April 2 is the Big Event – Lowell’s big auction/fundraiser for the year! This year features an art theme so you can expect to find some amazing art (featuring renowned Pacific NW artists) for live auction and lots of arts related silent auction items. We encourage you to invite your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers. This will be a fun, art-filled event. Tickets on sale now for $35 (they will go up to $50 on March 27.) Purchase at https://lowellbigevent.eventbrite.com. Ticket price covers food and wine.
It’s nice to think about creating new things to build up the city’s first arts district here on Capitol Hill. But the area’s existing artists and arts organizations can also get a boost with part of the more than $2 million in grants the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture is planning to make available this year.
“Over the last 40 years the Office of Arts and Culture has invested over $50 million in the city’s cultural landscape,” office director Randy Engstrom is quoted as saying in a media release from the city on the funds. “Investing in our youth and cultural organizations is an investment in Seattle’s future. We are committed to fostering creativity and working to ensure these fundamental opportunities are accessible to everybody as a matter of equity.”
Here is a look at the programs and their deadlines. the $175,000 being made available for the Cultural Facilities program might be of particular interest on Capitol Hill where high rents can challenge the search for physical space for galleries, performances and studios. And before you become covetous of the $1.7 million made available in the Civic Partners program, while it provides thousands of dollars to larger organizations like the Pacific Northwest Ballet, it also provides thousands to small groups like Three Dollar Bill Cinema, Hugo House, and the Northwest Film Forum.
|Grant Program||Application Dates||Amount|
|Work Readiness Arts Program 2015||February 17 – April 1 (open now!)||$100,718|
|Civic Partners 2016 and 2017||May 5 – June 30||$1,700,000*|
|CityArtist Projects 2016||May 27 – July22||$160,000|
|Cultural Facilities 2015-16||June 22 – September 4||$175,000|
|Neighborhood & Community Arts 2016||August 18 – October 21||$48,000|
|Youth Arts 2016||December (exact date tbd)||$175,000|
|smART Ventures 2015||Ongoing||$50,000|
One of the big challenges for creating a thriving Capitol Hill Arts District? Finding spaces to meet, work, and perform that are accessible to artists and community groups. The Seattle Office of Arts and Culture has rolled out a new tool to help. Spacefinder Seattle is “a database that will eventually include every rental space in the region that’s available to artists, and arts and cultural organizations” —
The site’s database includes presentation spaces, such as theaters, galleries, cinemas, and museums, and the relatively invisible artists’ creative spaces, such as studios, rehearsal rooms, and offices. There will be event spaces, meetings spaces, and even raw retail and warehouse spaces for lease. The site is launching with approximately 200 spaces, and will grow over time. Spacefinder Seattle allows artists to search the database by dozens of variables, including price and availability. There are no fees associated with using the site, which is underwritten by the City’s Office of Arts & Culture. It is envisioned as a tool to connect artists and arts organizations to available spaces for development, rehearsal, or presentation of their work, and encourage the regional artspace marketplace.
You can check out the listings at spacefinderseattle.org. The office is also working to promote “the economic activity generated by arts and cultural activities, and educates citizens, property owners, and developers on the importance of the arts to property values and neighborhood character,” an announcement of the new tool reads.
One venue not on the Spacefinder map is CHS advertiser the Comet Tavern but that’s where we found a piece of “lost” Capitol Hill art. Turns out, Caps for Slats, the bottle cap mural of the Pike/Pine character, found a home inside the E Pike bar. Last year, we reported on the mostly organic plans for many of the pieces found on the Sound Transit “Big Red” construction wall once the barrier starts coming down. A Sound Transit spokesperson tells CHS the wall art belongs to the artists. “In Slats case, Cameron Larson, the artist, no longer lives in the area and didn’t have a way to move it,” the spokesperson said. “We made sure he was OK with it going to The Comet when that came up as an option.” Comet co-owner Dave Meinert said he was “psyched” to be approached about the piece. “Slats was a regular,” he said.
“It’s another bit of local history in what’s becoming the local historical tavern,” Meinert said.
A Capitol Hill artist has quietly made her mark inside bars and restaurants across the neighborhood. And she is already finishing her next piece, ready to claim yet another Capitol Hill food and drink wall.
The novel technique and artistic exploration of Tina Randolph’s murals have placed her in high demand as bars and restaurants around Capitol Hill commission her work.
“It doesn’t matter if we have to build a mural 30-feet tall,” Michael Klebeck said. “We’ll do it to include Tina.” Continue reading
After spending the better part of 20 years putting on music shows, including the biggest annual show on Capitol Hill, Jason Lajeunesse will be stepping into some new territory on Thursday. This month marks three years since the prolific Capitol Hill food and nightlife owner chose to live sober, and he’s commemorating the occasion with a show of original paintings.
ECHOES: Paintings by Jason Lajeunesse will premier Thursday at Ghost Gallery in conjunction with February’s Capitol Hill Art Walk. An artist reception will run from 5 PM to 9 PM at the E Olive and Summit space and the pieces will remain on display and on sale through March 9th.
Lajeunesse’s abstract, mixed-media art span two years of work, including one piece he finished just this week. Inspiration for the paintings began in 2012 when a newly sober Lajeunesse took a trip to Europe to rekindle his connection to visual art. “I wanted life to be bigger,” he said. Continue reading
The In NW Arts collective has organized a show exploring the suffering and sorrow of lost love from a more creative and scientific-al perspective. Open on Thursday February 11th and Saturday the 14th, Valentine’s day, the two-part exposé of local Seattle art is dubbed the Heartbreak Science Fair.
