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Archive for the 'Gallery Visits' Category

A Small Part of AlpertLand @ Gage Academy of Art

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Yes, I am sucker for her installations. Julie Alpert has made another small wonderful space in the Gage Steele Gallery curated by Lauren Klenow. I dropped by today to pick up my piece from the last show. I had submitted a small photograph from my Sears Color Wheel Series. What a delight to catch of Glimpse of AlpertLand! I am a fan of the color, the flatness, and the hands-on making she puts into her work. The show opens this coming Friday April 22 6:00-8:00 with a talk by Leo Saul Berk at 7:00. This will be a show not to miss.

Here’s a blurb from the Gage newsletter

Between Cornice and Cantilever

April 22 – May 15

The Steele Gallery is nestled beneath sloping roofs and between storage closets and studios. Taking advantage of the absurd angles and eccentricities of the gallery, artists Iole Alessandrini, Julie Alpert, Jeremy Mangan and Leo Saul Berk display paintings and site-specific installations alongside drawings by architect Richard Sundberg. Together these works examine the ways we frame, design and configure structures and space.

To learn more, visit their website. GageAcademy.org

Extent: work by Beili Liu

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

To what extent must we make? What compels us to explore a space?

Extent- Extension – Ex–Tension

There is something about filling a space.  Beili Liu, on the faculty for studio art at University of Texas, Austin, uses spaces to create site-specific installations. Upon entering Liu’s work I am filled up, but not with objects. I am filled by light, air, color, and sound that is not there, but I still hear it; a gentle vibration that occasionally waxes and wanes depending on the moray affect of the golden threads that cross the path of my eye as I descend and ascend the stairwell of Form/Space Atelier in Belltown.

Liu’s installation challenges the viewer on many levels and begs you to just be in the space and do nothing. I can’t help but wonder at the time, commitment, and passion for how she alters the space in the tender way she does. She has created a mesmerizing work that echoes the main feature of the gallery: its stairwell. Entering quietly, I felt as though I could hear the harmony of the thread, a gentle plucking harp like sound, I yearned to touch the thread and held back.

Yet there is an angularity with the sutures that hold the thread on each side of the stairwell. Stapled every ¼” or so apart, it’s as if the wall has been surgically manipulated with the tracing line of the echoed stairwell. It strikes me with a severity that is softened by the resonance in between the two sets of marks on the walls. Hovering 7 feet and 2 inches above as you descend or ascend, it’s like a gilded mirror peering into another world.

I had the honor of dining with Beili Liu and her partner Blue Way before their return to Texas. She discussed how she is “interested in working with line and tension that is the memory of line. Sometimes the work starts with the material and other times I respond to the space, in this case I was able to work with both.”

Liu works mostly with one material at a time and lets intuition guide her process. This is her 2nd piece using the golden mercerized thread and she’s created several pieces using red thread over the last three years. She shared, “I want my work to be worthy of people’s time and attention.” Taking two full days to install with Blue, he said, “She responds to process, the dominant element is the stairs in the gallery, she puts the art above the stairs, and that helps us be mindful of going up and down. If people don’t take the time, and just come in and go out, they might miss it.”

She’s excited about the process perhaps more than knowing why she made it. In a time when intention is pushed on the viewer, she is maybe asking us to just try to have an experience and then make-up our mind. Liu has created a world with new gravity, upside-down we glide on her steps, floating, clinging, suspended on our way, transcending the extension, reverberating within stillness.

Extent runs through March 13th, 2011 at Form/Space Atelier. To see more of Beili Liu’s work go to her website. BeiliLiu.com

 

 

 

 

