On the first Thursday of every month, Seattleites flock to the streets of Pioneer Square for the city's central and oldest art walk, which offers opportunities to stroll, sip on wine, and attend as many gallery openings as possible. But, in most cases, the shows are up for longer than just one night, and the historic neighborhood is a great place to check out art any day of the year. So, below, we've compiled the most promising exhibits that are opening in March—complete with a handy Google map at the bottom. You can also find more options on our First Thursday calendar or our complete visual art calendar.
Art ∩ Math
This exhibition, meant to express "art intersects math," articulates the close relationship between (you guessed it) art and mathematics. The invited contributors include artists who use mathematical principles and mathematicians who create art. You'll find 3D works, oil paintings, textiles, and more—plus, there will be performances and other special events throughout the duration of the show, including (of course) a Pi Day celebration. Feel very smart as you peruse these works.
Brandon Vosika: Musée d'Brandon
Party Hat will be temporarily transformed into a museum of miniature art, featuring 20 pieces that require a magnifying glass for optimal appreciation. The gift shop will also house special offerings like a limited edition enamel pin produced in collaboration with the gallery, a mixtape of spooky stories and sounds, and a floor-to-ceiling display of Brandon Vosika's collection of unsold work (which will be available at a discount).
Party Hat (First Thursday only)
Crystal Wagner: NEXUS
Crystal Wagner's creature-like sculptures, which resemble blue and green sea slugs from Neptune, will inhabit the gallery.
Daria Tessler: Shadows Are Mirrors That Move
Daria Tessler's hallucinatory prints, accompanied by masks and more, will be on display at this opening. If they're anything like her other work, they'll look like posters on the wall of the most imaginative hippie space explorer/children's book author you'll ever meet.
X Y Z (First Thursday only)
Erin Armstrong, Carlos Donjuan, and Julia Lambright: Portraiture
These three artists take divergent—and non-literal—approaches to the portrait, eliciting themes of "cultural identity, societal acceptance and self-definition."
The wonderfully named Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser, artist, architect, and environmental activist, scorned the strictures of right angles and straight lines in favor of wavery borders and depictions of landscapes that would be childlike if not for their complexity and density. See his photolithographs and silkscreen prints.
Gregory Blackstock: Survey of Drawings
Seattle's Gregory Blackstock catalogues the ordinary and interesting in meticulous visual lists, from dog breeds to train stations to Macchi-Castoldi Italian fighter planes. He won a 2017 Wynn Newhouse Foundation Award, bestowed on highly talented artists with disabilities—autism, in Blackstock's case. His drawings, colored in with markers and pencils, reach to the margins and leave little white space, but their rhythm and regularity leaven any sense of crowding. While not strictly realistic, they reveal Blackstock's love of detail and small variations. He even has several pieces devoted to pages of a thesaurus, rendered word-for-word. If you've ever flipped through a birding guide or seed catalogue or collection of architectural drawings just for fun, you know the kind of pleasure Blackstock's art will bring you.
Greg Kucera Gallery
Humaira Abid: My Shame
Humaira Abid's emotionally affecting, highly detailed sculpture, often carved in wood, evokes difficult, tragic, and uncomfortable themes. For her new show, Abid dramatizes feminine shame, in hopes that bringing natural and social issues to light will help to break down taboos.
ArtXChange (second reception in March; show opened in February)
In the Shadow of Olympus
The Art Beasties collective spans continents, with members in Seattle (Junko Yamamoto, Yuki Nakamura, and Paul Komada), New York, London, and Tokyo who collaborate via Skype. For this exhibition, inspired by the metaphorical passage of the Olympic flame from Rio de Janeiro to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics, the members have created art about the beloved/notorious international competition. According to their sensibilities, the artists depict the effect of the next summer games as "positively enthusiastic to pessimistically dystopian." Odds are you won't be able to see Art Beasties' show at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum this June, so catch them here as they ponder whether the sporting ceremonies will burden or elevate the city.
Joey Veltkamp: Blue Skies Forever
After 20 years in Seattle, beloved Northwest artist Joey Veltkamp has recently relocated to the city of Bremerton on the Kitsap Peninsula, an hour west by ferry. For his first solo show at Greg Kucera, Veltkamp uses quilting techniques to stitch together the disparate aspirations, economic conditions, and histories of these neighboring cities. The centerpiece is an enormous quilt made of denim from Bremerton thrift stores that says "BLUE SKIES FOREVER." The title is a Lana Del Rey lyric that alludes to buoyant optimism in the face of adversity, but it could also reference his view of the region from the Salish Sea, where Veltkamp has already spotted seals and orcas during his commute. EMILY POTHAST
Greg Kucera Gallery
Justin Duffus's realistic paintings resemble snapshots into turbulent human behaviors, calling to us to flesh out the stories behind them. They isolate the strangeness of our fellow people, our possessions, our spaces, and our rituals.
Linda Hodges Gallery
Keisuke Yamamoto works in paint, pencil, and especially wooden sculpture, creating mystical objects that resemble something between religious icons and organisms. Since major earthquakes and the economic recession in Japan, Yamamato has returned to a simpler style, abandoning his penchant for colossal pieces.
Czech-born artist Klara Glosova, a 2015 Stranger Genius Award nominee and winner of numerous other laurels, depicts the tension of parents on the sidelines as their children play sports. Her paintings emphasize individuality, slight movements, and isolation.
Linda Hodges Gallery
Melissa Kagerer: Museum of the Irrational Self
Photographer Melissa Kagerer's self-portraits are colorful, dramatic, and odd. In one image, her face is covered with tiny scorpion tattoos and her mouth is stuffed with a yellow plastic chain. In another, she's positioned in front of a leopard print background wearing an ill-fitting wig and braces. Kagerer's work deals with the ambiguity of self-curation. By choosing what we decide to display and what we keep hidden, we are constantly creating and presenting cultivated images that only tell part of the story. The Museum of the Irrational Self invites the viewer into Kagerer's world of fantasy and awkwardness—braces and all. EMILY POTHAST
X Y Z