The Capitol Hill Art Walk returns

The newly opened Museum of Museums is on the walk

One thing certain after months of the COVID-19 crisis is how much heavier we weigh the calculated risks of daily life. As you search for balance, Thursday night brings a little bit of life back to Capitol Hill.

Whether the return of the Capitol Hill Art Walk is for you is, well, up to you. But a handful of area venues and shops are getting back into the rhythm of the monthly “second Thursday” event:

We have some socially-distanced, masked art viewings happening this Thursday, Nov. 12th!
Check each venue’s website for details on their hours, COVID-19 accommodations & more…

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At 11th and Pine, Capitol Hill’s Black Lives Matter mural is here to stay

(Image: CHS)

A spontaneous expression of art in the middle of Capitol Hill’s center of Black Lives Matter protest in the summer of 2020 has become a Pike/Pine landmark even as the city is still trying to live up to the movement’s demands.

Over the weekend, artists finished their work recreating their massive Black Lives Matter mural in the middle of E Pine with new longer-lasting coats of paint designed to withstand the weather and rigors of a busy city street. The traffic post island and mural are hoped to become a permanent part of the pavement just south of Cal Anderson. Continue reading

Building a better Seattle with more artists, First Hill’s Museum of Museums set to open in November

Lundgren at MoM

The Museum of Museums is like many spaces we’ve missed during the COVID-19 era — full of interesting things we can’t quite see just yet. But as venues open again across the city, this new First Hill space of art and creation is also ready for visitors as it prepares to officially open next month.

“Everything around here is like 96% done. There’s a lot of things that need to be kind of massaged into place, but we’re done with construction. Just a lot of little details,” Greg Lundgren says.

Museum founder Lundgren recently gave CHS a tour of MoM, as he simultaneously delegated tasks to volunteers and explained works in progress. Part of MoM’s mission, he says, is building a better Seattle by increasing the artist population and creating spaces for exhibition, fostering collectors and artists, and investing in youth programming. MoM’s non-profit partner is Coyote Central, the Central District’s youth arts organization.

Last June, the co-owner of The Hideout and Vito’s set his sights on repurposing another part of the First Hill neighborhood for something better, transforming a vacant medical building on Broadway and Marion and activating it as a contemporary art museum.

He originally hoped to open the space last August, coinciding with the Seattle Art Fair, but challenges and delays quickly piled up. A massive amount of clean up (the restoration team hauled out 120,000 pounds of construction debris), necessary seismic retrofitting, a frustrating back-and-forth with the city over zoning permissions, and of course a pandemic all contributed to the setback. Now, about a year and five months after Lundgren signed the lease, the Museum of Museums is real. Continue reading

With sunny and dry days ahead for repainting of Capitol Hill’s Black Lives Matter mural, rain is not a risk — but the return of smoke season is — UPDATE

E Pine was stripped of its BLM mural last week as part of a project to recreate a more durable version (Image: Alex Garland)

The project to remake Capitol Hill’s Black Lives Matter mural as a permanent feature of E Pine should move forward this week with a forecast for dry weather making the pavement a suitable canvas for the effort.

A Seattle Department of Transportation representative tells CHS that artists are planned to be on the street starting Wednesday to begin the process of repainting the 16 10-foot-tall letters. SDOT is planning a four-day window for the project but they’re expecting the work might wrap up early. E Pine will be closed to traffic during the painting and sealing work. Continue reading

Acknowledging botched first effort, City of Seattle announces plan with artists to quickly remove and recreate longer-lasting Capitol Hill Black Lives Matter mural

An image from SDOT showing the deterioration of the mural (Image: SDOT)

Before sweeps and violence continued in Cal Anderson, and before  Seattle City Hall reversed course on the start of defunding the Seattle Police Department, artists and activists pointed at a simpler failure to live up to the demands of the CHOP protest zone after what they said was a botched attempt to preserve and protect the massive E Pine BLACK LIVES MATTER mural.

Now Mayor Jenny Durkan and the Seattle Department of Transportation are announcing a new plan that will bring the original mural artists together to remove the original and replace it with a new and improved replica designed to better withstand the tests of a Capitol Hill street. And they’re in a rush to do it to get ahead of another Seattle challenge — the weather: Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum centers 2020 Local Sightings festival on underrepresented BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists

From Danny Denial’s CONDITIONER

By Lena Mercer

Though its home screens at 12th Ave’s Northwest Film Forum remain dark, the Local Sightings Film Festival will feature over 135 short films from the Pacific Northwest from September 18th to the 27th. The ten-day event will be fully online this year to accommodate COVID-19 pandemic gathering restrictions. In an effort to maintain affordability during the economic woes of the pandemic all festival passes and programs are available on a sliding scale.

