Known for their almost painfully über-hip and high-concept interior-design work, Future Machine is Seattle creative design studio Electric Coffin’s first foray into the realm of fine art in a museum. The installation will change and transform over the next several months at Bellevue Arts Museum. Bellevue Art Museum

Find a complete list of art shows and events in Seattle this spring on our Things To Do calendar.

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Victoria Haven: Blue Sun
This dramatically large wall drawing was inspired by artist Victoria Haven's video project about the transformation of South Lake Union, in which she saw the sun appear as a blue dot reflected through the lens.


Chuck Close Photographs
Very little freshness has been revealed of the portraitist Chuck Close in the last few years. I’m not sure what unquenched curiosity is satisfied by this exhibition, of 90 of his photo-based pieces over the years, from maquettes for paintings to Polaroids and daguerrotypes. What I do recommend on the occasion of this show is to read Wil S. Hylton’s recent story in the New York Times Magazine, “The Mysterious Metamorphosis of Chuck Close,” which is the freshest thing to happen to Chuck Close in years. It goes, “One of the things you hear people say about Close now, with the supposed benefit of hindsight, is that the medical catastrophe he suffered in 1988, which took his mobility and nearly killed him, also revolutionized his work… forced him to abandon the conventions of realism and develop a novel way of painting: dividing his canvas into a grid and then filling one square at a time to create a dynamic neo-pointillist effect. This is a tidy, bow-wrapped narrative, which should be the first indication that it’s wrong. Something about Close seems to invite this sort of pop-psych exegesis.” JEN GRAVES

Swedish Crime Scenes
Do you number among the junkies of Swedish crime literature? Starting with Per Wahlöö and Maj Sjöwall and continuing through Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson, Swedes have been among the most darkly inventive mystery authors on the planet. Is it something to do with the spookiness of their landscapes? This Nordic Heritage Museum exhibit might give you an idea: "From Gotland in the east to Fjällbacka in the west, from Ystad in the south up to Kiruna in the north, the country is seen in a new perspective: via murder investigations where the focus is not only on the crime but also on the Swedish welfare model and human psychology." Learn about the authors and the landscapes with which they populate Sweden's underworldly dwellers.


Everything has been material for scissors to shape
This exhibit explores textiles and textile-making through works by contemporary artists of Asian heritage, commenting on the "myth and the everyday, commodity cultures and identity, and evidence and narratives of women’s labors."

Jim Woodring: The Pig Went Down to the Harbor at Sunrise and Wept
Jim Woodring's meticulous and inventive comics earned him a Stranger Genius Award in literature in 2010. About his first full-length graphic novel, Weathercraft, Paul Constant wrote, "Because of Woodring's dense, obsessive line work—the man can't even draw a sky without adding 37 meticulous squiggles dancing from the top of the panel to give the impression of a distant haze—his stories feel longer, and maybe more involved, than they really are." This solo exhibition will feature a series of large ink drawings created using a comically oversized fountain pen (that Woodring made himself).


Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series
Last year around this time, I was so excited about the Museum of Modern Art's exhibition of all 60 of Jacob Lawrence's paintings of the Great Migration that I wrote about it, even though I couldn't get there to see the art in person. But now all 60 panels—all 60 panels!—are coming to Seattle Art Museum. This is the first time they've been seen all together on the West Coast in two decades. Lawrence lived the last years of his life in Seattle, teaching at the University of Washington, so the venue makes good sense. At MoMA, it was the first time in two decades they'd been seen together on the East Coast. It nearly takes an act of heaven itself for it to happen, since half of the series is held at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, and the other half at MoMA. MoMA's iteration included works of poetry, music, and photography, to place the 23-year-old Lawrence, whose own parents fled north, in the creative context of his peers. The exhibition was appealing and in-depth, unlike the all-too-often "uniformly flat-footed and sentimentalist uses of Jacob Lawrence,” described by Darby English. JEN GRAVES


Divine Ammunition: The Sculpture of Al Farrow
In introducing this exhibition—in which Al Farrow creates sculptures of reliquaries, cathedrals, synagogues, mosques, mausoleums, and devotional objects using guns and ammunition—the press release says delicately that Farrow "denigrates no one belief in his work, being mindful, discriminating, and probing toward all." But the simpler fact is that all of his objects are as terrible as beautiful, and they suggest that our strongest devotions inspire our greatest blind violence. The implications are painful and real, and the ornate pieces are a sight to see, more likable than we might wish them to be given their materials. JEN GRAVES

Jennifer West
This large-scale installation by Los Angeles-based artist Jennifer West is made up of a series of manipulated 70mm filmstrips hung from the ceiling.


Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection
This survey exhibit of landscape paintings from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection will span continents and centuries, highlighting work by an eclectic group of artists including Jan Brueghel, Canaletto, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, J.M.W. Turner, Gustav Klimt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, David Hockney, Gerhard Richter, and Ed Ruscha.


Inye Wokoma: An Elegant Utility
Using everyday artifacts from his grandfather’s life—a catcher’s mask, family photographs, legal ledgers, and old magazines—artist and filmmaker Inye Wokoma has created a poignant sanctuary at the Northwest African American Museum for the enduring legacy of an African American family’s daily life in Seattle’s (now almost completely gentrified) Central District. Wokoma’s work explores the complex space where ancestry, identity, and displacement meet—his piece at the Frye Art Museum last fall, This Is Who We Are, imagined a ritual where his ancestors are introduced to ancestral Duwamish tribal members. Now, with An Elegant Utility, Wokoma becomes the artist-as-ethnographer, gracefully recontextualizing his personal and family history into the larger context of structural racism, redlining, and the story of African Americans in Seattle. AMBER CORTES


MOTHA and Chris E. Vargas present: Transhirstory in 99 Objects
First came the British Museum’s The History of the World in 100 Objects in 2010, then the Smithsonian’s The History of America in 101 Objects as a response, and now, here, is Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects, organized by the Bellingham-based artist Chris E. Vargas under the auspices of his “imaginary” Museum of Transgender Hirstory and Art (MOTHA). Quantifying, simplifying, and boasting are three of the tenets of institutional life, and they’re three that suit particularly badly a “hirstory” of people defined by changing definitions of gender, gender identity, and sexuality—and this is why Vargas set out on this quixotic but fascinating project. What’s on display are videos, archival materials, and garments focused on the experiences of transgender people living in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest through time, including Nell Pickerall, whose life was a media hit and a personal struggle (also known as Harry Allen and Harry Livingston), and Ingersoll Gender Center Founder Marsha Botzer. Vargas’s work is an experiment in pushing against the problems of categorization and memorialization. JEN GRAVES


African Renaissances
This exhibit highlights the power of the African continent by imagining a futuristic renaissance, featuring regalia and furnishings that were originally seen in the courts of the Benin, Asante, Kom, and Kuba kingdoms, alongside art created by Maasai, Fulani, and Ndebele women, as well as contributions—including a music video—from Baba Tendai, a contemporary musical leader living in Seattle.


Electric Coffin: Future Machine
Known for their almost painfully über-hip and high-concept interior-design work that elevates hand-drawn, street-art-inspired murals and Pacific Northwest kitsch to a new level in office spaces and restaurants around the city, Future Machine at Bellevue Arts Museum is Seattle creative design studio Electric Coffin’s first foray into the realm of fine art in a museum. Future Machine is an evolving installation that will unfold over seven months of collaborations with artists, industry leaders, technology innovators, nonprofits, and other “creatives.” The installation’s transformational phases will loosely follow the process of an idea materializing into reality to create “new forms, and functions, and technologies” that embody their vision of the future. If that sounds a little ambiguous, it is, but it’s probably worth checking out to see how the installation grows and changes in this time span. AMBER CORTES


We Are the Ocean: An Indigenous Response to Climate Change
The timely exhibit We Are the Ocean: An Indigenous Response to Climate Change uses art, poetry, and more to explore climate change and water rights from an indigenous perspective—as well as demonstrating the ways in which Pacific communities are leading global environmental conversations.


