Thursday, June 30, 2011

Peter Piek at SPACE this Sunday

′Komm Her′ by Peter Piek (image via artist)
Oil, pencils and print on paper, rotatable

If you're sticking around this weekend, SPACE will be having a cool show on Sunday. German-born multidisciplinary artist Peter Piek will be in town to perform music and create a large painting/installation. 7:30 - 11:30pm at SPACE and you can find more details here. If you can't make the one night only performance of "The Moment of Creating", the installation will remain on display for 1st Thursday.

Art Walk Awards tonight!

by Matthew Olds

Wow, I don't think I've ever went a week without blogging. Sorry about that - I've been sick as a dog with that chest cold that's been plaguing everyone. I'm super bummed because I'd love to be going to tonight's City Art Magazine's Best Of Art Walk Awards.

By Counsel Langley

They've rounded up a great group of finalists; Matthew Olds, Counsel Langley, Joey Bates, Evan Blackwell, Tina Koyama, and Aaron Asis.

by Tina Koyama

The event starts at 8pm tonight at FRED WILDLIFE REFUGE. It's 21+ only and there will be a full bar + complimentary Blue Moon beer. But that means that you have
to RSVP (liquor laws) to with SUMMER ART WALK in the subject line. Or you can RSVP on FB here.

By Evan Blackwell

These events are always fun (and get packed!) so get there early to vote. Last quarter's winner was Jesse Higman.

by Joey Bates
presented by Blue Moon Beer, and 4Culture

One local artist will win $1,000 and a spotlight in City Arts Magazine.

Come party with us, view the finalists' work, pick your winner for this awards + Full bar, FREE Blue Moon beer + enjoy some tasty tunes from

J-Justice of SunTzu Sound
(TRUST / City Soul - KBCS 91.3FM)

by Aaron Asis

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dahlia Elsayed / SSCC

The Sticky Parts, 2011 by Dahlia Elsayed,
acrylic on paper, 60" x 155"

If you're looking for something to do this afternoon, I suggest heading over to South Seattle Community College in West Seattle to see the Northwest debut of Dahlia Elsayed who will be presenting new work in a show titled The Sticky Parts. The opening reception is this afternoon from 2-4pm.
Internationally respected artist Dahlia Elsayed pulls from conceptual art, comics, cartographyand landscape painting to explore the relationship between language and image. Her visual narratives are greatly influenced by her background. Three generations of her family have been forced to move many times to many places due to religious and political persecution. This has fostered a deep curiosity into how story shapes a landscape, and its inverse, how a landscape takes a mythic form in narrative. via

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Some openings tonight...

Lots of shows to see tonight with something for everyone.

Ken Kelly

Ken Kelly at the Sorrento

Tonight from 6-8pm, there will be a Fireside Chat at the Sorrento Hotel with artist Ken Kelly.
Curated by Roy McMakin, the show will open with a reception and Fireside Chat with Ken, Roy, Alfred Harris, Jeffry Mitchell, and Joey Veltkamp. It's free to the public, so come join us for drinks, art, and conversation at the fabulous Sorrento Hotel!
Andrew Reisert

Andrew Reisert at Vignettes

From 7-10pm, Vignettes will be presenting their one night only solstice exhibition 'SunSpasm', a new collage series by Andrew Reisert.
These works are reflections of the wonder I have in looking and contemplating. So much can be derived when only a limited amount of information is given. Perhaps how we once thought of the celestial bodies as Gods floating above. I enjoy thinking of the wild world before we had put our ours in such confining parentheses. How it must've been. to come face to face with plants, animals, and the skies above before we knew "better". It's not that I'm just simply dwelling on a past I can not possibly experience. Knowledge aside I can still find myself in that place, excited, fearful of what might be outside the walls of my confines, happy that the unknown still exists and once again like a young boy turning over creek rock, bewildered and amazed with misunderstanding. - AR

NKO / another total failure of language

Also, tonight from 5-10pm, NKO will open up his apartment to show new words and new works in ‘another total failure of language’, an installation of 333 paintings. Details here.

Synthetic / Winston Wachter

Winster Wachter will be hosting a solstice celebration/group exhibition tonight from 6-8pm. Synthetic includes work by Susan Dory, Elizabeth Gahan, Liz Hickok, Shane McAdams, Liz Tran, and Margeaux Walter.
Synthetic is a vibrant, colorful and thought provoking group show featuring six artists whose work interprets the notion of “synthetic” in a variety of ways and mediums. Each artist brings to the show a unique consideration of color, material, content, and composition. via

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fissure by Alice Case

Fissure, 2011 by Alice Case
Oil on canvas, 62" x 48

"My paintings explore the complex, multi-faceted ways in which we find and define our humanity in today’s globalized society. I have a science-based belief in something bigger than ourselves, and a faith that the world unfolds the complexities of our humanity in many mysterious ways. My work is driven by an effort to understand this, and I do so by using painting to explore various pieces of humanity from the complex, interwoven
moments of our daily lives, to how we situate ourselves within a larger social structure.

