How a giant new Kraken hockey mural ended up along Capitol Hill’s 10th Ave E

(Image: @jdco.design)

(Image: @jdco.design)

With Seattle in the midst of a new crackdown on vandalism, a retaining wall behind a North Capitol Hill mansion that has long been a prominent canvas for taggers and graffiti artists now hosts a 156-foot long by 8-foot tall mural celebrating the homeowner’s pride for a hometown sports team

Artist Craig Johnson tell CHS he is wrapping up the few-week project to create the new Seattle Kraken mural that now rises in the busy 1500 block of 10th Ave E across from the St. Mark’s greenbelt.

“Today wasn’t great for production,” Johnson said Friday. “I have to work between the rain.”

The new work depicting Kraken imagery, players, and branding including the second-year team’s “scrimshaw” pattern is a collaboration, Johnson said, between the artist, the Kraken, and big fan Brian Flynn, the investor and a co-founder behind Mexican airline Volaris and a casino and travel analytics firm. Flynn is reportedly a supporter of the team and close with ownership. Johnson said the Kraken were part of planning the work and making sure it was up to the team’s brand standards. Continue reading

New mural of Stonewall queen Marsha P. Johnson rises off Broadway

(Image: Broadway Business Improvement Association)

A new mural of Marsha P. Johnson, the drag queen of Stonewall, now stretches down a block of Capitol Hill at Broadway and Harrison.

The Broadway Business Improvement Association project on the side of the street’s Crossroads Trading building is part of new LGBTQIA+ art and banners coming to Broadway over the next couple of months, the organization says.

Artist Jiéyì Zhou created the work with support from PrideFest in the project funded by the BIA and retailer Crossroads which has included the 1940s era building in its real estate portfolio since 2008. Continue reading

Inspired by Soft Services installation at Volunteer Park, Capitol Hill writer joins artist for conversation about ‘intimacy and loss, cruising and alienation, communal possibility, and intimate transgression’

(Image: Jueqian Fang/Henry Art Gallery)

You are invited to visit Volunteer Park this weekend on what should be a sunny and crisp fall day to sit in on a conversation between an artist whose creations now dot the park’s lawns and pathways and a Capitol Hill author who has made the park a setting in their work.

CHS reported here on the Soft Services installations by artist Chloë Bass as the 14 stone benches will make Volunteer Park their home into next summer as part of a Henry Art Gallery project.

Saturday, author Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore will talk with Bass about Soft Services in “a conversation about the body and colonialism, intimacy and loss, cruising and alienation, communal possibility, and intimate transgression.” Continue reading

With COVID-19 state of emergency coming to an end, First Hill’s Frye Art Museum adding new ‘mask-required hours’

(Image: Jonathan Vanderweit/Frye)

The end of October will bring an end to nearly 1,000 days of Washington’s COVID-19 state of emergency. But, of course, it doesn’t bring the end of the pandemic. The transition is leaving many important decisions regarding life with the virus to individuals, private businesses, and organizations to sort out and find the best paths forward.

First Hill’s Frye Art Museum is taking steps to create a safe environment for all of its visitors by instituting new “mask-required hours” during the first Sunday of every month. Expect to see more similar solutions in Seattle.

“To accommodate immunocompromised individuals and those who prefer to visit when all guests and staff are required to mask, we offer mask-required hours on the first Sunday of the month from 11 am– 1 pm,” Frye’s announcement reads. Continue reading

Attention mushroom lovers: Sporelust! opens first brick and mortar location in Capitol Hill

Inside the shop (Image: CHS)

The new shop’s mycelium now runs deep in Pike/Pine (Image: CHS)

A new punk metal style and mushroom-focused apparel and fashion business has found a permanent home on Capitol Hill. After hosting a pop-up at 701 E. Pike for three months, Sporelust! decided that they are here to stay.

Chris Adams, co-owner of Sporelust!, has been making the majority of the art that is in the shop, including shirts, totes, stickers, and trucker hats. His love for mushrooms, which he describes as a moderate obsession, began six or seven years ago through foraging and photographing.

“Since then, I’ve really deep dove into mycology,” said Adams. “Over the last six years both my knowledge and my focus is on trying to hone this style that is at Sporelust! while still building knowledge that stays scientifically accurate, while looking weird.”

