Find a complete list of art shows in Seattle this spring on our Things To Do calendar, or check out the rest of our critics' picks from Seattle Art and Performance.
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Jump to: Museums | Galleries | Art Events
Bellevue Arts Museum
Humaira Abid: Searching for Home (Through March 25): Born in Pakistan and based in Seattle, Humaira Abid works in wood carving and miniature painting. Abid's first solo museum exhibition in the United States, Searching for Home, is a site-specific installation revolving around the stories of immigrants and refugees in the Pacific Northwest. Political yet poignant, this work renders the humanity of families affected by far-reaching forces into magnificent, stunning forms. EP
Walter McConnell: Itinerant Edens (Through March 25): Artist and ceramic art professor Walter McConnell is known for doing something unusual with his clay pieces: not firing them. His wet ceramic pieces are often intricate, complicated, and enormous, and anyone looking at them would never question how "finished" they are. His latest exhibit, Itinerant Edens: A Measure of Disorder, looks terrifying. McConnell took full-body scans of live models, made 3D plaster molds based on their bodies, and cast terracotta clay models from the molds. He then created nature-inspired pedestals, put the human figures on top, and sealed the scenes in tall, thin terrariums. The end result looks like a dystopian version of the Natural History Museum. JULIA RABAN
José Guadalupe Posada and the Mexican Penny Press (April 13–Aug 19): José Guadalupe Posada was one of Mexico's most influential printmakers and illustrators. While he made everything from illustrations for children's games to sensationalistic news stories that appeared in "penny press" publications, Posada is best known for his satirical representations of calaveras (skeletons). This exhibition features those, along with other prints and media by the artist.
Making Our Mark: Art by Pratt Teaching Artists (Through April 15): The Pratt Fine Arts Center is a true resource for the community. It's the most grassroots, accessible place to make art of all kinds, from starting out in prints or clay or metal sculptures, to using large-scale or arcane equipment to realize a grand project that will be exhibited at a museum. And over the years they've had an incredible roster of teaching artists, including Buster Simpson, Marita Dingus, Mary Anne Carter, Preston Singletary, and Cappy Thompson. Making our Mark will showcase pieces by more than 250 past and present Pratt teaching artists.
Frye Art Museum
Tavares Strachan: Always, Sometimes, Never (Through April 15): Born and raised in the Bahamas and currently based in New York, Tavares Strachan is a conceptual artist whose work in a diverse range of mediums investigates the overlapping domains of science, technology, and history—in particular the hidden stories and agendas behind common cultural narratives. His signature mediums include neon sculpture and projected lights, often presented alongside reflecting pools that suggest the distortion of perception and reveal invisible implications. EP
Ko Kirk Yamahira (Through June 3): Seattle artist (by way of London, Tokyo, and LA) Ko Kirk Yamahira delicately dissects canvas in a play on the distinctions between two- and three-dimensional art forms and an exploration of color and texture.
Henry Art Gallery
The Time. The Place. Contemporary Art from the Collection (Through April 22): To celebrate its 90th anniversary, the Henry will display a diverse spread of more than 50 works from their contemporary collection.
Elizabeth Murray and Anne Waldman: Her Story (May 5–Nov 4): Elizabeth Murray and Anne Waldman's long collaboration produced a collection of drawings, prints, and poems reflecting on femininity, freedom, and interior and exterior life. Their symbiotic creation, consisting of 13 folded pages, will be on view, a testament to their friendship.
