SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
• 1300 First Ave, 654-3100, seattleart museum.org, open Wed–Sun
Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, Paris (through Jan 13): Men get the boot and women take over at SAM this season, but what does it mean to let the ladies have their day? This show borrowed from France's national museum of modern and contemporary art includes more than 130 photographs, videos, sculptures, paintings, and installations made by 75 women artists between 1907 and 2007. No other American museum will get this show. It has left Seattle awash in female-centric everything, best of all complex conversations about gender and art (like, thanks for the brief focus on half the population?). Look and consider: The gum that Hannah Wilke asked her audience to chew before she formed each piece into a little fortune cookie shape and stuck it to her naked body. Her striptease viewed through Marcel Duchamp's abstracting Large Glass. The lightbulb dress—it lights up!—that Atsuko Tanaka wore in the 1950s (it's a wonder she didn't burn down). The streaky watercolor of a girl stooping to piss by Marlene Dumas. Marina Abramovic punishing herself with a hairbrush. How do shows like this help female artists? How do they hurt?
Elles: SAM (through Feb 17): To pair with Elles from the Pompidou, SAM took down its own paintings and sculptures by Warhol, Pollock, Gorky, Kiefer, Smith, Judd, Chihuly, Rauschenberg, Johns, Morris, Flavin, and many more artists and carted them off to storage. Not a single male artist from the modern and contemporary period remains on the walls at SAM. In their place? Krasner, Mitchell, O'Keeffe, Frankenthaler, Holzer, Piper, Rist, Kusama, Haven, Hesse, Murray, Amer. All women. Don't know their names? You should and will and can, the museum is saying. The difference is that while the Parisian show was entirely made up of art from the Parisian museum's own collection, SAM's "transformation" is almost entirely made up of art borrowed from somewhere else. Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, Paris used the word "from" intentionally. The fact is that SAM, with its puny acquisitions budget and its catch-as-catch-can collecting habits, does not own anywhere near enough art by women to create its own version of Elles. Will it ever? Will it buy any of what it has on loan here? Hm?
Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London (Feb 14–May 19): Aaaaaand, we're back to the dudes. Beer-swilling ones, though! From the press release for this exhibition, which visits SAM as one of three stops in the US, "Donated by Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh (1847–1927) and heir to the world's most successful brewery, the collection was shaped by the tastes of the Belle Epoque—Europe's equivalent to America's Gilded Age—when the earl shared the cultural stage and art market with other industry titans such as the Rothschilds, J. Pierpont Morgan, and Henry Clay Frick." With works by artists from Rembrandt, Gainsborough, van Dyck, Hals, Reynolds, and Turner.
Hals, Ingres, Zurbarán: The Treasures of Seattle (Feb 14–May 19): Private collectors in Seattle have rooted through their holdings to pull out 40 master paintings by luminaries such as Hals, Rubens, Zurbarán, van Ruisdael, and Georg Pencz.
HENRY ART GALLERY
• 4100 15th Ave NE, 543-2280, henryart .org, open Wed–Sun
Now Here Is Also Nowhere Part 1 (Oct 27–Jan 6) and Part 2 (Jan 26–May 6) are explorations of the intangible, of what's made when artists from several generations have interacted with thoughts or bodies rather than a specific material. Part 1 includes a wind tunnel, a pair of feet cut off from the rest of their body, a neon sign that declares it should be turned off when the artist dies, 175 pounds of mint candies you're welcome to take with you, a real contract for an artist's cremains to be turned into a diamond, and plastic spoons mounted on the wall with vodka in them daring you to put your lips up and sip. (Artists are Tom Friedman, Kimsooja, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Mike Bidlo, Jiri Kovanda, Yvonne Rainer, Francesca Woodman, Louise Lawler, Christian Marclay, and more.)
Like a Valentine: The Art of Jeffry Mitchell (through Jan 27) Genius Award–winner Jeffry Mitchell's prolific assemblage of drawings, paintings, ceramics and installations winds its way through the rooms of the Henry in an overwhelmingly charming maelstrom of sheer tactile delight, even in its shadows. This 25-year retrospective positively radiates with endearing energy.
En plein air (through Feb 16) pairs plein-air paintings wearing gilt frames from the Henry's permanent collection with the architecturally segmented video installations of Neïl Beloufa—all works made out of doors, watching worlds go by.
A la belle étoile (through March 24) is Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist's giant psychedelic video projection of landscapes and people opening their mouths wide for the camera to jump down their throats—footage that spreads across the floor under your feet and climbs across your body as you move. You can experience the disorienting effects from floor level, that is, or you can climb the stairs and watch the movie, and the disoriented visitors below, from the balcony above. Ephemeral image meets flesh, and tries to mate.
Out [o] Fashion Photography: Embracing Beauty (March 2–July 7) continues Deborah Willis's career-long inquiry into the complexity of body and gender through the lens of fashion photography.
FRYE ART MUSEUM
• 704 Terry Ave, 622-9250, fryemuseum .org, open Tues–Sun
Mw [Moment Magnitude] (through Jan 20), named after the seismological term for measuring earthquakes, is the final exhibition of the Frye's 60th anniversary year. In concept, it's a total departure from traditional museology—it is a festival, a party, a class, and a mass. The artist lineup includes Jeffry Mitchell, Shabazz Palaces, Anne Fenton, Buster Simpson, Evan Flory-Barnes, and Wynne Greenwood. On Dec 8, the exhibition undergoes a massive mid-point reinvention, and the gallery will rearrange itself with new installations and performances that continue to highlight the interconnected creative talents of this city.
