Don't stay home. You're going to need two kinds of art in the days and months to come. You're going to need the kind that calms you down and the kind that riles you up. As New York artist Marilyn Minter told Artnet.com, if you don't want to see a Trump elected again, here are your operating instructions: "Feel the pain, until it passes thru you. Regroup, get angry, get tough, take notes."
You won't be able to do the second sentence unless you do the first, so here are some works of art you can see now in Seattle that will get you started on both, focusing on art made by LGBTQ people, immigrants, people of color, and women—anybody Trump's campaign hatred targeted.
On election night, I heard people say they'd left their bodies and felt like they couldn't get back in. Rape victims talk about leaving their bodies to shield themselves from the full impact of the attack. What might help now is art made from pain and unafraid to claim it and name it. Each of the sculptures and installations in Seattle artist MKNZ's show is named after a real person from her history. But it's an expansive show that offers safety to those who need it, centering for marginalized bodies, and the possibility of re-embodiment itself. I'd go straight to the two installations titled after females, Charmeesha and Diana, made of girls' barrettes and Paul Mitchell shampoo tinted pink with blush. Each one is an immersive dream of finding shelter and being in your own skin. (Glass Box Gallery, Wed–Sat)
Emily Gherard: Making Presence Known
For quiet contemplation and wonder, we need Seattle artist Emily Gherard's living, breathing drawings of something—they hint at rocks or shadows or sheer presences. They, somehow, feel like company. With them, you aren't alone. Also, Bridge Productions is offering its space to anybody in need of community right now, so the spirit is in the walls. (Bridge Productions, Wed–Sat)
For the last seven years, while Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker was director and Robin Held and Scott Lawrimore (with others) worked as curators and educators, the Frye has been the largest institution devoted to the most urgent social, emotional, and intellectual questions of contemporary life. This show is a haunting reincarnation of what we are in danger of losing, with sterling, relevant works by Seattle artists Inye Wokoma, DK Pan, C. Davida Ingram, Cris Bruch, Degenerate Art Ensemble, Implied Violence, Jeffry Mitchell, Susie Lee, and Mark Calderon. On November 19 at 2 p.m., the museum presents a free conversation on national issues titled Seeing Art: A Multidisciplinary, Critical Discourse on Twenty-First-Century Art Practice with artists Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, Bruch, and Sandy Cioffi, and Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat. (Frye Art Museum, Tues–Sun)
Isabel Rorick and her son Robin Rorick descend from Haida art royalty—her great-grandparents were Isabella and Charles Edenshaw. Charles was born in 1839 and worked as a master carver at a time of violent, intense hardship for his indigenous people in what we today refer to as British Columbia. Isabel is the most respected living spruce root weaver on the coast, and Robin a great carver. For this show, Robin will paint on his mother's weavings the way Charles did on Isabella's. (Stonington Gallery, Mon-Sun)
Jean-Claude Moschetti: Parallel Worlds
A traveler throughout West Africa, Jean-Claude Moschetti makes photographs that draw together beauty, power, and spirit as people present to his camera their own emblems and rituals. (Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, Wed–Sat)
It's not just that local queer and trans filmmakers will screen their shorts here, it's also that the screening will be followed by a one-on-one, five-minute-interval speed-friending event to build community, and a social hour with refreshments after that. (Seattle Public Library, Sun Nov 20)
Judith Cooper Haden: The Women of the Milpa
These black-and-white photographs of Oaxacan women cooking are a testament to the wisdom of the elders and the fullness of time. The farmers and cooks have returned to indigenous traditions in the face of economic and environmental devastation, and their determination in these images is quiet and undeniable. (Seattle Central College, Mon–Fri)
Manuel Arturo Abreu: resilience
Manuel Arturo Abreu is a poet and artist from the Bronx, and part of the Dominican diaspora. "I find myself with one foot in both the 'displaced person' and 'privileged Westerner' categories," he told Rhizome. "The former denies me access to my provenance, while the latter affords me a certain level of protection." His multimedia work is oblique, reflective, and brilliant. (INCA, Wed–Sat)
Inscape artist studios are in the building that formerly imprisoned detained immigrants. Go to this event to connect with people there, and also to remember those before them, by visiting the remaining scrawled names by former prisoners on the upper balcony. (Inscape, Sat Nov 19)
Mark Calderon: Show of Hands
Seattle artist Mark Calderon's lovely sculptures can be subdued, but new pieces made of mica are political. They're hands, based on an example from the prehistoric North American "Hopewell" culture of a hand made from cut mica. One pair of hands rises to amplify a voice. It's called Cry: Cry, then cry out. (Greg Kucera Gallery, Tues–Sat)
These 33 posters dating back to the founding of the United States and from all across the world are motivation to watch for vicious, racist imagery crusading as patriotic. (Northwest African American Museum, Wed–Sun)
On the subject of doing what's doable, let's sit down and talk to figure out our own particular roles as "organizers and cultural workers... in the struggles to come." (Vermillion, Tues Nov 22)
The Bureau of Arts & Culture by PDL
Starting December 1, King Street Station will host 21 art proposals "designed to trigger a new enthusiasm for the direction of our city and how art can play a vital role in our future... tackling issues such as homelessness, gun violence, urban growth, cultural tourism, arts education, and human trafficking." Part of the show is the Give Gallery, where if you donate blood between November 28 and December 16 through Bloodworks, you can take home, free, a work of art by a local artist from the gallery, including Jeffry Mitchell, Crystal Barbre, Charles Peterson, June Sekiguchi, Warren Dykeman, and Amanda Manitach. The Give Gallery will be open 6 to 10 p.m. Dec 1, and noon to 6 p.m. Dec 3–4, 10–11, and 17–18. (King Street Station, opening night Dec 1)
The fierce satirical feminist collagist is at it again. (4Culture, Mon–Fri)
A few more in brief: Guerrilla Girls on Tour 2016—17 at Form/Space Atelier), In•dig•e•nize at Daybreak Star Center, Three Days in Standing Rock at Vermillion, 30 Americans at Tacoma Art Museum, Pick Your Poison: Politics in Print at Davidson Galleries, MOTHA and Chris E. Vargas Present: Transhirstory in 99 Objects at Henry Art Gallery, We Are the Ocean: An Indigenous Response to Climate Change at Wing Luke Museum.