Handle With Care: Work by Shawn Zeiger

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Less than three. <3. Heart. Love. Iconic. Cliche? Not when it comes to Shawn Zeiger’s show at The Firm in Georgetown in South Seattle. Shawn has taken the heart and shown us a multitude of ways to feel. Drugged, velvety, crushed, broken, wrapped, confined, protective, lost, found, tempted and adored. I saw the work yesterday, a week after the opening. Running into Steve Withycombe at All City Coffee gave me a chance to visit the show. Iconic, solid, fluid, stunning, the hearts told all sorts of stories. All but one are titled with a date from what each experience means for Shawn. I wondered about the experiences, but enjoyed relating to them without knowing. I took a few photographs and soon left for an integrated massage, as I have been having lower back problems for the last six weeks. During my treatment, the subject of the metaphorical heart came up, about letting go, holding on, what’s important, what’s necessary, other grand notions of being human and a variety of losses and gains life has in store. I shared the photographs with my practitioner, she too was in awe. Today, I received a text from my Dad that my Grandfather was in the hospital. Thinking of him, he’s 91, I get nervous, those dreadful thoughts, I haven’t visited enough, I forgot to Skype him this week, what if…? Immediately I called Dad and asked to talk to Grandpa. He said it might be heart failure, but they won’t know until tomorrow. So now I wait. Heart failure seems so out of our control, it is, and when one has lived for over 90 years is there an acquiescing in the end? I don’t think so. I want to believe it’s not the end, my heart isn’t ready for this sort of failure. This type seems different than lost or broken love, different in that I wonder as humans if we make choices in our relationships, for when they start and end. But maybe we don’t, perhaps I could learn something from Shawn’s hearts, the love for my Grandfather, and from his real heart. Such a mystery how it pumps blood to live, such a mystery how it falls, flails, and fearlessly engages in the act of loving and letting go.

works by Shawn Zeiger

Come and see the work by appointment through The Firm or Z-one-05. Steve Withycombe, Trey Jones and Chris McMullen co-own The Firm with Michele McMullen as curator. It runs through March with a second opening during the next Art Attack in Georgetown, March 12th, 2011.

Summer’s ending art and such

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

1st Thursday in Seattle. Almost didn’t go. Starting a new job this fall, getting my classroom ready, not too sure I had it in me. Fortunately I found my 7th wind and carried on. Last night’s art viewing was a treat indeed, inevitably it was fun to see friends and some nice sightings here and there. I didn’t make it everywhere, of course, but here were some highlights. Plus I missed taking pictures along the way. Sometimes I am so distracted and in awe that I forget. SOIL had some lovely work…too crowded though (a good sign), and I was mesmerized by the quiet potential in the space, so sadly no pics of that.

Some other sitings though…

The big crowd outside Serrah Russell's show on Gallery 40

Amanda Manitach and Todd Jannausch, I hear rumors of a show...with MEAT!

Jenny Zwick and Dan Dean, Jenny is in the back space at SOIL

Patricia Hagen at PUNCH!

Hagen's ceramic pile at PUNCH

Saya Moriyasu at G. Gibson with Fu Dogs

Moriyasu and Manitach's lovely shoes (i realize several of the Seattlparazzi like these show gaze shots)

Lauren Klenow - outside Platform

Eric Eley's sculpture at Platform Gallery

Ben Waterman at Gallery 4Culture

A rock, some burnt wood – a Masterpiece

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Lauren Klenow‘s delicate visual sensibility translates into a world of wonder in her assemblages and sculptures. She finds rocks, scraps, uses wax and other items, at times re-purposes her old sculptures to make new treasures and shows us the simplicity of beauty that the artist’s eye can see. While installing her show for Gallery 40, curated by Todd Jannausch, in my backyard, I got a sneak peek of her exhibit that goes up at PrintZero studios tonight.

install with Lauren Klenow and Todd Jannaush

One of my favorite works is this little truck. She found the rock and the wood with nails as two separate pieces on the beach one day. Her eye saw them, her brain put them together, her vision shared the magic. Check out her stuff tonight! One Night Only! August 14 – Art Attack.

art by Lauren Klenow

A Month of Xanadu

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the film Xanadu, advice released in August of 1980, I have curated a show at SOIL, written an essay for City Arts magazine, and on August 8th there will be a screening at Print Zero Studios. I hope you can check out some of the crazy magical fun going on this month!

3 Views of the Pan Pacific

Saturday’s New Members Talk at SOIL: Process, Content and Form

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

This past Saturday I caught a ride with SOIL member Saya Moriyasu to the New Members talk. 7 of the 10 new members were present to share about their work. Each person articulated with ease about what they do as artists. I often enjoy artist talks, partly because I am an artist, but I think too, that the art can take on another level of meaning based on conversations around it. Here’s a brief synopsis of what I saw and heard from Saturday July 10th, 2010 at SOIL.