Chamber Music (Feb 9–April 28): Scott Lawrimore's first exhibit as curator is a media-spanning translation. The genesis? James Joyce's first published work, a 36-poem anthology titled Chamber Music, put out in 1907, the same year Charles and Emma Frye began collecting art. Thirty-six Seattle artists have been commissioned to create new works inspired not directly by the Joyce poems but once removed—by musical responses to Joyce's originals, recorded on the acclaimed 2008 Fire Records compilation album featuring musicians like Mercury Rev, Lee Ranaldo, and Peter Buck.
Thirty Six Chambers (Feb 9–April 28), also drawing its inspiration from the Joyce collection, challenges the model of curator as solitary role and instead turns the position over to the entire Frye staff. It's an experiment in collective curation.
OLYMPIC SCULPTURE PARK
• 2901 Western Ave, 654-3100, seattleart museum.org, park open daily, pavilion open Tues–Sun
Encontro das Águas (through April 14) envelops the walls of the pavilion in a drawn sea of sinuously winding waves. The scale of Sandra Cinto's piece is such that you drown in the work, happy to be going down with the ship as the silvery lines pull you under.
During the summer, the permanent installation of sculptures takes on some of the manic energy of the season: It feels large and almost brazen, a bustling environment that is in a state of near-constant interaction. But in the winter months, everything slows, and the sculptures seem to slowly breathe as they settle down into a peaceful hibernation. Brave the weather; the stillness and solitude are worth it. And look for winter-blooming flowers, including downward-facing hellebores. Reach down and turn their faces up to yours.
BELLEVUE ARTS MUSEUM
• 510 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, 425-519-0770, bellevuearts.org, open Tues–Sun
Nikki McClure: Cutting Her Own Path (through Feb 3) places the spotlight precisely where it belongs: on the artist's elegantly obsessive craftsmanship. The ubiquity of McClure's calendars and posters is such that one almost forgets that these narrative illustrations are not drawings but painstaking cut-paper koans to X-acto knives.
Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art (through Feb 3) showcases artists using a traditional medium to produce untraditional results.
BAM Biennial 2012: High Fiber Diet (through Feb 24) is a massive tangle of thready softness, with fiber work from more than 40 Northwest artists. Just try not to cuddle it.
Love Me Tender (Feb 22–May 26): Punny! James Charles, Maximo Gonzales, Barton Lidicé Benes and Mark Wagner, and others use money as both a medium and a symbol to ask questions about value, commodity, and identity.
Maneki Neko: Japan's Beckoning Cats—From Talisman to Pop Icon (Feb 22–Aug 4): So. Many. Little. Waving. Kitty. Paws. One hundred and fifty five of them, to be precise, in mediums ranging from stone to papier-mâché. This exhibition traces the Maneki Neko's evolution from source of luck and protection to something more readily recognized as the greeter at Japanese restaurants.
• 17th Ave NE and NE 45th St, UW Campus, 543-5590, burkemuseum.org, open Mon–Sun
Plastics Unwrapped (Dec 20–May 27) expands upon the prescient sentiment of Mr. McGuire in The Graduate: plastics. Unwrapped acknowledges that this prevalent and troublingly useful substance is thoroughly integrated into every aspect of our lives, and asks us—through works presented in a variety of mediums—to make thoughtful choices.
CHIHULY GARDEN AND GLASS
• 305 Harrison St, 753-4940, chihulygardenandglass.com, open Mon–Sun
(Ongoing): Wander through an immersive campus of all things Chihuly. One of the hidden gems of the museum? Chihuly's idiosyncratic collection of hoarded objects, lovingly embedded in the tabletops of the museum's cafe.
EXPERIENCE MUSIC PROJECT
• 325 Fifth Ave N, 770-2700, empmuseum.org, open Mon–Sun
The Rolling Stones 1972 (through Jan 6): Jim Marshall's photographs of Mick, Keith, and the guys.
Worn to Be Wild (through Feb) is a history of the iconic black leather jacket.
The Art of Video Games (Feb 15–May 13) tackles a 40-year history, with a focus on video game as art form. Nerdy heartstrings will be tugged in this nostalgia-inducing retrospective, including everything from the Atari VCS to Playstation 3.
LEMAY CAR MUSEUM
• 2702 E "D" St, Tacoma, 253-779-8490, lemaymuseum.org, open Mon–Sun
(Ongoing): Nine acres full of iconic cars, with styles that range from the impressive to the absurd.
MUSEUM OF GLASS
• 1801 Dock St, Tacoma, 253-284-4750, museumofglass.org, open Wed–Sun
Maestro: Recent Works by Lino Tagliapietra (through Jan 6)...Classic Heat (through Jan): John Miller's large-scale glass hood ornaments...Scapes (through Jan): collaborative inquires into Hindu mythology by siblings Laura de Santillana and Alessandro Diaz de Santillana...Made at the Museum: The Visiting Artist Collection (ongoing).
MUSEUM OF HISTORY AND INDUSTRY
• 860 Terry Ave N, 324-1126, mohai.org, open Mon–Sun
The Museum of History and Industry celebrates the grand opening of its South Lake Union Home (Dec 29, 10 am–8 pm). There will be history. There will be industry. There will be a gorgeous building on the water, with a giant John Grade sculpture rising through its center and even breaking out the top of the building into the sky.
NORDIC HERITAGE MUSEUM
• 3014 NW 67th St, 789-5707, nordicmuseum.org, open Tues–Sun
Bad Art? 1,000 Birch Board Pictures from Sweden (Nov 30–March 3) is an impressively large collection of kitschy, painstakingly crafted paintings on sections of birch. Does attention to detail necessarily make something good? Or does it just mean you wasted a lot of time making something that holds no real value? And why are there so many of these things, anyway?
Bad Art Community Art Exhibition (Nov 13–March 3) is where you paint your own boards. Boards provided.
