Monday, January 31, 2011

Open Call / Punch Gallery

Punch Gallery

Hey folks, one of my favorite artist-run galleries is looking for new members. Punch Gallery has an open call for 2 artists or artist teams. I'm a big fan of the work, especially Justin Colt Beckman.

digital collage of the artist's face on found photo, 2008
image via artist

Here's a picture of him killing a bear. (He kills bears and I still think he's awesome!) Ever since I first saw Justin's piece Friend or Foe (in 2006 at Punch Gallery) I've been a big fan. He's done some really elaborate installations like Honky Tonk and Homestead. Most Punch members live outside the urban entrapment of Seattle and many of their shows reflect that. But artists Sol Hashemi and Jason Hirata were also members so they're not afraid to mix things up.

It sounds like a great opportunity but if you're interested you better hurry because applications have to be received by Feb 14, 5pm. No digital submissions - that's in hand at the gallery.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Growing a Farmer / Kurt Timmermeister

I'm a schmuck for not writing about my friend Kurt's book sooner. It came out a week or two ago (after a super fun launch party by Kim Ricketts Books) and I've been slowly reading it.

It's really interesting to read about his life on the farm. Going out for one of his Sunday dinner's where you get to eat the week's bounty is obviously much different than spending the week milking the cows, planting vegetables, fixing fence, and getting up in the cold. All I've ever seen is the fun side of the farm, so there have already been a couple of parts where I cringe thinking, "I don't want know what happens next!" and have to skim through.

It's a great read about a quintessential city person risking it all to become a farmer. I love his self-reflection and honesty in admitting mistakes he made along the way. Just be careful because it might inspire you, too. (Can I raise bees in my backyard??)

You can pick up a copy at Elliott Bay Books or read about his current adventures on his Kurtwood Farms journal here. If you haven't been out before, here's what life on his farm can look like. Here's a review from the Wall Street Journal.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Seattle artists in the news

Just in case you missed them, here is a round-up of a some recent reviews about local artists.

Ruby Heart Temple by Mandy Greer
image via Roq La Rue

The Seattle Times wrote a nice article about Mandy Greer's show Honey and Lightning at Roq La Rue. If you haven't seen it yet, you only have until Feb 5.

by Vic Haven (image via Greg Kucera Gallery)

New American Paintings blog did a nice piece about Vic Haven's concurrent Seattle and Portland exhibitions. Prior to these shows, Vic's work always seem to live outside of a physical region but there's something comforting in seeing them anchored to the Northwest.

Without Tiers, 2009, by Grant Barnhart
image via Ambach & Rice

The Oregonian reviewed PNCA's show Between My Head and My Hand, There Is Always the Face of Death, curated by Kristan Kennedy. The show includes work by Gerhard Richter, Amy Bessone, Kaye Donachie, Norbert Schwontkowski, Elena Pankov and Seattle artist Grant Barnhart. I don't think I'll have time to make it down which is a shame because it sounds really great.
This move toward "dis-figuration" underlines the show in several works, pointedly suggesting that, in the shrinking world of globalism, the body's inability to be everywhere-at-once makes it antiquated and limiting, like so much dead weight. Here, painted bodies endure grotesque mutations, fragmentation, even erasure. Seattle painter Grant Barhart's figures are an uneasy mix of funny and frightening.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Deathcake Royale is back!

Deathcake Royale!

Oh no - it's back! I love my friend Jody and all the fine folks at Cupcake Royale, but it looks like I'm going to have to avoid you for the next two weeks. It's not their fault - it's mine. I just can't say no to their Deathcake Royale. I hesitate recommending it because I expect you will also become addicted and I hate to be a pusher (well, except for art and bourbon).

If you haven't already succumbed to the temptation, "Deathcake Royale is a deadly dark indulgence made with Theo Chocolate decadence, Stumptown espresso ganache, and delicious chocolate cake Royale." It is so rich that I actually can't even eat it all in one sitting.

They used to be $6.65 ("one penny shy of evil") but it looks like inflation has finally caught up because now at $6.66, they are totally evil. Luckily for me, it's an evil that only lasts 2 weeks (Jan 28 - Feb 14).


