With approvals on expansion, schools-friendly lease, Seattle Asian Art Museum set for 2019 reopening after $54M overhaul

Closed for renovation (Image: Alize Asplund)

By Alize Asplund, UW News Lab/Special to CHS

The Seattle City Council unanimously approved Monday two pieces of legislation that open the way for a $54 million overhaul and a new 55-year lease for the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park after years of community meetings and negotiations.

“A lot of what is driving this project is the need to serve audiences that want to participate and the project will allow us with a new education space to serve broader and bigger audiences,” Seattle Art Museum director Kimerly Rorschach said prior to a council committee vote on the plans last week.

Construction on the $54 million project is set to begin as early as February with the overhauled facility projected to open in October 2019, when it will be open to the public 40 hours per week for 50 weeks out of the year under the new deal. Continue reading

Updated Asian Art Museum lease proposal includes free visits, arts education for Seattle Public School students

Up against an end of year deadline, the Seattle City Council committee overseeing legislation required before the start of construction on the expansion of Volunteer Park’s Seattle Asian Art Museum made a “ratify and confirm” decision on a 55-year lease for the continued operation of the cultural center. The council’s parks committee is now ready to get around to the confirm part of the business.

Friday afternoon, the Civic Development, Public Assets, and Native Communities Committee will hear public comment on the final two pieces of legislation in the SAAM expansion process. One bill, when approved, will alter city code to allow expansion of a “non conforming” museum inside a city park. It’s a custom patch written specifically for the SAAM expansion that will also limit any future expansion. Continue reading

Botanical Sketching in Ink and Watercolor

5 Tuesday Mornings, 10am-12pm, February 13-March 6, 2018

Capture the essence of flowers and foliage in this 5-part class with simple quick techniques and portable materials! While using the beautiful perennial beds and borders at the Center for Urban Horticulture as a backdrop you will be guided in an intuitive approach to sketching with pen layering watercolor washes and gathering tips that can be applied to everyday sketching. A simple supply list will be provided with your confirmation email. All levels welcome.

Exhibition Opening for Tavares Strachan: Always, Sometimes, Never

Tavares Strachan. I Belong Here, 2011. White neon, transformers. Courtesy of the artist.

Join us to celebrate the opening of the Frye Art Museum’s latest exhibition Tavares Strachan: Always, Sometimes, Never!

Please register for a free RSVP online at

Members are invited to join us from 6-7:30 pm for the VIP + Members Exhibition Opening Reception.

Exhibition Opening for Towards Impressionism: Landscape Painting from Corot to Monet


Claude Monet. Les rochers de Belle-Île (Rocks at Belle-Île),1886. Oil on canvas. © Musée des Beaux-Arts, Reims, Legacy Henry Vasnier. Photo: C. Devleeschauwer.

Join us to celebrate the opening of the Frye Art Museum’s latest exhibition Towards Impressionism: Landscape Painting from Corot to Monet!

Please register for a free RSVP online at

Members are invited to join us from 6:30-8 pm for the VIP + Members Exhibition Opening Reception.

Vote opens for new giant mural planned for 7-story Pike Flats development

Urban Artworks has decorated some of Capitol Hill’s biggest blank slates with artwork and messages that have become part of the neighborhood’s fabric. Here’s the color the brought to 12th and Pine with the “Read Up, Hands Down” project on the Richmark Label building.

The nonprofit made a splash this summer with its “Keep Cap Hill Queered” mural on the eastern face of the former 95 Slide at Harvard and Pike before its demolition to make way for a new 7-story mixed-use project.

Urban Artworks is now collecting votes for a new, enormous mural design planned to cover the western wall of the Pike Flats building currently under construction at the corner:

It’s an exciting time for Urban ArtWorks and Carr & Johnson! After an international call for artists four finalists have been chosen for a new mural to be completed summer 2018. The finalists were asked to conceptualize a site specific work for the corner of Pike and Harvard on Capitol Hill. Below are the artists’ submission renderings along with examples of previous work. We will be featuring more information on the artists in the next few weeks, but for now we just want to know which concept appeals to you the most.

You can check out the designs and vote here.

Voting got off to an in-person start earlier this month at the Redhook Brewlab. Redhook should be interested in the outcome. The resulting work will tower over the small-batch brewery’s E Pike patio.

CHS Pics | Creatura House roars (and barks) to life on Capitol Hill

E Pike’s Creatura House celebrated its grand opening this weekend with a party that included neighborhood artists and creators — and plenty of the animal spirit behind the new gallery and shop from Rog La Rue creator Kirsten Anderson.

CHS stopped by Saturday as Creatura House marked its first days of business with a cute fuzzy buddy contest and visitors getting their first look at the gallery and its debut show from Montreal painter Peter Ferguson. Continue reading

Opening Reception for Byron Randall Art Show

Tobya Art Gallery presents Byron Randall: Works on Paper, a handful of mid-career paintings completed in the 1950s and early 1960s. Most works included in this show are stylistically unique among Randall’s large corpus, featuring a loose brush stroke and impressionistic approach. Works on Paper use oil and water-based pigments. While Byron Randall lived his entire life in the West Coast- California, Oregon and Washington States, he also traveled widely in Hawaii, Mexico, Australia and Europe. Byron often works on inspirations from his travels. However, most of his paintings are not bound by space, but are philosophical and dreamlike explorations that go beyond what is directly represented. Byron’s works are sensuous, heartfelt, immediate and invigorating. This is a rare opportunity to see a significant, little-known dimension of Byron’s collection. Currently Byron’s works are held in permanent collections of the Phillips Collection, the California Palace of the Legion of Honour, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, the Schneider Museum of Art, the Bolinas Art Museum, and the Oakland Museum of California. Works on Paper will stay open through December 31, 2017.

Love City Love, an experiment in claiming unused space for art, expands on Capitol Hill

Love City Love exists by putting empty spaces around Seattle to good use. Its latest rebirth has made use of a former Capitol Hill dry cleaners for two years. Now it is preparing the neighboring home of long-gone Artificial Limb Co. for expansion of its top of Pike/Pine space home for arts, events, music, love, and inspiration.

The managers of Love City Love don’t have a timeline for the latest project, don’t have real funding, and don’t have an exact goal. Simply put, founder Lucien Pellegrin wants to set precedent.

“Seattle wants to gear itself to be hip and cutting edge but all the people who made this city in the ‘90s don’t live here anymore because of the lack of creative space which kept the city alive,” Pellegrin said. “It was more a project just to make an example.” Continue reading