NORTHWEST AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM
• 2300 S Massachusetts St, 518-6000, naamnw.org, open Wed–Sun
Bearing Witness from Another Place (through Sept 29): photographs of James Baldwin's exile in Turkey.
book of the bound (Dec 15–March 10) is Caletta Carrington Wilson's latest series of collages, which meld text and image to create narratives that touch on silence and language, on freedom and oppression.
SEATTLE ASIAN ART MUSEUM
• 1400 E Prospect St, Volunteer Park, 654-3100, seattleartmuseum .org, open Wed–Sun
The permanent collection (ongoing) is full of treasures to be discovered for a first time and rediscovered anew. The wall of diminutive snuffboxes—each one delicately painted with a scene that draws you into its tiny alternate reality—is itself enough to warrant multiple visits.
Where Have They Been? Two Overlooked Chinese Female Artists (through Dec 30): Chang Ch'ung-ho Frankel and Lu Wujiu are both in their 90s. For most of their lives, their husbands' careers have overshadowed their own; this is their much-deserved close-up.
TACOMA ART MUSEUM
• 1701 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, 253-272-4258, tacomaartmuseum.org, open Wed–Sun
Andy Warhol's Flowers for Tacoma (through Feb 10) is a series of illustrations and photographs exploring the artist's use of floral imagery, with a focus on Warhol's 1982 proposal for the Tacoma Dome.
Memories and Meditations: A Retrospective of Michael Kenna (through March 24): geographically diverse photographs of timelessness from the British-born, Seattle-based artist.
Best of the Northwest: Selected Paintings from the Collection (through March 17): stylistically diverse works dating from the early 20th century through today.
WING LUKE MUSEUM
• 719 S King St, 623-5124, wingluke.org, open Tues–Sun
Unfolding the Art of Paper (through Jan 6) goes beyond origami to explore all things paper.
George Nakashima: A Master's Furniture and Philosophy (through Jan 20) is furniture, architectural sketches, and drawings by a remarkably skilled craftsman who had the misfortune of being Japanese in Seattle during World War II. Despite having earned degrees from both the University of Washington and MIT, Nakashima found himself imprisoned in Camp Minidoka upon his return to Seattle in the 1940s. This exhibition traces a lifetime's worth of work.
Fashion: Workroom to Runway (through April 21) uses personal stories to follow the whole trajectory of garment creation, including the murky questions that fashion raises with regard to stereotypes of beauty and labor ethics.
Uprooted and Invisible (Dec 7–Aug 18) looks at the phenomenon of "hidden homelessness" from an Asian American perspective.
• 2045 Westlake Ave, 233-0680, antgallery.org, open Mon–Sun
Potpourri (Dec 1–Jan 3) brings together a maelstrom of materials from Harry Bonnette...The Women of Art/Not Terminal (Dec 1–Jan 3) features Reba Bigelow, Shirley Travis, and an array of other female artists...Aubry Anderson (Jan 5–27) shows paintings under the title Illustrious Characters...Art Nouveau Photography (Feb 2–24) from Johnny Bean.
Art on the Ridge
• 8005 Greenwood Ave N, 510-3421, artontheridge.com, open Mon–Thurs and Sat
Matthew Scott: It's only a matter of time (Dec 1–Jan 4) is the last show for Art on the Ridge, this final exhibition ruminating on notions of uncertainty and ending.
• 512 First Ave S, 839-0377, artxchange.org, open Tues–Sat
Elaine Hanowell: Dog, Monkey, Crow (through Jan 26) is hand-carved sculptures of animals.
• 4711 California Ave SW, 938-0963, artswest.org, open Tues–Sat
A Feast for the Eyes: Food in Art (through Dec 15) Christopher Boffoli, Kristen Reitz-Green, and Jere Smith are trying to make people hungry...In the Mind and on the Street (Dec 18–Feb 9) is paintings and photographs by Justin Behnken, Fabienne Rideti, Ryan Doran.
Bainbridge Arts and Crafts
• 151 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge, 842-3132, bacart.org, open Mon–Sun
FRUITCAKE: Eccentric and Eclectic Treats for the Holidays (Dec 7–31) is an alliterative show of "food, family, and fruitcake" by 35 artists...Christopher Mathie, Larry McCaffrey, and Kay Walsh (Jan 4–30) work in three decidedly different mediums: Mathie paints, McCaffrey plays with plasma welders, and Walsh takes photographs...Super Heroes We'd Like to See (Feb 1–25)—maybe it could include Find Your Lost Keys Man?...Mixed Nuts (Feb 1–25), where kids get the opportunity to do everything that grown-up artists do, hopefully minus the looming specters of crippling self-doubt and financial pressure. These student artists write their statements, sign contracts, and learn about the relationship between gallery and artist...Desktop, Laptop, Tablet, Phone (March 1–April 1): Karin Schminke curates a show of works created solely on screened devices.
• 312 N 85th St, Suite 101, 234-8348, bherdstudios.com, open Wed–Fri
Picture Perfect (through Dec 15): paintings by five artists on the theme of how people relate to the "wild and woolly"...New End (Jan 11–Feb 1): Dylan Neuwirth and Jeff Gerber team up as the collective #TRACKSTARS to create a meditation on emptiness...Southern Gothic: Dark Fantasy from Portland (Feb 8–March 1), the gallery's fourth all-female show, features five Portland artists on the line between fantasy and reality. In partnership with Tasty Gallery, 10 percent of show proceeds will be donated to New Beginnings to aid the fight against domestic violence.
• 1718 E Olive Way, Suite A, 328-5100, blindfoldgallery.com, open Wed–Sun
Max Kraushaar and Graham Downing: HMPAITG?AOT (Dec 5–21) wins points for being a truly unintelligible acronym. What does it stand for, you ask? How Many People Are In That Graveyard? All of Them. And what does that mean? It has something to do with the aesthetics of cheesy horror movies and "direct-to-VHS" releases...Ryan Finnerty and Anne Petty (Jan 2–27) show new works...Quilt Show (Jan 30–Feb 24), just when you want to curl up in warm blankets.