In Love for the Mood, 2009, by Ming Wong
3-channel digital video installation

As arts-funding continues to dwindle, I'm reminded of how lucky we are in Seattle. We're certainly not immune from the cuts, but at the end of the day it's nice to know that we live in an area that supports the arts and remains committed to bringing innovative, world class exhibitions to our city. And just in case you didn't know, we did it again!

Four Malay Stories, 2009, by Ming Wong
4-channel digital video installation

Right now, Frye Art Museum is exhibiting art by Berlin based artist Ming Wong. LIFE OF IMITATION is the artist's American debut. This work was originally commissioned by Singapore for the 53rd Venice Biennale where it received a Special Mention award.
In his video installations, Wong builds layers of cinematic language, social structure, identity, and introspection through his own retelling of world cinema. He deliberately “miscasts” himself and others in reinterpretations of classic film scenes, often playing all the roles himself and using languages he neither speaks nor understands. With sly and tragicomic performances of speech and gesture, Wong exposes both cultural mistranslations and connections to disrupt assumptions about nation, family, self, and other.
Life of Imitation, 2009, by Ming Wong
2-channel digital video installation

The exhibition is a cinephile's dream. In addition to the direct references of film in his video pieces, the artist (along with curator Tang Fu Kuen) has rounded out the exhibition with with an amazing display of Singapore film ephemera (from the private collection of Wong Han Min), newly painted movie posters (made by the last remaining Singapore billboard painter, Neo Chohn Teck) and intimate photos of collapsing movie houses.

Together, these works attempt to tell the forgotten history of the golden age of Singapore cinema. If you want to see it (and I bet you do!), it's only here for one more month (closes on Feb 27). To me, the historical undercurrents of this show are as interesting as the art itself, so I highly recommend the supplemental programming like the teas and lectures.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Alternative Spaces

Installation by Matthew Parker and Sam Trout
(image by Kip Beelman)

The days of artists complaining (we do love to complain!) about not having anywhere to show are quickly becoming fiction thanks to the proliferation of alternative spaces popping up. While not all of them are revolutionary (artists have been using abandoned buildings, empty storefronts and their own homes for a long time), they are certainly appreciated!

In addition to the Storefronts project, home galleries like Season and Vignettes, Sound Transit's Temporary Installations, new artist co-ops, and the internet, there are dozens and dozens of other local places where you can show your art these days.

Art from Graham Downing's show at Vignettes
(curated by Sierra Stinson)

Tomorrow (1/27), artists Lauren Klenow and Sharon Arnold will lead a discussion at Gage Academy about these unusual approaches. Guests will include Klara Glosova (of NEPO House), Todd Jannausch (of Gallery 40) and members of the TARL. The discussion goes from 12:30 - 2 and is free.

Note: For anyone with mobility issues, it's on the 3rd floor of an old building that doesn't have elevator access.

Sean Alexander / Fulcrum Gallery

The God Cat by Sean Alexander

I think the majority of best of readers live here in Seattle and sometimes we can get tunnel vision and forget about all the really great shows that happen in Tacoma. So in case you haven't heard, Sean Alexander just opened up a new show at Fulcrum Gallery called Seasonal Affective which promises, "More simple folk drawings made with pens, markers, hi-liters, colored pencils, and graphite. A world of sad, sleepy things. Broken hearts and animals with missing parts."

image by Sean Alexander

I love Sean's work. His drawings always feel so pure to me. I'd love to see him and Stacey Rozich have a show together - I think it would be sublime.

If you want to make it an art day, pop over to Kittredge Gallery, too - they have a nice show up through Feb 26 called Marked.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

David Rathman / Mark Moore Gallery

Drillbit Taylor, 2010 by David Rathman
Watercolor on paper, 30 x 40 inches

Oh man! My buddy David Rathman sent over a few preview images of his upcoming show, Great Expectations, at Mark Moore Gallery in Los Angeles. If you've been reading this blog for long, you'll know I'm a big fan of his work.

Wonderings, 2010 by David Rathman
Watercolor on paper, 30 x 40 inches

David's watercolors are hyper-masculine and full of nostalgia. He explores a few different themes; dusty scenes lifted from spaghetti Westerns, the collective musical angst of our teen-aged years, and memories of life in a small town (Choteau, MT to be exact).

