Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How To Be Alone

A video by fiilmaker, Andrea Dorfman and Tanya Davis.

In an effort to get to know myself better, I've been spending a lot of time alone lately. It's been surprisingly rewarding. But when you say that to people, it's hard for them to understand. They'll kindly offer to hang out anytime you want. It's really not for a lack of opportunity. I have a wealth of beautiful and amazing people in my life. Alone doesn't equal lonely. My friend Dave sent me this video this morning and it really sums it up nicely.

HOW TO BE ALONE by Tanya Davis

If you are at first lonely, be patient. If you've not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren't okay with it, then just wait. You'll find it's fine to be alone once you're embracing it.

We could start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library. Where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books. You're not supposed to talk much anyway so it's safe there.

There's also the gym. If you're shy you could hang out with yourself in mirrors, you could put headphones in (guitar stroke).

And there's public transportation, because we all gotta go places.

And there's prayer and meditation. No one will think less if you're hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation.

Start simple. Things you may have previously (electric guitar plucking) based on your avoid being alone principals.

The lunch counter. Where you will be surrounded by chow-downers. Employees who only have an hour and their spouses work across town and so they -- like you -- will be alone.

Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone.

When you are comfortable with eat lunch and run, take yourself out for dinner. A restaurant with linen and silverware. You're no less intriguing a person when you're eating solo dessert to cleaning the whipped cream from the dish with your finger. In fact some people at full tables will wish they were where you were.

Go to the movies. Where it is dark and soothing. Alone in your seat amidst a fleeting community.
And then, take yourself out dancing to a club where no one knows you. Stand on the outside of the floor till the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no one's watching...because, they're probably not. And, if they are, assume it is with best of human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely to beats is, after all, gorgeous and affecting. Dance until you're sweating, and beads of perspiration remind you of life's best things, down your back like a brook of blessings.

Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you.
Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, there're always statues to talk to and benches made for sitting give strangers a shared existence if only for a minute and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversations you get in by sitting alone on benches might've never happened had you not been there by yourself

Society is afraid of alonedom, like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements, like people must have problems if, after a while, nobody is dating them. but lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it.

You could stand, swathed by groups and mobs or hold hands with your partner, look both further and farther for the endless quest for company. But no one's in your head and by the time you translate your thoughts, some essence of them may be lost or perhaps it is just kept.

Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those sappy slogans from preschool over to high school's groaning were tokens for holding the lonely at bay. Cuz if you're happy in your head than solitude is blessed and alone is okay.

It's okay if no one believes like you. All experience is unique, no one has the same synapses, can't think like you, for this be releived, keeps things interesting lifes magic things in reach.

And it doesn't mean you're not connected, that communitie's not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it. take silence and respect it. if you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it. if your family doesn't get you, or religious sect is not meant for you, don't obsess about it.

You could be in an instant surrounded if you needed it
If your heart is bleeding make the best of it
There is heat in freezing, be a testament.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Neutral Uke Hotel / The Sunset Tavern

I can think of few albums that I've listened to more times than Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. In fact, only recently has it left its permanent slot in my car's cd player. At various times, I think each song on that album has been my favorite song (yes, even King of Carrot Flowers Parts 1 & 2). I think a lot of you feel the same way. It was Pitchfork's #4 album of the 1990s.

This album was so good that even Paris Hilton liked it!

Well, another one of my favorite things are cover songs and mash-ups. Tomorrow night, Neutral Uke Hotel will performing In the Aeroplane in the Sea live at the Sunset Tavern. And oh yeah, as you might have guessed, they'll be playing it on ukuleles. This is so tempting - even for a grandpa like me!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

SAM Remix

Congratulations SAM, you sure know how to throw a party. Last night's Remix was a total blast (despite our October weather). Lots of colorful characters in neon, hula-hoopers with lights, awesome music (Truckasauras, The Library Science and more), tons of great art (most notably Trenton Doyle Hancock's new installation), strange art tours and lots of fun people.

Trenton Doyle Hancock chatting with Marisa C. Sanchez

My favorite part of Remix is its amazing ability to bring people to the museum (or sculpture park) who wouldn't normally come. These things are PACKED - lines around the block to get in, they always sell out and they're always full of interesting things to do and see. There's literally something for everyone. Seattle's art crowd can be a little insular (what 'scene' isn't?) so it's always really nice to see SAM getting the non-art folks so excited!

photo by Damon Mori

Isn't this picture of the hula-hooper amazing? Artist/musician Damon Mori took it, along with a few more beautiful shots. You can check them all out here.

