When you enter the elevator to go to the 73rd floor of the Columbia Center building, you are traveling vertically through time (and space, I suppose). As you hurtle upward, a screen recounting the birth and formation of the landscape around Seattle—from violent prehistoric volcanoes to terraforming mudslides—plays somewhat scarily in the background. Taking us through time, we are to understand the bottom floor as representing prehistory, pre-comprehension and the 73rd floor, our lofty destination, as the pinnacle of both human thought and civilization.
Fitting for a queer art show.
Look How Far We've Come: A Queer Art Show 902 Feet in the Air is literally that—a bunch of queer art really high off the ground. Curated by Factory director Timothy Rysdyke, the show is featured right off the elevators at the 360-degree Sky View Observatory in the Columbia Center, Seattle's tallest skyscraper. And while I'm usually not super thrilled at the idea of grouping work solely by marginalized identity, this show works in its straightforwardness and the talent of all involved.
This view helps too:
Sequoia Day O'Connell's use of sickly greens and blues and bright neon pinks and oranges is an unexpected color combination that really works. These clashing colors create intimate and dynamic portraits of friends in private moments (and spaces):
After a night performing as Femme Daddy, Jessica Marie Mercy presses her made-up face into a baby wipe, creating these distinct portraits of drag, gender, and labor. At Look How Far We've Come, she presents four from this series.
Julian Peña's Black John Doe has a beautiful cool palette. Its perspective is like looking at a body through a pane of dewy glass, a slowly uploaded picture of a friend, someone who you know, but can't quite place, an idea, a projection, etc.
The exhibition officially opens tomorrow on June 1 (the first day of Pride month) and entrance is $20 (which is the observatory fee), but—pro tip—the opening celebration is on June 6, as part of the Art Walk, and entrance is FREE. Plus DJ B More Free will be spinning some tunes and a window mural will be painted throughout the night by Rainbow Tay. And, god, have I mentioned the view?