Complex dichotomies, often self-produced, entangle our human world. Our animal instincts tell us to absorb, investigate, and explore everything, but these very basic intentions are complicated by our human instinct and desire to situate ourselves accordingly within our social constructs, which we have built but cannot fully control.Part of our human nature ignites in us a deep need to connect with and understand each other, and yet we have constructed a world in which technology allows us to be fully functioning and accommodated with less and less human interaction. I believe that on a deeply human level we recognize the potentially flawed nature of this, and that in a certain way it fuels our society with a very elusive, global energy as we teeter between acceptance and resistance of what is swiftly becoming our social norm. While we recognize and appreciate the advantages technology affords us, we remain wary of its broader sociological implications.

Each painting or series of paintings and drawings focuses on specific aspects of this struggle, celebrating the human mind and ability, while recognizing that we are being pulled in multiple directions.

I source my imagery from vast global networking systems such as airline flight patterns and grids (city/electrical/social networking), focusing on the ubiquitous nature of these systems, and pair these with intuited color and paint handling and often a classical use of perspective, reaching out to the more fundamental and instinctual senses of our human experience. My goal is to have these forces elegantly merge, while simultaneously fight for the viewers attention, as they do in our daily lives." - Alice Case

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Closer Look / Dean Geleyense

Dark Matter by Curtis Erlinger
image via FLUX Hawaai

Here's an interesting feature on ten sculptures from "non-collector" Dean Geleynse's art collection. I'm happy to see both Curtis Erlinger and Drew Daly highlighted!

New art blog / Ellen Ziegler

Hypnopomp by Ellen Ziegler

Artist Ellen Ziegler has started a new blog called ...and the Luminously Trivial. This link to the diving bell spider is fascinating.
I will be bringing you a cosmic waterfall of the Creative Arts, including but not limited to Visual, Sonic, Performative, Literary, Scientific, Aromatic... and the Luminously Trivial.
Also, if you're feeling stuck and need to jump start your creativity, I think there's still time to sign up for her class, WD-40® FOR THE CREATIVE SOUL: HOW TO GET UNSTUCK.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Set the Table / Party in the Park / OSP

detail of Claire Cowie's table

Last night was Seattle Art Museum's second Set the Table for SAM, a fundraiser for their outreach and artistic programs. From 6-8pm, guests drank, ate and enjoyed the 18 artist designed tables with work by Tamara Codor, Claire Cowie, Chris Engman & Chauney Peck, Troy Gua, Alfred Harris, Vic Haven, Luke Haynes, Joy & Reffry, Cameron Anne Mason, Joe McDonnell, Nicholas Nyland, Joe Park, George Rodriguez, Ginny Ruffner, Carolina Silva, Maki Tamura, Trimpin, Claude Zervas & Leo Berk and me. Jeffry Mitchell and Roy McMakin decorated the bar area with garlands of pictures from their recent Canadian road trip.

detail of Alfred's table

There were only a few limits so people get really creative. I hope that someone captured them all. My date Jody Hall took these pictures. Update: Awesome - Robert Wade did document them all over here.

with chef Renee Erickson (recently here)

In addition to really fun artist tables, chefs like Renee Erickson, Ethan Stowell, Robin Leventhal (and more) made plate after plate of delicious food.

my mountain themed table with a lupine volcano

Music included Hey Marseilles, The Lumineers and a dj set by Dave Hernandez (of The Shins). If you were hungry, there was a row of trucks by folks like Molly Moon Ice Cream, Skillet, Dante's Inferno Dogs and more.

with Roy and Mike

After dinner, Party in the Park started with "eats, beats and feats". Susan Robb created 2 new scents for the sculpture park, Claudia Fitch provided a backdrop for pictures, and there were other artistic installations throughout the park.

the table of Vic Haven

You can see more images from the Party in the Park over here at Chris Hunt Photography.

Troy Gua's table (photo by Troy Gua)

On-site at Olympic Sculpture Park

foreground: Flemish Lines by Nicholas Nyland
background: Air Below Ground by Carolina Silva
image by Robert Wade for SAM

I finally got to see the second iteration of On-site at Olympic Sculpture Park yesterday. Curated byMarisa C. Sánchez, this year's installations include new works by Gretchen Bennett, Nicholas Nyland and Carolina Silva.

