October is not just a good month for creepiness and rain, it’s also an ideal time to wrap yourself in some softer varieties of music, including choral music during the Seattle Sings Choral Festival, running October 10 through 12, and acoustic music during the 6th annual Seattle Acoustic Festival this Saturday. Find more for acoustic aficionados, frisbee fans, and burger buffs below. And don’t forget — the weekend brings the first of three this fall without light rail service between Capitol Hill and SoDo.
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 9: No, your timing’s not off, it’s just Lit Crawl arriving early this year. The festival doesn’t start until later this month, but this week, the literary Capitol Hill event launches early with a kickoff and fundraising party slash open mic. The event will have music, food, and drinks and feature readings by some of Seattle’s “beloved literati,” Richard Chiem, Ching-In Chen, and Ari Rosenschein.
“The evening will also have plenty of opportunities to support Lit Crawl’s artists and ensure we can keep Seattle’s booziest literary night going for as long as it can,” organizers write. “Come prepared to give.” Capitol Cider, 6 PM – 8 PM
Through Oct. 14: Some would say the burgers of Li’l Woody’s are perhaps already fast food, but this month, the local burger purveyor celebrates Fast Food Month by recreating one fast food classic every week, inspired by Wendy’s, Taco Bell, McDonald’s and co. Don’t miss this weekend’s Sourdough Woody, a Jack in the Box-inspired burger with Hill’s bacon, garlic mayo, grass-fed beef, Swiss cheese, and ketchup. It comes with curly fries. Li’l Woodys
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THURSDAY, Oct. 10: Over at CHS, Capitol Hill Pets features a semi-regular look at our furry, fuzzy, feathered, and finned friends found out and about on Capitol Hill. On Thursday, the University of Washington comes to Cal Anderson Park with a pop-up gallery showcasing the autobiographical photographs made by people experiencing homelessness with their pets. The Center for One Health Research, part of the UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, asked people experiencing homelessness to document their experiences with disposable cameras and notes in notebooks. The galleries will feature personal quotes from participants about their challenges and the bonds they share with their animals. Cal Anderson, 11 AM – 5 PM
THURSDAY, Oct. 10: This month’s Capitol Hill Art Walk is a chance for art lovers to pay a visit to crowd favorites such as The Factory (where Mary Ann Carter will debut what’s sure to be a playful show) or Cloud Gallery (where artists pay homage to Dario Argento’s 1977 haunting classic ‘Suspiria’), and to get to know the new gallery in town: Elbo Room. “It is very small but very cute,” gallery owner Andre Olivie said in an email about the new (small) space. The gallery debuts with a show by local artist Julian Pena. “I own an LGBT Immigration law firm where I work with binational same-sex couples and LGBT asylum seekers but decided to do something a bit more creative but still supporting the LGBT immigrant community,” Olivie said. Find Elbo Room at 1633 Bellevue Ave. Suite C and elboroomseattle.com
THURSDAY, Oct 10 – SUNDAY, Oct. 20: CHS recently reported on why Three Dollar Bill’s long-standing and beloved Outdoor Cinema had to scale back in Cal Anderson this summer, but luckily, that’s not the case for the local nonprofit’s 24th annual Seattle Queer Film Festival (which happens indoors, mostly at Northwest Film Forum, Gay City and The Egyptian). The festival will screen 157 films from 28 countries screening over 11 days, including the Northwest premiere of Argentina’s “Brief Story from the Green Planet”, which won the Berlin Film Festival’s Teddy Award, as well as the world premiere of “No Dominion: The Ian Horvath Story” by local filmmaker and Pacific Northwest Ballet principal soloist Margaret Mullin. Various times and locations
THURSDAY, Oct. 10 – SUNDAY, Oct. 13: Seattle is home to the current #1-ranked freestyle frisbee player in the world, Ryan Young. This week, Seattleites get a chance to see top frisbee talent like Young during The Freestyle Players Association World Championships at the Mitchell Activity Center in Capitol Hill. Even better: there are choreographed routines involved. Teams of two and three will compete by performing those routines, showing off complicated frisbee tricks matched to music. This year also includes a new event, the first-ever xdisc jr world championship. Mitchell Activity Center, various times
SATURDAY, Oct. 12: “Quiet is the new Loud,” according to the Seattle Acoustic Festival. For its sixth edition, the all-ages festival has lined up over 25 singer-songwriters and other musicians performing on three different stages at the All Pilgrims Christian Church. Among the performers are bands with whimsical names such as Your Downstairs Neighbors, Wrong Way at the Roundabout, and Paul Mauer and the Silence. New this year is pay-what-you-can ticketing. All Pilgrims Christian Church, 12 PM – 11.30 PM
At RealSelf.com, we demystify cosmetic treatments and procedures so you can make smart and confident beauty decisions. In celebration of this mission, we launched the RealSelf House of Modern Beauty—an interactive pop-up event where guests can explore the world of medical aesthetics and discover the latest beauty treatments.