The Camp Out
• 202 Yesler Way, thecampout.org, see website for details
Shunpike's beloved Storefronts program, in which empty storefronts become temporary homes for artists' projects, continues its trend of facilitating awesomeness with The Camp Out (through Feb 28). For three months, The Camp Out functions as a venue for furthering both the seeing-of and the discussing-of queer art. With a visual lineup featuring Melanie Valera (Tender Forever), Joey Veltkamp, and Clyde Petersen (Your Heart Breaks), and a stellar series of events and programming that includes such gems as Veltkamp and Jeffry Mitchell interviewing each other, the only negative comment we have about The Camp Out is that we're already disappointed that it will only exist for three months.
• 5701 Sixth Ave S, 728-1980, cocaseattle.org, open Mon–Fri
2012 CoCA Annual Exhibition (Dec 29–March 8) is a group show.
Columbia City Gallery
• 4864 Rainier Ave S, 760-9843, columbiacitygallery.com, open Wed–Sun
Tina Albro, Bill and Kathryn Booze, Christian Gollub, Carol Hershman, Elinor Maroney, Sarah Parent, and Olivia Zapata (through Jan 13) showing jewelry, ceramics, and small works...Northwest Designer Craftsmen (through Jan 13) is a group show of many mediums (glass, ceramic, fiber, wood, metal, and more).
Cornish College of the Arts
• 1000 Lenora St, 726-5011, cornish.edu/exhibitions, open Mon–Fri
Skype Skulpt Studio (through Dec 15): Genius Award–winner Susan Robb gets on Skype with another artist and they create. It happens in the gallery, as a performance, and afterward, the video and the sculptures are installed on pedestals and monitors in the gallery. The final live Skyping takes place on closing day, including Lead Pencil Studio and Berlin artist Gary Schultz co-sculpting with Robb...Ils Disent (through Dec 15) is an all-male response to the female-centric programming surrounding Elles, complete with a controversial piece pulled from the show...Design Faculty Exhibition (Jan 18–March 2): Cornish design instructors show the work they make outside of their teaching practice.
• 603 S Main St, 919-8278, cullom gallery.com, open Wed–Sat
High Five (through Dec 29) celebrates Cullom Gallery's fifth anniversary by showing five works each by the gallery's five most popular artists...Each moment we live our lives shine (Dec 6–Jan 26) pairs drawings by Amanda Manitach, Jayong Yoon, and Martha Tuttle with poems by Jane Cope, Tamar Nachmany, and Valeria Tsygankova...Nostalgia and Progress: 20th-Century Japanese Prints (Dec 12–Feb 23) are pre–World War II Japanese woodblocks...Air and Mist (Feb 2–March 2) is woodblock prints by Nunik Sauret.
• 313 Occidental Ave S, 624-7684, davidsongalleries.com, open Tues–Sat
The Dutch Landscape in Woodcuts (Jan 3–Feb 2): woodcuts that capture ephemeral landscapes by Grietje Postma...The Photographs of Norman Durkee (Jan 3–Feb): while best known as musical director of Teatro Zinzanni, Durkee also ventures into photography...Monumental Collographs (Feb 7–March 3) is Jenny Robinson's show of dauntingly large etchings that muse on decay.
Echo Echo Gallery
• 8537 Greenwood Ave N, 633-1236, echoechogallery.com, open every second Fri
Deck the Walls (Dec 7–Jan 10): Do your holiday shopping as you buy your underground art from an underground (literally) gallery featuring underground artists...Sleepwalkers (Jan 11–Feb 7) turns the gallery's artists loose on the theme of sleep...Borderlands (Feb 8–March 7) is landscape paintings by artists who don't ordinarily paint landscapes in any traditional sense.
• 1201 S Vale St, 658-0110, fantagraphics.com, open Mon–Sun
Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez: 30 Years of Love and Rockets (Dec 8–Jan 9)...Sketches (Jan 13–Feb 6) from the always interesting and usually genre-bending Jim Woodring.
• 2407 First Ave, 349-2509, form spaceatelier.com, open Wed–Sat
Sam Birchman: Sketches and Collage (Dec 14–Jan 5): a collection of works on paper by the wonder-inspiring Seattle artist (who comes from a line of wonder-inspiring Seattle artists), with topics ranging from everything from sausages to toothpaste to friends. Maybe the sausage and toothpaste are even friends...Faceting the Surface (Jan 11–March 2): Lindsey Colburn's site-specific installation playing with surfaces and human impact.
• 220 Third Ave S, 622-2833, fosterwhite.com, open Tues–Sat
In Costume (through Dec 24): decorated ceramic dress forms from post-pop/funk sculptor George Rodriguez—this should be a blast...Shawn Huckins (through Dec 24) examines the contrast between 18th-century and contemporary communication by asking such questions as "What would George Washington tweet?"...Eternalism (Jan 3–31): Bobbie Burgers explores the malleability of her own point of view...Whole Cloth and Mirrors (Feb 7–28) is a series of paintings home to bizarre characters from the mind of James Martin.
Francine Seders Gallery
• 6701 Greenwood Ave N, 782-0355, sedersgallery.com, open Tues–Sun
Highlights from 2012/Preview of 2013 (Nov 16–Dec 23) is exactly what it sounds like...Lauri Chambers: Paintings and Drawings (Jan 4–27), the latest from the grand Seattle abstractionist...Pat De Caro: Drawings (Feb 1–March 3), the latest from the grand spelunker of childhood memory, and the winner of the 2012 Yvonne Twining Humber Award.