Year of Remembrance: Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner
It's been 75 years since Executive Order 9066 was issued, which resulted in more than 100,000 United States residents of Japanese ancestry—most of whom were citizens—being removed from their homes and interned in concentration camps. This disproportionately affected people on the West Coast, and has greatly influenced the Japanese American experience today (especially in the Pacific Northwest). This exhibit will explore that lasting impact (as well as contemporary racism, discrimination, and human rights issues) through poetry by Lawrence Matsuda and artwork by Roger Shimomura. Matsuda's collections have explored the Japanese American experience at length, from A Cold Wind from Idaho to Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner, the second of which featured illustrations by Shimomura, who is known for his Pop Art takes on racism and uncomfortable history. Both Matsuda and Shimomura were imprisoned in the Minidoka, Idaho internment camp—Shimomura was sent there as a small child, and Matsuda was born there.


Kraft Duntz featuring Dawn Cerny: Fun. No Fun.
Artistic architect team Kraft Duntz (David Lipe, Matt Sellars, and Dan Webb) will team up with the vulnerable and hilarious Dawn Cerny (nominated for a 2015 Stranger Genius Award in visual art) for this exhibit about space, memory, and the experience of making art. The sculptures/architectural installations include a maze-like stairway and a space filled with natural light.


Chris Maynard: Featherfolio
Chris Maynard has been dubbed “Olympia’s feather artist”—almost implying that every town has one—when in fact, the intricate, lattice-like patterns that he hand-cuts into each feather are one-of-a-kind. Every year, when birds shed their feathers, he collects and delicately carves them using a scalpel, mounting them in shadowboxes to create pieces where the beauty of artistic form meets the function of nature. Maynard has been working with feathers since he was twelve – and while it’s true, he does only one thing – he does it well. Featherfolio at the Bainbridge Museum of Art will be his first solo art museum show, which will include framed work as well as site-specific installations. AMBER CORTES


Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor
When the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, was buried, he wasn't entirely alone—less than a mile from his mausoleum stood a flock of life-size terracotta warriors, offering protection for the afterlife. Eventually they were slowly swallowed by the earth, and went unnoticed for thousands of years...until 1974, when they were rediscovered by local farmers. Since then, a few of the warriors have been on tour (The British Museum in London had its best attendance in 2008, when 12 of the figures and assorted artifacts were displayed there) and this spring, some of them—it's unclear how many—will visit Seattle. It's a great chance to learn a little history while observing large, unique, and very old (210 BCE) sculptures.


Jacob Lawrence: Eight Studies for the Book of Genesis
It's been 100 years since American artist Jacob Lawrence was born, and Seattle is celebrating appropriately—with a gigantic, unprecedented exhibit of all 60 panels from his Migration Series at the Seattle Art Museum, and now, an exhibit of silkscreen prints at the Henry. These works explore the Genesis creation narrative ("In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," etc) and are based on Lawrence's experience listening to sermons at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.


Amie Siegel
Amie Siegel is mainly known as a filmmaker, but her work includes other elements (photography, performance, and installation) as well as a deliberately self-conscious, self-reflective philosophy that examines the nature of these media while, at the same time, taking full advantage of their form. For example, her 2013 work Provenance explores expensive and revered French modernist furniture—from its origins in Chandigarh, India, to its restoration, the way it's shipped, and the mounting prices depicted through scenes in auction houses.



Jacob Lawrence: The Legend of John Brown + Other Works
To celebrate the 100-year anniversary of renowned artist (and UW professor) Jacob Lawrence's birth, venues all over the city are hosting special exhibits of his work, including The Migration Series at SAM and Eight Studies for the Book of Genesis at The Henry. So it's only appropriate that the gallery named after Jacob Lawrence should highlight his artwork as well. This exhibit will feature Lawrence's serigraphs, lithographs, and etchings, including Artist in Studio, Man on Scaffold, selections from The Builder's Suite, and the 22-part series The Legend of John Brown (about the abolitionist who supported a violent uprising against slavery).