Fort Branch remix / Zack Bent

Flambeau, 2010 by Zack Bent

If you haven't stopped by Vermillion to check out Zack Bent's latest show, Fort Branch, time's a wastin'. In fact, it's only up through September 4th. Using his family members as his subjects, Zack continues his exploration of rituals and scouting. Knowing Zack and Gala, whenever I see these photos, I just think, "Wow, these kids must be having the time of their life!". They seem so fun and playful (but can also get a little dark and moody).

Model Home by Zack Bent

Today from 2-4 pm, Zach will remix one of his installations (Model Home - made from larger than life Lincoln logs). His two oldest sons (3.5 & 5 years old) will get their turn as architect and get to tell dad how to reconfigure the piece. The gallery won't be open for this but viewers are encouraged are to stop by and watch the performance through the front windows.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Andrew Rubinstein / Collins Pub

Squint Precision by Andrew Rubinstein

If you've been wondering what Billy Howard has been up to, you can stop wondering. Starting with this 1st Thursday (Sept 2), he'll be curating a series of Howard House Projects for Collins Pub. Each month, there will be a new from an artist/artists ranging from emerging to well-established.

Approximately There by Andrew Rubinstein

First up is artist Andrew Rubinstein and his colorful oil on board paintings. In a small way, they remind of the what I love about Adam Sorensen's paintings; the crazy color combinations, the fluidity and hint of imaginary worlds.

Where: Collins Pub
When: Sept 2 - Oct 2
Reception: Sept 2, 6-8pm

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dash and Ditto's Playground / Droid phone

My friend (and artist) Joyce McAndrews just brought a really fun new app to market for those of us with Droid phones (iPhone version on the way). If you're a parent of a small child, I'd highly recommend this. Dash and Ditto's Playground has 7 different animated games in bright colors and fun shapes that can distract kids for a looong time.

When I was a kid, if I ever wanted to play tic-tac-toe, I'd have to find paper and a pencil and then draw the grid each time. Even then, half the time no one would play anyway. It seemed exhausting. Now you can do just do it on a phone. This must be what it felt like when my grandma saw me play solitaire on the computer. Once she got home, I'm sure she resented all the shuffling she had to do knowing she could just click "play" on the computer.

If you'd like to buy it, go to Droid Store (or Market) and search for "Dash and Ditto" and it should come up. If you love it, you can even vote for it here. Congratulations Joyce!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Debra Baxter / Seattle Magazine

There's a pretty good chance you're already familiar with this image of Debra Baxter's Crystal Brass Knuckles (I am going to realign your chakras mother******!). It kind of went viral this spring and ended up everywhere-- including Urban Outfitters' blog.

Seattle Magazine has just published a great profile of Deb for their Fall Arts preview. Check it out here. More of Deb's awesome work here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

BAM Biennial 2010: Clay Throwdown

Timea Tihanyi

As part of their new biennial series, Bellevue Art Museum will be opening Clay Throwdown! this Saturday. Every 2 years, BAM will select a new medium for the competition. And when they say competition, they've got the prize money to back it up. This Friday, the winner of the John & Joyce Price Award of Excellence will be announced. The prize is $5,000 cash and a future solo BAM exhibition. Your voice counts, too. The Samuel & Patricia Smith People's Choice Award (also $5,000) will be announced on October 28th.

"Clay Throwdown! features a select blend of both emerging and established artists with an emphasis on new and site-specific works. It reflects the diverse responses of contemporary artists to one of the oldest media known to man: clay. From personal gestures to commentary on today’s social issues, Clay Throwdown! assembles a wide range of voices unique to the Pacific Northwest and our time."

Saya Moriyasu

There are over 30 great artists including some of my favorites like Yuki Nakamuri, Saya Moriyasu, Nicholas Nyland, Jamie Walker, Timea Tihanyi, Mike Simi and too many to list. It should be a really great show and I can't wait to see it.

What: BAM Biennial 2010: Clay Throwdown
Where: Bellevue Art Museum
Reception: Friday, August 27, 5-9pm (as part of Finally Fridays)
Free for members / $10 general

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Artsparks / Occidental Park

If you haven't been taking advantage of all the amazing art in the parks this summer, you are really missing out. Artsparks has been keeping things really fresh in Occidental Park all summer long.