On Saturday, Oct. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 20, RealSelf will transform an office building in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood into the House of Modern Beauty—a medical spa, beauty pop-up, and interactive event all-in-one.
The two-day event will feature complimentary cosmetic treatments like microneedling, laser hair removal, and nonsurgical muscle toning, as well as visual installations (perfect for Instagram), and expert-led panel discussions featuring local media and entrepreneurs.
Entry is free, ages 18+.
Learn more about RealSelf.com and the Seattle House of Modern Beauty at https://houseofmodernbeauty.realself.com/
RealSelf Media Contact: Madison Phillips, firstname.lastname@example.org
Seattle-based choreographer Donald Byrd works at the forefront of contemporary performance. For four decades, he has created innovative and startling dance theater works that explore the extraordinary capacities of dancers’ bodies, the complexities of Africanist aesthetics, and the ways that theatrical dance can open audiences toward social change. Presenting selected works from across his prodigious career, Byrd’s first solo museum exhibition reflects Americans’ ongoing struggles to care for our complex diversity. The show centers the artist’s firm belief in an America that is to be: one that is “multi-racial in every aspect.” For Byrd, the future of performance will include “a full spectrum of who lives in America on the stage…a reflection of our world.”
More than any other statesman of contemporary dance, Byrd concerns himself with the terms of social encounters that produce racialized and gendered subjects. His works test suppositions: he wonders on public stages about the conditions of gender and misogyny, race relations, eternal warfare, sexual identity, and the price of obsession. Working across multiple genres—in Hollywood, on Broadway, in opera, and with major ballet and modern dance companies—Byrd always moves toward the most difficult questions, boldly, forcefully, and thoughtfully. In so doing, he presses us all to understand the potential of dance as an act of defiance, as a demonstration of expertise, and as a meditation on what else could be.
The America That Is To Be incorporates archival performance footage and ephemera from various stages of Byrd’s forty-plus years of creativity with in-gallery dance performances. The exhibition traces his beginnings at California Institute of Arts, where his dance work took on a punk-inspired aesthetic, to his early works with his first dance company Donald Byrd/The Group (active from 1978–2002), through crucial collaborations with groups including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and his work since 2002 as Artistic Director of Seattle’s Spectrum Dance Theater. Reflecting the way Byrd’s vision has evolved into its full expression across a remarkable array of dance-theater works, The America That Is To Be demonstrates the passionate affirmation of a mature artist’s belief in dance to inspire social transformations; to dance toward social justice.
Donald Byrd (American, b. 1949, New London, North Carolina) is a Tony-nominated (The Color Purple) and Bessie Award-winning (The Minstrel Show) choreographer. He has been the Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle since December 2002. Formerly, he was Artistic Director of Donald Byrd/The Group, a critically acclaimed contemporary dance company, founded in Los Angeles and later based in New York, that toured both nationally and internationally. He has created dance works for many leading companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, and Dance Theater of Harlem, among others, and worked extensively in theater and opera.
His many awards, prizes, and fellowships include Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, Cornish College of the Arts; Masters of Choreography Award, The Kennedy Center; Fellow at The American Academy of Jerusalem; James Baldwin Fellow of United States Artists; Resident Fellow of The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center; Fellow at the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue, Harvard University; and the Mayor’s Arts Award for his sustained contributions to the City of Seattle.