His latest work has taken a dramatic turn, both in size and subject matter. The new work is huge - this diptych is 4' x 12! David's paintings of his studio remind me of Grant Barnhart's latest work. I'll bet if they were both in a room together, they'd find lots to talk about.

Where's the end of it? (detail), 2010 by David Rathman
Watercolor on paper, Diptych 42.25 x 69 inches each

Someday, if I ever get rich or famous I'm gonna buy me a David Rathman! Until then, I'm happy to look at these beautiful images online. If you're in LA, you should check them out in person. Great Expectations is a 2 person exhibition; Rathman will be showing with David Hilliard and it looks to be an amazing exploration regarding the spectrum of masculinity. The show will be up Feb 19 - April 2.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Red Seed by Susan Melrath

Red Seed by Susan Melrath
acrylic on board, 24x48

"Inspired by the coming of spring, this painting was first created in the "Brushes" app on my iPhone. Brushes is a painting application designed for the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. It’s a powerful tool for creating original artwork on your mobile device (brings a whole new meaning to plein air painting). I loved the fact that it was part doodling, and part painting - no pressure, just fooling around. Layers can be rearranged, deleted, merged and copied between paintings. You can even adjust the opacity of each layer. (A couple of “New Yorker” covers have been illustrated by an artist using Brushes, and I understand the iPad is David Hockney’s favorite new medium.) Brushes also allows you to replay your painting stroke by stroke, and export it as a movie....

video of Susan drawing with Brushes application

I decided to see how this might translate to canvas. So, back in the studio I began layering colors and repeating forms, trying to retain the spontaneity I felt on the smaller screen. I looked for patterns everywhere, from nature’s cellular forms to textiles and mosaics. Rich colors drew me in, patterns guided me through, and flat, poetic shapes allowed me to rest. Each component seems to be a metaphor for the passage of time and the complex relationships in our lives. Built around this architecture of flora, my “garden” paintings are a celebration of life, growth, and the rhythm of the seasons." - Susan Melrath

If you would like to see them in person, swing by the Virginia Inn between March 3 and April 30th.

Art and Politics Now / Susan Noyes Platt

Local art historian Susan Noyes Platt, Ph.D., will be giving a talk tonight at Elliott Bay Books promoting her recent book, Art and Politics Now: Cultural Activism in a Time of Crisis.
A critical analysis of contemporary, politically-engaged art, Art and Politics Now considers both theory and practice among contemporary artists who are pursuing social and political engagement around issues such as opposition to war, terrorism, racism, borders, and the violation of the earth. She discusses a variety of types of art, including street protests and gallery art, examining both individual artists and exhibitions as political endeavors expanding the concept of art that engages political and social issues.
The book is an examination of art that deals with political and social concerns, including folks like Maya Lin, Marita Dingus, Deborah Faye Lawrence, Cai Guo Qiang and many more. Susan also has a related blog here.

Where: Elliott Bay Books
Time: 7pm, free

Also, if you're feeling less political but still need an art fix, don't forget about Forecast which opens tonight.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Summer at Cornish

Bless This Mess by Josh Faught
image via Greg Kucera Gallery

Do you know any young adults between the ages of 15-18 who have artistic inclinations? Then you'll want to make sure they know all about Summer at Cornish. Seattle Magazine called the program "The coolest summer camp for teens" and it'd be hard to argue with that.

The program is full of some of Seattle's most talented artists who will be teaching some really great classes. Joe Park will be teaching a class on how to paint, Jeffry Mitchell will be doing a drawing class, Gretchen Bennett will leading a class on making a videos, and Ellen Forney will teach you how to make comics. along with a bunch of other really interesting classes. Here is the full class list for Art + Design.

