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.

Continue reading

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

Wallflower, a movie about the Capitol Hill Massacre, finally released and screening in Seattle

“The thing that’s interesting to me, and unique about Wallflower, is this world of joy — at least grasping towards joy as the ravers would. Trying to be happy, intentionally trying to be goofy. It was a very accepting… tight-knit, welcoming community.” (Image: Wallflower)

Wallflower director Jagger Gravning

When, in 2011, Seattle filmmaker Jagger Gravning launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for his movie about the Capitol Hill Massacre, during which a gunman, invited to a rave-afterparty, murdered six people at an E Republican home in the early hours of March 25, 2006, the backlash was swift. Many believed the movie shouldn’t be made.

Now, that movie, Wallflower, is made and ready for its local theatrical release. Wallflower premiered in New York earlier this fall and will screen in Seattle’s Grand Illusion Cinema November 30th to December 3rd.

For Gravning, the road to this point was full of speed bumps and controversy. Before Wallflower premiered in Seattle during the Seattle International Film Festival in 2017, a co-producer pulled back from the project, and an associate producer and survivor told The Stranger she was dismayed at the film’s focus on the perpetrator and how Gravning had mined her PTSD.

But that, Gravning says, wasn’t the reason for the movie’s two-year standstill. Their distributor, as Gravning puts it, had “some issues.” For two years, as financial trouble and wildfires plagued Wallflower’s distribution company, and as its CEO became ill and ultimately passed away, the film’s distribution was put on hold. Now released from contractual obligations and with a new distributor, the film is now finally coming to movie theaters.

Much has changed. Gravning had cancer (he is now in remission), and became the father of a son, who is now three. Mass shootings have become more frequent and more deadly.

And some, Gravning says, have forgotten about the tragedy.

“We rented a house in the U District from college students,” Gravning told CHS about filming the movie back in 2016. “They didn’t even remember. This has been totally forgotten by a whole generation of people. This is a part of our history, really at the cusp of fading away.”

CHS spoke to Gravning about his movie ahead of the release. This Q&A was edited for length and clarity.

The movie retells that history, but parts are fictionalized. What’s Wallflower’s relationship to the event as it happened? 

Regarding the sequence of the shooting and what led up to it and how it all unraveled is exactly correct, as far as I’m aware. Even the clothing he was wearing, the truck he’s driving, the timeline.  Continue reading

Spacecraft launching a space for ‘people who don’t necessarily consider themselves artists’ to create art above Broadway

A recent Spacecraft work party (Image: Spacecraft)

One of Capitol Hill’s oldest homes for creative retail spaces and restaurants is making space for a crafty new addition.

Spacecraft, a community arts and craft space targeting “screen addicted adults” and “people who don’t necessarily consider themselves artists,” is getting its final coats of paint and collecting supplies for a planned October opening in the 101-year-old Broadway Alley building.

“I’ve always been crafty, always kind of a dabbler,” Alison Cantor tells CHS. Describing how challenging it is to find space to do those things with “people living in smaller and smaller spaces,” Cantor says Spacecraft will be a place to spread your project out and work on your art somewhere better than the kitchen table.

“It’s a community where people can come and make art,” she said. Continue reading

Volunteer Park’s Seattle Asian Art Museum will reopen in February

(Image: Tim Griffith/Seattle Asian Art Museum)

Volunteer Park’s Seattle Asian Art Museum will reopen this winter nearly two years to the month it closed for a surprisingly controversial $54 million $56 million renovation and expansion:

The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) announced today that the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park will reopen to the public on Saturday, February 8, 2020, following a 24-month-long renovation and expansion. The museum’s historic 1933 building closed to the public on February 27, 2017 to address critical needs of infrastructure, accessibility, and program space. Now enhanced with a design by the Seattle-based firm LMN Architects (2016 AIA National Firm Award) with landscape architect Walker Macy, the building reopens as a modern museum within an historic icon.

For visitors, the wait has been even longer — the museum closed in preparation for the construction in February 2017.

Crews broke ground on the project in March of 2018 after a long process of community meetings and neighborhood pushback over concerns plans to expand the eastern side of the art deco building into the park would encroach on Olmsted-designed green space’s natural setting.

The $56 million SAAM project was designed by LMN Architects to expand the 1933-built museum more than 13,000 square feet by extending the backside of the building 3,600 square feet into the park. The museum has added more display space to represent South Asia and India as well as addressed infrastructure issues including a climate control system and seismic upgrades while making the museum ADA accessible.  Continue reading

Natural History Illustration with Watercolors

7 Thursday Evenings, October 3-17, November 7-December 5 (No class Oct. 24, 31 and Nov. 28), 2019, 6:30-9pm

Gain confidence in observing form while working with biological subjects to document and interpret what you see. An introduction to the practice of natural science illustration is complemented by critique sessions allowing students to discuss and respond to each other’s work. Build observational and visual interpretation skills while exploring illustration using a variety of techniques, including graphite, pen and ink, and watercolor. Explore how these essential media are applied to make drawings into more refined illustrations.

The focus of this fundamental course is drawing, from gestural sketching to precision rendering of illustrations for scientific purposes. Each student is given the opportunity to render selected subjects in a variety of demonstrated techniques. This class can be taken as part of a series with the next season’s offering, which will focus on colored pencil techniques rather than watercolor.

All levels welcome.

Instructor Sharon Birzer is an artist and Natural History Illustrator. In her work, Sharon employs close observation and utilizes traditional media as well as digital tools. She teaches college art classes, school residences, as well as illustration workshops. She shows her artwork nationally and internationally. Sharon holds a BFA from Cornish College, and MFA from the University of Washington and has studied Natural Science Illustration at UW. She has created illustration work for exhibits and publications for places such as the Seattle Art Museum and The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.

Here’s how Kurt Cobain’s big face ended up back on a Capitol Hill wall

Last summer, the replacement of a Nagle Place mural of Kurt Cobain sparked a wave of nostalgia for a Capitol Hill that never was. First, the work had only been in place for half a year. Second, the muralist was a famed London street artist promoting a show at a Pioneer Square gallery. And third, the work was replaced with another by local artist and prolific Capitol Hill muralist Weirdo.

Nevermind all that.

Now the London artist, that Pioneer Square gallery, again, credit union BECU, and Capitol Hill’s Everyday Music have teamed up for a nostalgic flipside to the removed original. Continue reading