Celebration and Fanfare (detail) by Celeste Cooning

Artist Celeste Cooning has created intricate canopies of cut Tyvek that hang in the branches above you like lace-y curtains. These pieces will be up through September 1.

Risking to Care for a Place by Ben Waterman

Artist Ben Waterman is taking a hard look at the park. "For one week, Ben Waterman will make the limits of Occidental Park his primary place of existence. During the day, he will look and study. At night, he will build a visual record of the connections that he made during the day through creating thin raw clay lines between the points. These lines will be almost unnoticeable at first, however, as the days and the project progresses, these efforts in their accumulation, will become apparent. These created connections will also be documented through photography and posted on a website mapping movements, observations, and efforts creating a permanent record of Ben’s actions."

Galen McCarty Turner / Gaytron the Imploder

I wish I didn't already have plans this Saturday or else I'd be driving down to Tacoma for this.

Gaytron the Imploder (aka Galen McCarty Turner) will perform his 2nd Bike Jump, "...3 inches of sheer terror, a life-defying implosion of rare stimulated gasses combustigated from 90,000 volts of raditude. In layman’s terms, Gaytron will be jumping a bike through a wall of dirty, handmade, panty-melting neon tubing setup in the alley."

Want to know more about Galen's adorably off-kilter art? Here's a piece City Arts did on him. Or check it out in person this Saturday.

Where: the alley of 6th and “I” Street in Tacoma
When: Saturday, Aug 21 at 8pm
Why: Fundraiser for 2nd Cycle

Updated: Bond already let you all know about this on CAB yesterday afternoon.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Art today!

Holy cow - there's something for everyone today.


Dryer, 2010 by Isaac layman

110% by Isaac Layman
10am-5:30pm, Lawrimore Project

Today's the final day of Isaac Layman's show 1110%. And it sounds like it might be the last day to see Lawrimore Project in its current incarnation.


12pm, Hedreen Gallery

panel organized by TARL, 83, and Roxie Turner. Moderated by Brittany Dennison. College students and recent grads address the current state of art education through a series of casual individual presentations and a group discussion.


J.W. Thompson Collection

Behind the Scenes: The Real Story of the Quileute Wolves
1-3pm, SAM 3rd floor

Seattle Art Museum will be having an opening celebration today from 1-3pm to celebrate their new exhibit that reveals the real story of the Quileute legends.


Tuesday's Wednesday, 2010 by Troy Gua

2pm, SOIL

Come down at 2pm to hear a few of the artists talk about their inspiration for their work in the Xanadu show curated by Erin Shafkind.

3pm, TARL (1447 21st Ave)

After the Hedreen discussion, swing by for a BBQ.


Steven Weissman

6-9pm, Georgetown

"Fabulous food, fine art, friendly bars and a few surprises are in store at this colorful monthly event in one of Seattle’s most compelling neighborhoods."


Junko Yamamoto

6-9pm, Building C Studios


Lauren Klenow

In conjunction with Print Zero Studios Print Exchange, Gallery 40 will be showing the work of Lauren Klenow.


Update: Oops - I forgot to include Ghost Gallery's all day fair/fundraiser of miniature art. From 12 to 7pm at Ghost Gallery. Raffles, drinks, snacks, games and music. Full details here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wall Project / Capitol Hill Station

Baso Fibonacci

Okay, the art is really popping up over at the Capitol Hill station. Baso's 135 foot wall has been painted (and has already gotten lots of love and attention). Then Evan Blackwell installed a line of his reclaimed wood sculpture.

Evan Blackwell

Gretchen Bennett's latest series of drawings (leaving colored pencils behind for graphite) have been wheat-pasted and my friends Sarah, Stu and I hung up my panels earlier today.

Gretchen Bennett

Sound Transit has started a blog STart Wall Project that will be updated regularly as new work is added to the big red wall.

Joey Veltkamp

And unrelated but really wonderful is Mad Art in the Park happening now. Artist Amy Johnson was recently interviewed for CAB. If you're on the hill tomorrow, you should head out for 2nd Thursday (Blitz) and enjoy all the great art.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Aaron Flint Jamison / Open Satellite

Open Satellite will be hosting a TARL-curated show by Portland artist Aaron Flint Jamison. Flint's work is frequently undocumented, head-scratching and awesome. This is the culmination of his artist residency which will include "a performance on the night of the opening, multiples and teen programming, a publication, acrostic, and what might be considered a sculpture." I'll be there opening night as part of the performance. I expect that I'll be just as confused as you are. I can't wait!