Proposed Land Use
Incorporating the printed announcement that has become omnipresent in Seattle, "Proposed Land Use by Aubrey Birdwell (and collaborators Darya Husak and New Mystics) addresses "development and displacement using the garbage of the sign industry."

Push Play
Art is play, and Push Play offers interactive, artistic takes on single- and multi-player games, curated by Melissa E. Feldman and featuring work by Cory Arcangel, Patrick Bernier and Olive Martin, Ruth Catlow, Mary Flanagan, Futurefarmers, Ryan Gander, Allan McCollum and Matt Mullican, Paul Noble, Yoko Ono, Pedro Reyes, Jason Rohrer, David Shrigley, Erik Svedäng, Cable Griffith, and Brent Watanabe.

A Student Response Part II: The Jake Legacy Residency
To follow up Utopia Neighborhood Club: A Student Response, Jacob Lawrence Gallery will present a three-part exhibit highlighting more student work that envisions a different/more perfect future. Each week will focus on a different artist—Yabsira Wolde (February 1–4), Brianna Wray (February 7–11), and Bobby Yin (February 14–18)—and they'll offer special talks and programs to accompany the artwork.

Sue Danielson: Permeability of Hardness
Sue Danielson (one of the founders of the informal summer artist residency on the Duwamish River) makes layered paintings and mixed media featuring warped grids and delicate, endlessly tangled line work. This exhibit, featuring work on paper and panel, will continue "her exploration of maplike forms and treatise on memory and mark-making."


Northwest Nature
See visual art that investigates our relationship with nature by artists including Linda Davidson, Elizabeth Gahan, Mary Lamery, Ryan Molenkamp, and Kimberly Trowbridge.


John Grade: Middle Fork "Extended"
See sculpture, etchings, and drawings by John Grade, the artist whose enormous reconstruction of an old-growth tree was installed in Seattle Art Museum's main lobby in February. At more than 80 feet long, it soars through the air; here, you'll see his smaller, more delicate works.


A Closer Look
A Closer Look gathers portraits from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection by Paul Gauguin, Pieter Hugo, Dennis Hopper, Arnold Newman, Ernest Bachrach, László Willinger, Francis Bacon, Guy Tillim, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Ansel Adams, David Hockney, and Georges Seurat.


Akio Takamori: Apology/Remorse
Akio Takamori died of cancer in January. As Jen Graves mentioned in a recent profile, in November Takamori's doctor told him that the chemo wasn't working and that his cancer was untreatable. The Japanese-born artist exhibited all over the world, but he kept his studio in Seattle. He'd been a professor of art at the University of Washington since 1993, and had received numerous national awards for his work. This final exhibit features drawings and sculptures of men apologizing, that are informed by both the Donald Trump era and Takamori's own battle with cancer. About the show, Jen Graves wrote: "The last time we spoke, the Seattle artist was feverishly making work about what it means to apologize while also facing the realization that the last American president of his lifetime would be a man who never apologizes for anything...The idea for Apology came when Takamori was reading a New York Times in his Seattle home and saw, on the front page, a photograph of a Japanese man apologizing. Captivated, he searched the web for more pictures of apologizing men, Western and Eastern. He found Japanese car-company CEOs, who often bowed, and whom photographers seemed to enjoy portraying at strange angles. He clipped those out, as well as pictures of the historic moment in 1970 when German chancellor Willy Brandt dropped to his knees and clasped his hands in silence before a memorial to the Jewish victims of the Nazis in Warsaw... The Apology series premieres at James Harris Gallery in February, and even as Takamori struggles to stay alive, he's poking at the biggest beehive in the modern world: What do men express when the acts of men, or masculinity itself, are questioned?"

Dan Attoe: New Drawings
See new drawings by artist Dan Attoe, who Jen Graves admiringly called "a highly unsettling painter of unwholesome redneck life." In 2008, she wrote: "What distinguishes his jewel-like, classically painted scenes of contortionist strippers, red-faced ministers, religious fanatics, dangerous yokels, lost souls, and alien tourists from Twin Peaks is Attoe's continually shifting point of view, expressed in texts he scribbles on and around his paintings. The texts range from confessional to aggressive, poignant to clichéd. They ultimately beg and defer the question: Who is this guy and what is he telling us?"