The Jetty by Gretchen Bennett

This has become one of my favorite things that happens in the park. Nicholas has installed both a path and a pallet of glazed bricks, plus a few rope sculptures. Carolina created a large black cube that she will activate with installations (last night, it was producing fog). And Gretchen installed a hand carved piece of driftwood that she hauled up from Oregon, along with a walking stick and a glass float suspended in a tree. It's like a treasure hunt to find everything. And they're all so amazing.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ken Kelly at the Sorrento

by Ken Kelly

If you have time, you should swing by The Sorrento next Tuesday for their fireside chat with artist Ken Kelly. I previewed this amazing new work for New American Paintings/Blog over here. The chat will be a panel discussion with Roy McMakin (curator), Ken, Alfred Harrris, Jeffry Mitchell and myself.
"It's free to the public, so come join us for drinks, art, and conversation at the fabulous Sorrento Hotel!"
Tuesday, June 21 from 6-8pm at The Sorrento. FB invite here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Say hello to Allison Schulnik

Sunflowers #7, oil on canvas stretched on panel, 30" x 24", 2009

You come from a family of artists; did you always know you'd end up making art as an adult?

I thought I would be a dancer or a musical theater performer. In the end I guess I couldn't escape being an artist.

Night Wind (and details), oil on linen, 84" x 68", 2010

Do you think of your work as dark/sad? How do you stay happy and balanced?

For me, I work to liberate monsters. I see the paintings as monuments to the rejected, forlorn or foolish. The works are sanctuaries and I am happy to provide that. Happiness and balance is the goal.

Wolf, oil on linen, 36" x 48", 2009

A lot of your work feels sympathetic to the Northwest in that it has a feeling (and I mean this in a really good way) of rot and decay.

I love the Northwest, although I have lived in the Southwest my whole life. I also love rot and decay. Most things are more interesting when they are decomposing.

Hollow, oil on linen, 78" x 98", 2010

You studied animation at CalArts--where did painting come in?

I always painted from a young age because there were a lot of painters in my family and it was heavily encouraged, including my mother, my aunt, my uncle,etc... My father drew as well, and is an architect. When I went to school I knew I wanted to learn a skill and make films, so I studied animation. Now I do both.

Home for Hobo #2 (Currier & Ives), oil on linen, 68" 96", 2009

Is your environment a big influence on your art?

Environment is probably more important than I would admit to. I have a big space in East LA which I couldn't have in other cities, and that allows me to make big work.

Big Monkey Head #2, oil on canvas, 60" x 60", 2010

Other influences?

Influences, it's an endless list. pina bausch, philip guston, harryhausen, bickford, kinski, gilliam, eric yahnker, peter saul, basil wolverton, crumb, balthus, ensor, van gogh, soutine, hockney, paul mccarthy, jan svankmajer, rankin bass, king kong, peter grudzien, andre butzer, armen eloyan, harvey milk (the band), upsilon acrux, angel witch, venom, the earthmen, barbra streisand, the original production of a chorus line, slayer.

Flowers with Figures, oil on canvas, 36" x 48", 2011

What has been occupying your thoughts these days?

I think a lot about cheese. And I have also been thinking a lot about Rose Kemp. But mostly I have been thinking about this strange cat/creature outside my studio because I think it is a mix
between a possum and a cat.

2 Clowns, 30" x 40", oil on canvas, 2010

What does the rest of 2011 look like for you?

I have a solo exhibition of my new work, which will include this new film I am finishing now, which has 100 puppets I am animating all at once. They are made of clay mostly but also hand-sewn costumes I made, like usual, thousands of frames, animated by myself.... in October at ZieherSmith, NY.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The New York Times visits Seattle

Anthony Pane at the Walrus and the Carpenter
image by Stuart Isett for The New York Times

I'm sure you've already read former NYT food critic Frank Bruni's glowing review of Seattle's food scene but I wanted to share it just in case because it's so dang good!
To eat in and around Seattle, which I did recently and recommend heartily, isn’t merely to eat well. It is to experience something that even many larger, more gastronomically celebrated cities and regions can’t offer, not to this degree: a profound and exhilarating sense of place. (emphasis mine)
I take that for granted at times, but it's so true. Whether that's in the city at restaurants like Lark, Madison Park Conservatory or The Walrus & the Carpenter, or ferry rides out to places like Kurtwood Farms and more recently, the Willows Inn. I hope that someday The New York Times will have some similarly amazing to say about Seattle's art scene, like they already have with our food and music scenes. We're not just glass and mystics.

