MUSEUMS AND ART CENTERS


BELLEVUE ART MUSEUM

301 Bellevue Square, Bellevue, 425-454-3322.


*GAME SHOW

BAM weighs in with another unexpected look at art. Brian Wallace's latest exhibit features games designed by artists (expect the conceptual), writers, and musicians. There's work that is fun to touch and see and play with, but the intent is serious: An exhibit about creativity and decision-making and how one relates to a work of art. Artists-in-residence include Seattle artist Helen Lessick (who created the Collect 'em! cards for Safeco Field), and English game theorist Beryl Graham. Through Jan 30.


FRYE ART MUSEUM

704 Terry Ave, 622-9250.


JON SWIHART

Twenty years of cryptic paintings by Swihart, who fuses highly realistic painting with mysterious rituals, everyday details, and unexplained imagery. As a result, they seem like works we should recognize and understand -- but don't. Through Feb 6.


HENRY ART GALLERY

15th Ave NE at NE 41st St, 543-2280.


GILLES BARBIER

Clones is being presented as part of Côte Ouest, a series of exhibitions by contemporary French artists on view in venues along the West Coast this fall, and features lifelike wax self-portraits capturing various aspects of Barbier's persona. There are naughty, playful clones, resourceful clones, and clones that juggle the difficult job of daily living. To sum it all up, Trans-schizophrenic Anatomy is a wax cast of his bald head, carved with a diagram of Barbier's divided consciousness. Through Jan 2.


*INSIDE OUT: NEW CHINESE ART

A group exhibit exploring the avant-garde in China from the mid '80s to the present. Showing artists from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, as well as Chinese artists living abroad, Inside Out is a study in the contrasts of cultural identity -- traditional and modern, public and political, national and individual. Many of the Chinese artists featured here have an excellent sense of the absurd; photographs from various performance works include an artist who covered himself with honey and sat in a latrine attracting flies, and two artists firing a gun at their own work at Beijing's National Gallery. The show is so extensive that it takes two galleries to hold it all; the other is at the Tacoma Art Museum (1123 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, 253-272-4258). Through March 5.


WHAT IT MEANT TO BE MODERN, SEATTLE ART

AT MID-CENTURY

Over 100 works -- including sculpture, paintings, and works on paper -- exploring the art and influence of a specific group of regional artists tagged by Life magazine in 1953 as the "Mystic Painters of the Northwest," which included Guy Anderson, Kenneth Callahan, Morris Graves, and Mark Tobey. The exhibition follows the evolution of the "Northwest School" of artists from 1932 to 1962, and contextualizes their work with other national and international movements. Through Jan 23.


MUSEUM OF FLIGHT

9404 E Marginal Way S, 764-5700.


SCIENCE FICTION TO SCIENCE FACT

It's not really art, but it certainly is visual: In the MOF's new exhibit you can see a replica of Anakin Skywalker's podracer from The Phantom Menace. Other craft in the exhibit are inspired by such visionaries as Jules Verne and Gene Roddenberry. The show's point is the link between science fiction and actual technology, but you know everyone's really there to play with the Episode 1 video game. Through April 2.


MUSEUM OF HISTORY & INDUSTRY

2700 24th Ave E, 324-2099.


FROM LOG CABIN TO MARINER'S STAR:

QUILTS FROM THE COLLECTIONS

Late 19th- and early 20th-century quilts from the museum's collection. Through April.


SEATTLE ART MUSEUM

100 University St, 654-3100.


AN AMERICAN CENTURY OF PHOTOGRAPHY:

FROM DRYPOINT TO DIGITAL

An important exhibition of works from the Hallmark Photographic Collection, examining important artists from Edward Muybridge to Aaron Siskind to Sandy Skoglund, and the advancement of photographic techniques throughout this century. Through Jan 9.


SEATTLE ASIAN ART MUSEUM

1400 E Prospect St, Volunteer Park, 654-3100.


EXPLORE KOREA: A VISIT TO GRANDFATHER'S HOUSE

A presentation of a traditional Korean home, where visitors can explore both interior and exterior spaces hands-on. Through March.