I even get to teach a class! I've previously mentioned that my aunt used to own Yarn & Needle Arts in Bozeman. Instead of shooting guns and riding horse, I'd spend my summers doing needlepoint and macramé (much to my father's chagrin). It left me with a lifelong love of fiber arts but is also something I rarely explore in my own artistic practice. So when invited to teach, I figured it was a great time to revisit those beautiful memories of my childhood by developing a class called Fiber Sculpture and Assemblage.
This sculpture class will examine the resurgence of fiber arts through a contemporary lens. Using artists such as Mandy Greer, Josh Faught, and Mark Newport for inspiration, each session will be spent working alongside guest artists building a component piece (macramé, felting, other fiber arts) for a larger assemblage each student will create at the end of the course. This course will also focus on 1970s iconography and compositional considerations.

Barnstorm call to artists

I rarely post calls to artists, mostly because I hate applying to things due to my fear of rejection (I could never be an author or actor - all those rejections!) but I think this project sounds really fun.

I tend to live in an artistic silo so if it falls outside visual art, I probably don't know about it. Barnstorm seems like the perfect remedy for that. Somewhere between a speakeasy and a cabaret (with liberal doses of social justice thrown in), Barnstorm is seeking "practitioners of dangerous, witty and unfettered theatre & art" to help realize their ambitious 3 day vision of an urban carnival.
Transforming a wonderful, yet woefully underused, downtown venue (a 3400 sq. ft. former theatre currently serving as a storage locker), Barnstorm will invoke the original European cabarets to bring audiences and artists together in an intimate and seemingly "off limits" setting. People will physically mingle in a variety of spaces; they'll trip over each other; thumb their noses at one another and engage - however indirectly - in a dialogue about things that matter, things that disturb, things that art is best at digging into. Patrons will drink cocktails, enjoy small bites, relax on couches, peruse two- and three-dimensional displays. They'll drift away to other engagements - and hopefully back again. They'll feel at ease, even as provocative work is cropping up spontaneously around them, because they will choose their level of engagement (seated in the front row, or across the room at the bar). Whatever happens, they'll be immersed in excellent creative work - and they'll feel good about just being seen there.
Barnstorm: The Cabaret Re-imagined is seeking ar
tists of all forms; painting, sculpture, theatre, dance, comedy, poetry, photography, whatever!

If this sounds interesting (and I sure think it will be!), you can learn more here. Applications are due by February 15. And if you can't participate as an artist, I hope you'll consider saving the dates to attend (May 5 - 7, 2011; 6pm-2am nightly).

Public art by Carlos Espinoza

by Carlos Espinoza

We all have our biases (my mother would prefer I never paint anything but flowers or portraits) and if push came to shove, I'd readily admit that historically I haven't been the biggest fan of carved brick. Local sculptor Carlos Espinoza has made me realize that when done right, bas relief can be downright beautiful.

These are pictures of a commissioned project he did for the National Guard in Tacoma back in 2005. The eagle, a common theme in his work, is just amazing.
The Washington National Guard commissioned artist Carlos Espinoza of West Seattle to carve a bas-relief of the Great Seal of the United States in a plaza at the Guard Headquarters in Tacoma.

The sixteen-foot diameter relief is composed of over 500 concrete paver bricks carved on location. After finishing the main project Espinoza recycled the leftover pavers to make two benches adjacent to the plaza, one of the which is shown in the photo.”

Espinoza, who hails from Mexican province of Chihuahua, is a skilled carver who works in several media, including clay, stone, brick, metal and wood. His artwork often draws on motifs created by the Aztec and Mayan peoples, with whom he shares a common heritage. A common theme in his artwork is the image of the eagle, which represents freedom in many indigenous cultures. - The Rozella Review

Friday, January 21, 2011

So much to see

Tonight brings us one of those super art-convergences in Seattle where there's just so much to see all at once. And since they're scattered throughout the city (Ballard, Belltown and 1st Hill), it's a logistical nightmare to hit all three.

Designed by Ming Wong and hand-painted by Mr. Neo Chon Teck.
Life of Imitation, 2009. Acrylic emulsion on canvas. 87 x 90 in.
Singapore Art Museum Collection.

