Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Blankets by Joey Veltkamp / Salt & Straw

I'm getting super excited for my Portland art debut tomorrow (May 31)! I don't get down to Portland near enough so I haven't even seen my friend Kim's super-hot ice cream shop, Salt & Straw. She's sweet enough to loan me a wall in her original cafe on Alberta Street where I'll be showing several blanket drawings. The show will be up through July 24th. There's no reception (I hear the place gets packed), but I'll be milling about nearby. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Gretchen Bennett / call for NYC volunteers!

Are you (or some friends) in NYC? Are you looking for something really awesome to do on June 30th? Artist Gretchen Bennett is looking for a couple of volunteers to help facilitate her DrawNow!: Windfall Alphabet that she willl be leading for the Drawing Center as part of the River to River Festival. If interested, please email
I'm doing a drawing project with the Drawing Center and the LMCC and am looking for two volunteers to walk with the group, just to remind people of the talking points.
The event, DrawNow!: Windfall Alphabet, happens June 30 at 2 PM on Governors Island in NY. I will be a one hour walking tour 2-3PM, beginning near a landmark building near the ferry dock, Fort Jay. The walk will span the island, tracing the trees varieties, collecting twigs from the ground that resemble letters from any alphabet, any language, symbol, etc. 
I will talk to the group about the collection process (20 total people) and give them cues, in order to help them to collect. After collecting and walking, we will meet back at Fort Jay to assess our collections. 
I'm looking for volunteers to walk along with me, and, as the group splits into smaller groups, be a point person for the group, in terms of the main themes (patterning, language, collection) of the walk. 
I plan on making a flyer that references other walking tours and the main ideas of this tour, as background information for each participant of this project. 
The time invested for you would include the ferry ride from the Governors Island Manhattan Ferry and back: 
The walking tour from 2-3 PM
1/2 prep before the tour.

Monday, May 28, 2012

UW MFA 2012

Hannah O'Gorman
The UW's 2012 MFA show opened up last Friday and I think it's a really solid show with some real standouts! My only critique is in the presentation; I wish they'd keep the design and the art exhibitions separate. I want to see them both, but I think each would be stronger on their own.

Shaun Roberts
I always love the ambitiousness of the MFA shows. Every year the front gallery is full of monumental paintings like Shaun Roberts' trio of large oil paintings which are nearly 8' tall. I also liked Hannah O'Gorman abstract paintings, especially Limb. 

Adam Lee Matthews
The rest of the front gallery is devoted to Adam Matthew's cool ceramic dinosaurs and Hilary Gray's interesting photography. I'm bummed that I didn't really get to chat with anyone from this room to get to know more about the work. 

Hilary Gray
I was completely charmed by Stephen Sewell's two works. One is a sculpture (which wasn't on when I visited) of a thin piece of mylar which stretches from floor to ceiling. When operating, the mylar twists via motor, almost to the point of breaking and then it unwinds itself. It reminded me of Charles Ray's Ink Line, which I think was intentional on Steve's part. 

Stephen Sewell
His other piece in the show is a 16 minute video called Taking myself out of the picture. The works feels like the cheeky offspring of Baldessari's Six Colorful Inside Jobs (1971) and Bruce Nauman's Art Make-Up (1967). And since Sewell's video is exactly one half as long as Baldessari's, I'm pretty sure this homage is intentional, especially when considering his previous "collaborations" with Baldessari, Nauman, and Ruscha. 

Caitlin Berndt
Painter Caitlin Berndt has a large series of paintings in the back which flirt with the etherealness of Lisa Yuskavage. Across from her are Tamblyn Gawley's delicate renderings of root structures.

Tamblyn Gawley

And I just loved Tony Sonnenberg's scultpural works. One is a blobby mountain called Sybaris, an ancient Greek city 'synonymous with pleasure and luxury'. Its indiscernible material (looks like molten metal but is actually ceramic, porcelain, and glaze) pulls you right in.

Anthony Sonnenberg
Its companion piece is an achingly beautiful bouquet of hand-cut brass flowers called Difficult and Without Forgiveness. The flowers' movement is caused by dildo motors. 

Rodrigo Valenzua
Rodrigo Valenzuela included three gorgeous landscape photographs, along with Diamond box, a powerful ten minute video about undocumented migrant workers.

Lyndsey Colburn
Lyndsey Coluburn's inclusions deal with the cartography of decay. One piece is a wall-drawing which took over 110 hours to complete. The other is a Picton-esque map of a crumbling wall. It's pretty stunning. Lyndsey said some of the densest parts are 50-60 layers of mylar. 

Find out more about both the MFA/MDE students here.

