Wednesday, June 30, 2010

1st Thursday picks

80085 by Mark Aoyama at Ouch My Eye

My picks for 1st Thursday are up over at CAB. Also, Parking for Peanuts will be in effect so you can't use the excuse you couldn't find parking. After the art walk, head on over to TK's Caffe Vita for the City Arts after party where an artist chosen by you will win $500.

Related: Jen Graves' list here.

Wyndel Hunt

Most of you folks have already read about the horrible accident local sound artist Wyndel Hunt recently had. While he's no longer in critical condition, his injuries are serious (and painful) like shattered ribs, broken scapula, fractured vertebrae and damage to internal organs. He's not going to be able to do anything but recover for a while.

It would be great if you would consider a small (or large) donation. I just saw that they've raised roughly $1300, about 1/4 of their goal. The money raised goes towards expenses like rent, food and transportation.

Also, his label Dragon's Eye Recordings will be donating 100% of the sales from his most recent release Sunshine Noir to Wyndel. You can buy it here.

No matter what, please keep Wyndel in your thoughts as he goes through a rough rehabilitation over the next few months.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I've been staring at this deer for over a week now. They're always in my thoughts because they've always been in my life. We saw them all the time in Montana, we saw plenty of them in the back yard in Spokane. And what surprises me the most is that I still see deer all the time.

Luckily for me, it's about impossible to walk around Capitol Hill and not run into them in their many forms (taxidermied, figurines, graphics, tshirts). And even I got to see some real ones a week ago out on Vashon. The reason the deer image is so ubiquitous is because it's so awesome!

Christy Turlington

This particular deer reminded me of something and finally I woke up and remembered. The beautiful, angular deer reminded me of my favorite supermodel, Christy Turlington.

I can't imagine how hard it must be growing up and having people like her being held up as the standard for beauty. That naturally means no one could ever measure up because Christy is so beautiful that the only logical explanation is that she is an alien (the huge ovoid eyes are always a give away people!). I mean growing up as a bear meant that my standards of beauty were guys like Grizzly Adams, John Matuszak, that dude at Red Robin, your uncle Gary, etc.

Anyway, the point is that deers and owls been taking up lots of blogging time lately. It'll be back to normal after this show opens on the 14th.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Art Walk, July 2010

June has been one hectic month. Sorry for not blogging very much. I can't believe his Thursday is already 1st Thursday. It's shaping up to be a great one. I'll have my list for City Arts this Wednesday.

Stack, 2009, by Ken Kelly

The guest judges for the 4th installment of the City Arts Best of Art Walk Award are Ken Kelly and Alfred Harris. In addition to being really great artists, they're both also really fun so this should be a good time.

Untitled 1712, 2008, by Alfred Harris

When: Thursday, July 1
Time: After party starts at 8pm
Where: TK Caffe Vita (eat pizza / drink beer)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Party in the Park recap

Margot Quan Knight's table

Friday night's Party in the Park was the most fun I've had in a while. Of course being Seattle near the end of June tents were required in case of rain. But the weather was farily cooperative and it was a pretty (if not moody) evening having dinner overlooking the bay.

The tables were all awesome. Chauney Peck's table was covered in dirt, Jason Hirata's vibrated, Margot Quan Knight's had a tablecloth of photopaper that developed over dinner. Nicholas Nyland's table had cool jeweled sculptures, Sol Hashemi used his budget to rent party items which he wrapped and hid beneath the table, I went with the NW 70s motif (I'm all about motifs right now). Eli Hansen (via Ruth True) brought down an awesome cardboard table and chairs that he spray painted and decorated with his glass. Matt Browning's table added a beautifully modern soundtrack of Motorola chirping noises, which immediately started a loop of Katy Red's "If you ain't chirpin', you ain't workin'!" in my head.

Holly + Joey

Holly was a dream date and as usual she seemed to know everyone. She always makes every party more fun. The several Makers Marks (with the chef suggested addition of ginger) didn't hurt either. I even have a (very) vague memory of me dancing to Mudhoney's Touch Me I'm Sick. John Sundstrom's food was amazing; buffalo Mozzarella and grilled quail with sweet corn with vanilla pot de creme for dessert.

my table

We got sat at a table full of the nicest people. And not all the tables were artist decorated. The table next to ours put my woodsy owl theme to shame. Mike and Barbara Malone decorated their table with a race car theme, including two full sized mannequins - one on the table and one fan standing nearby.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gretchen Bennett / SAM

Speaking of SAM...If I weren't already pre-committed, this is where I would be tomorrow. Gretchen Bennett leading a "My Favorite Things Tour"? - that sounds about perfect. Unfortunately, I can't make it but if you're out and about, you should go.