Efrain Almeida: Trance
For his fifth solo exhibition at James Harris Gallery, Brazilian artist Efrain Almeida has deviated from the carved wooden pieces of his previous shows and instead created life-size, hyper-realistic bronze sculptures of birds, butterflies, and moths. As the title of the exhibit suggests, the sculptures also serve as psychological symbols of in-between states of mind, like trances, which are in between reality and unreality.

Susan Skilling: Paintings
This show will feature layered and earthy paintings, always delicate, often in gouache on Thai mulberry paper, by Susan Skilling.


The Design of Dissent
Get some poster-design inspiration for the next protest from The Design of Dissent exhibit at new Pioneer Square gallery Non-Breaking Space. The gallery specializes in graphic design, and this exhibit digs deep into the past 50 years of visual rebellion against racism, sexism, the Vietnam War, the AIDS crisis, poverty, gun control, and more. Originally curated in 2005 by Milton Glaser and Mirko Ilic for New York's School of Visual Arts, the exhibit got a refresh by Seattle design firm Civilization, featuring new work along with recognizable posters from Silence = Death, Guerrilla Girls, Ahmet Ogut, Ken Garland, and many others. AMBER CORTES


Aftermash: Local Artists on African American Experience
Shoreline City Hall will host a multimedia exhibit (portraiture, conceptual installation art, photography, painting, video, and sculpture) that will explore "a wide range of African American experience" through the work of Yadesa Bojia, Vincent Keele, Christen Mattix, Fiona McCargo, Kemba Opio, Brandon Roach, and Woron Ta Tele.


Marita Dingus: The Gathering
Marita Dingus's mixed-media sculptural work, using salvaged materials and incorporating elements of nkondi figures by the Kongo people, will evoke the spirit world and its role in soothing human conflict and anxiety. In their words: "The Gathering represents the duality of people seeking spiritual support outside themselves when in fact the spiritual strength comes from within."


Future Isms
Future Isms, curated by Jon Feinstein, is a group show of photography and video that explores sci-fi fantasies, dystopian and utopian futures, and premonitions based on what's happening in the world at the moment.


Robert Pruitt: Planetary Survey
Planetary Survey features new drawings by Robert Pruitt: portraits on paper that explore science fiction, politics, pop culture, and the idea of "black escape": described as "a desire to be free from the literal and psychological constraints on the formation of black identity reaching back to slavery."


Carolyn Gracz: Land Marks
Carolyn Gracz is known for her gorgeously simple collaged monoprints—this exhibit will still feature aspects of those works, but with additional adornments and etchings.


Michael Kenna and Mark Thompson
See photographs by Michael Kenna (known for his emphasis on light and use of long exposures) alongside paintings and drawings by evocative place-portraitist Mark Thompson. Jen Graves wrote that Thompson's black-and-white landscapes from a few years ago "pulled our hearts halfway out."


Dave Nelson: P A T H S
Dave Nelson makes geometric sculptures, installations, and prints that seem simple at first glance. But after a little while—and after seeing more of his pieces—the work sinks in. Pay attention to the way he uses light (literally, fluorescent tubes) and stark black lines alongside delicate, sometimes barely visible organic shapes.


Other Russias: Victoria Lomasko's Graphic Journalism
Victoria Lomasko has a knack for being in the right place, at the right time, with a pen and paper and some serious storytelling skills. Her hand-drawn, illustrated reportages document years of the left’s resistance in Russia – from courtroom drawings of the Forbidden Art and the Pussy Riot trials of 2012, to on-the-spot graphic renderings of protestors, prisoners, and migrant workers. Like Joe Sacco, Josh Neufeld, or the Hernandez brothers, her work is a fusion of both journalism and art – and is undoubtedly topical in this current political climate. AMBER CORTES


PCNW 21st Juried Exhibition
Every year, Photo Center Northwest presents a juried exhibition with work chosen from submissions from around the world. This year, the show is juried by Sandra Phillips, Curator Emeritus of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She's renowned in the Bay Area (and nationally) for her experience in curating photographic collections, and during her time as photography curator at SFMOMA, she helped the museum's photography department become one of the top ten in the United States.