Susanna Bluhm is working on a series of paintings based on her interpretation of The Song of Solomon; also known as The Song of Songs. Her paintings are meant to create new visual representations of the biblical work. In dealing with this love story that takes place within a lush paradise, she is using a rich palette and working on abstract landscapes. She mentioned that people can know the meaning or not, and if they only see an abstract landscape that is fine. Her paintings are vibrant and flat, and on closer view deep and luscious. In the end she plans to create 40 paintings for the entirety of the project.

Susanna Bluhm

Susanna Bluhm

Chris Buening discussed his work as portraits that are often about memories. He draws and outlines with whiteout, then cuts shapes to make new forms within the topography of the surface. He also talked about using whiteout as a metaphor for covering up life’s mistakes. His work reminds me of complex explosions as seen under an electron microscope. For me his use of layering, hiding, and cutting away is both formally and metaphorically beautiful.

Chris Buening

In Cable Griffith‘s work he is inventing, improvising and exploring elements of control. He said, When do you stop? How do you organize? Both the aquarium piece and the painting are using flattened shapes, but he extends the flatness. In the aquarium, the layering of panels creates a heightened dimensional space; he calls it a thriving artificial environment. In his painting titled The Mountain, he is playing off old renditions of the Tower of Babel paintings, and commenting on what he calls the Tower of Academic Painting. It is also a playful study of space, piles, and it reminds me of the children’s book Hope for the Flowers. I think the comparison might be fitting in terms of where, as artists, we think we are supposed to go, and where we are really able to go, and accepting, creating and living life.

Cable Griffith

In general, Tim Cross uses basic materials like pencils and paper, but for the SOIL show he shared some amazing transparencies on light boxes. Each of them had to do with some type of transportation and failure. One was a plane crash the other a bridge under construction. In his work he considers breakdown, failure, and re-building, like Beuning’s work, also a nice metaphor for life. I see it as a re-use or possible expansion of materials. Tim is one of those artists who takes on the exploration of man in his industrial environment, and uses industry to promote thought and ponder the beauty, creative and destructive forces within and around us.

Tim Cross

Derrick Jefferies reminds me of the artist Tim Hawkinson. He’s interested in nature, biology and the human body. During a root canal, I wanted to watch the process with a mirror and was asked if I was either a scientist or an artist. Perhaps because we like to thoroughly examine our world, artists can be classified as scientists. In Jefferies work he layers and builds materials hoping to transform and perhaps transcend the object and image, he said, your eyes can’t grasp it, what they see is not what the mind comprehends. Some folks may wonder, “What is that?” He likes and encourages the guessing games. Often using simple materials like chewing gum and latex gloves, he seems to be making internal fleshy organs as a way to turn ourselves inside-out, and possibly create an entry into exploring some of our deepest fears about our own sexuality, identity, and humanity.

Derrick Jefferies

Curtis Erlinger‘s background in collage gives him multiple access points to glue concepts together. Using photography, painting and time-based video he makes work about the past, present and future. He discussed his painting based on an old negative his mother had taken. On the opposite wall he presented a live projection on a monitor, in between the painting and the monitor is a camera that is shooting the painting and then sending a live feed of the inverted positive image to the monitor. Erlinger is thoughtful and curious in considering the past before he was born. In listening to him share about nostalgia and the potential dangers there in, it had me thinking of my past, the potentiality of living in the present, while also considering future endeavors. I often ponder the richness of knowing where I came from and digging deep can offer treasures as well as a skeleton or two. Erlinger mentioned that he is trying to illuminate and retrace the past, and in doing so he owns it.

Curtis Erlinger

The last to share was Timea Tihanyi. Ellen Ziegler, the fabulous MC of talk, first let us know that Tihanyi had studied medicine before her studies in art. Again here’s the science and art connection. She discussed her work in relation to the physical experience of being in the body. In sculpture, there can be a multitude of variables and unknowns, she related this openness and organic quality of those unknowns to the organic quality of our own bodies. Explaining that her previous education was in neuropsychology made sense. Her sculpture, consisting of toothpicks dipped in plaster and set betweens panels of pink insulation, reminded me of illustrations of synapses firing in the brain. Tihanyi has a delicate yet powerful sensibility with materials and the subject matter. The height of her piece matching her own height; perhaps suggests a self-portrait that shows strength, malleability and fragility, like our own tenuous human experience.

Timea Tihanyi

Not present but also new to SOIL are Kirk Lang, Joey Veltkamp, and Philip Miner.