Garek Druss = pure awesomeness!

Garek Druss will be remixing the audio for Gretchen's video I don't blame you. He did the original recording/mixing, too. Gretchen said the remix is beautiful.

SAM's Party in the Park

ceramic tumblers, platter, vase

Okay, the table is officially set. Here's a preview of a really fun project that I'm participating in tomorrow at OSP. Party in the Park is SAM's annual fundraiser for the OSP's art projects. At 8:30 pm, the park will turn into a party with free beer and wine (well technically as part of your $75 - $125 donation) with musical guests Mudhoney (along with opening band Sweet Water), Here's a video from the last time I saw them play (a year ago at the Sorrento).

Before the party, they're hosting a fundraising dinner called Set the Table. I was thrilled to be invited to participate (along with my some of favorites like Chauney Peck, Nicholas Nyland, Eli Hansen, Matt Browning, Margot Quan Knight, Jason Hirata and Sol Hashemi). We're each decorating a table with a theme of our choosing. There were very few limits. In the end, my table ended up with a 70s Northwest-y vibe. Beautifully thrown tumblers and platters (thanks to Drew Daly & Amy Wood!) with sgraffitoed owls and bears sitting on a patchwork tablecloth sewn from my old shirts. Add a couple of paper mache owls (borrowed from this project) and it's feeling a lot like 1977 around here. This was a really fun project to work on. And I'm super excited because the food for our table will be cooked by my friend John Sundstrom (chef/owner of Lark, where I first showed my paintings).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vanessa Renwick / Feminist Form

Vanessa Shoots Statistics for Critter, photo by Donovan Skirvin

Wynne Greenwood's Feminist Form, "a screening series of feminist and queer media from the Pacific Northwest", turns 5 screenings old this Saturday. To celebrate, Portland artist Vanessa Renwick will be presenting film and video work. I fell in love with her work when I saw Red Stallion's Revenge a couple years back at PDX Contemporary. If you haven't seen it yet, it's showing at Tacoma Art Museum right now. Gretchen and I watched it last week.
"A filmmaker by nature, not by stress of research. She puts scholars to rout by solving through Nature's teaching problems that have fretted their trained minds. Her iconoclastic work reflects an interest in place, relationships between bodies and landscapes, and all sorts ofborders. Working in experimental and poetic documentary forms, she produces films, videos and installations that explore the possibility of hope in contemporary society. She is a naturalist, born, not made: a true barefoot, cinematic rabblerouser, of grand physique, calm pulse and a magnetism that demands the most profound attention."
You can see them this Saturday (June 26) at Gallery 1412 (1412 18th Ave.) at 8pm. $5-$10 sliding scale.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rachel Denny / Winston Wachter

Inquisitive Doe, 2010 by Rachel Denny

I love these sculptures ("domestic trophies") by Portland artist Rachel Denny. The timing is perfect - just as I'm working on my own deer trophy, I come across her inspiring work.

Snake by Rachel Denny

She'll be a part of the group show My Summer Vacation at Winston Wachter. The show opens up July 8 and also includes artists like Zack Bent, Buddy Bunting, Erich Woll and more

Monday, June 21, 2010

Owls, owls and owls

Brown owl by Joey Veltkamp

Okay, it's true - I've pretty much been obsessed with owls for the past month. In all their various forms, colors, shapes, references, etc. My friends are sick of hearing me saying, "I'd love to but I can't - I have to work on the owls." If obsessive attention alone were the sole prognostications of a good show, IT IS HAPPENING AGAIN would be an A+. However, that's not always the best barometer of good work.

hello HELLO, 2009 owl by Jeffry Mitchell

There are about a million different directions this show could go. As I've mentioned before, it's completely rooted in Twin Peaks. A big component of my art is digesting/incorporating/reflecting/riffing on my peers. Living in the Northwest, owls feel totemic and have inspired many artists. When I think of owls, it's impossible for me to not think of Jeffry Mitchell and Matthew Offenbacher. I loved Jeff's piece at the Crawl Space show Call and Response last year.

Large Owl, 2006 by Matthew Offenbacher

And when I walked in to the Neddy show this year and saw my piece hanging by Matt's Large Owl, I was so happy that we got paired together. I think about this painting a lot, I've said it before but someone needs to makes sure this gets into SAM's collection.

Totoro as owl? / Jeffry Mitchell

So after I thought about my influences and who has owl energy, I invited Jeffry, Gretchen and Matt to come over and paint their own owls. I don't think I've talked about anybody else more on this blog than I have these 3 folks and so it was such a treat to get to spend the day in the studio, painting, talking and listening to music (you know Gretchen is a Jay-Z fan, right?)