The Frye is having their member's only reception tonight for Ming Wong's amazing new exhibition Life of Imitation. The majority of this show was first shown at the 2009 Venice Biennale. Artist Ming Wong and guest curator Tang Fu Kuen talked about the show at Tuesday's Klatch and it was fascinating to hear about the cinematic history of Singapore. I'd highly recommend attending their discussion with Frye Director Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker on Saturday at 2pm.
In his installations Wong adapts landmark films of world cinema, such as Douglas Sirk’s Hollywood melodrama Imitation of Life (1959), addressing issues of racial identity, gender, language, and that which the artist refers to as “in-between, bittersweet, where you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.” In Love for the Mood, a “rehearsal of a rehearsal,” is Ming Wong’s tribute to Wong Kar-wai’s Hong Kong film In the Mood for Love (2000), set in the 1960s. Finally, Four Malay Stories reinterprets Malay showbiz icon P. Ramlee’s most famous films, with Wong himself playing sixteen stock characters in a comedy, a melodrama, a social drama, and a period drama.

Ming Wong rereads “national” cinema constructed through language and role-playing by re-interpreting and adapting classic films and engaging with performative notions of miscasting and parroting.
This is really quick exhibition (by museum standards) and is only up from Jan 22 through Feb 27, 2011, and you don't want to miss it.

in theater at Suyama Space by Eric Eley, image by Mark Woods

Former Seattleite and beloved artist Eric Eley returns to create his largest installation yet. If you saw his most recent show at Platform Gallery, you got a preview of his new direction.
in theater conveys the geometric landscape of an abstracted battlefield encampment. Overhead, a system of nets, interwoven with strips of fabric breaks up the expanse of the gallery’s interior, while tangled barricades divide the ground-level space. The spare architecture of the installation reflects hand-made defensive strategies employed at the intersection of manpower and technological power.
The Suyama Space show is up Jan 24 - April with his artist reception tonight from 5-7pm. Eric will also be giving a gallery talk on Saturday at noon.

by Brion Nuda Rosch at Ambach & Rice

And I already highlighted Ambach & Rice's visiting exhibition Beneath The Picture here.

If you want to get a jump on your art night, swing by Hedreen Gallery today at noon for their LUNCH program.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Open Studio and Sale / Michael Harrison

part of Michael Harrison's Winter Series

To make up for my last post, here's something really pretty. I've only seem them online but I think these paintings by Michael Harrison are so beautiful. They kind of remind me of photos of Yellowstone's Grand Prismatic Spring, which is one of the prettiest things I've ever seen.

You can see them this Saturday when Michael has an open studio/sale this Saturday from noon to 5pm.

When: Saturday, noon to 5pm
Where: Inscape Arts Building Studio #401

Wayne Clough is a jerk.


This blog has always been one of those annoying ones that doesn't do "negative" (note the name, best of). So I think this post will probably be the first time I've called anyone out for being a jerk (except all you Prop 8 supporters - you're still jerks!). But after attending Gage's discussion on the Wojnarowicz censorship last night and spending most of the night tossing and turning due to dreams of being attacked, I woke up angry.

Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough is a jerk! So are you John Boehner, Eric Cantor and William Donahue. These people, along with Penny Starr (the 'reporter', not the burlesque dancer--who I'm sure is awesome!) are responsible for the dead chicken [too colloquial?] that will be hanging around the Smithsonian's neck for a long time to come. What has surprised me most in these discussions about the censorship is how once again, the Right Wing has completely deflected our attention to a phony issue. Much like those 7 in 10 (!!!) Americans who believe that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attack, Republican spin doctors have Americans thinking that this isn't censorship, but instead a necessary response to an attack on Christianity. Make no mistake - this manufactured controversy has NOTHING to do with Christianity - the core issue here is homophobia. Their ilk hate gay people but are also smart enough to realize that they're out of step with the majority of Americans on this issue, so how do they go about removing Hide/Seek? By focusing on the only thing they know they could get any traction with - more cries of religious persecution. This was the first important gay exhibition to ever to be shown in a major American museum and they hated that. And like the Mapplethorpe controversy in 1989, they will do everything in their power to make sure people are afraid to ever try anything like it again.

The Museum of Censored Art (a portable display set up near the Smithsonian to display the censored video) has published a fantastic list of questions to ask Clough today at a Town Hall meeting in LA. Clough has been radio silent for the past 2 months, I'm sure in hopes that things will have died down a bit but I think his silence has had just the opposite effect. On Tuesday, speaking to Lee Rosenbaum, Clough stated emphatically, "I don't regret the decision [to remove the video]. I think it was the right decision for the exhibit, as well as for the long-term strength of this institution." I don't think he'll feel the same once the dust settles.

