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If you’ve been in and around Seattle over the past couple years, you've undoubtedly encountered Stevie Shao’s work. Maybe while slurping your favorite locally brewed pilsner. Or perhaps out at a Kraken game. Or maybe even while taking in the sun on the patio of a Capitol Hill coffee shop. In any case, Shao is seemingly everywhere these days. And we’re all better for it. Her bright, energetic murals often incorporate colorful creatures and florals that are inspired by Chinese ceramics, traditional American tattoos, and folk art. Shao’s chromatic public works are a welcome respite in a city still hesitant to drench itself in color.
Coinciding with the Ballard ArtWalk, the muralist/painter/illustrator will have an opening for her solo show, Metamorphosis, up at Ballard’s new-ish Get Nice Gallery. For the exhibition, Shao turned her focus to creepy, crawly creatures like scorpions and centipedes and transformed them into large, vibrant wall sculptures. “While I often focus on awe-inspiring mythical creatures and their origins, it was time to take a magnifying glass to some smaller roles, drawing inspiration from traditional printed Chinese kites,” wrote Shao in an Instagram post about the show. “These small but mighty shapeshifters carry powerful symbolism of protection, abundance, vulnerability and concurrent risk-taking not limited by size or beauty.” Metamorphosis will also feature a huuuuuge wrap-around mural that encompasses the gallery as well as a limited run of Shao-designed/Ink Knife Press-printed bandanas and archival prints. Don’t miss this one!
Stevie Shao’s Metamorphosis opens at Get Nice Gallery on Saturday, June 11 from 5-9 pm. Those bandanas and prints are first come, first served!