Friday, May 25, 2012

First Thursday Art Schlock

This isn't new for many of you, but it's still pretty dang funny! A local artist has started a Tumblr about his/her take on art openings/First Thursdays called First Thursday Art Schlock. It's really funny without being mean. And so Seattle...I just love it. Follow on Facebook or Twitter.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

All That Glitters / Anthony Sonnenberg

All That Glitters by Anthony Sonnenberg

One of my favorite art shows of the year opens up soon at Henry Art Gallery: the 2012 University of Washington MFA Thesis Exhibition

I feel like some of this year's graduates are already pretty embedded in Seattle's arts community. One of them is Anthony Sonnenberg. He's been doing performances as Captain Dirty Bear at NEPO House 5k, SAM, and the streets of Pioneer Squre; glitterbombing unsuspecting tourists and galleries alike.

Tonight, the CMA will be hosting his solo MFA exhibition, All That Glitters. [Every time I read that title, Le Tigre's "The The Empty" starts playing in my head.] The party/exhibition starts at 6 and goes til 9pm. Tony promises 2 kegs, oven-baked pizza, volleyball, and a dance party!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Can't Get There From Here / Lawrimore Project

"Fold (Ecstasy of St. Theresa)" by Amanda Manitach
image courtesy of Lawrimore Project

I've been really looking forward to this show ever since Amanda Manitach described it to me a while back. Can't Get There From Here is opening tonight at Lawrimore Project with artists Hiroshi Sugimoto, Serrah Russell, Richard Misrach, Amanda Manitach, Isaac Layman, and Britta Johnson.
"When conceiving the show it was hard not to think of the last work by Bas Jan Ader wherein he embarked on a single-handed, cross-Atlantic voyage in 1975 and was never heard from again. Ader titled this tragic, failed(?) performance piece, In Search of the Miraculous, which can easily serve as the subtitle and Joycean “secret cause” of this exhibition." - Scott Lawrimore
"And Beyond That; A Meadow", 2011, by Serrah Russell
image courtesy of Lawrimore Project

I love Scott's press release for the show.
"If a great hubris of gallery press releases is the assumption that art is exponible--that it lacks something or is so obscure that only writing can make up for it--throw this press release away. The works in this exhibition aim to prove that you lack nothing. You already have everything you need. “The Kingdom of Heaven is spread upon the earth and people do not see it.” You can’t get there from here; you’re already there."
It's going to be a nice evening and there will be several galleries open tonight like Greg Kucera Gallery, G. Gibson Gallery, Platform, SOIL, and others.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

David Rathman / The Black Keys

by David Rathman for The Black Keys

I love this poster my buddy David Rathman did for last night's The Black Keys concert in Minneapolis. It's the perfect intersection of his music + small town life narratives. You can see more of his work here, here, and here. His own website should be launching in the next month or so.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Last chance for April/May LxWxH

the first boxes being assembled!

It's no secret that Sharon Arnold's LxWxH is one of my favorite curatorial projects going on in Seattle. I was lucky enough to participate in the inaugural box with my dear friends Susanna Bluhm and Amanda Manitach. These boxes aren't around forever though and if you want the March/April issue, you only have until June 8th to purchase one!

art by Susanna Bluhm

Susanna and I swapped drawings and I just love the one I got. I also got the July 2011 issue (with Amanda and Derrick). In fact, there's not an issue I wouldn't want, that's what makes the annual subscription such an awesome idea!
"Given the intimacy of the subscription box, Susanna Bluhm and Joey Veltkamp are ideal artists to include in the inaugural issue, since the subervting and recontextualizing of intimate, everyday surroundings serves as a backbone to much of their practice. Both have a penchant for turning the thing in plain sight into something embroidered with visual double entendres, turning the everyday landscape or still life diorama into a personal codex interlaced with meaning." - excerpt from Amanda Manitach's essay

Joey (Bear), 2011 by Joey Veltkamp

You can check out 2011's back issues here. Get 'em before they're gone!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

2012 Visual Art Stranger Genius Nominees

Visual Art nominees Dan Webb and Sarah Bergmann
(image by previous Genius recipient Victoria Haven)
The Stranger announced their 2012 Genius Shortlists last night at a party at Melrose Market. Visual Art nominees are Dan Webb, Sarah Bergmann, and Amanda Manitach! For the tenth anniversary, they're mixing things up. This year, the "academy" (previous Genius winners) will vote on the winners, which will be announced live at the awards ceremony.

Visual Art nominee Amanda Manitach
Congrats to Amanda, Sarah, Dan, along with other nominees Grady West, Shaun Scott, Ellen Forney, Zoe Scofield (and Juniper Shuey), and the others!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Rainbow / Michael Jones McKean

The Rainbow* by Michael Jones McKean

It's true that I'm a sucker for rainbows! My all-time favorite is Ugo Rondinone's HELL, YES! This morning, my buddy Roy Powell sent me over this awesome new art that is an actual human-made rainbow above the Bemis Center.
"Michael Jones McKean's The Rainbow: Certain Principles of Light and Shapes Between Forms creates a simple, but phenomenal visual event – a rainbow in the sky. The public artwork will produce temporary rainbows above the Bemis Center using the most elemental materials: sunlight and rainwater."
I thought floating clouds in a gallery were cool but this is even better! And if you want to see you own rainbow-related show here in Seattle, get to Greg Kucera Gallery by June 2nd for the group show, Under the Rainbow.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Alexander Mouton / Passing Through

You might not know his name yet, but Alexander Mouton is definitely someone you should get to know. He's been in Seattle a couple of years but is just now starting to get to engage with the local art community. "Alexander explores the potential that new technology has for bringing visual and sound arts together for interactive and immersive works both online and in physical spaces." Mouton is a Fulbright Scholar and his work has been collected by MoMA.

