Under My Skin: Artists Explore Race in the 21st Century: Race, that unstable category, must always be considered critically and with great care. In Under My Skin 26 artists confront their experiences with race and interactive elements allow visitors to confront their own. $12.95.
In a Silent Way: SAM pulls work from Roy deCarava, David Hammons, Carrie Mae Weems, Glenn Ligon and Rashid Johnson out of the permanent collection. The exhibition features pieces that “quietly reflect on African American histories and identities” and have a distinct Miles Davis mood. $15 suggested.
Ellen Dicola's trippy Arborealis video of found Northern Lights images overlaid with footage of steam, alternating with Dakota Gearhart's Odes to Me, which involves a small singing fish with a large eyeball. Free.
Sanctum: For this installation you don't even need to go indoors. Six surveillance cameras capture you as you walk by the museum. If you get within 12 feet (as you are warned by signs), you'll be profiled—sensors will scan the "landmarks" of your face, as the artists Juan Pampin and James Coupe describe them, and you'll appear on the video screens in the windows. Text taken from volunteers' Facebook posts (anyone can sign up to donate their status updates) will appear as a story on your image. You'll get a story the system thinks represents you demographically, and the voice in the speakers above modulates accordingly, too (male/female, slow/fast for older/younger). Creepy or entertaining? Free.
This monthly screening series seeks submissions of feminist and queer video from the Northwest. Contact Stranger Genius Wynne Greenwood for info. Free.
In 2010, Storefronts Seattle started matching empty commercial spaces in Belltown, Chinatown, and Pioneer Square with local artists. The project has since expanded to Bellevue, Auburn, and Mount Vernon. Storefronts Seattle starts off 2013 with new installations by Meghan Trainor, RSVR visual research, and Ryan Everson. Free.
Opening ceremony for Elizabeth Connor's rain garden/water feature with plants, Painting and Sculpting the Land, and her rows of colored concrete contour lines that indicate the depth of the original reservoir, Drawing the Land. Free.
MIRROR: International fancypants artist Doug Aitken has installed a giant permanent video projection on the facade of SAM. It plays, and continually remixes, hundreds of hours of footage shot across the Pacific Northwest. Free.
While this every-other-week session is ostensibly just about drawing, each meeting comes with the ancillary benefit of a meticulously (and often bizarrely) crafted three-hour soundtrack selected by your meticulous and bizarre host, Jed Dunkerley. $5-$10.
James Turrell’s “skyspace” Light Reign is the only thing that’s really on always-and-forever display at the Henry. It’s an outdoor room that lives like a barnacle on the side of the museum, with an opening in the ceiling so that you can sit and watch the sky go by. The experience is mind bogglingly more fascinating than you’d think, which is why Turrell has “skyspaces” all over the world. The Henry’s is furniturey, ringed with wooden bench seating. $10 suggested.
Rise and Fall: Salvaged building materials become fluid in Sarah Fansler Lavin's installations. Free.
Artful Reproductions: The permanent collection is full of treasures to be discovered for a first time or rediscovered anew. The wall of diminutive snuffboxes—each one delicately painted with a scene that draws you into its tiny alternate reality—is in itself enough to warrant multiple visits. $7 suggested.
Seattle's oldest non-profit gallery is always recruiting. Artists who pay the monthly hanging fee may display their work in this non-juried, all-volunteer space.
Permanent collections in African, Asian, Native American, early American, European, modernism, decorative arts, and contemporary arts. $15 suggested.
Greg Kucera and Larry Yocom venture into affordable resales from local collectors, with an ever-changing lineup of works. Free.
Vivid acrylic paintings by Ethiopian artist Kerima Ahmed. Free.
Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic: The nerdiest new permanent exhibit in Middle-earth features costumes, props, and original manuscripts from some of our favorite mythical adventures, including The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, The Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter, and Xena: Warrior Princess. $20.