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 capitolhillartwalk.com 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

Inside the renovated and expanded Seattle Asian Art Museum from floor to ceiling and its new lobby view of Volunteer Park

Just under three years from the last time visitors stepped inside, Capitol Hill’s Seattle Asian Art Museum reopens this weekend with a lobby expansion that puts Volunteer Park’s trees and lawns fully on display in a $56 million renovation that has brought new life to the 87-year-old building’s Depression-era version of art deco grandeur.

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.

10,000 free tickets for this weekend’s opening have already been claimed. A ribbon cutting ceremony, meanwhile, is planned for Saturday, February 8th.

But the real show begins next Wednesday, February 12th when the museum opens for its first regular hours and welcomes visitors for an exploration of the arts and cultures of Japan, China, Korea, the Philippines, India, and the nearby.

Visitors will find a building that was has been overhauled from floor to ceiling. Let’s start with the floor. The museum’s old carpeting is gone but don’t expect one of those Capitol Hill renovations like you’ll find in the neighborhood surrounding Volunteer Park where homeowners find a gorgeous hardwood floor beneath. While the museum was built in art deco style, the financial pressures of the Depression meant it was also built with economy. Back in the day, that meant cheap but mostly durable Masonite flooring. As part of the overhaul, LMN Architects has installed new flooring throughout the museum. Yes, it is the same Masonite squares like they put down 87 years ago. Another similar repetition has come in the museum’s theater where new seating has been installed made by the same manufacturer — and in the same style — as the originals. Continue reading

Sold out: 10,000 free tickets for Seattle Asian Art Museum’s reopening weekend already snapped up

(Image: Tim Griffith/Seattle Asian Art Museum)

Turns out Seattle art lovers are jazzed about the reopening of the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Officials from the museum located in Volunteer Park that has been closed for a two-year, $56 million renovation and expansion say the SAAM’s “Housewarming: Free Reopening Weekend” is already “sold out” with every free ticket already snapped up for the February 8th and 9th event.

SAAM announced Tuesday morning that 10,000 “free timed tickets” for the two-day housewarming event have been claimed and “there will not be a wait-list for the event.”

If you missed out, join the Seattle Art Museum. The Members Open House planned for Wednesday, February 5 and Thursday, February 6 still had spots available as of this morning.

After that, you can enjoy the newly overhauled museum on its new regular schedule starting Wednesday, February 12th or you can aim for the first Free Thursday at the venue on February 13th. The museum will also now be free to visitors on Satursdays: Continue reading

Seattle makes $300K call for artists for projects to help connect Capitol Hill to the Waterfront

People walking the Viaduct before its demolition began in early 2019 (Image: Chun Kwan/City of Seattle)

Officials hope the removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct won’t just reshape Seattle’s connection to Elliott Bay. The plan also looks to the east and the connection all the way from the water, up Pike and Pine to Capitol Hill.

To help build that connection, the city is looking for artists to create new works to encourage people to move through, explore, and enjoy their streets in new ways:

The Waterfront Seattle project will create 20 acres of new public spaces, streets, parks and buildings. Pike and Pine Streets will connect the waterfront to the Capitol Hill neighborhood through the downtown retail core. The artist/s will work with the city and its design team to create a unifying identity for these streets and sited artwork that act as gateways and/or gathering space.

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Gallery Tour @ SAM – Material Difference: German Perspectives

Curator Catherina Manchanda on German art at the Seattle Art Museum

In contrast to the artistic exuberance in the United States during the postwar era, the physical and psychological devastation of World War II had a profound and lasting effect on German artists. The gallery tour will introduce you to works made in the 1980s and ‘90s and discuss relationships to memory and remembrance, the political pageantry that accompanied the divided country after the Berlin Wall was built in 1961, and the role and responsibility of the artist. This tour will have a casual format and your questions will make for a lively exchange.

This gallery tour will be led by Catharina Manchanda, Jon and Mary Shirley Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Seattle Art Museum.
A native of Germany, Manchanda studied art history, English and German at the University of Stuttgart, she received her Ph.D. from the City University of New York Graduate Center with a specialty in German art. She has worked in curatorial departments at Harvard’s Busch-Reisinger Museum, MoMA, New York, The Wexner Center, Columbus, OH and joined the Seattle Art Museum in 2011.

Admission and tour are free but the number of participants is limited. Please register via Eventbrite.

Outsider artist Darryl Ary remembered

Ary (Image: Vermillion)

A regular part of the scene around Broadway and a favorite of the Capitol Hill art world, artist Darryl Ary passed away in November. He will be remembered this week in a gathering at gallery and bar Vermillion.

According to city records, he was 63.

CHS noted Ary, who many knew from his regular presence in his wheelchair in front of the Broadway Dick’s Drive-in or at City Market, in 2015 as artist Baso Fibonacci made a public call for people who had purchased Ary’s paintings over the years to help curate a show of his work. In 2013, then City Arts magazine designer Dan Paulus called Ary one of his favorite artists in Seattle.

“Darryl Ary has been on his grind for the past twenty years, hawking his wares on the mean streets of Seattle, rain or shine,” Paulus said. “Scavenging scrap lumber for canvases, he paints and scratches brutalist images that have just enough pop culture jazz to simultaneously charm and repulse.” Continue reading

First Hill art museum’s Café Frieda a small part of the Trump impeachment hearings story

(Image: Jill Hardy/Frye Art Museum)

As the characters are formed and the terrible drama of the Trump impeachment hearings plays out, there is a small corner of First Hill that we might think of quite a bit differently after Wednesday’s witness is sworn in and begins his testimony.

Before she died in 2016, it is said Frieda Sondland visited First Hill’s Frye Museum — only blocks from her home for more than a decade in The Summit building — nearly every day. That love was memorialized in a special gift.

Café Frieda is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 AM to 4:30 PM — 6:30 PM on Thursdays when the weekly happy hour starts at 3 PM. You can “relax and enjoy your lunch or dinner with a side of art” and “spend some time in our bright and open environment during your workday or take advantage of Seattle’s sunny months in the courtyard” when you visit the Terry Ave museum.

Café Frieda was made possible, of course, by a generous gift from the Gordon D. Sondland and Katherine J. Durant Family Foundation. Continue reading