Where: Open Satellite
When: Wednesday, August 11, 6-9pm

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Birds / Smith & Vallee

Andrew Vallee

If you happen to be in the town of Edison, I have a couple of owls up at Smith & Vallee for their August show Birds. Edison is a perfect day trip - cruise on up and see art, eat yummy food and have a drink at the saloon. Some friends and I drove up last weekend to do just that.

Dave and I at the Longhorn Saloon & Grill

Friday, August 6, 2010

1st Thursday recap

Another fun art walk full of so much great art. There were so many people outside of SOIL for the Xanadu performance that it looked like some sort of fashion protest.

Untitled, 2009 by Philip Miner

I don't know how Jason Hirata was able to select just one piece from the large grid of drawings/paintings by Philip Miner. I thought the whole show was amazing.

Hwy 33, 2010 by Bill Finger

Mike Pham went with Bill Finger's diorama Hwy 33 from PUNCH Gallery. I always forget how poorly these photos can translate - it's hard to get the scale but the piece is probably 2'x3' wide.

Roller skates (worn by Olivia Newton-John), 2010 by Klara Glosova

I couldn't resist the charms of these Xanadu-inspired skates from Klara Glosova. Apparently neither could last night's crowd at the Hideout because they selected the sculpture as the "best of" the night. Congratulations Klara!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Art Walking & After Party

Risk/Reward by Mike Pham
Image by Drew Foster / © Hand2Mouth Theatre

I forgot to announce this month's guest judges for City Arts Best of Ar Walk Award and After Party. Tonight I'll be walking around the galleries with Jason Hirata and Mike Pham which means guaranteed fun!

painting to exist in the absence of light, 2010 by Jason Hirata

The party starts around 8:30 at The Hideout. Swing on by after art walk. Tons of fun shows to see tonight.

Bon Voyage, Gretchen!

me + Gretchen from our 2009 show at Fancy

Aw heck! Today one of my favorite artists heads back to one of my favorite cities. For the next 4 months, Gretchen Bennett will be in NYC for a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council residency. I'll miss the heck out of our early walks, studio visits and coffee breaks but NYC will be great for her and I couldn't be more excited!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

1st Thursday, August 2010

Another great month to hit 1st Thursday in Pioneer Square. CAB has my picks for some of the shows you don't want to miss. Regina's picks here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Studio Sale extended

Reaper by Ian Toms, 9" x 9", $100

If you missed the group studio sale, we've decided to it extend it through September 30. Matt Offenbacher has kindly put together a site that lists some items we each have for sale. Prices run from $5 - $500. Click here to see what's available.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Catching up with Michael Darling

Michael Darling (image via)

Thanks to Bestey for posting a link to an interview with Michael Darling who recently landed at MCA Chicago. You can read it here.

Team Quileute

Tyler Hobucket with wolf transformation mask opened
image by J.W. Thompson

The August issue of City Arts is out. I have an article (Team Quileute) in it that discusses the real story of the tribe popularized in the Twilight series. SAM curator Barbara Brotherton was extremely generous with her time, resources and knowledge. I wrote the article because of SAM's upcoming exhibition, Behind the Scenes: The Real Story of the Quileute Wolves. It will feature 30 items selected by Barbara and a Quileute advisory group. The show opens on August 14 and there will be a special performance of song and dance at 1pm. Here are additional images of Tyler Hobucket's wolf transformation.

There is lots of great stuff in this month's issue, including pieces on artist Derrick Jefferies, No Depression publisher Kyla Fairchild, rocker Tom Price, the temporary installations at OSP and Erin Shafkind's Xanadu tribute.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wall Project

mural by Baso Fibonacci / photo via

The Sound Transit Wall Project is officially underway. Artist Baso Fibonacci started working on his 135 foot mural at 10th & John. I can't wait to see this completed. I believe that Gretchen Bennett's super awesome graphite drawings (channelling Sir Mix-A-Lot via Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Antony Hegarty) will get wheat-pasted this week.

Still Life (Broadway)

And I'm all done with my 16 feet of still life of objects that remind me Broadway and Capitol Hill. The panels should get installed this week near Broadway and Denny. And I know that Claudia Fitch is busy getting her huge drawings ready for the wall on John Street. This whole project is going to be a lot of fun.