2018 University of Washington MFA + MDes Thesis Exhibition (May 26–June 24): Every year, the UW's MFA program deposits a cohort of emerging artists into the local scene. This year's crop includes Nate Clark, who uses woven materials as a stand-in for networks and structures, and Caitlin Wilson, whose large-scale paintings are evocative of Cy Twombly, Mark Tobey, and Emily Gherard. Alex Kang uses technology to explore the heartbreak of losing information in translation, while Katie Schroeder uses it to focus on identity, belonging, and the curation of our surroundings. Other artists include Lacy Bockhoff, David Burr, Ian Cooper, Daniel Hewat, Erin Meyer, and Christian Alborz Oldham. Catch their work before they finish school and can no longer afford to live here. EP
Museum of Glass
Akio Takamori: Portraits and Sleepers (Through May 7): Seattle's art community is still reeling from the loss of beloved University of Washington professor Akio Takamori, who passed away early last year. Best known for his influential figurative work in ceramics—and for helping to make UW a nationwide destination for ceramics students—Takamori also completed a residency at the Museum of Glass in August 2014. During this time, he created mold-made figurative flasks inspired by ancient Roman glass art, embellishing the surfaces with enamel paints. Portraits and Sleepers is an exhibition of these glass works. It's a rare opportunity to see another side of a local treasure. EP
Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI)
Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith (Through June 17): Smith never considered himself a professional photographer. But his photographs of the Central District, jazz clubs, and African American community in Seattle number in the tens of thousands, and their quality, depth, and breadth are unparalleled. In particular, his documentation of the Jackson Street jazz scene has helped preserve memories of a relatively fleeting but culturally formative time in our city's history.
Museum of Northwest Art
For the Masses (Through March 25): For the Masses is MoNA's first permanent collection exhibition devoted entirely to printmaking—processes for creating multiples such as etching, woodcut, and lithography. The exhibition features graphic works by artists such as Jacob Lawrence, Guy Anderson, Glen Alps, Jeffry Mitchell, and Helen A. Loggie, as well as an entire archival collection of a hand-printed art and literature journal called Bamboo, published in the 1990s. For the Masses provides a fascinating portrait of Northwest art history shot through the democratic lens of printmaking. EP
Holly Andres: The Homecoming (Through March 25): Photographer Holly Andres enjoys telling "compelling and dramatic stories," often rooted in her own experiences. In this series, a woman leaves behind a suitcase with all her worldly possessions, and it is found by two young sisters. In secret, the two girls go through the contents of the suitcase and discover many objects associated with "adult femininity."
Northern Exposure: Contemporary Nordic Arts Revealed (May 5–Sept 16): Opening the new 57,000 square-foot Nordic Museum in downtown Ballard, this exhibition brings together contemporary Scandinavian artists Olafur Eliasson, Jesper Just, Bjarne Melgaard, Kim Simonsson, Tori Wrånes, and others. Dropping "Heritage" from its name, the new Nordic Museum's design by local architects Mithun is inspired by fjords with bridges that crisscross the interior and an exterior skin resembling glaciers. Kim Simonsson's nuclear green sculptures of dystopian woodland children, Cajsa Von Ziepel's BDSM-ish, sexually explicit sculptures, and Jesper Just's mildly porno films usher in a new era for the museum. It remains to be seen whether the largest Scandinavian community outside the old country can handle it. KK
Northwest African American Museum
Jessica Rycheal and Zorn B. Taylor: Everyday Black (Through Sept 1): Jessica Rycheal is a portrait photographer whose work documents subjects drawn from Seattle's multigenerational activist community with a sensuous, effervescent joie de vivre. Also a portrait photographer, Zorn B. Taylor often spotlights the idea of intentionally chosen family, capturing his subjects with simultaneous attention toward the monumental and the quotidian. In this two-person exhibition, curated by C. Davida Ingram and Leilani Lewis, Rycheal and Taylor present a series of intimate, honest, and lovingly created photographs celebrating many prominent members of Seattle's black creative community. EP
Seattle Art Museum
Basquiat: Untitled (March 21– Aug 13): This energetic, gestural painting of a screaming skull by Jean-Michel Basquiat is on view on the West Coast for the very first time. You have just a few months to see the tragically short-lived Brooklyn artist's work without leaving Seattle.
Jono Vaughan (April 21–Aug 5): The winner of the 2017 Betty Bowen award is Jono Vaughan, an artist who works in printmaking, textiles, painting, drawing, and performance. Vaughan's Project 42 raises awareness about the extreme violence that transgender people face in the United States. Each work in the series begins with an image of a murder location, translated into a textile print which is used to create a garment. The garment is then worn by a collaborator in a performance, as a way to forge memories, create connections, and transmute violence into conversation and healing. EP
Figuring History: Robert Colescott, Kerry James Marshall, Mickalene Thomas (Through May 13): If you see one museum exhibition this year, Figuring History would be a good choice. It begins by dissecting the conventions of history painting, which tends to cast oppressors as heroes and ignore black experiences altogether. Figuring History aims to right this historical wrong by connecting the large-scale, satirical works of the late painter Robert Colescott with magnificent works by Kerry James Marshall and Mickalene Thomas—contemporary artists who are reframing how we think about monumental painting. It's especially exciting to see Thomas's dazzling, collage-like surfaces in real life, but the whole show is a feast for the eyes, intellect, and soul. EP
Everyday Poetics (Through June 17): These works by Central and South American artists are constructed from humble materials—from dust cloths to soda cans to lottery tickets—to make sculptural poetry shaped by social, resistance-related, and religious themes.