While Adams had created enough branded work for the pop-up shop, his business partner Zach Huntting reserved the E. Pike location for the entire year, with the goal of opening a brick and mortar location. Continue reading

We know where the body portraits in Cal Anderson came from but have no clue about these new faces across Capitol Hill — UPDATE

Thanks to @SarahEMyhre and other CHS readers for asking about the faces

(Image: Seattle Office of Arts and Culture)

A new temporary art installation has added colorful portraits to Cal Anderson Park.

Meanwhile, a prolific new(?) street artist has drawn attention with stylized faces popping up around Capitol Hill.

The Seattle Office of Arts and Culture says artist Jean Bradbury’s The People Make This Park will be on display around Cal Anderson through September. The “colorful, larger-than-life” portraits feature park-goers and include excerpts from interviews about the subject’s relation to the park. The project “speaks to the theme of how important land is to people,” the city arts office says.

Cal Anderson isn’t the only Capitol Hill park with temporary art. CHS reported here on the project that added 14 stone “benches” in Volunteer Park through next summer.

Meanwhile, a new Capitol HIll character is appearing on utility boxes and power poles, dining patios and dumpsters around the neighborhood as one of the more prolific street art efforts in recent memory is decorating mundane streetside items with graffiti featuring cartoon-worthy faces complete with googly eyes and wide-open mouths showing off zig-zagging tongues and jagged teeth. Continue reading

Crosscut: Photography exhibit at Seattle Asian Art Museum showcases our complicated relationship with wilderness

By Brangien Davis / Crosscut

The human relationship with the natural landscape is complicated. We are forever trying to get our bodies closer to nature, whether by painting it, taking selfies in it, hiking around in it or insisting on homes with a view. We are awed by untouched wilderness, yet fill it with our detritus. We want to get “back to the Earth” and bend it to our will.

The human-landscape relationship comes into sharp relief in Beyond the Mountain: Contemporary Chinese Artists on Contemporary Forms, a compact but compelling new show of six artists at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. The show’s title references Chinese artist Zhang Huan’s 1995 photograph “To Add One Meter to an Anonymous Mountain,” a striking and disorienting piece in which several naked people lie on top of each other at the summit of Mount Miaofengshan. Continue reading

Passable, a space for the ‘intersection of art and technology’ — and pinball — on the backside of Pike/Pine

(Image: Passable)

With reporting by Elizabeth Turnbull

Amid the bars, restaurants, clubs, and shops, there is a collaborative arts space making a place for creatives to connect and work on the backside of Pike/Pine.

Passable is a makerspace that has survived the pandemic and now inviting new members for “playful collaboration at the intersection of art and technology” and “access to shared resources and exhibition opportunities.”

Located at 1005 E Union, the shop offers space for “both clean and ‘dirty’ projects” depending on the type of art and technology work you may want to pursue. Resources include woodworking and power tools, an electronics workstation, a Glowforge laser cutter, And 3D printing. Continue reading

With inscriptions and printed plants, art project places 14 temporary stone ‘benches’ in Volunteer Park

(Images: CHS)

For the next year, Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park will feature the work of two famed Seattle art galleries. The Seattle Asian Art Museum, of course, calls the park home. This week, the museum and surrounding park are being joined by a new installation of fourteen stone benches evocative of the park’s history in AIDS activism and its natural history.

Installed by the University of Washington’s Henry Art Gallery at points around the park, the Soft Services stones from Brooklyn artist Chloë Bass are each engraved with inscriptions, “artist-written text that both stands alone and creates a larger meaning across the series of seating—and a silhouetted image applied in light-responsive pigment, which allows the image to shift slightly based on the time of day, weather conditions, and sight lines.”

The large decorated and inscribed stones are meant to connect with the park’s history as a centerpoint for the annual AIDS Walk that morphed over the decades from a gathering of queer health activism to an annual tradition dedicated to supporting those living with HIV and AIDS: Continue reading

CHS Pics | ‘A sense of collaboration and neighborliness’ in A Collaborative Landscape art project in Cal Anderson Park

Capitol Hill artist Jesse Higman did a little repair work over the weekend.

CHS stopped through Cal Anderson Park to see Higman and community helpers pouring new works of art together as part of the artist’s A Collaborative Landscape project, an effort toward “restoring the sense of community and inclusion that has long been part of the draw of the Capitol Hill neighborhood but was lost over the last two years.”

Continue reading