Gretchen Bennett

I haven't gotten to make art with other artists much since the salon series. It's such a great way to work through ideas. (I work through a lot of stuff with these folks anyway.) You should come by The Living Room on Wed, July 14 to check out all our owls. They'll all be for sale. And I think it will be lots of fun.

Matthew Offenbacher

Weekend recap

The Stampeders by Eustace Ziegler
Image via A.J. Kollar

Despite those dang owls, I actually made it out of the house this past weekend for a couple of things. First up was checking out the new shows at The Frye. There's a nice tribute to former director Ida Greathouse and the pieces the Frye acquired with her at the helm. There's also another show called Northern Latitudes: The Frye and Alaska. The walls are a painted a robin's egg blue (Tiffany blue?) and it's full of beautiful paintings of Mt. McKinley, stampeders, polar bears and other rough and tumble scenes of our 49th state.

On Saturday afternoon, I headed down to the sculpture park to check out D.W. and Gretchen's awesome investigation of music and songwriting. While I might not be writing any hit singles in the future (though my song "Grab it!" was catchy), it did help me release a little bit of writer's block I've been having.

Afterwards, some of us took a spontaneous tour to check out the new temporary installations. Whiting's is really smart. He's made 3 new wooden sculptures (a large radio console, washer and dryer) and 'abandoned' them in a large field. I guess folks have already called SAM to let them know someone dumped some garbage in the park. I can just hear folks with more traditional views of art (like my mother) asking, "That's art?!" I love it.

Me under Jenny Heishman's installation

Jenny Heishman installed a canopy, a topiary turtle and embedded a tile sculpture on a hill, Andrew Dadson scorched (actually painted it black) the side of a hill, Mungo Thompson installed sounds of whales/birds altered to mimic each other and Jessica Jackson Hutchins installed ceramic vessels into macramed hammocks. It really makes the park fun and interesting and exploratory. Considering that most of the permanent collection is pretty static, it's nice to mix it up a bit with these temporary installations.

And then yesterday, I took a ferry out to Vashon for an afternoon party on a farm. The weather was kind of a bummer, but it just made things cozier.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Werewolf by Cocorosie

I know they're not everybody's cup of tea, but I've sure been listening to a lot of Cocorosie lately.

Animals by Cocoroise

Rainbowarriors by Cocorosie

Thursday, June 17, 2010

artSparks 2010 / Occidental Park

Build Here by Room4Assembly
Photo by Stephen Jeong

I love it when art is taken out of museums and galleries and brought into our daily lives. All summer long, artSparks will be doing just that in Pioneer Square's Occidental Park which "...will become a showcase for the creative imagination of artists. Using this public space as art space, artists will produce everything from street theater, dance, or temporary sculpture to music, media art, or whatever their imagination might envision, bringing the challenge and spark of art into the day-to-day life of downtown."

Build Here by Room4Assembly
Photo by Stephen Jeong

First up is an installation by Room4Assembly that references the park's history. Room4Assembly (a group of artists who met at UW Architecture School) will be using neon yellow 2x4's to recreate the walls of previous buildings. The artists will continue to add to this installation through June 27th. I can't wait to visit it. I just wish I still worked in Pioneer Square so I could watch the project evolve.

Opening up just in time for solstice, duo MiLa will install their Prismatic Landscape on June 20th. Consisting of thousands of pieces of prismatic materials installed in the trees at 25 feet high, it should be a dazzling light show.

Driving my Sculpture by Sol Hashemi

Other artists include Ben Waterman, Britta Johnson, African ConeXion and many more. More info here.

Best of Gage - Friday night

Skull by Walker Hall

Tomorrow night, Gage Academy of Fine Art will be hosting their event Best of Gage: Student Art Exhibit, Awards & Sale. The exhibition was juried by Derrick Cartwright, who will also select the Best in Show recipient. The audience also gets to vote to decide the winner of the People's Choice award.

Most of the work is from Gage's Classical Atelier program and you'll have an opportunity to purchase over 400 works (ranging from $50 to $1200). I got the chance to pop over last week and look over some shoulders. Wow - the art is amazing. Update: Oops, most of the art for sale is from the Classical Atelier program but the show is comprised of work from all the students at Gage.

Also, if you're afraid all the good stuff will get snatched up before you can buy it, you can purchase a VIP ticket for $50 and get in an hour ahead of time (5pm) and and free drinks all evening.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Unconventional Portraits with Gretchen and D.W.

image by Shane Fame Alexander (via)

This Saturday, as part of of SAM CREATES, Gretchen Bennett and Davidson Warren Burnam will lead participants in a 2 hour workshop about the creation of a song through, "...writing in reaction to sound, examining the influence of songs on the verbal formulation of personal experiences."