G. Gibson Gallery
• 300 S Washington St, 587-4033, ggibsongallery.com, open Wed–Sat
Homage to Elles (through Dec 22): work by the gallery's female artists...Michael Kenna: In France (through Dec 22): photographs of French landscapes...Gallery Artists Group Show (Jan 3–24)...Joann Verburg (Jan 25–March 2): a mid-career survey.
• 1501 10th Ave E, 323-4243, gageacademy.org, open Mon–Sun
Jethaniel Peterka (through Jan 6) makes oil paintings that depict dark Victorian-style oddities...Urban Graphite: Images of Architecture and Industry (Jan 11–Feb 15): Steve Costie manipulates horizon lines to create visions that teeter on the point of recognition... The Constant Image (Feb 22–March 29) is Fiona McGuigan's series of obsessively re-created ink drawings and collages that raise questions about the accessibility of memory... Lay of the Land (Jan 7–Oct 5): a student showcase of landscapes... 7th Annual Spitting Image Self-Portrait Competition (Feb 22–March 29): students embrace the self-referential in this annual self-portrait show.
• 110 Third Ave S, 624-9336, gallery110.com, open Wed–Sat
Boxism (Dec 6–29): both gallery display spaces are turned over to boxes—concept-based boxes in the main gallery, and pizza-based (by which we mean each piece starts as a pizza box) boxes in the small gallery...Betty Sapp Ragan: Looking Up (Jan 3–26): hand-colored photo collages of pre-modern ornamental architecture... Sabe Lewellyn: Strange Glue (Jan 3–26) is a series of collaged images of found objects, assembled to resemble the exteriors of buildings. Sounds sticky.
• 123 S Jackson St, 625-0055, galleryima.com, open Tues–Sat
ENDS WITH A BANG! (NOT A WHIMPER) (Dec 6–29) finishes the year on a noisy note with work by Graham Fracha, Beth Adams, Cyrus Chartres, David Ivan Clark, Mieko Hara, Eric Olson, Rebecca Shortle, C.L. Utley, and Rickie Wolfe. Ann Vandervelde & Anne McDuffie: Ann(e) (Jan 3–31) is a collaboration between the painter and poet, respectively... Lori Swartz (Feb 7–28) challenges viewers to create their own narratives in her abstracted canvases.
• 101 Prefontaine Pl S, 296-7580, galleries.4culture.org, open Mon–Fri
Itinerancies (Dec 7–28) is Mario Lemafa's photographic exploration of his many homes... Behind the Curve (Jan 3–Feb 1): video work from Stephen Sewell, in which the artist portrays himself in various acts of self-defeat... SELF (Feb 7–March 1): Rodrigo Valenzuela teams up with Anthony Sonnenberg to delve into "otherness."
• 504 E Denny Way, 832-6063, ghost-gallery.com, open Mon and Wed–Sun
Holiday Miniature Art Extravaganza (Dec 13–Jan 6): gift-sized art, all 8-by-8 inches or smaller... Group Print Show (Jan 10–Feb 8) with work by Ryan Molenkamp, Erin Kendig, Jess Rees, Izzie Klingels, Chris Sheridan, Ollie Glatzer, Amber Anderson, Logan Kornhauser, and more... Lydia Ashman (Feb 14–March 11): a very personal solo show responding to death and grief.
Greg Kucera Gallery
• 212 Third Ave S, 624-0770, greg kucera.com, open Tues–Sat
Gregory Blackstock (through Dec 29) shows his endearingly obsessive, list-centric work, cataloging such things as breeds of Labrador retrievers...Ladies' Choice: Works by Women Artists Chosen by Women Artists (through Dec 29) is exactly what it sounds like (one such pairing is Alice Wheeler and Stranger photographer Kelly O, another is Victoria Haven and Dawn Cerny)... Susan Skilling (Jan 3–Feb 16) shows textured gouache paintings of immersive patterns... Jeffrey Simmons (Jan 3–Feb 16) creates detailed watercolor paintings that look like the psychedelic, refracted points of light you see when you put pressure on your eyes... Ed Wicklander (Feb 21–March 30) shows sculpture... William Binnie (Feb 21–March 30): drawings and paintings.
• 319 Third Ave S, 223-0816, groverthurston.com, open Tues–Sat
Hindsight (through Dec 29): Terry Turrell's folk paintings and sculptures cobbled together from a charmingly eclectic mass of found objects...Gallery Artists (Jan 3–Feb 23) is a group show.
• Lee Center for the Arts at Seattle University, 901 12th Ave, 296-2244, hedreengallery.us, open Wed–Sat
The rug pulled out from underneath; you lie on the floor (through Jan 27) is a series of proposals about "gesture outside of gender," a quiet, lyrical puzzle with works by Dawn Cerny, Shaw Osha, Wynne Greenwood, and more.
Jack Straw Gallery
• 4261 Roosevelt Way NE, 634-0919, jackstraw.org, open Mon–Fri
Signal to Noise: Imagined Frequencies of Radiophonic Space (Jan 18–March 8): FM radio is a highly regulated sphere, but there's a whole wide world of radio in the more liminal realms of AM and shortwave. Amber Cortes creates four imaginary radio stations that call our attention to the underground side of the dial.
James Harris Gallery
• 312 Second Ave S, 903-6220, jamesharrisgallery.com, open Thurs–Sat
The gallery closes for the month of December, reopening with Richard Rezac: New Sculpture (Jan 30–Feb 16) and Eric Elliot: Pairings (Jan 30–Feb 16)...Akio Takamori (Feb 21–March 30) shows new sculptures.
Krab Jab Studio
• 5628 Airport Way S, Suite 246, 715-8593, krabjabstudio.com, open every second Sat
Anthony Waters Solo Show and Book Launch (Dec 8): a release for The Little Book of Pain...Raven Mimura (Jan 12–Feb 7): illustrative work...FAERIE! (Feb 9–28), a group show of fairy artists.
