A Barbara Ireland film and music extravaganza this week on Capitol Hill

 We’re fortunate in Seattle to be surrounded by beautiful mountains, the water, and interesting and creative people everywhere we look.

One such creative person in our midst in Barbara Ireland, a Seattle native and an artist music critic Gene Stout declares “A Jill of all trades“.

She’s a writer, musician, visual artist, photographer and filmmaker, and Capitol Hill denizens are fortunate to have several opportunities this week to marvel at this renaissance woman’s talents.

Barbara released a CD several months ago “Turning Back Time: Classic Songs to Kiss By” that was debuted with a live orchestra at Capitol Hill’s Fred Wildlife Refuge to a wildly enthusiastic crowd.  Tonight (Sat. 5/28) she’ll be singing a few duet’s with local musical phenom Billy Joe Huels before he hits the road with the Dusty 45’s for a tour with Wanda Jackson and Adele, at Vito’s 927 9th Ave, starting at 9pm.
Next Wednesday, June 1st, Northwest Film Forum is hosting a Barbara Ireland Film Retrospective, as she is releasing a DVD collection of her strangest and most mesmerizing short films — and NWFF is hosting the release party.

I asked Barbara what we could expect at the event.

I am going to be screening all of the films that are on the dvd – the punk rock doc, my mini (and pretty raw but cool) short B&W 16mm films, Sky Cries Mary music videos, and a couple of longer avant-garde shorts. It’s about 1 hour total, plus some super cool surprises, including an interview I did with film director LEGEND in the ’90s.  He is one of David Lynch’s big influences… I’m not going to tell you who, the interview has never been screened before, so you’ll just have to come to find out!”  

I noticed a quote on the website from artist Robert Williams:  “Barbara Ireland is to short films what Stanley Kubrick and Roman Polanski are to the cinema … without the Ritalin!”  

I asked her how she met the famous low brow artist and founder of Juxtapoz Magazine.  

“I met Robert Williams when he had a gallery opening at COCA in Seattle.  I was wearing a full-on rubber dress and thigh-high boots, and we just hit it off.  We discovered we had a mutual passion or obsession with gladiators.  We became pen pals for many years.  I have countless letters from him discussing all the types of gladiators and why he liked them so much.  He gifted me a lithograph of his painting, “Queen of Atlantis” because it has a super powerful, super sexy gladiatorial woman as the main feature.  Lucky me!  It’s one of my prized possessions!”

The  DVD release party starts at 7:30pm at Northwest Film Forum at 1515 12th Avenue on Wednesday June 1st.  If you don’t want to leave your attendance to chance, advance tickets available at Brown Paper Tickets.  Expect a gala evening, wine & cheese, hobnobbing with various eccentrics, characters and bohemians, and an incredible odyssey through the films of Barbara Ireland.  
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