Here are some of MoCA (Museum of Censored Art) questions that I really hope get addressed today.
Why did you make Martin Sullivan take the blame for your decision?

Do you realize that you have sent a message to all special interest groups that they can force the Smithsonian to censor if they complain to the right people?

Were there any other Smithsonian staff who thought censoring the video was a good idea, or did you go against the advice of all of your curators?

In an unsigned statement on Dec. 6, the Smithsonian said the Wojnarowicz video was removed because it “distracted from the overall exhibition.” If your continued presence as Secretary becomes similarly “distracting,” will you follow your own example and remove yourself from the Smithsonian?
It's not much but it's all I got - there is a personal silver lining in all of this because I can finally both spell and pronounce David Wojnarowicz' name.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Beneath The Picture / Baer Ridgway Exhibitions

rocks and water (collage), 2010 by castaneda/reiman
pigment print on drywall, drywall mud, pigment, wood
17" x 24" x 1.75"

I'm a sucker for cross-pollinating art scenes so I'm excited about the upcoming exhibition Beneath The Picture opening at Ambach & Rice this Friday. This show will exhibit work by artists from the San Francisco gallery Baer Ridgway Exhibitions. (You might remember co-owner Kent Baer from his time at Greg Kucera Gallery.)
"Beneath The Picture" addresses the varied artistic practice of appropriation as seen within the artists of Baer Ridgway Exhibitions. Whether culling images from disparate online sources and situating them in new contextual archives, imbuing photographs with alternative significance by transposing them across mediums, or troubling the physicality of the image surface by marking, obscuring and manipulating, the works included in this exhibition highlight the mutability of the viewer’s experience of a picture and present opportunities for reinterpretation and re-inscription of pictures that have already lived.
Artists include Tyler Cufley, Cassandra C. Jones, Brion Nuda Rosch, castaneda/reiman, Chris Duncan, Wolfgang Ganter, Brendan Lott, Sean McFarland and TV Moore.

The show is up from Jan 21 - Feb 5, with an opening reception this Friday from 6-9pm.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Double Feature by Curtis Erlinger

I'm shutting my eyes tight so everything
goes black (detail), 2010,
8" x 10"
Ink on paper, snow, cloth overlay

I've been meaning to recommend Curtis Erlinger's current show, Double Feature, in SOIL's backspace. He's done a series of beautiful paintings pulled from cinema.
Double Feature rephrases these images in ways that seem both furtive and strangely revealing. In deliberate contrast to a projection upon the silver screen, the viewer looks through an obscuring cloth to see the precision of the paintings. Individual images are presented, yet they become complicated by their interaction with one another. Although subtitled texts seem to offer an explanation, they are collaged and sourced from unrelated films. The original narratives are altered and made uncertain in order, paradoxically, to clarify the hidden truths about desire that lurk beneath them.

And for those of you who have always wanted to vandalize a Hummer (and what Seattleite hasn't entertained that thought at least once?), W. Scott Trimble finally gives you your chance in the main gallery.

Both shows are up through the 29th.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

image via

I can't think of any historical person who deserves the title of hero more than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I keep rewriting this post but I guess all I really want to say is that I think America needs him now, perhaps more than ever. I just wanted to pause and remember his tireless advocacy for the disenfranchised and his message of hope. There were so many beautiful quotes on Facebook this morning; here are a couple of my favorites.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

‎Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent.

‎A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chip Baker / Victory Lounge

by Chip Baker (I want this on a t-shirt!)

I went to my friend Chip Baker's "opsing" (somewhere between an opening and a closing) last night. I had to leave before the fun started and that's a real shame because they promised lots of drunk dj'ing and beer!

Like many artists, Chip pays the bills doing design but you can tell art is his passion. I love his style (vaguely Raymond Pettibon) and subject matter (bats, snakes, wizards, wolves) and 'zines!

by Chip Baker

His stuff is super under-priced (some pieces are only $20!!). You can find some of his work online and he's also currently got work up at Victory Lounge for the next couple of weeks.