In 2020, Local Sightings has a theme that will resonate after a summer of protests and the nearby CHOP as it “centers BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists” and examines “how film and mediamakers traditionally underrepresented in mainstream media hold perspectives which are vital to furthering the important conversations of the current moment.”

Local filmmaker Danny Denial says that kind of space is something that BIPOC and LGBTQ+ have been fighting for.

“It feels like each movement or wave such as this gets us one step closer. I love that NWFF is committing to that initiative and elevating the artists in that ‘othered’ category.” Continue reading

Weeklong Chilean protest exhibit opens — outside — at Volunteer Park

This image from Sonia Rossel López is part of Chile Woke, an exhibition of documenting protests across Chile

Before the Volunteer Park Amphitheater as we know it gets torn down and upgraded as part of an end-of-summer replacement project, nonprofit organization Chile Woke is using the space for an art exhibition precisely because of its old, slightly dilapidated brick wall. The fresh air and social distancing opportunity of Volunteer Park is also, of course, key.

Rebeca Sanchez and Marcela Soto, two Chileans living in Seattle, formed Chile Woke as a way to showcase the work of artists documenting protests across Chile in response to widespread economic and social inequality.

Starting Sunday, Chile Woke is putting on its first large-scale, free exhibit: The Uprise of Chilean Graphics and Street Photography.

“Our idea is to try to bring the feeling of what is going on in Chile and specifically how posters and messages have been taking over the walls in the streets and becoming kind of like the people’s bulletin board,” Sanchez said. Continue reading

This would normally be the night for Capitol Hill Art Walk… so take a Capitol Hill art walk?

(Images: CHS)

Not everybody all at once, now. Wear your masks. And take to the streets here and there to make space.

The second Thursday of every month usually brings a new edition of the Capitol Hill Art Walk. Most of its venues are now — temporarily — shuttered or closed to all but takeout and delivery. But organizers say you can still participate:

Even though April Art Walk won’t be happening in person this Thursday, some venues are hosting virtual art walks and window shopping! Visit the site for updated listings; more to come. If you’re a venue that’s hosting an online/streaming version of your planned event, let us know and we’ll add it to the site! Or if you have a message to post to your patrons/customers, such as curbside pickup options, online shopping, etc, send us that info as well

You can check out for details on some of the “virtual art walk” stops.

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A first Second Thursday — Free admission at Seattle Asian Art Museum joins Capitol Hill Art Walk

Samy will probably not be there (Image: Seattle Art Museum)

Second Thursdays are now even more art-y on Capitol Hill. The longtime schedule for the neighborhood’s monthly art walk is now also part of the expanded roster of free admission days for the newly reopened Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park.

Both happy events including the first Second Thursday free opening at SAAM and late hours until 9 PM and a special Valentine’s edition of the Capitol Hill Art Walk coincide for the first time Thursday night.

At SAAM, part of the process to plan the museum’s $56 million overhaul and expansion was a new lease for the city-owned building that included an expanded suite of community benefits including free school visits and a wider schedule of free admission days. Second Thursdays are only part of the fun: Continue reading

What they’re saying about Capitol Hill’s Seattle Asian Art Museum overhaul: cross-cultural galleries, new Conservation Center, and all-gender restrooms

(Image: Seattle Asian Art Museum)

Saturday dignitaries including Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Michael Shiosaki of Seattle Parks cut the ribbon marking the grand opening of the overhauled and expanded Seattle Asian Art Museum in Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park.

“I‘m so proud that Seattle continues to showcase the rich diversity of our world — reminding us that we are all global citizens,” Jayapal said of the moment before the weekend’s expected 10,000 guests stepped in for their first looks inside the renovated and upgraded 1933-built art deco-style museum after three years of closure for the project.

CHS looked at the project’s history and nitty gritty details from floor to ceiling here:

Xiaojin Wu, the curator of Japanese and Korean Art for the Seattle Art Museum, says the reopening of SAAM includes a reinvention of how the creations and treasures are showcased that is “history amplified” and a new thematic approach that ignores international boundaries and highlights “an exchange throughout the region” of materials, styles, beliefs, and values. Modern photography is juxtaposed with ancient textiles. A ceremonial Indian elephant ankus glimmers in a case while a Chinese “Weeping Buddha” dances nearby.

After this weekend’s celebrations, the museum begins regular hours Wednesday. Meanwhile, here is a look at what others are saying about new life for the Seattle Asian Art Museum: Continue reading