• 6007 12th Ave S, lengthbywidth byheight.com, open by appt
LxWxH Opening Reception (Dec 8–Dec 29) is the inaugural show of Sharon Arnold's brick-and-mortar gallery, with artists who have been featured in LxWxH's subscription-based boxes. With Joey Veltkamp, Serrah Russell, Brian Cypher, Kimberly Trowbridge, Ollie Glatzer, Amanda Manitach, Rumi Koshino, Ryan Molenkamp, Gretchen Bennett, and others...Bette Burgoyne (Jan 12–Feb 2) shows new work.
Linda Hodges Gallery
• 316 First Ave S, 624-3034, linda hodgesgallery.com, open Tues–Sat
David French (through Dec 29) mixes media on carved wood...New paintings by Gillian Theobald and Glen Clevenger (Jan 3–31)...New paintings by Helen O'Toole (Feb 7–28).
Lisa Harris Gallery
• 1922 Pike Place, 443-3315, lisa harrisgallery.com, open Mon–Sun
Richard Morhous: Line Paintings (Dec 6–30): brightly colored, geometric paintings of urban landscapes...Karen Kosoglad: Fields and Figures (Jan 3–Feb 3) ...Emily Wood: Recent Paintings (Feb 7–March 3).
Ltd. Art Gallery
• 307 E Pike St, 457-2970, ltdart gallery.com, open Tues–Sun
WHO SHOT FIRST?! (Dec 13–Jan 27): a multidisciplinary homage to all things Star Wars, including special costumed guests. Please let there be no Jar Jar... MINTcondition, Issue No. 2 (March 1–30) joins the madness of the Emerald City Comiccon with an all-comics show.
• 1203A Second Ave, 467-4927, m-i-a-gallery.com, open Tues–Sat
2012 Encore (through Dec 22): a recap of 2012 gallery exhibits...Sapeurs (Jan 25–Feb 28): Congolese artist Baudouin Mouanda's photographs of members of SAPE, Sociéte des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elégantes, or the Society of Party-Revelers and Elegant Persons (!).
M. Rosetta Hunter Gallery (at SCCC)
• 1701 Broadway, 934-4379, seattlecentral.edu/artgallery, open Mon–Fri
Tatiana Garmendia: Veils of Ignorance (Jan 2–31): burned texts and sound installations that tell the stories of women who have been subject to violence.
• 1400 Second Ave, 682-3820, paper-hammer.com, open Mon–Sat
The Seduction of Color (through Dec 29) is photographs from the collection of Robert E. Jackson...Sculptural clocks by Patricia Leavengood (through Dec 29)...Robert Teeple (through Jan 31) creates an LED homage to the writers of the Beat generation.
Patricia Cameron Gallery
• 234 Dexter Ave N, 909-9096, patriciacamerongallery.com, open Mon–Fri
Milan Heger (through Jan 11) creates symbolically loaded paintings, drawings, and mixed-media sculptures.
Photographic Center Northwest
• 900 12th Ave, 720-7222, pcnw.org, open Mon–Sun
Social Order: Women Photographers from Iran, India, and Afghanistan (through Dec 15) Shadi Ghadirian, Gazelle Samizay, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, Manjari Sharma, and Priya Kambli show images of such things as feisty, veiled women posing with mirrors and boom boxes...ReVision: Photo Center NW Faculty Exhibition (Jan 2–28): From the teaching artists of Photo Center NW...Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows (Feb 1–March 28): images of mid-century American city life. The contents of this show were quite literally found in an abandoned storage locker, and have made a small sensation in the photography world since.
• 114 Third Ave S, 323-2808, platformgallery.com, open Wed–Sat
Elles: Platform (through Dec 15) is an all-female lineup with Jaq Chartier, Lauren Grossman, Patte Loper, Kelly Mark, Melissa Pokorny, and Ariana Page Russell...Adam Satushek: New Photographs (Jan 3–Feb 9)...Adam Ekberg: New Photographs (Feb 14–March 23).
• 3419 E Denny Way, 322-3851, prographicadrawings.com, open Wed–Sat
Annual Figurative Show (Dec 15–Jan 26): work by Shay Bredimus, Marsha Burns, Wes Christensen, Kim Frohsin, Phillip Levine, Tim Lowly, Robert Schultz, Stephen Schultz, and Romey Stuckart...The Bleak View (Feb 2–March 9): work by David Bailin, Sandow Birk, and Steve Costie.
• 119 Prefontaine Pl S, 621-1945, punchgallery.org, open Thurs–Sat
Arrest Me (through Dec 15): a juried exhibition...Mason Dixon (Jan 3–Feb 2) is an installation based on the Civil War, with promises of "lots of whiskey and gunpowder"...Cynthia Camlin (Feb 7–March 2) shows paintings.
Rare Medium Gallery
• 1321 E Pine St, 913-7538, raremediumseattle.com, open Wed–Sun
Intimate Separation (through Dec 9) is Juan Alanson, Danielle Comeaux, Eva Jung, and Ty Talbot tackling themes of space and alienation...Reliquiae (Jan 9–March 10): Bay Area artist Cameron McPherson's deconstructed exploration of the pencil as a material object, tool, and icon of obsolescence.
Roq La Rue
• 2312 Second Ave, 374-8977, roqlarue.com, open Wed–Sat
Let the Devil Wear Black (Dec 7–Jan 5) is Femke Hiemstra's mixed-media alternate reality of anthropomorphized objects that flit about with a dark cohort of animals...Disasterma (Dec 7–Jan 5): Ryan Heshka's painted foray into the iconography of pulp science fiction and its themes of science, technology, and unintended disaster...I'll Love You 'Til the End of the World (Jan 11–Feb 2) is a group show about coming to terms with the apocalypse that won't be happening in December (unless it does, in which case most of this is irrelevant). With Chris Berens, Camille Rose Garcia, John Brophy, Martin Wittfooth, Jean-Pierre Roy, Nicola Verlato, Laurie Lee Brom, and others...Sam Wolfe Connelly (Feb 8–March 2) does disquieting drawings of the mundane.