MODERN MASTERS OF KYOTO

Works by late 19th- and early 20th-century artists from Kyoto round out the programming for SAAM's "Year of Japan." This collection is owned by Northwest residents Griffith and Patricia Way, and contains more than 80 examples of Kyoto-school nihonga -- modern Japanese paintings executed in traditional media formats. Through Feb 13.


WORLDS OF FANTASY: CHINESE SHADOW PUPPETS

Volunteer Park hosts more than 70 puppets from the 19th century. The majority of the exhibited works come from the collection of Theodore Bodde, who purchased the extraordinary objects while in Beijing in the 1930s. Chinese textiles with related themes will accompany. Through April 2.


WING LUKE ASIAN MUSEUM

407 Seventh Ave S, 623-5124.


A DIFFERENT BATTLE

An exhibit that explores the stories of Asian Pacific American veterans who served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Grenada Invasion, and the Persian Gulf War. The stories are conveyed through written text, audio, and video components that are divided into two sections -- how the military and combat shaped the lives of these veterans, and how they affected the lives of individuals, families, and communities of future generations. Through April 9.


WRIGHT EXHIBITION SPACE

407 Dexter Ave N, 264-8200.


THE WRIGHT COLLECTION

Virginia and Bagley Wright have rehung their foundation's exhibit space, devoting one gallery entirely to their great collection of '60s and '70s color field paintings, and introducing a large David Salle oil and the John Baldessari piece Two Onlookers and Tragedy to the mix. Other highlights of their collection include a Robert Longo, Eric Fischl, a huge Warhol Rorschach, and Jules Olitski's Thigh Smoke. Open-ended run.


CONTINUING EXHIBITIONS


*LEO SAUL BERK

Berk takes plywood and exploits its weaknesses -- its knots and uneven surfaces -- to beautiful effect. In some cases the knots are drilled out and filled with translucent resin; Berk has the wood specially milled so that the knot patterns repeat across the surface of the work. Don't miss the ceiling-high panel near the bathroom: It's an extra-long sheet of plywood sawed into thin fingers, reassembled with the edges facing out, and glossed with two gallons of epoxy resin. The result is miraculous -- wood, but not quite. The Little Theatre, 608 19th Ave E, 329-2629. Through Jan 16.


SONJA BLOMDAHL

More glass: amphorae in luminescent colors. William Traver Gallery, 110 Union St, Second floor, 587-6501. Through Jan 2.


BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY

Winston-Wächter's inaugural photography exhibition celebrates the city and its inhabitants, its lights (obviously), and its glamour. Such luminaries as Irving Penn and Alexander Liberman are featured. Winston-Wächter Fine Art, 403 Dexter Ave N, 652-5855. Through Jan 8.


LISA BUCHANAN

These large new paintings are beautifully patterned but nothing like simple decoration. They recall the backgrounds of a Klimt painting, but the shapes are more uneasy and neurotic. Bryan Ohno Gallery, 155 S Main St, 667-9572. Through Jan 9.


CLAIRE COWIE

An exhibit of prints and mixed-media sculpture that uses just about every medium imaginable. Madrona Automatic, 1435 34th Ave, 329-7869. Through Jan 9.


*DRAWING SPACE

A show exploring works with strong linear elements, featuring Laurie Chambers, Victoria Haven, Robert Jones, Robert Yoder, and D. E. May, curated by Beth Sellars. Haven's ceiling-high sculpture -- "drawn" with rubber bands stretched around nails -- is the show's stunning centerpiece. George Suyama Space, 2324 Second Ave, 256-0809. Through Jan 7.


ROLON BERT GARNER

Longtime Seattle arts fixture Garner, currently associated with Two Bells Tavern's excellent art program, shows recent paintings at Two Bells and the Virginia Inn -- the other downtown Seattle bar with great taste in art. Two Bells Tavern, 2313 Fourth Ave, 441-3050; Virginia Inn, 1937 First Ave, 728-1937. Through Feb 1.


GREATEST HITS

New-brow art from Roq La Rue's regulars, including Niagara, Stefan Knorr, and Bwana Spoons. Roq La Rue, 2224 Second Ave, 374-8977.