Gallery 40 Debut

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Tomorrow Night. Look for a one-night only exhibit at the Gallery 40 mobile space on the corner of Prefontaine, Yesler, and S. Washington. Photographer Todd Jannaucsh will be showing new photographs and musician Caleb Thompson will be accompanying with live music. Todd was recently awarded an Individual Artists’ Project grant from 4Culture to fund the Gallery 40 installation. He’ll be using the funds to help support and showcase artists throughout the Summer and into part of the Fall. Read more about Gallery 40 at their website Gallery40.com.

Walking around Seattle with his Hasselblad, Todd takes long exposures of what he sees and perhaps what many of us don’t see. He calls the show “Welcome to Fold City,” to view more of his work go to his website: toddjanausch.com

Constant Motion, c-print by Todd Jannausch, 2010

If April showers rain in May, what does the month of May bring? Great Performance Art!

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Amy-Ellen FCM Trefsger in Monochromatic May at Gallery 4Culture
Queen Schmooquan in her last pre-baby show at the Can Can
AK Mimi Allin in Project: Space Available HAM, Hold All Movement

What an amazing amount of talent we have in our fair city of Seattle. The sheer exhuberance, determination, fortitude and willingness to push to the edges of wonder, humor and mystery; these ladies have it, and I am honored to have witnessed what they have to say.

Check out Gallery 4Culture while you still can and witness the documentation of three years of study in the wardrobe of the wearer of grey for an entire month. Monochromatic May ends May 27th, 2010. More info on her website: flatchestedmama.com and if you want to read about my thoughts check out the studio-visit on the City Arts Blog.

Image from the Monochromatic May @ Gallery 4Culture Opening - May 2, 2010

Image from the Monochromatic May @ Gallery 4Culture Opening - May 2, 2010 - With Live models in Grey, AK Mimi Allin, Amanda May, and Darla Rae Barry.

Queen Schmooquan is a character played by Jeppa Hall. Her work is brilliantly absurd, mesmerizing, comforting, wondrous and amazing. Seeing her last show pre-baby I was reminded of the 1st Gong show at the Croc in 2007(?), before I knew her. I was a tingle, I laughed so hard, every moment I was shocked and destroyed only to be built up again by the hilarity and show(man)ship. I love the gender-bending and wit. She was gonged too soon, and to me, the judges missed the space-boat entirely. She won’t be performing for a while, but definitely check out her website, listed above.

for only $5 - an autographed Twinkie: aka Chicken Baby Food!

And then there’s AK Mimi Allin, whose performance I saw last night. We entered and were given silent instructions. I had to decipher using Morse code a series of dots and dashes and then follow instructions until all participants had been admitted. We all stood there, waving our flags with various expressions. Then Mimi shared gestures, live radio broadcasts, movement that at times was so subtle all I could do was cock my head and breathe, and other times, I belly laughed. HAM or Hold, All Movement is another testament to Mimi’s endurance, genius of study, and sheer wit and playfulness. She has another performance (with the HOLD) on Sunday May 23rd 2010 at 3pm, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and space is limited. Read more and info on how to see the performance: AK Mimi Allin.

image from AK Mimi Allin's blog.

SOIL gets to ACT out a little

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010


Sneak Peak

SOIL, an artist collective in Seattle, is teaming up with ACT theatre to add art installations in several of its building’s windows. Earlier this evening I got a look at the current installations by these SOIL artists: Julie Alpert, Susanna Bluhm, Cable Griffith, Derrick Jefferies, Kiki Macinnis, and Timea Tihanyi

The work is thoughtful, compelling and themed according to different decades. Each artist received a stipend from ACT. Susanna told me that ACT was concerned that they couldn’t offer the artists more money. The artists, on the other hand, were nicely surprised by the stipend. In a time when artists often do these sorts of projects for free, or pay to be juried into shows, plus the costs of materials, framing and shipping usually out weigh any sales; it’s wonderful that ACT not only collaborates with visual artists, but supports them a little in the finance department. Stunning from the inside and on the street, NICE WORK SEATTLE CREATIVES!

(all pics taken with cellphone:)

SOIL at ACT: a new and ongoing partnership
ACT (on 7th ave. between union and pike)
Kreielsheimer Place
700 Union St
Seattle WA 98101

May 6th-August 30th

reception May 6th, 2010 5pm-7pm