• 1222 NE Ravenna Blvd, 679-0706, season.cz, open by appt only
Nothing and No Thing (through Dec 31): a show featuring Bat Haus, a Boston collective well know for their haunting and ephemeral music as well as sculpture, photography, curatorial experiments, and performances.
Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs
Women's Stories is a series of narrative-based works taken from the City of Seattle's collection (Jan 8–March 29, Seattle Municipal Tower Gallery, 700 Fifth Ave, open Mon–Fri)...Ethiopian Art: Tradition, Assimilation, and Modification includes work by 10 Seattle-based artists of Ethiopian descent (Jan 3–March 4, City Hall Lobby Gallery, 600 Fourth Ave, open Mon–Fri).
• 306 S Washington St, #105, shift studio.org, open Fri–Sat and first Thurs
Shift of Perspective (Dec 6–29) is a group show on the topic of change...New Year (Jan 3–Feb 2) presents new work by new members of the studio...Dawn P. Endean (Feb 7–March 2): scientifically inspired work about living organisms.
• 112 Third Ave S, 264-8061, soilart.org, open Wed–Sat
Pacific Motel (Dec 5–29) is a collaboration of collage and installation between Maggie Carson Romano and Serrah Russell that arose from a vacation at a roadside motel...YOU THARMY:) (Dec 5–29): Seth Damm joins forces with high school student Kazel Wood to create work about the uncomfortable and uncertain moments before ideas come together...Plant Bodies (Jan 2–Feb 2): found and collected materials from Ryan Aragon and Allyce Wood...Knit'in Paintin' (Jan 2–Feb 2) is Paul Komada chil'in as he brings two traditions together...Magic Sync (Feb 6–March 2): an interactive audiovisual piece from Andy Arkley, Courtney Barnebey, and Peter Lynch that promises a "bank of arcade buttons"...FlotsamJetsamLagan: The Oneness (Feb 6–March 2) shows works on paper by Cable Griffith (who has a day job as the curator at Cornish), with an emphasis on curiosity over cohesion.
• 119 S Jackson St, 405-4040, stoningtongallery.com, open Mon–Sun
Treasures of the Northwest: A Group Exhibition (Dec 6–Jan 25): natural treasures by Haida master artist Bill Reid...During February and March, the gallery will be moving—but only two doors down on the same street, and the gallery will remain open during the move.
• 2324 Second Ave, 256-0809, suyamapetersondeguchi.com/art, open Mon–Fri
Ruffle (through Dec 7) is Gail Grinnell's devouring, translucent cut-paper universe of lightly tea-and-coffee-stained drawings of dress ruffles. The ruffles dangle from the ceiling and whirl in tunnels midair and cling to the rafters, and they give the ashy appearance of something obliterated, something after a disaster, just before it falls to dust—it's no surprise to learn that the artist was born, in 1950, and grew up in Hanford...Deborah Aschheim: Threshold (Jan 21–April 13) is an installation containing the artist's ideas about the idiosyncratic fallibility of memory.
• 7513 Greenwood Ave N, 706-3020, shoptastyart.com, open Tues–Sun
Gifted (Dec 11–Jan 31): a large group show of holiday-priced work...Tarts, Trollops, and Tramps (Feb 3–March 5) is an all-female lineup in conjunction with Bherd Studios, and part of the proceeds goes to an organization that works to end domestic violence.
True Love Art Gallery
• 1525 Summit Ave, 227-3572, trueloveart.com, open Tues–Sat
Super Smart Art Mart (Dec 15–Jan 7): Yup, it's that time of year. A cash-and-carry show of art from David Cho, Scott Dalrymple, George Long, H. Lee Porter, Gregory Moon, Emmett Montgomery, and others...Dystopia (Jan 10–Feb 11): Sating the craving for the apocalypse. With Xavier Lopez, Yvette Endrijautzki, Chris Sheridan, Larkin Cypher, Brian K. Ward, and others...Queens, Crowns, and Cameos (Feb 14–March 11) is a show of all things drag queen.
• 1508 11th Ave, 709-9797, vermillionseattle.com, open Tues–Sun
Derek Erdman has been pretty busy curating hilarious shows at his own gallery, Derek Erdman's International House of Paintings (IHOP), but for this month he graces Vermillion's walls with Nikki Burch and Brittany Kusa (December)...Oscillate (January): Shelly Farham and Anne Blackburn pull artists from the Dorkbot community and the ranks of University of Washington's DXArts (Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media) making art about light and movement...Ron Ulicny, Raymond Kempe, James Mullen, and Matjames Mason take over (February) with Assemblage.
Winston Wächter Fine Art
• 203 Dexter Ave N, 652-5855, winstonwachter.com, open Mon–Sat
Petits Tableaux: A Group Exhibition of Small Works (through Dec 21) is new paintings by Chris Pfister...Indigo Blue (through Dec 21) showcases Piper O'Neill's treatment of obscure footage from Seattle's 1962 World's Fair, passing it through the lens of the artist's trippy, post-Victorian sensibility...Klavier-Stücke (Jan 15–Feb 28): The MacArthur-winning New Yorker profile subject Trimpin—who happens to be a Seattle artist—is paying homage to the 100th birthdays of the late John Cage and Conlon Nancarrow with a series of deconstructed pianos that make music based on a set of colored screen prints on the wall. The prints are read by a motorized robot arm, which translates colors into musical cues sent to the pianos. Also expect: a work of art that operates like a vending machine. Put in a quarter and a window rolls up to reveal—wait for it—a Thomas Kinkade painting Trimpin hilariously owns (it was a gift, he says by way of disavowal; "Kinkade was one of those hypocritical Christians," Trimpin continues. "Did you know he peed on Winnie the Pooh once?"). As of press time, Trimpin was still breathlessly searching for his Kinkade, which he had somehow misplaced.
