generous with their time and energy and kept me sane (and on track). I'd also like to thank Caffe Vita for providing such a great space to host the event in. It was pretty spectacular to have the event happen right in the middle of the art walk. Blue Moon Beer - who along with 4Culture - makes this all possible through generous funding. And I love that it now comes in a can. Sarah Murphy Jurado was the evening's amazing photographer - I hope she'll be doing them all going forward. Lastly, I'm super thankful for everyone who came out to celebrate tonight. I know your time is extremely valuable and so it means a lot that would you spend it at this event.

Christopher Martin Hoff at Linda Hodges Gallery

My finalist was Christopher Martin Hoff. Sharon Arnold selected Lorraine and Howard Barlow as her pick. And the winner, picked by Cable Griffith, was Anna Wetzel! Congratulations to everyone!

Lorraine and Howard Barlow at PUNCH Gallery

"Treat your mother right"

Looking for something artsy to do with your mom this weekend? Outside of all the great galleries and museums, there are also a few other things you can do with her.

Kirkland Arts Center is presenting the Kirkland Artist Studio Tour (KAST). This will be the 7th year that eastside artists throw open their studio doors and let folks see how they make art. Full info here. Map of the locations here.

We Used To Get So High (installation view) by Eli Hansen

On Saturday, head on down to Lawrimore Project at noon to hear Elias Hansen give an artist talk about his current show, We Used To Get So High. This exhibition has gotten really great press, including Artforum, so you'll probably kick yourself later if you miss the show.