Sondra Perry: Eclogue for [In]habitability (Through July 1): New media artist Sondra Perry, winner of the 2017 Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Prize for early-career black artists, uses video installations to interrogate how African Americans are treated by the media and by law enforcement.
Tacoma Art Museum
Captive Light: The Life and Photography of Ella E. McBride (Through July 8): Ella McBride, who was born in 1862 and died in 1965 at 102, was one of the most accomplished and widely exhibited Pictorialist photographers during the early 1900s. Pictorialism introduced a more painterly rather than documentary approach to photography by combining artistic composition with experimentation during the development process. In McBride's "Shirley Poppy," a single bloomed poppy with two budded stems stand tall in an overlarge Chinese vase while cherry blossoms cast shadows on the wall behind. Not sepia-toned nor black and white, the warm tan hues lend a soft elegance to the piece. When not producing her own work, McBride ran famed photographer Edward Curtis's studio and was an accomplished mountaineer. KK
White River Valley Museum
Suffer for Beauty: Women's History Revealed Through Undergarments (Through June 17): Now referred to as the more benign-sounding "shapewear" instead of the grandma-sounding "girdle" or restrictive-sounding "corset," women have struggled in and out of figure-shaping undergarments since ancient times. (In the Iliad, Aphrodite passes her girdle to Hera and says, "Take this girdle wherein all my charms reside and lay it in your bosom.") Suffer for Beauty covers 90 years of undergarments and includes everything from wire bustles to restrictive bodices, pregnancy corsets to pointed bras. One of the displays features the Mark Eden bust developer, which co-curator Patricia Cosgrove tracked down to include in the show. As a teenager, Patricia ordered one of the pink spring-loaded clamshells, heavily advertised in the1960s, to help her bust line go "from the average or below average to a richer fuller development." I didn't ask Patricia about her bust size, but I do know that Mark Eden was eventually shut down by the USPS for mail fraud. KK
Wing Luke Museum
Year of Remembrance: Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner (Through April 22): Former Stranger visual art critic Jen Graves wrote that Roger Shimomura's 2009 exhibition Yellow Terror contained "art that he hopes will lose its power." Unfortunately, his work (paintings crowded with snarling Japanese stereotypes, prints about American concentration camps, and collections of racist objects) has become intensely relevant. Shimomura's pop-art social critiques are highlighted alongside Lawrence Matsuda's poetry in Year of Remembrance, a show that fits an impossible amount of history, writing, video, and visual art centered on Shimomura's and Matsuda's own experiences of internment.
Teardrops That Wound: The Absurdity of War (Through May 20): Portland artist Yukiyo Kawano is a third generation hibaku-sha—a survivor of the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Her life-size replica of 'Little Boy' (the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima) is crafted from kimono silk and strands of her own hair—containing DNA bearing witness to this history. In Teardrops that Wound, curated by SuJ'n Chon, Kawano's work stands in dialogue with the work of other Asian Pacific American artists who use transformative strategies to deconstruct the horror associated with the imagery of war. EP
12th Avenue Arts
Kelda Martensen (Through April 1): North Seattle College art professor Kelda Martensen will show work from her series RUN: An Artist Book of Broadsides.
Kathryn Thibault: The Encroach-ing Field (Through March 29): Kathryn Thibault's intimate sculptures "reference the growth and interaction of living bodies and mechanical structures," simultaneously employing and exposing the shortcoming of data analysis.