Woodside Braseth Gallery
• 2101 Ninth Ave, 622-7243, woodsidebrasethgallery.com, open Tues–Sat
Small Works: Our 51st Annual Holiday Exhibition (Dec 8–29): recently acquired works by Northwest Masters and others...Paintings & Drawings by Northwest Master Kenneth Callahan (Jan 2–Feb 8) is a survey from the 1950s through the 1980s... New Paintings by Michael Stasinos (Feb 9–March 9) is oils of cityscapes and "street furniture."
Wright Exhibition Space
• 407 Dexter Ave N, open Thurs and Sat
a rose is a rose is a rose (through Jan 17) is another mixing of works from the stellar Wright collection, this time selected and installed by SAM's modern and contemporary curator, Catharina Manchanda.
• 171 S Jackson St, 583-0497, zeit geistcoffee.com, open Mon–Sun
Featherfolio (Dec 6–Jan 2) showcases the detailed shadow boxes of Chris Maynard, who takes surgical tools to feathers to create intricate interplays of light and dark—which, in addition to being slightly obsessive, just so happen to be adorable.
Paul Elliman: Artist Talk
The London-based artist, designer, and all-around smarty-pants whose work is included in the current Henry exhibition Now Here Is Also Nowhere (Part 1) often creates art that essentially consists of what he's called "talking signs." He uses found city sounds—he once conducted sirens tours of New York—or sound illusions taken from cinema and inserted into real urban environments (or he's also created new fonts made of old typographies). His contribution at the ephemeral exhibition Now Here fills a tunnel-type chamber off to the side of one of the galleries with recordings of wind taken from movies. In there, you swear it's cooler. He's here to talk about his work, seen across Europe and the United States.
• Henry Art Gallery, 15th Ave NE and NE 41st St, henryart.org, 7 pm, $10.
'57 Biscayne Holiday Open House and Gift Sale
The resident artists of the Scheuerman Building open up. In addition to the gift-friendly jewelry, paintings, letterpress cards and posters, and ever-so-much-more, the lobby is home to Ex Voto Machina, a "neuroprosthetic, large-scale mechatronic artwork" by Meghan Trainor, which sounds dangerous, exciting, and like just what Dad wants for Hanukkah.
• '57 Biscayne, 110 Cherry St, 57biscayne.com, 6–9 pm
Morality Tales: American Art and Social Protest
Patricia Junker, SAM's curator of American art, discusses how the social upheaval of the 1930s and '40s fundamentally changed the landscape of the American art establishment as artists turned to their work as a means to channel their outrage.
• Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave, seattleartmuseum.org, 11 am–noon, $10
This here's a party for Jeffry Mitchell, "Seattle's BFF" and the subject of the 25-year retrospective exhibition Like a Valentine. In the friendly spirit of the artist, his friends will lead a tour of the exhibition at 2 pm—having the artists' friends give a tour is a brilliant idea almost never employed in the formal art world—followed by a reception and chain-saw bear sale. CHAIN-SAW BEAR SALE. You get to choose from a selection of chain-saw bears picked by Mitchell and fellow Seattle artist Claude Zervas, who drove around the Olympic Peninsula finding them.
• Henry Art Gallery, 15th Ave NE and NE 41st St, henryart.org, 1–3 pm, $10
Deborah Willis, Chair and Professor of Photography and Imaging at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, discusses Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, Paris with a focus on portrayals of race and gender.
• Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave, seattleartmuseum.org, 7 pm, $10
Jenny Holzer, whose work is on display in Elles: SAM, pulls philosophical and intellectual writings into her pieces to further the conversation about power dynamics and feminism. She speaks in Seattle with SAM's curator of modern and contemporary art, Catharina Manchanda.
• Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave, seattleartmuseum.org, 7 pm, $10
Rebecca Brown: Writing from a Reckless Inner Need
The Seattle writer leads a rousing closing tour for the large, cross-disciplinary Frye exhibition Mw [Moment Magnitude].
• Frye Museum, 704 Terry Ave, fryemuseum.org, 3–4 pm, free
Organizers Susan Robb and Sierra Stinson return for a second year of this homage to the cyclic and spiritual roles played by darkness, light, and gray in the Northwest. Intentionally scheduled for "what has been scientifically proven to be the worst, most depressing day of the year," this sprawling weekend of mixed-media installations, music, and food is an invitation to celebrate the light.
• The Sweater Factory, 1415 NW 52nd St, onnof.us
Plastics Experts Talk
In conjunction with Plastics: Unwrapped, the Burke brings together 10 plastic experts and gives each of them six minutes and 20 slides to cover the complex world of the material, both in terms of its incredible malleability and its troublesome environmental impacts.
• Neptune Theater, 1303 NE 45th St, stgpresents.org, 7 pm, $5
Annual Gala Benefit for the Henry
Honor Genius Award–winner Jeffry Mitchell (and support the Henry!) in the most delicious way—with cocktails and a sure-to-be-great dinner prepared by John Sundstrom of Lark. (See henryart.org for details.)
•The Henry Gallery, 15th Ave NE and NE 41st St, henryart.org, 6 pm
Artist Trust Benefit Art Auction
Every year, Artist Trust gives tens of thousands of dollars to individual artists to support their creative ideas right "at the source," as their slogan truthfully goes. This auction benefits them. On top of it, people walk out with screaming art deals.
• Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center, see artisttrust.org for details