Bemis Arts Spring Show
Come to the Bemis Art Show to see a juried exhibition, explore resident and visiting artist open studios in Pioneer Square, and listen to live music.

APRIL 5-29

Michelle de la Vega: The Sugar Project
Multidisciplinary artist Michelle de la Vega has brought together two Pioneer Squares (one of art galleries, another of people living on the streets), converted a 250-square-foot garage into a tiny home, and felt the urgency of making art after Donald Trump's "pussy-grabbing" tape was released. This show will make use of that urgency, exploring "the paradigm that for the majority of recorded human history women have been considered as property." The show's title, The Sugar Project, comes from the way that women have been treated as consumable objects, as well as the crushing pressure to be "sweet" no matter the circumstance.


Daniel Carrillo: Studio Visit
This solo show will feature work by Seattle artist Daniel Carrillo. In 2012, Jen Graves wrote: "The best-known practitioner of wet-plate collodion portraiture in Seattle is Daniel Carrillo, who uses the arty process to capture the arty people of the city—painters, performers, writers. Going to visit him has become a rite of passage. Carrillo, who was born in Mexico, raised in California, and settled in Seattle in 1997, carefully paints varnish on the surfaces of the plates once they dry, in order to preserve them. In Seattle, wet-plate collodion portraiture might be seen as especially poignant: The process was invented the same decade as the city. For a frozen moment, each of Carrillo's subjects is made to be as old as our young urban idea."

Joe Rudko: Basic Techniques of Photography
This exhibit will feature photographs by artist Joe Rudko, known for his creative manipulations.

APRIL 19-20

Who Am I / Who I Am
A program of local all-stars (choreographer and dancer Markeith Wiley, playwright Nelle Tankus, painter Starheadboy, and photographer Angel O'Leary) spent 21 days collaborating on an immersive exhibition curated by Barry Johnson—and you only have two days to go experience this promising combination of live performance and visual art. They'll offer commentary on "gender, sexuality, identity, societal roles and community," as well as a full bar, live music, and a playful "pARTy" vibe.


Amanda McCavour: Room
Amanda McCavour makes embroidered sculptures and installations—often in 3D, often large, and sometimes suspended from the ceiling. Many pieces look nature-inspired, like flowers on vines, swimming jellyfish, and snowflakes. One of her installations is a stitched version of a living room, with each piece of furniture hanging inches off the ground.

MAY 4-31

Jeff Fontaine
This solo show by Jeff Fontaine features mixed media on steel, intentionally rusted and pitted, inspired by Fontaine's photographs of physically deteriorating man-made objects.


Dakota Gearhart: Tank Hypnosis
This exhibit features "hypnotherapy and aquarium aquascapes" by artist Dakota Gearhart, based on her research on diverse water-based topics including sensory deprivation tanks, municipal wastewater, and tech diving. The show will almost certainly be immersive and multifaceted, like her 2014 installation that Jen Graves described as "a psychologically charged forest of flashing moments."


Kathy Liao: So Close and So Far
Kathy Liao (who used to live in Seattle, but now teaches painting and printmaking in Kansas City, MO) creates bright and unsettling paintings of people looking at their phones on the bus, FaceTime-ing relatives, and sitting on planes. This show will examine "how physical distance, psychological distance, and now cyber distance are experienced by herself and others."


Garek Druss: Immensity with Horizon
Garek Druss's installations are part exhibit and part performance, a mixture of visual art and sound that's deliberately and meticulously crafted to create a unique, immersive experience. Even better, he doesn't rely on unpleasantness to provoke a visceral response—his work is often light, ethereal, and (somehow!) both calming and energizing at once.