Amanda Kirkhuff: Everything Is Hard (April 5–26): According to a recent interview, self-proclaimed "militant homosexual" Amanda Kirkhuff's work in this show explores "the role the gay community plays in the revolution." Many of her lush oil portraits show women and queers in more or less ordinary scenes. Shotgun captures the stoner rite-of-passage where one tattooed twenty-something woman purses her lips to pass (presumably) pot smoke to the waiting mouth of another woman. Their eyes nearly closed, this erotic moment of not-quite-but-nearly-French-kissing has played out among stoner duos everywhere. Passing the Joint features a gesture resembling Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam, where Adam reaches out to touch the hand of God. One hand with squared-off, red-painted fingernails reaches for a joint from another hand with long, embellished, manicured fingernails. KK
Coley Mixan: F.I.B.E.R. Earth-Bound Training Center (June 7–28): Coley Mixan is a writer, musician, and visual artist whose psychedelic, saturated Vimeo channel is described as "attempting to impose a credible order upon ordinary reality." This exhibition serves as both an indoctrination site and training program for something Mixan calls F.I.B.E.R. (Feminists Improving Boundless, Eternal, Rock n' Roll). F.I.B.E.R. aims to fight patriarchal conspiracies and constipation in the form of "toroidal pastries" (donuts?) traveling through the G.U.T. (Grand Unified Theory of space-time). The strategy of trying to dislodge the patriarchy with F.I.B.E.R. so that it can be shit out is so fanciful it just might work. EP
Thru the Roof (Through April 14): Artists from across the US and beyond, joined by the Portland collective DeeDee, will exhibit a contemplation of "exit strategies." Should you stay or should you go now? The artists attempting to answer the question—or more precisely, to contemplate what the acts of leaving and staying imply—include the video artist Kirsten Leenars, photographer and video maker Gonzalo Reyes Rodriguez, utopia-minded artist Regina Mamou, and visual artist David Cordero.
Humaira Abid: My Shame (Through March 31): 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.
Dave Calver: Limbo Lounge (March 22–April 7): The title of Dave Calver's graphic novel, Limbo Lounge, is quite literal: The dead wait in a bar to find out their final destination, passing the time with wandering denizens of hell. You'll want to see this sinister bedlam of doomed souls, homicidal princesses, vigilante nuns, and a couple of "flower-headed freaks," rendered in Calver's muffled textures and circus colors.
Mike Wagner: From Fool to World (May 19–June 30): Guest curator Negarra A. Kudumu (whom Charles Mudede once called "something like a marvelous cloud of thinking and practices that are constantly processing contemporary art, curation, and critical theory") has chosen to exhibit Mike Wagner's paintings and sarcastic "public service announcements," which feature texts like "Proof Racism Does Not Exist No. 16: No One Owns Their Culture."
Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA)
Art ∩ Math (Through April 14): 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.
Living Cultures (Through April 30): Sharon Grainger's photographs reveal Haida, Lummi, Tlingit, and Kwakwaka'wakw contemporary life through portraits paired with narratives by tribal elders. They'll be accompanied by objects like artifacts and regalia, as well as 10 photographs by the celebrated Edward S. Curtis.
Friedensreich Hundertwasser (Through March 31): 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.
Keisuke Yamamoto (Through March 31): Keisuke Yamamoto works in paint, pencil, and especially wooden sculpture, creating mystical objects that resemble something between religious icons and organisms.
Michael Spafford: Epic Prints (April 5–28): Northwest legend Michael Spafford often combines mysterious forms with mythical themes.
Rufino Tamayo: Selected Etchings (May 4–June 2): The Mexican painter and printmaker Rufino del Carmen Arellanes Tamayo, whose work spanned the 20th century, drew on abstract trends, figurative traditions, pre-Columbian heritage, and surrealism.
Joan Miró: Etchings & Lithographs (June 8–30): The Catalan painter and sculptor Joan Miró, like Salvador Dalí and others in the surrealist movement, was galvanized by the theories of André Breton. Intrigued by the idea of plunging into the unconscious, he ditched his early investigations of realism, cubism, and naïve art to play with geometric, organic, vividly colored forms in striking compositions. Miró hasn't had the same pop-culture impact as Dalí, but his body of work is less encumbered by his contemporary's dogmatism and attention-hogging.
Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery
Wallace Wood (Through April 11): Classic comics and sci-fi fans, flock to this exhibition of Wallace Alan Wood's Golden and Silver Age illustrations for EC Comics.