The city of Seattle can feel like an island at times. Not in a geographical way (though we are lousy with islands) but rather a sense of social isolation. This insularity fosters a of local introspection where instead of looking to the world outside for inspiration, we look to each other and our environment. You can see that reverberation in both our music and food scenes. It's present in our artistic community, too, but I just think it might be harder to see.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

New American Paintings / Pacific Coast

Cover image: Erik Mark Sandberg, Youth With Zebra Tank
Oil, enamel, & silk-screen on panel, 48″ x 36″ (image NAP)

I think most of you know that Erin Langner and I have been posting over at the New American Paintings Blog. In fact, Erin just posted this great piece yesterday about Julia Freeman's current show at Gallery4Culture.

Well, they currently have an open call for their Pacific Coast (CA, OR, WA, AK, HI) competition and I'd love to see us represent. This year's juror is Anne Ellegood, Senior Curator from the Hammer Museum, LA so it'd be a great year to apply. You have until June 30th.

Last year's juror was Lawrence R. Rinder, Director of the Berkeley Arts Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA who made these selections, including Seattle's Susanna Bluhm. Other past local winners have included Tim Cross, Scott Foldesi, Vic Haven, Chris Buening, Robert Yoder and many, many more.

Formal Inquiry: The Sonata Undressed

My artistic interests are pretty limited (visual arts) so it's thrilling for me to know that there are still people out there thinking, "There just aren't enough performances these days that combine poetry, chamber visual and visual art." and then they do something to change that. The Heroes come to the rescue again with their presentation of Formal Inquiry: The Sonata Undressed.

"One of the most dominant composing structures in music for more than two centuries, the sonata was at one point more than a kind of music – it was, arguably, almost a way of thinking.

Inspired by the form, a small group of musicians, poets and visual artists have come together to learn more about sonatas and discover how they can work in music, poetry and visual art." via

They've been practicing for hours and will be presenting the fruits of the their labor this weekend for 3 performances at Velocity Dance Center. Shows are nightly (Fri, Sat, Sun) at 7:30pm. Tickets are $8 (advance, $10/door).

Participating artists include Alexis Vergalla, Amy Schrader, Angela Scott, Carrie A. Purcell, Greg Plumis, Hanah Mareckova, Kate Protage, Justin Rigamonti, Rochelle Nguyen and Teresa Morani.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Your rainbow panorama / Olafur Eliasson

Your rainbow panorama, 2006-2011
at ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark
image: Ole Hein Pedersen & Studio Olafur Eliasson

I've been having a major rainbow obsession this year so understandably, my jaw dropped when I saw this new piece by Olafur Eliasson. In a perfect world, I would get to walk in a rainbow every day! See more pics here.

Your rainbow panorama, 2006-2011
at ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark
image: Ole Hein Pedersen & Studio Olafur Eliasson

Georgetown Carnival / Drum of the Draw

Looking for something fun to do this Saturday? I recommend the Georgetown Carnival. There will be artists (such as folks like Amanda Michele Dellinger, The (Mark) MILLER SCHOOL of ART, Bherd Studios, Flatchested Mama and more), music and power tool races! Plus tons of other stuff.

If you need a quiet place to regroup, swing by Print Zero Studios for Robert Hardgrave's Drum of the Draw - we'll be there from 5-9pm.
Drum of the Draw is bi-yearly drawing invitational event that brings artists and their creative process to the public, providing affordable art to Seattle, priced between $20.00 and $200.00. Please visit and enjoy watching a few Seattle artists making drawings and paintings.
Participating artists this round include myself, Amanda Manitach, Jesse Higman, Ellen Blazich, Sarah Bixler, Sean Hurley, Jahnavi Hurley, Nikki Burch, Baso Fibonacci, Crystal Barbre , and Robert Hardgrave! It should be lots of fun.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Blitz Mustache Tours!

As part of the 2nd anniversary celebration for Blitz, they'll be having Mustache Walking Tours. Different artists/art-lovers lead folks around Capitol Hill on mini-tours. The tours are free and we'll even be handing out fake mustaches. Each tour has a different start time and location.
Jennifer Babuca walks you around the big red wall in STart Wall Project: Love, Loss and the Moveable City.

Jesse Higman takes you a Trip Down Idea Avenue (11th).

Michael Alm and Kendal Tull-Esterbrook explore The Belly Button of Blitz! Olive Way Mustache Tour.
And of course you'll want to Do Pike/Pine With Ellen Forney.

by Matthew Olds

Joey Veltkamp's Bear Picks is a mellow art walk for lazy people...we'll cover the art in the block or two around Vermillion (where we'll start our tour, with a cold beverage). Here, we'll enjoy the awesome work of Matthew Olds and Heather Joy. And if we're really nice, maybe we can even get them to walk us through a piece in the show.