Robert Hardgrave: Remote Control
See new work by Robert Hardgrave, who had a gigantic piece (like "an archaeological discovery" or a "chest of hieroglyphic treasures") at Out of Sight in 2015. Hardgrave is a committed and creative local artist whose works (large and small) are wild and exciting. Heads up: sometimes he likes to hide penises in pictures to test his audience's attention. Keep an eye out.

MAY 18-21

Cherdonna Shinatra: Clock That Construct
See queer feminist performance artist Cherdonna Sinatra (Jody Kuehner) dance to "confront and confuse the social and cultural tropes that constitute the feminine" in the galleries of the Henry. Her residency is part of her long-term project called one great, bright, brittle all togetherness.

MAY 18-JUNE 13

Push/Pull Book Club Annual Show
After several months spent discussing Nisi Shawl's steampunk sci-fi novel Everfair (which imagines an alternative history of the Congo, wherein utopian land bought from King Leopold II attracts native populations of the Congo and escaped slaves from around the world) artists will present work inspired by the work's themes. Author Nisi Shawl will be in attendance at the opening reception.

JUNE 1-29

Paul Komada
Paul Komada has worked in a variety of media, including hand-knit yarn and acrylic on canvas, watercolor, photo, and video, thematically tied together by abstraction and an emphasis on process. Interestingly, he managed to add a high-tech, multilayered approach to the soft, pliable world of fiber arts. This exhibit will highlight his paintings (layered with chroma-key technology) and audio pieces, which will "preemptively memorialize" the Alaskan Way Viaduct.


Alexis Mata (Ciler), Rene Almanza and Isauro Huizar: Vessel
Vessel offers the chance to get a taste of contemporary art in Mexico, through the work of Isauro Huizar (who commented on consumption by creating a large, pretty sculpture made of used bath soaps—it looks like jewels glued to a canvas), Rene Almanza (who makes tortured and erotic line drawings and paintings), and Alexis Mata (aka Ciler, an artist who makes aggressive, sometimes Pop Art-inspired collages, drawings, and installations).

Christopher Buening: New Work (Guerrilla Ceramica)
See a selection of brand-new drawings, paintings, and ceramics by artist Christopher Buening, much of which will be from his project Guerrilla Ceramica (a street art take on ceramics). Buening had a thoughtful, vulnerable show called Hunter < Gatherer at 4Culture in 2015. Jen Graves described one of the featured pieces: "In It Was a Man's World, Buening used white-out to write those words in unmanly cursive on top of a found painting on a slice of wood. It was a man's world his father took him into all those years ago, so the piece is a nostalgic expression of a place from the past. But I also read it as a wish for a time when that past tense will apply to the whole world. A time when the relationships between women, men, and other animals are governed more by love than by power and dominion."

Special Events


Migration Stories
In this series, local stars and community members will share stories of "immigration, migration, displacement, and community" and speak about their perspective on Jacob Lawrence's 60-panel masterpiece The Migration Series. The event takes place on First Thursday, when admission to the museum is half-price ($12).


Chiyo Ishikawa: First Friday Lecture
Learn more about Seeing Nature, a survey exhibit of landscape paintings, from SAM Deputy Director and Curator (and terrific resource, gem of a human) Chiyo Ishikawa.


Critical Issues in Contemporary Art Practice: Lise Soskolne
This iteration of the "Critical Issues in Contemporary Art Practice" series will feature Lise Soskolne, a visual artist who has also been heavily involved in nonprofit arts presenting and development. One of her most interesting (and controversial) projects was the transformation of Industry City. They write: "In 2007, she was hired to use artists to increase the property value of Industry City, a 6.5 million sq ft industrial complex on the South Brooklyn waterfront. There she founded and managed the arts component in its broader regeneration with the intention of establishing a new paradigm for industrial redevelopment that would not displace workers, artists, local residents or industry, but would instead build a sustainable community of working artists in a context that integrated cultural and industrial production."