Curator and one of the 30 artists who live at the 17th and Olive collective, Krista Wolfe is curating the show, and has been collaborating with her housemates and other artists in the community for the past few months to put on an event of “some beautiful, fun, weird, strange things” from both the tenants of the collective and contributions from other local artists. The event posting describes the show series as an “opportunity to explore ‘heartbreak’ from the perspective of ‘science fair.'”
The plan for the free event includes DJs spinning live beats, paintings, installations, one-on-one sound experiences with Khaz, the “sound guy,” video projections, music, a poetry reading, and “potion tea” inside the labyrinth-like collective located at the corner of 17th at Olive near Trader Joe’s. A kissing booth awash in video projections is in the works too, according to Wolfe. There will be opportunities to buy local art at reasonable prices. Bring cash. Continue reading
North Capitol Hill’s Gage Academy of Art has received a $1 million gift, marking the school’s first-ever major endowment contribution. The gift was announced in conjunction with the kickoff of the school’s 25th anniversary of providing fine arts education, first in New York City and now at its 10th and E Galer campus.
According to a media release, Gage will have a considerable amount of flexibility in choosing how to use the endowment. The gift will ultimately give the school some financial footing as it seeks a new home. According to the release, the academy has outgrown its Capitol Hill location and is planning to relocate sometime in the next five years
Gage announced the gift from former student and trustee Anne Steele on Thursday at AXIS Gallery in Pioneer Square. In a statement, Steele said she was inspired by the range of ages, talents, and backgrounds Gage caters to.
“Art has always been an important part of my life, and I’ve seen firsthand the kind of transformational and creative impact that a passionate instructor and a deeply engaged arts community has on the trajectory of an individual,” she said.
Gage’s current home at 1501 10th Ave E is adjacent St. Mark’s and was purchased by the parish from Cornish College of the Arts in 2003 for $8.3 million, according to King County Records.
While the Gage campus lies outside the hub of most Capitol Hill arts activity, the school maintains a busy schedule of events, shows, and open galleries.
The Sorrento Hotel announced Wednesday that a new “book-filled conference room at the hotel, where readers and writers can work, meet, and learn more about the UNESCO Creative Cities network” is part of the project underway to overhaul the 105-year-old landmark.
“Cultural tourism is a major tenet of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, and the Sorrento understands the impact cultural tourism can make, both here and abroad,” Seattle City of Literature director Ryan Boudinot is quoted as saying in the announcement. “For those who love books and writing, in Seattle and beyond, this is going to be a destination unlike any other.”
CHS reported last fall on the “Pike/Pine-style” makeover for the Sorrento with a new management company, overhauls of The Hunt Room restaurant and Fireside Room lounge, and a new look for the hotel’s Madison-facing courtyard. You’ll also soon see a giant mural on the hotels parking garage.
The Seattle City of Literature initiative seeks to include the city’s writers and literary history in the United Nations’ Creative Cities program. According to the announcement, Seattle City of Literature will organize readings, conferences, book clubs, festivals, and more at the hotel. The new meeting space is scheduled to open by spring.
In the meantime, a longtime favorite Sorrento event for lovers of literature won’t be taking place this month. January’s Silent Reading Party has been canceled, organizer and Stranger editor in chief Christopher Frizzelle announced, citing the work underway to update the Fireside Room. “I am sad to say they’re getting rid of that carpet. I love that carpet. I really wish they wouldn’t get rid of it,” he writes. “But seasons change, carpets change… Happily, the new management is not getting rid of the silent-reading party.”
Last week, CHS reported that the artist enclave Summit Inn had been sold to a developer with plans to transform the Inn “into conventional apartments” with a total overhaul and inevitably higher rents.
Saturday night, some of the Inn’s remaining residents and other Summit Ave neighbors got together for a winter edition of the block’s annual music festival. Here are a few scenes from this weekend’s Slummit Block Party, LLC.
Meanwhile, the Summit Inn’s new owner Brad Padden‘s plan — “Substantial Alterations to an existing 40-unit apartment building. Renovate all units and decrease unit count to 35 small efficiency dwelling units” — is wending its way through the Department of Planning and Development.
Last fall, CHS reported that Capitol Hill nonprofit Hugo House had begun work on a plan to build a new center as part of a mixed-use development at the site of its 11th Ave home. The literary arts organization is asking for community feedback on what shape its new venue should take with an online survey and Monday night community forum:
Hugo House is going to have a new home! Come help us dream up an even more dynamic center for writing and reading and listening.
What do you most wish to see in the new Hugo House—whether it’s something you hope we continue to have, a practical addition, or a wild wish for something new? We wouldn’t dream of making decisions about our new facility without you: the teachers, the students, the event attendees—the writers. This forum will give you a chance to tell us what would make the new house a home.
We’d love to see you there—and please invite anyone on your friends list who you think might be invested in the future of the House.
The “community conversation” starts at 6 PM at Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave.
You can also add your voice via this one-question survey:
Note: You’ll have to enter at least five characters so F-U-N won’t count. We always preferred essay questions over multiple choice, too.
One group is already rallying to ask for Hugo House to include a performance venue in its plans:
Right now, the building is home to an 1800 square foot black box with fixed seating for 87, theatrical lighting grid and built-in sound system – this stage has been a place for local Seattle playwrights to debut the bold new work being produced in our city, and to lose it would be a serious setback in transforming Capitol Hill into the arts district it strives to be.
In the announcement of the new development project last fall, Hugo House and the longtime property owners of the more than 100-year-old building said they were working with a developer to determine “the exact mix of uses as part of the design and permitting process.” The announcement notes the property owners have “generously supported all facility costs, including rent” for Hugo House throughout its history.