*"Fresh Flowers"--BAM hosts an international survey of painting, sculpture, glass, video, and installation art that uses flamesowers and flamesoral imagery. Curator Brian Wallace explains that the exhibition will "refer to the delicate tensions between the seductive and the disturbing--that is, to the vital force lurking in the idea of beauty." In addition to international artists like Pippilotti Rist and Jack Pierson, such outstanding Seattleites as Juan Alonso, Wendy Hanson, Susan Dory, Jamie Walker, and Jeffry Mitchell are included. Through April 11.
Center on Contemporary Art, 65 Cedar St, 728-1980
"Northwest Annual"--Acclaimed Chicago painter Kerry James Marshall juried this year's competition, choosing 33 works by 24 regional artists, including mid-career artists Dick Elliott and Jacquie Barnett, emerging artists Donnabelle Casis and Nancy Morrow, and newcomers Nicola Vruwink and Wendy Hanson. Through March 13.
HENRY ART GALLERY, 15th Ave NE and NE 41st St, 543-2280
*Josiah McElheny--Renowned conceptual artist and glassblower McElheny was commissioned by the Henry to create a new installation. The result is An Historical Anecdote About Fashion, which includes dresses and textiles from the Henry collection alongside the artist's glass sculpture. One is wrapped in a web of deceit upon entry into an exhibition of the fictitious possessions of Italy's Paolo Venini and his couture-clad wife. Through May 30.
Allan Sekula--Fish Story is a perfect exhibition for Seattle--a series of photographs examining labor, life and technology in port cities around the globe. The images are familiar, but not inviting; instead a forceful, cool examination. Through May 16.
MUSEUM OF HISTORY AND INDUSTRY, 2700 24th Ave E, McCurdy Park, 324-1126
"A Change of Worlds"--If you haven't been to MoHI lately, this is the time to go. This knockout exhibition has two distinct purposes. The first being predictable: showing some of the history and contributions of Northwest Native Americans. The show takes a braver approach with its second objective, dealing head-on with issues such as cultural vandalism and the tensions between tradition and the change in the lives of Puget Sound Native Americans. Photographs, artifacts, and audio- visual components. Through April 30.
SEATTLE ASIAN ART MUSEUM, 1400 E Prospect, Volunteer Park, 654-3100
"Flights of Fancy"--Screens, scrolls, and lacquers pulled from the museum's collection in this exhibition about natural and supernatural imagery in Japanese art. Heads up for the flamesames of hell, dragons, cranes, horse-headed demons, and other fantastical visions, both evil and sublime. Through July 25.
WING LUKE ASIAN MUSEUM, 407 Seventh Ave S, 623-5124
"Golden Roots: Korean Americans in Washington State"--The exhibition is divided into four major sections: an overview of background history and environment, profiles of Korean immigrants and their life experiences in the U.S., contributions to American life, and prospects for the future. Through April 11.OPENING EXHIBITS*CHUCK CLOSE--Washington native and UW graduate Close exhibits 80 portrait paintings spanning 30 years. He gained international fame in the 1970s with a series of large-scale non-emotional airbrushed likenesses of his artist friends and family, and has continued to capture attention by remaining true to the portrait format while exploring a wide range of techniques and mediums. Working in oil, acrylic, watercolor, and pastel paintings, lithograph, serigraph and woodblock prints, paper pulp, fingerprints, and even woven silk, Close's obsession with the face has taken him from photo-realism to figurative abstraction to minimalism. This exhibition travels here from the Museum of Modern Art. Seattle Art Museum, 100 University St, 654-3158, through May 9.
Tae Won Yu--The gifted musician (Kicking Giant), graphic designer (he's largely responsible for the look of K Records), and painter (his work has graced the cover of Built to Spill's last two albums, as well as the occasional Stranger cover) shows a series of his colorful, elegantly crude paintings. Opening features music by Octant, Jana McCall, and Tae's band KG. Re-bar, 1114 Howell, 233-9873, Tues Feb 23 through the end of March.CONTINUING EXHIBITS"ANDRE THE GIANT HAS A POSSE"--Shepard Fairey shows a new series of prints more commonly seen on the walls of abandoned buildings on Capitol Hill. For over 10 years Fairey has been aggressively haunting consumer culture with recognizable, yet incomprehensible propaganda featuring the image of the deceased pro wrestler Andre the Giant. ARO.space, 925 E Pike St, through April 14.
SALLY BANFILL--Landscape paintings of familiar Northwest sites, devoid of human presence. The paintings read both sinister and comic. Madrona Automatic, 1435 34th Ave, 329-1869, through Feb 28.
THERESA BATTY--Trapped inside simple cast and blown glass sculptures are haunting images of children from the past. Esther Claypool Gallery, 617 Western Ave, 264-1586, through Feb 27.
CRIS BRUCH--Paper Wealth is an exhibit of two- and three-dimensional works in paper by a gifted mid-career Seattle artist. The exhibition--part formal, part studio recreation, and part works in progress, gives a rounded view of a working artist, and effectively shows off his delicate and ephemeral works. Kirkland Arts Center, 620 Market St, 425-822-7161, through March 27.
DALE CHIHULY--To open Foster/White's new location at the former Meyerson & Nowinski site, Chihuly premieres his new series of glass sculptures, The Jerusalem 2000 Cylinders. Wall-mounted sculptures called Sconces and Puttis will also be introduced. Foster/White Gallery, 123 S Jackson St, 622-2833, through Feb 28.