Unconventional Portraits: In Space and Time with Gretchen Bennett and D.W. Burnam should be really really interesting. They've been spending lots of time putting this together and I can't wait to see what happens!

Cost: $14 for SAM member
Time: 2-4pm
Where: Alvord Art Lab, Olympic Sculpture Park

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Windfall / Lead Pencil Studio

Windfall, a temporary installation by Lead Pencil Studio

Today (June 15) from 4 to 6pm, Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo will host the public opening of their temporary installation, Windfall, in Theater Commons at Seattle Center. Theater Commons is, "a new sustainably landscaped campus entry to Seattle Center between the Seattle Repertory Theatre and Intiman Theatre."

For the inaugural installation, Lead Pencil Studio installed 1,000 small cast wind chimes. I can't wait to hear it. The installation will only be up through September 15th.

Josh Faught and Alex Schweder

Rules to Party Play, (#7), detail, 2010 by Josh Faught (image via)
Hand-bleached crocheted and woven hemp, spray paint, scrapbooking
stickers, wool, and political pin on stretched linen.. 73 by 50 inches

New Year 11 opens up this Thursday. Procedures to Reduce Contamination and Stimulate Better Living is new installation by Josh Faught. Since winning last year's Betty Bowen award (where he gave a charming presentation speech with a 1970s video of dyeing with indigo) it sounds like a lot has changed. He had been living in Eugene and teaching at U of O but now he's living in San Francisco and teaching at the California College of the Arts.

Josh recently showed a great piece BLESS THIS MESS at Greg Kucera Gallery as part of the Made in the U.S.A. show. His new installation for Western Bridge will be "...loosely based on a list of rules from a now-defunct bathhouse that the artist found while perusing the Pacific Northwest Gay and Lesbian Archives in Portland. The list, a single sheet of mimeographed paper with the header “Rules to Party Play,” resembles something that might appear in an office break room.

His show will be up June 17 - June 26. Artist talk Thursday at 7pm.

Also opening this Thursday (June 17) but showing through July 31 will be Alex Schweder La's This Apple Tastes Like Our Living Room Used to Smell. This piece of performance architecture will be present a degrading house with artificial rot and moss. While the house will be removed at the end of the July, the rot and moss will continue to grow (and simulate decay) in Western Bridge until its eventual closure in 2012. Alex will create a second model of a house off-site that will release seeds as it decays.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Currently thinking about...

Twin Peaks

Sorry for not blogging all weekend. I've got lots of really fun projects that are keeping me super busy. Even though I barely even made it outside either day, it's still so nice to have the sun back.

barn owls (via)

For the past couple of weeks, I've been working on a large installation for The Living Room (curated by Amanda Manitach and Monika Proffitt). I'm attempting to make 30 owls via paper mache (or papier-mâché for you fancy folks). I had forgotten forgot how long it takes to dry.

the greys

Twin Peaks has me thinking about owls and what they represent to David Lynch. Their symbology varies wildly. If you google "owls and", it autopopulates with death, aliens, crows, omens, witchcraft, Native Americans, alien abductions. Reading about owls in various cultures got me thinking about Communion (1985) by Whitley Strieber which popularized the "abduction archetype". Lynch's use of owls echoes Streiber's - "owls are not what they seem".

scary basements (image via)

Instead, owls are watchers for other people (spirits, aliens, visitors) and/or masking agents for sexual trauma (Laura Palmer) or for other psychological trauma (abduction).

Sepulcher by Matthew Day Jackson (image via)

I've also been thinking about journeys and the way spirits/bodies are carried. That got me thinking about Matthew Day Jackson (who I'm riffing on for another project).

deer trophies (image via)

I'm also working a large deer trophy. I've been wanting to do a show around Twin Peaks forever, so I'm really enjoying the process.

Friday, June 11, 2010

City Arts Best Of Art Walk Award #3 - Darin Shuler

Three is the magic number by Darin Shuler

It's no secret that I've been a big fan of Darin Shuler for a while now. Barista by day, mad scientist by night. Darin's work is weird and fresh and gory and sweet all at the same time. He makes band posters and t-shirts and has done numerous things for Implied Violence (speaking of - have you donated?)

I once asked him at opening to walk me through a painting of his. He smiled and said, "This is a love story." While most folks would have read the billowing smoke as ominous, the squirting forms and deep gashes as a form of violence, Darin's take was so tender that I almost teared up. I think it honestly comes as a surprise to him that folks don't immediately see the sweetness in his work. And once you do see it, it's undeniable.

