OK… one* more nostalgic CHS post… Art Invasion marks doomed 12/John house, Hill’s still-kicking arts scene

IMG_6385(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Thursday night — and for that night only — artists from around Capitol Hill and Seattle “invaded” a doomed house on the corner of John and 12th with art to showcase the vitality of the neighborhood’s longstanding independent arts scene and highlight the departure of yet another niche of the Hill’s creativity due to displacement.

The renegade art show, dubbed the Capitol Hill Art Invasion was organized by a longtime tenant of the 1920’s-era three-story labyrinth of a home; local artist Damien Puggelli in collaboration with members of a recently created local arts community building collective; Space 4 Art, many of whom are also Capitol Hill residents.

Puggelli, who has been living in a shed turned garage adjacent to the house since 2003, learned back in november of last year that the property is being sold by its joint owners to a developer who plans to demolish the pre-existing home to build high density apartments. Two adjacent and dilapidated properties on 12th Ave are also being leveled by the same company for similar purposes, according to Puggelli.

“I’m slightly heartbroken about this space,” said Puggelli. “What can you do?”

Puggelli says he has yet to receive an eviction notice, but was pre-empting his eventual and the relocation of other similarly displaced artists around the Hill with last night’s show.

Though Puggelli has been the only long-term resident, the house has provided studios and workspaces for numerous artists over the years such as K.D. Schill, a Seattle costume designer.

The idea for the invasion was hatched several months prior by Puggelli and collaborators, who wished to convey not only a “farewell” to the neighborhood but also the vibrancy and necessity of Capitol Hill’s independent arts scene, which they feel is being bulldozed — both literally and figuratively — by gentrifying forces. Continue reading

CHS Crow | APRIL Festival edition — Wendy and Søren

Wednesday, APRIL did its best to summon the spirit of Alice B. Toklas from the walls of the Sorrento along with Rebecca Brown, Joshua Beckman, Jan Wallace and “musical accompaniment.” (Images: Alex Garland)

APRIL Festival 2015 has been keeping the literature calendar packed with unconventional events for most of the last week and it all wraps up today with the grand finale — APRIL’s annual small press book expo:

Sunday, March 29
Hugo House, 11 am – 5 pm
Our annual book fair, featuring more than 40 small presses from around the country.

Thursday night, the CHS Crow stopped by the independent literature festival’s annual collaboration with art gallery Vignettes — hosted at an offsite location this year — and chatted with poet Wendy Xu and artist Søren Nilsson. What read as a playfully deconstructive video by Nilsson was one of the eight works responding to Xu’s book You Are Not Dead that made up the exhibition. Works by Ripple Fang, Susanna Bluhm, Max Cleary, Francesca Lohmann, Klara Glosova, Aidan Fitzgerald and Paul Komada were also featured. Check it out. Continue reading

Lowell Elementary School’s Big Event

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.

attn: remaining Capitol Hill artists — $2.45M in Seattle arts and culture grants

The set of The Flick as viewed from the catwalk inside 12th Ave Arts (Image: New Century Theater via Facebook)

The set of The Flick as viewed from the catwalk inside 12th Ave Arts (Image: New Century Theatre Company via Facebook)

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

New Spacefinder helps *find* *space* for arts… and more around Capitol Hill (Plus, we found Caps for Slats)

Looking for a space you can rent by the hour on Capitol Hill? Here's a start

Looking for a space you can rent by the hour on Capitol Hill? Here’s a start

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.

10661931_10154826244120008_6929457198356361607_oYou 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.


With a Valentine’s gift for Monsoon, this artist is covering the walls of Capitol Hill food+drink


Randolph at work (Images: CHS)

Randolph at work (Images: CHS)

DSC_0896By Janelle Retka – UW News Lab/Special for CHS

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

Paintings from Capitol Hill nightlife owner colored with creativity, sobriety

(Image: CHS)

Portrait of the artist as a Pike/Pine club owner (Image: CHS)


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

Experiment on your lovesick heart, keep Capitol Hill’s art pulse beating at the Heartbreak Science Fair

(Images: Josh Kelety for CHS)

(Images: Josh Kelety for CHS)

logoThe 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.'”DSC_9107

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

Former Gage art student gives school $1 million gift as it plans for new home

8446828488_a0127d8b59_oNorth 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.