UNPUNISHED / Sue Scott Gallery

UNPUNISHED by Nayland Blake

2011 has already been great but it got even better when one of my favorite artists invited me to send him a couple of drawings for a project he's working on.

Wear the sun in your heart, 2011 by Joey Veltkamp

UNPUNISHED is going to be a queer 'zine put together by Nayland Blake at Sue Scott Gallery's KABINETT. The tone is meant to be celebratory ("unfettered exuberance"). My first drawing continues my exploration of Grizzly Adams. The intro song for the tv show, Maybe by Thom Pace, had a working title of "Wear the sun in your heart." - I just thought that was painfully sincere (and of course, loved it). The second drawing is of me in bear costume, which I'm sure is the direct result of my early love for this show. A kind of then and now.

Joey (Bear), 2011 by Joey Veltkamp

If you're in New York, check it out. It opens up January 20th. Details here.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Joey + Bear / Troy Gua

Joey + Bear, 2011 by Troy Gua

I try to keep the posts about me relegated to the weekends, when less folks are reading. I know that I'm friends with some of you on Facebook, so this is old news but I always get in trouble by my non-FB friends if I don't post here, too.

Artist Troy Gua wanted one of my owls and asked if we could do a trade. We finally got the chance to exchange earlier this week and you can imagine my happy face when I unwrapped the package and saw this! Me superimposed over a Northwest Coast art grizzly bear! This is a one-off but it'd be awesome to see a series of his pop hybrids done in this style. Thanks Troy!

And super-smartie Jessica Powers wrote some real sweet things about me for Artslant. You can read the whole thing here.
"Veltkamp is nothing if not a Co-Creative Lover, encouraging those slightly more up-and-coming than himself, established artists, and everyone in between. He believes in a populist, unifying espirit de corps in the arts community, laboring diligently to reshape his corner of the artworld through various forms of encouragement and engagement."

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bherd Studios tonight

Bob, 2009 by Justin Kane Elder, mixed media

Looking for some art in Greenwood tonight? Bherd Studios is hosting a couple of receptions as part of the Greenwood-Phinney artwalk. Justin Kane Elder (you might have seen his work at Cupcake Royale on the hill a couple of months back) will be showing at Gainsbourg.

"Yellow Nude #2" by John Osgood

John Osgood (the kingpin of Bherd Studios) will be showing 20 new works as part of his Exposed solo show. Here's a recent interview with John that highlights all the great work he's been doing.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Oops, I did it again...

my fuzzy brain

To quote Winnie the Pooh, I'm a bear of little brain and the majority of it is used to store useless facts and trivia (Q. Who won Star Search's first spokesmodel competition? A. Sharon Stone). Unfortunately, that doesn't leave a lot of room for important stuff, like you.

The internet says that the average person can remember between 300 and 500 people (obviously this varies wildly). I'm not sure why but the "steel-trap mind" of my 20s has slowly morphed into a metal colander during my 30s, leaking faces all over the place. It's gotten so bad that you and I can have a conversation on a Friday and by the time Monday rolls around, I won't be able to remember your face. I know your name, I know what we talked about but I just can't attach it to you.

I've tried various ways to overcome this. Facebook has been somewhat helpful because now before any event, I can cruise through the list of attendees and at least attempt to recommit names with faces. Part of the problem is that I tend to meet people at social events where my anxiety is already a little high. And if I run into you in a situation that's out of context, I'm totally lost. This constantly makes me feel bad because as everybody knows, there's nothing worse than somebody not remembering who are.

If you know me, you already know that nothing makes me feel worse than hurting people's feeling. Consider this my public apology if I've ever made you feel bad by not being able to place you - it certainly wasn't my intent and if you nudge me on your name, I can usually demonstrate that I really do know who you are. I know that I'm not unique in this, but I just wanted to address it because I'm afraid it's just going to get worse as I get older.