Last night, the crowd of folks gathered at Grey Gallery voted his piece, Three is the magic number, as the their favorite. Congratulations to Darin, the other nominees (Janet English and Jessie Wilson) and all the amazing artists out last night. In particular, Robert Hardgrave's Relic blew my mind.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Art news

Cornish has a whole bunch of exciting classes for you this summer. With awesome folks like Ellen Forney, Eric Swangstu, Lisa Halpern, Kristen Ramirez and Jenifer K. Ward as your instructors, you're guaranteed to learn something and have a lot of fun doing it.

Aquatic Levitation (2008) by Juan Alonso

A big congratulations to Juan Alonso for winning a 2010 Mayor's Arts Award You can currently see his work at the Tacoma Art Museum's show Honoring 15 Years of Neddy Fellows. He's also in the show, A Continuing Cultural Legacy (at Wright Exhibition Space, curated by Beth Sellars) which ends June 25th.

Googie Ghost/Denny's by Lina Raymond

Artist Lina Raymond's series of ghostly Ballard landmarks opened up June 6th at Portalis Wine Bar. Preview the show here. As Lina said, "Paving paradise to put up parking lots is personal, and we adapt or not."

Implied Violence, image by Steven Miller

Implied Violence just got back from Vienna in what was their most ambitious project to date. Unfortunately, they had to leave their crate of props/sets/costumes in Europe because they couldn't afford to ship it home. They will be doing a huge performance/installation at The Frye this fall and need that crate. Can you help them bring it home? Details here.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Best Of Art Walk Awards, Volume 3

Black Bear (2008) by Justin Colt Beckman (image via)
From Patch Dynamics show - curated by Yoko Ott & Scott Lawrimore

As I mentioned earlier this week, City Arts Best Of Art Walk Awards & After Party will be happening tomorrow on Capitol Hill. This should be lots and lots of fun. We have two amazing guest judges this month: Yoko Ott (Curator, Director of Open Satellite) and Wynne Greenwood (Artist, 2008 Stranger Genius winner). We'll be roaming the hill selecting our favorite pieces of art until about 8:15 when we'll head back to Grey Gallery to start the fun.

Wynne Greenwood from Face It (2008)

We've made a few changes this month to keep everything going smoothly. The biggest change is that now EVERYONE is eligible. While being connected to lots of different folks in the Seattle art scene is a great thing, a lot of folks haven't been eligible due to my personal relationships with them. And that hasn't been very fun at all. So going forward, we're strictly going on art. This will end a lot of hand-wringing and debating. And since ultimately you (the audience) decide who wins, there's no way it can be viewed as "fixed".

Also, a reminder - this is simply meant as a great way to inject our local arts community with a $500 grant. It's not a scientific selection process. It's not meant to be competitive. It's just supposed to be lots of fun!! See you on the hill.

And don't forget about PENETRATION afterwards!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Island Life (then & now)

The original:
album cover for Island Life by Grace Jones (1985)
composite photo by Jean-Paul Goude

The Remix:

album cover for Selfish by Hard Ton (2010)

Wow! While I might have a complex relationship with my plus-size frame, I just love it when anyone owns their body. And Hard Ton is definitely doing just that in this picture. I remember buying Island Life when it first came out. As a 13 year old closeted gay boy living in Spokane, Grace Jones was an angel sent from the planet Weird. I'm sure it was quite puzzling to my mother when I'd spend my few precious dollars from my allowance on building my Grace Jones discography but she always drove me to the record store anyway.

The Foundation Reunion - tonight

If you're on the hill tonight, you should swing by HG Lodge (formerly the War Room) for the Art Bar Foundation Reunion. Foundation was a weekly night of DJing started in the mid 90s by Sureshot (Shane Hunt), Soul, Supreme and my buddy Strath in order to finance their record label, Conception Records. Between their underground hip-hop tracks and Soul's promotion (and later Kutfather's spinning), it kind of blew up and was one of the longest running hip hop nights in the country.

Nitty Gritty DJs

"There was a rotating cast of characters involved including Alonso Ybarra, B-Mello, Kutfather, Rob Nice, Prymetyme, Jake One... I'm sure there were others that I'm not remembering, we had a lot of guest DJs from time to time and different artists would stop through when they were in town. It had multiple names – we originally called it "Nitty Gritty" because originally we were playing mostly old funk and soul, but then it morphed into almost all hip-hop and I said we should call it The Foundation..." - Strath

When: Tonight from 9pm - 2am
Where: HG Lodge (E Pike & Harvard)