BOB HAOZOUS

Installations and portraits by the Native American artist. One installation, Separation, was first shown at the 1999 Venice Biennale. Sacred Circle Gallery of American Indian Art, Discovery Park, 285-4425. Through March 26.


CAROLYN KRIEG/PERIPHERAL VISIONARIES

Using the hues and patterns of Indian textiles, Krieg assembles and reassembles her work using a combination of computer coloring, Polaroids, and paint. In Peripheral Visionaries, three local artists -- Doug Keyes, Eva Sköld Westerlind, and John Jenkins -- explore the idea of seeing through shadows, light, and tableaux. Keyes photographs and re-photographs books page by page; the layered effect is a kind of Shroud of Turin-like image of the tome, and its oddness lies in seeing all at once what is usually absorbed over time. Jenkins favors images of things we might not look at twice (a ceiling, a windowsill), but his versions, blurry and saturated with color, are hardly ordinary. G. Gibson Gallery, 122 S Jackson St, Suite 200, 587-4033. Through Jan 15.


JI YEON LEE

Documentary and surrealist photography by Korean-born Lee. RAW Gallery, 409 Seventh Ave S, 340-1445.


OLABAYO OLANIYI

Elaborate bead mosaics based on traditional Nigerian themes and techniques, but here made contemporary as art instead of adornment. Mwoyo Arts, 1125 Pike St, 223-0908. Through Jan 31.


PHOTOGRAPHY IN SOCIAL CHANGE

Work by photographers allied with New York's Impact Visuals. The show's thrust is activist and documentary -- oppressed people, repressive regimes -- and it opened two days before First Thursday to coincide with the WTO protests. FotoCircle Gallery, 163 S Jackson St, Second Floor, 624-2645. Through Jan 1.


PATRICIA RIDENOUR/ERIN SPENCER/

CHRISTINE BURGOYNE

Sexuality, self-portraiture, and masks -- a dark, introspective show of photographs by three local artists. Benham Photography, 1216 First Ave, 622-2480. Through Jan 15.


ANISA ROMERO/ELIZABETH SCHULA/BRYAN YECK

Three local artists show new work with floral motifs. Zeitgeist Art & Coffee, 161 S Jackson, 583-0497. Through Jan 4.


SURVIVAL KIT

You hear voices, you know they've got food, water, and guns in there, but what's going on in that bunker? Here, among all the silver-and-glitz millennium hoo-ha, is an installation about what will really happen come Dec 31, 1999... or is it? SOIL, 310 First Ave S, 264-8061.


MERRILY TOMPKINS/GLENN RUDOLPH

Tompkins really knows how to mix her media; her sculptures might combine an intricately painted landscape with pistachio nut shells. The show's centerpiece is Twice Shy, a man constructed entirely of matchsticks, then lit. Rudolph's large-scale photographs feel like wildlife photography -- people caught in their natural environment. Esther Claypool Gallery, 617 Western Ave, 264-1586. Through Dec 31.


TREES AND TOYS

Betty Bowen-recipient Henry Deposit will bring your Christmas spirit down a notch or two with his recycled Christmas-tree installation; featured with work by painter Tammy Spears and sculptor Amy Died, who uses assembled scrap wood (see bio box). Robbie Mildred Gallery, 307 E Pike St, 903-1246. Through Jan 6.


*UNTIL 2000: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF BEATKIT™

There will be an apocalypse of sorts at the end of this year: Artist Shawn Wolfe will cease to use his trademark Beatkit. This campaign to sell nothing under its own brand name has been seen on paintings, posters, drawings, and on "Panic Now" stickers all over the city. Even without his clever non-marketing strategy, Wolfe's work is bright and alluring and smart. Beatkit™, ultimately, is beautifully unnecessary. Houston, 907 E Pike St, 860-7820. Through Jan 12.


CALL FOR ARTISTS


WHAT IS GAY ART?

A visual arts contest open to gay and bisexual artists whose work explores what it means to be queer, and its relationship to space as a whole. The finalists' work will be exhibited in a two-week show at the Robbie Mildred Gallery. Deadline is Jan 31; for information, call 860-6969, or visit www.gaycity.org.

Support The Stranger