Northwest Marine Ironworks, 2011 by Greg Bourdreau
Spray Paint Stencils on Salvaged Wood, 32"h x 60"w

Next, we'll head upstairs to visit the studios of Greg Boudreau, Roy Powell, Peter Loyd and Abiel Hoff, collectively known as Local 1520. These fellas always have tons of amazing work available at really great bring some money if you're looking to pick up art.

Barn Owl by Joey Veltkamp

And then we'll mosey over to retrofit home to see their new group show Animal Kingdom. Ten artists are each showing 4-6 pieces of art relating to animals. These are the drawings that I used to make the paintings for panel for Gallery (206); they're of animals of Washington State, framed in 70s colors. [Am I really including my own group show in a tour I'm leading? Yes, I am - but only because I love the ladies at retrofit home so much!]


While I couldn't roll it into the tour (because then it wouldn't be a lazy tour), don't miss Jaimie Healy's show at Joe Bar. This will be her final show in Seattle for a while before she heads down to California to get her MFA at CCA.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Set the Table for SAM

The Olympics (image via)

I had a such a fun time last year at Seattle Art Museum's Set The Table for SAM so I was really happy when they invited me back to do another table for this year's fundraiser. SAM sets up a series of tables along the Z-path at the sculpture park and guests dine on food cooked by local chefs while enjoying the amazing view provided by Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains. Certain tables are designed by local artists (some of this year's 18 participating artists are Vic Haven, Chauney Peck & Chris Engman, Joe Park, Alfred Harris, Leo Berk & Claude Zervas, Claire Cowie, Troy Gua, Tamara Codor & Sterling, and myself). My table inspiration will be coming from the spectacular mountains Seattle is surrounded by. They're just exceptionally amazing this year! (I'm looking at you, Rainier!)

Then after drinks and dinner, Party in the Park starts up at 8pm with artist-designed experiences, and live music by Hey Marseilles and DJs.

If you want to attend for the whole evening (dinner), seats are $250 (everything included). Party in the Park advance tickets are $75 and $100 at the door - if they're not sold out. I highly recommend this - the parts I can remember from last year were really fun!

Speaking of SAM, today is the last day for the Nick Cave exhibition, Meet Me at the Center of the Earth.

Friday, June 3, 2011

a few things...

Chris Bogia (artist/educator) and Evan J. Garza (critic/curator/editor) have founded the country's first residency specifically for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered emerging artists. Fire Island Artist Residency (FIAR) will award four 2-week residencies (in a shared 4 bedroom house on Fire Island) with room and board provided. Time's ticking though, all materials must be received in NYC by June 15! Full information here.

On June 6th, you can reserve your spot for The Long Walk, conceived by Susan Robb. Now in its 2nd year, this "time-based, "open-source", and socially engaged art event" will take participants on a 45 mile long walk through King County Regional Trails System over a period of 4 days (July 28-31). Get all your questions answered over here.

Gage still needs some volunteers for their annual Best of Gage exhibition/celebration on June 17th. Volunteers can help between 4:30 - 10pm. They currently need Greeters, Bartenders, Art Sales, Art Checkout, Food prep and Clean Up. I volunteered last year and had lots of fun! To sign-up, email

The Art of Saint Bartlett / Ghost Gallery

by Dianna Potter

I wish I wasn't just hearing about this because it sounds awesome! Dianna Potter has created a show around Damien Jurado's 2010 album Saint Bartlett. It's going to be up at Ghost Gallery for 2 days. Also on display are tour photos by Hayley Young, Caitlyn Z. Mirete, and Sarah Jurado. And tonight, Damien will performing in the courtyard of Ghost Gallery.
Sometimes an album comes along at just the right time, and the lyrics are exactly what you need to hear at that moment in your life. You don’t have to be tuned in to lyrics to enjoy Damien Jurado’s music, but for those of us who fixate on lyrics, his songs are a treat. In the words that Damien sings, it’s easy to find comfort, solace, sadness, hope, beauty. In the months leading up to the release of Saint Bartlett, Damien and his wife Sarah became a source of comfort and strength in my life as I went through a difficult time. I found that I could relate to many of Damien’s words on a deeper level than ever before, and as an outlet for that emotional energy, the art of Saint Bartlett project was born. - Dianna Potter
There's a $5 suggested donation and Damien plays at 8pm. More info here and here.