Donald Byrd received the 2016 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award, which is funded by the Raynier Institute & Foundation through the Frye Art Museum | Artist Trust Consortium. The award supports and advances the creative work of outstanding artists living and working in Washington State and culminates in a presentation at the Frye Art Museum.
Clothing is both a highly personal and socially constructed system of communication: a signifying point of contact between individual identities and collective attitudes, customs, and trends. Dress Codes brings together the work of two artists who perform acts of translation in relation to clothing’s form and ornamentation, pressing images of historical garments—and the values encoded within them—through the interpretive interface of the grid. Though they begin from different types of source material and seek divergent ends, Ellen Lesperance and Diane Simpson both employ the gridded instructional diagram as a means for transformation across time and dimension. In the process, they return the grid, an idealized format associated with Modernist abstraction, to the practical ethos of the applied arts and domestic craft, connecting the everyday language of dress to wide-ranging cultural and political histories.
Lesperance creates gouache paintings based on the attire of women activists using American Symbolcraft, the visual shorthand of knitting patterns, in which the color of each stitch is shown as a single cell within the matrix of specialized graph paper. Working from footage and photographs of protest movements—most notably the Greenham Common Peace Camp that mounted anti-nuclear-armament demonstrations in Berkshire, UK from 1981 to 2000—the artist carefully translates activists’ (often homemade) clothing into the flattened space of hand-ruled paper, extrapolating to fill in areas that are invisible within the source images. The paintings function as standalone artworks and also as directions for re-making the pictured garments, as homage to the original wearers, a record of their ideological symbology, and stimulus to likeminded action in the present.
Simpson’s sculptural work begins with illustrations found in antique clothing catalogues, window dressing manuals, and histories of dress. Submitting pliable articles like collars, cuffs, aprons, and bonnets to the rigid constraints of a two-dimensional diagram—modeled on axonometric projection employed in architectural drawings, which integrates multiple viewpoints into a single image—the artist renders their forms in a foreshortened perspective that she then maintains when constructing three-dimensional versions. The resulting angular distortions—coupled with dramatic shifts in scale and materiality—both estrange and magnify the garments’ relationship to the body, underscoring their sociological significance as imposed expressions of gender norms, class status, and morality.
Through the process of encoding structure into schematics, both Lesperance and Simpson transform their source material into something new, embedding their own perspective in translations of the past. Dress Codes brings their work into conversation for the first time, highlighting their body- and craft-adjacent use of the grid as a feminist alternative to patriarchal representational traditions of painting and sculpture.
Ellen Lesperance (American, b. 1971, Minneapolis, Minnesota) lives and works in Portland, Oregon. Her work has been exhibited nationally at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; The New Museum, New York; the Portland Art Museum, Oregon; the Drawing Center, New York; and Seattle Art Museum, Washington and internationally at the Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm and the Tate St. Ives, England. She has received grants and awards from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Art Matters, Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the Ford Family Foundation.
Diane Simpson (American, b. 1935, Joliet, Illinois) lives and works in Chicago. Recent one and two-person exhibitions of her work have been held at Herald Street, London; Corbett vs Dempsey, Chicago; JTT, New York; NYU Broadway Windows, New York; Silberkuppe, Berlin; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. She has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions, including The Jewish Museum, New York; The Hessel Museum at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.; the Art Institute of Chicago; White Columns, New York; and CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco, and will participate in the 2019 Whitney Biennial.
A Partnership for Youth exhibition, Frame of Mind: Storytelling Through Animationshowcases the results of an eight-week workshop for teens led by teaching artists from Reel Grrls, during which students develop, animate, and edit their own stop-motion film projects.
Pierre Leguillon’s artwork-as-exhibition Arbus Bonus calls attention to the major role famed twentieth-century photographer Diane Arbus’s work has played in defining the image of American postwar popular culture. Bringing together every published magazine spread that features her photography, Leguillon’s project considers the ways in which cultural histories are assembled and disseminated, and proposes more inclusive counter-narratives.
Toyin Ojih Odutola’s drawings, paintings, and prints question physical and sociopolitical identities as they pertain to skin color. This suite of three lithographs, recently acquired for the Frye Art Museum’s collection, demonstrates Odutola’s signature approach to portraiture, in which the sitter is seen obliquely or from multiple, unusual angles within one composition.