Forecast / WSCTC

Seattle: The Venice of the Northwest, 2007
by Sarah Kavage and Nicole Kistler
Digital photo manipulation and graphic design, 4" x 6"

If you'll pardon the pun, there's a convergence coming to the Convention Center real soon! The American Meteorological Society (AMS) will be in town hosting their 91st annual conference and have collaborated with EcoArts Connections to bring us a weather related exhibit that sounds really interesting. Independent curator Lele Barnett, who just landed at Microsoft as the Curatorial Consultant for their art collection, was tapped to organize this exhibition of works by over 36 artists.

The Melt (detail), 2010
by Scott Schuldt with collaborating scientist Cecilia Bitz
Wearable anorak, 42" x 40" x 12"

Forecast: Communicating Weather and Climate isn't your typical art show. In addition to works by local favorites like Susan Robb, Katy Stone, Claire Johnson, and Cable Griffith, there are several collaborative projects that pair artists with scientists.
“In addition to being aesthetically nourishing, the exhibition will also be scientifically engaging, helping the public better experience a broad array of weather and climate activities. The works will share not only the beauty of natural forces, but also the impact of weather and climate upon public health and safety, economic growth, national security, sustainability, and air and water quality.” Marda Kirn, executive director of EAC
Masonic Lodge near Port Sulfur, LA, 2005 by Chris Jordan
Photographic Inkjet print, 29" x 34"

The show runs from January 24 through April 9, 2011 in WSCTC's North and South

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Untitled, 2010 by Philip Miner, oil on canvas, 20" x 16"
image via

If you missed last Sunday's opening of I AM HERE, MO FO! at SEASON, don't despair because Robert will be hosting a second reception next Wednesday (Jan 19) from 6:30 to 9pm.

Untitled, 2010 by Ruth van Beek, collage, 6" x 6.25"
image via

For WINTER of 2011, Robert is showing the work of Philip Miner and Ruth van Beek. I love that each exhibition has a catalog with essays by folks like Sara Krajewski and D.W. Burnam.

If you can't make this opening, email Robert to set up an appointment.

Blitz / January 2011

Here are a couple of highlights from Thursday's Blitz.

Julie Alpert

Julie Alpert will be opening up Motivation Graph at The Living Room.
During the months of November and December, Julie Alpert set out to make one 5" x 7.5" painting a day from photographs of Seattle backyards. The bar graph installation of the work charts her productivity, motivation, energy and lack thereof. The arrangement draws visual connections between the subject matter, palette, and application of paint. Originally intended as a challenge about dedication, the project revealed a lot about habits and attention span as they relate to physical and mental stamina.

Jess Rees

Ghost Gallery will be opening up the group show Ecotone which showcases the talents of Michael Alm, Joey Bates, Mary Elise Bolam, Jody Joldersma and Jess Ress.

Ecotone’s theme comes from a term used by ecologists to describe a physical transition between landscapes, such as the point where forest becomes desert. In some cases, the boundary between landscapes lasts indefinitely. More commonly, however, one landscape slowly eclipses the other. It’s on these terms that five local artists explore the shift between the urban landscape and the natural one.
Emmett Montgomery

Emmett Montgomery's show
Of Teddy Bears and Other Monsters will be opening at CakeSpy.
Emmett Montgomery used to live in a strange and lonely town. He started making friends using the paperbags from the excessive gift packages his mother would send him. He doesn't live in that town anymore and has real human friends but he still makes puppets and likes to find them homes. His puppets are of things that frighten and/or fascinate him; clowns, children, birds, teddy bears, among other things and Cakespy will be hosting a lot of them.
Jesse Higman

And don't miss Jesse Higman's live painting event at Vermillion.
In a live gallery event, Jesse Higman will be pouring paintings with DJ accompaniment on Thursday, January 13th from 5-8pm. With his largest table, Higman will share his painting techniques and invite others to work with him in the gallery space. The performance is an opportunity for deeper dialog and conversation on the Illuvial occurrences with the Capitol Hill community and gallery exhibition, Illuvium: The Wave & Animate Existence.
Dumb Eyes' gif

And don't forget about the after party--Penetration at Unicorn!

Updated 1/12:
Betty Clifton at Joe Bar

Also, don't miss the inaugural show of Betty Clifton at Joe Bar. This show is full of collages that she's been working on for over ten years!