As opposed to hauling and hawking wares in an air-conditioned stadium for the weekend, SDAF will take place over the course of August in Seattle's own galleries, with no application or booth fees inhibiting who can participate. It's a chance for artists and galleries to either show work from exhibitions that got truncated because of the pandemic or a chance to play with old and new work outside of already planned shows.
Being in front of artwork again feels like a gift after we've all been confined mostly to our houses this spring and summer. I've sifted through the galleries and artists participating and highlighted five shows I'm most interested to see this month. As a reminder, masks are—of course—required and you've got to keep your six feet of distance from other patrons. Some galleries require you to make appointments to visit or limit the number of people allowed inside, which I've noted.
(August 1-22, Tuesday - Saturday 10:30-5:30)
What would an art fair in Seattle be without the bluest of chips, Greg Kucera Gallery? The roster of artists that are currently hanging in his replica booth constructed inside his gallery is off the charts with some Stranger favorites like Ramiro Gomez, Jacob Lawrence, and Drie Chapek. But what I'm most excited to see in person again is Seattle-based artist Anthony White's recent work, which continues to evolve. Put this on your "To See" list.
(Aug 6-29, Tues-Sat 10:30-5)
This Pioneer Square Gallery will feature paintings from artists Alfredo Arreguin, Tim Cross, Sue Danielson, Cable Griffith, David Hytone, and Ilana Zweschi. I felt particularly drawn to Zweschi's work after reading about her process in Seattle Met last month. She takes incendiary text documents, rearranges the letters alphabetically, assigns each letter a color, then creates an algorithm that drives her brush strokes. Her paintings look like the guts of a computer, an abstracted and acrylic covered motherboard.
(All month Wed-Sat, by appointment only)
Oh, man! Will you look at the frame on this bad boy? Never has resin so much resembled coral or the insides of a cell. This is a collaborative piece by Einar & Jamex de la Torre, whose show, Neopaganismo (back to the forests), will be on display at Koplin del Rio for SDAF. The exhibition features "large scale lenticular works," like the surreally beautiful and excessive one above, and hand-blown glass sculptures influenced by the brothers' Mexican background, drawing on their Native Mexican, Spanish and Aztec ancestry. Also up at KDR is Sean Howe's bright and utopian Spillways.
(All month, by appointment only)
Over in Belltown, Phylogeny Contemporary will be featuring the rather haunting work of La Vaughn Belle, whose interventions on enlarged historical photographs look like a visual manifestation of a powerful spell. Her Cuts and Burns series came out of her interest in the fretwork designs in Frederiksted, Virgin Islands whose proliferation was "a direct result of the town being largely burnt down after the 1878 Labor Revolt (or Fireburn) and then being rebuilt during the Victorian era when these designs were popular." The newer work up at Phylogeny jumps from paper to photos, where Belle cuts and burns holes into archival images from the Virgin Islands, interrogating labor, race, and colonization.
(All month, Friday 2pm-8pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am-5pm, and by appointment)
Should you find yourself in the Central District, Wa Na Wari boasts a welcoming space jam-packed with art. For SDAF, they have extended their show which has been up since March, but that few in the community have been able to see due to the pandemic. The exhibition which spans the whole house features the video work of Elise Peterson, Jamaal Hasef's prints, and multimedia work by Lisa Jarrett. In particular, keep an eye out for Lavett Ballard's "4 Little Girls" (pictured above), a piece that references the four little girls who were murdered by white supremacists in the 1963 bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Hair is one of the best mediums—both on and off the head—that artists have to work with. I'm excited to see it in person.
Check out the rest of the galleries and artists participating here.