JOHN DIVOLA/J. JOHN PRIOLA--A sublimely simple show of Divola's photographic installation of hallways and mirrors, and Priola's round photographic portraits of sweet objects. G Gibson Gallery, 122 S Jackson St, Suite 200, 587-4033, through March 27.
GEOFF GARZA--Garza leaves behind his trademark look (tiny photographs of heads situated on giant painted bodies) in favor of an abstract format. The new work is strong in textural and lineal qualities, and is a positive departure for Garza. Ballard Fetherston Gallery, 818 E Pike St, 322-9440, through March 1.
GAIL GRINNELL--A new installation entitled Out of Whole Cloth will fill the main gallery with collaged paper and fabric pieces that hang from clips on wires, like laundry hung out to dry. Abstract, yet vaguely meaningful patterns emerge and recess throughout the length of the room. Francine Seders Gallery, 6701 Greenwood Ave N, 782-0355, through Feb 28.
*PATRICK HOLDERFIELD--The sculpture in Dehiscence is full of little-boy wonderment. Model cars, metal objects, shoes, and more are embellished with industrial insulation foam. Project 416, 416 Occidental Ave S, 749-9220, through Feb 28.
DAVID KANE--108 monoprint portraits of the "inmates" of the artist's head. Kane is scary and hysterically funny. Two Bells Tavern, 2313 Fourth Ave, 441-3050, through April 11.
MICHELLE KUMATA/KIKUKO DEWA--Kumata is a staff artist for The Seattle Times, and has contributed illustrations to children's books. Here she exhibits mixed-media boxes and paintings. Dewa shows mixed-media rabbits, in celebration of the year of the rabbit. RAW Gallery, 409 Seventh Ave S, 340-1445, through Feb 24.
"LUMP"--Milky World and Lump, North Carolina's premiere alternative gallery, are exchanging artists for a month. While Northwestern artists are enjoying exposure elsewhere, we'll see works by emerging artists from a different region. Milky World Gallery, 111 Battery St, 374-0933, through Feb 28.
*BRIAN MURPHY--Self-portraits rendered in thick and flameseshy, expressive oil paintings and drawings full of watery lines and puddles of ink. King County Art Gallery, 506 Second Ave, Room 1115, 296-8674, through Feb 26.
CAROL MYERS/WALLY SHOUP--Myers lives in New York and is a self-taught artist who aggressively portrays her memories on canvas and board, incorporating text and found objects. Another self-taught artist, Shoup paints and draws landscapes, figures, and cars. Garde Rail Gallery, 312 First Ave S #5, 623-3004, by appointment.
*MARK NEWPORT--At the center of this exhibition sits a bed with a cover made of sewn and embroidered comic book pages. This labor of love reeks with male energy, yet was created in the feminine tradition of stitchery and quilting. Alongside Newport is an exhibition of editioned prints produced by Sean Elwood, including works by Fay Jones, Komar & Melamid, Jeffry Mitchell, Friese Undine, and more. Greg Kucera Gallery, 212 Third Ave S, 624-0770, through Feb 27.
"NORTHWEST MASTERS"--New acquisitions, including works by Morris Graves, Mark Tobey, and Kenneth Callahan. Kurt Lidtke, 318 Second Ave, 623-5082, through Feb 28.
KRISTI PALMER--Urban surfaces that when isolated look remarkably like abstract paintings, with a depth and texture rarely seen in photographs. FotoCircle, 163 S Jackson St, 624-2645, through Feb 27.
ANAT POLLACK--Lost: but with a memory is an installation commenting on memory, history, and hatred, attempting to portray "the infinite nature of life and the beauty and horrors that we as humans are capable of." SOIL, 310 First Ave S, 264-8061, through Feb 28.
SCOTT TEPLIN--Books and drawings depicting blueprint- and sketchbook-style images and thoughts on communication made possible by satellites. Teplin's sketches are charming in their naîve presentation, and the text ranges from tagging individual objects to personal stream of consciousness. Howard House, 316 Federal Ave E, 726-8754, through Feb 28.
DAVID deVILLIER--There's a new gallery in town! Their first show is work by a Seattle artist who uses materials found in old farmhouses to make constructions that he then paints on. deVillier, who is known as a scenic painter, paints his female subjects with delicate sensitivity in Silent Women/Secret Places. Eyre/Moore Gallery, 913 Western Ave, 624-5596, through Feb 28,.
LAURA WILLITS--Willits' exhibition Late Night Travel features unique and beautiful work--night landscapes in woven beads. Cunningham Gallery, University of Washington Women's Center, Cunningham Hall, through March 10.
*XIAOZE XIE--At first glance these remarkable paintings appear to be photographs of decaying books, which makes the work both photorealistic and abstract, as the spines and pages of the books depicted are examined close-up. Davidson Gallery, 313 Occidental Ave S, 624-4588, through Feb 27.OPPORTUNITIESArtist Slide Show--Every year SAM's Pacific Northwest Art Council has an evening of slides for viewers ranging from artists to curators, gallery directors, and collectors. This event is not curated, and the first 150 artists to submit are in. Deadline March 30. For more information call the Council office at 654-3119.
Bellevue Art Museum is sending out a call to artists for their Pacific Northwest Arts Fair. All media eligible; 280 artists will be accepted for participation. For a prospectus, call 425-454-3322 ext 125. Deadline for submission is Feb 28.
GAP Grants--Artist Trust gives grants to artists working in all media to go toward projects. To receive an application, send a business-size SASE to Artist Trust, 1402 Third Ave, Suite 404, Seattle, 98101. Deadline is Feb 26.