This Thursday (May 10), he'll be presenting/performing new work called Passing Through, which will explore "...the memory of place and the experience of time as shaped by the heightened sense of perception that accompanies travel."
"The audience is invited into a space that involves the unique combination of historical and contemporary texts, from fictional and theoretical writings, which are brought together with soundscapes, images, and video from diverse eras (1990-2012) and geographic locations (Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the USA). Alexander imparts in his audience a sense of place and a particular state of mind, with the ensuing shifts in perspective causing reflection on one’s sense of perception and traditional notions of a fixed reality. Tony Hiss writes, “the present is more porous than it may appear, and there are outposts of the future in our midst, and passageways that lead back and forth”. Passing Through employs its diverse media in varying tempos and states of clarity to emulate real-time, dream-time, and hyper-time, simultaneously reflecting on the media being used and the global climate of our contemporary times."
Passing Through
Thursday, May 10th
performances at 8, 9, and 10pm
Gallery 1412

Friday, May 4, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

1st Thursday, May 2012

Abandoned shack 3, mushroom camp near Sisters, Oregon, 2011,
by Eirik Johnson (image via G. Gibson Gallery)

Eirik Johnson's Camps & Cabins will be opening at G. Gibson. Eirik recently won the 2012 Neddy (Open Medium).
"Many of those hunting mushrooms have lost or can no longer depend on once stable employment and have in turn, sought out a living through the global demand for foraged mushrooms. Others temporarily leave their day jobs to spend a few months each year out on the hunt. A former military commander from Laos, a nail salon owner from Stockton, and a runaway from Portland are just a few of those who have made their way to the dusty camps to search for mushrooms amongst the pine needles." - Eirik Johnson

Sometimes I'm Married, 2011 by Annie Bissett
moku hanga woodcut, image via Cullom Gallery

Brian Lane has curated a wonderful show called "Texture of Being" as part of Cullom Gallery's recent trio of artist-curated shows. 
"The "Texture of Being" encompasses the various levels of identity we have created for ourselves and for others based on our perceptions of mental and emotional states of being, as well as our relationships to each other. These printmakers have expressed memories, personal mythologies, and day to day experiences that we go through to continue building upon who we are" - Brian Lane

Teenage Donna (Released), 2012, by Robert Yoder
Image via artist

Robert Yoder will be exhibiting new work for his show DILF at Platform Gallery. 
“I have recently introduced large amounts of black into the paintings. The density of these works creates a roughness and adds a punk/SM aesthetic to the overall collection. I began drawing again, they are graphic, hard and unapologetic with their subject matter and intention. They are coming from a untapped place within me, a place that struggles with addiction and shame and socially un-accepted fantasies.” - Robert Yoder

"Soaked in mud, doused in bleach", 2012, by Joey Veltkamp

SOIL will be showing TEXT EDITOR. a group exhibition curated by Sharon Arnold. Also, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by SOIL's recent remodel!
"TEXT EDITOR...investigates how artists interpret nonsensical language or text through their use of printmaking/letterpress, photography, drawing, video, or sound. Its basis is founded on the seemingly logical arrangement of format/unformatted syntax found in glossolalia, asemic, or pangrammatic language; such as what might be used in religious fervor, sound-checks, captchas, web development, scan codes, and digital files." - Sharon Arnold

The Plunge, 2012, by Tracy Boyd
image courtesy of artist
The OK Hotel Gallery will showing new work by Tracy Boyd. 

"The show is titled "Falling" and will include a brand new series of 10+ paintings focusing on movement and instability through both human and animal subjects."

Lundgren Monuments will be showing soft form urns in their the softer side of death exhibition.


If you haven't already seen them, don't miss Buddy Bunting's show Flat Time Blue and Wynne Greenwood's Peace In. Also, check out the art opening at Art Lending Library. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I'm back!

"Hey Uncle Joe, it's time to get up! Wanna go for a walk?!"
Whew...that was a long absence from blogging! A year ago, I would have apologized for such an extended break but now I'll just say that I was busy with other things. I moved out of my place that I've been at for the past 5 years, put everything in storage and have embarked on a nomadic lifestyle. For May, I'll be down in Seward Park staying with my dear friend Emily. The best part is that I'm going to get to wake up with this adorable face bouncing into my room every morning! I'm five minutes from Seward Park (let's walk!). Also, you should have been invited to our "Fiesta, Forever" party this Saturday, May 5th. But there's been FB issues with notifications (and I'm been crazy busy), so if you haven't seen it and want to come, email me for details.