A River of Ink Runs Through It: The Giant Pen in Context
Jim Woodring's The Pig Went Down to the Harbor at Sunrise and Wept (a series of large ink drawings created using a comically oversized fountain pen that Woodring made himself) is on display at the Frye, and in celebration, Woodring himself will visit the museum and speak about his work and influences (including the giant pen). He will be joined by Negarra A. Kudumu, Frye Art Museum Manager of Public Programs.


Asia Talks: Mohsin Hamid
This edition of "Asia Talks" will feature British Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid, author of Moth Smoke, Discontent and Its Civilizations: Dispatches from Lahore, New York and London, and his most famous, The Reluctant Fundamentalist (shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize). Hamid will visit Seattle to share his latest novel, Exit West, about migration from an unnamed country beset by violence.

Sessions of She
This multidisciplinary arts event (with art, comedy, and music) aims to establish a sense of comfort and community between artists and audience members by interspersing performances with on-stage interviews. February's feminist showcase will bring you comedy from Hope Linden, art by Blanca Santander, and music by Coreena. In March, it's Naoko Morisawa's art, Summer Azim's comedy, and Holly Ricciardi taking over the tunes.


SAM Curator Talk: Seeing Nature
Learn more about Seeing Nature, a survey exhibit of landscape paintings, from SAM Deputy Director and Curator (and terrific resource, gem of a human) Chiyo Ishikawa.


Art For Arts' Sake
Northwest Sinfonietta seeks to create an all-new concert experience with Art for Arts' Sake, in partnership with Spectrum Dance Theater and the Museum of Glass, in a performative exploration of the commonalities between these mediums. Included in the program will be the world premiere of "Hot Shop," a new work by Sinfonietta violist and local composer Heather Bentley.


Legendary Children
Experience the power of QTPOC voices in art at Legendary Children, an event presented in celebration of "the beautiful, the transgressive, and the unique." Expect performances, DJ sets, and art by some of Seattle’s most talented queer artists—and enjoy free admission to Jacob Lawrence's stunning 60-panel masterpiece, The Migration Series.


Kat Larson with Negarra Kudumu: The Energy that Flows Through Everything
In December 2016, Jen Graves wrote that local artist Kat Larson "really has something—something physical, spiritual, and political—in her video, video-painting, sculpture, and performative installations. And she doesn’t show that often." Here's a chance to see inside Larson's process and perspective, and to hear her speak with Negarra Kudumu (Frye Museum Manager of Public Programs) about "her investigations into her own ancestry, mythology, and the structure of natural cycles."


Open Studios
Check out the workspaces of 200 artists in the Inscape building (including painters, photographers, puppet makers, video artists, sculptors, knitters, jewelers, and print makers) at this biannual open studio event. In addition to the art featured throughout the studios and gallery, there will be video work projected on the wall of the second floor patio.

MAY 11-13

Upstream Music Festival and Summit
Upstream is a three-day music festival and summit set to take place in more than 25 venues around Pioneer Square. It's Paul Allen’s attempt to mold a PNW-focused South by Southwest type large-scale festival, with music, art, tech, and film programming involving many local emerging talents, more than 200 artists, and keynote speakers Macklemore, Quincy Jones, and Portia Sabin. Curated by longtime hiphop booker and former talent-buyer at the Crocodile Meli Darby, the vast majority of bands are Seattle-and-NW centric.


First Thursday Art Walk
During the city's oldest art walk, look forward to gallery openings, free booze, and the opportunity to mingle with other artsy folks in Pioneer Square.


Fresh Look
This workshop offers the chance for loving and helpful critique of the artwork (sketches, scripts, paintings) you've been stressing about. BYOB.


Capitol Hill Art Walk
Every second Thursday, the streets of Capitol Hill are filled with tipsy art lovers checking out galleries and special events, including the recurring "house party" photography show, a microcosm of Seattle arts culture, Drink & Draw event at Capitol Cider.


Georgetown Art Attack
Once a month, the art that resides in the tiny airport hamlet of Georgetown ATTACKS all passersby. In more literal terms, it's the day of art openings and street wonderment. Once a month, the art that resides in the tiny airport hamlet of Georgetown ATTACKS all passersby. In more literal terms, it's the day of art openings and street wonderment.

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