Joshua Simmons & Friends (April 14–May 2): The gallery will exhibit art from Joshua Simmons et al.'s new graphic story collection Flayed Corpse, which delights in horror genre tropes and includes art by James Romberger, Anders Nilsen, Tara Booth, Eroyn Franklin, Tom Van Deusen, and Eric Reynolds.
Ellen Forney (May 5–June 6): Ellen Forney's wonderful cartoons have enhanced The Stranger's pages for years, and we loved her memoir about her bipolar disorder, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me—oh, and we also gave her a Genius Award, so you can bet we're delighted to see that she's following up with a new book. This one's called Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice from My Bipolar Life, and you will probably need it on your shelf.
Jini Dellaccio (June 9–July 12): Starting as a self-taught fashion photographer in California, Jini Dellaccio (1917-2014) was one of those right place, right time photographers. A teaching job brought her to the Northwest in the '60s, where she was asked to capture the essence and energy of proto-grunge bands like the Sonics and the Wailers, as well as the wide-eyed winsomeness of Seattle native Merrilee Rush ("Angel of the Morning"). The first female rock and roll photographer, Dellaccio (who, in an interview, said she didn't know she was the first) also shot Neil Young, Mick Jagger, and the Who. KK
Erin Armstrong, Carlos Donjuan, and Julia Lambright: Portraiture (Through March 24): These three artists take divergent—and non-literal—approaches to the portrait, eliciting themes of "cultural identity, societal acceptance and self-definition."
G. Gibson Gallery
Susanna Bluhm: Mississippi & Arizona (Through April 14): Many of us reacted to the 2016 election by crying, binge drinking, and unfriending family members on Facebook. Susanna Bluhm vowed to visit as many so-called "red states" as possible over the next four years to have firsthand experiences in places she only knew through the media. "I'm not trying to have the quintessential experience of each state," says Bluhm, but she's also "not observing from a distance." Mississippi & Arizona is what happens when a queer, white mother who happens to be one of the most sensuous and thoughtful oil painters in the Pacific Northwest seeks out intimate experiences in two places very different from her own. EP
Michael Kenna: Abruzzo and Other New Work (June 1–July 7): Michael Kenna of England will show new photographs. His work often makes use of long exposures to tease out unusual facets of natural and manmade landscapes all around the world.
Aaron Brady: The Color of Breathing (May 3–June 2): Aaron Brady's ghostly style will likely lend itself to this work addressing "collective asphyxiation caused by our toxic environment."
Greg Kucera Gallery
Gregory Blackstock: Survey of Drawings (Through March 31): 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.
Joey Veltkamp: Blue Skies Forever (Through March 31): 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. EP
Michael Spafford: The Epic Works (April 5–May 26): Northwest legend Michael Spafford often combines mysterious forms with mythical themes, or creates flat yet kinetic scenes of figures in action.
Collapse: Recent Works by Dewey Crumpler (Through May 19): The global economy is a curious beast, by which financial systems understood and maneuvered by a few take human and environmental tolls. Dewey Crumpler's Collapse seeks out the "beauty and terror" of these systems, capturing their monolithic quality to help us feel their potential for vast destruction. Some of his paintings look like reading Jeff VanderMeer's environmental horror feels. Sampada Aranke of the Art Institute of Chicago has guest-curated this exhibition.
Jack Straw New Media Gallery
Matthew Thomas Shoemaker: Brain Goreng (April 13–May 18): In Seattle's close-knit sound art community, the name Matt Shoemaker is synonymous with a deep and intense relationship with the ecstatic art of listening. Known for constructing intricate physical reverb/feedback systems out of springs, Shoemaker's music has been released on many international labels including Trente Oiseaux, Helen Scarsdale Agency, and Elevator Bath. In private, he also devoted himself to visionary, vividly detailed painting. Shoemaker's life was tragically cut short last year, and those who knew him are still reeling. This exhibition, organized with assistance from Dave Knott, Robert Millis, and the Shoemaker family celebrates the life and work of a bona fide genius. EP
James Harris Gallery
Akio Takamori: Paintings and Sculptures (May 3–June 30): Beloved figurative ceramics artist Akio Takamori —whose recent death still grieves his University of Washington and Seattle community—will be the subject of this exhibition, which will pair his drawings and related ceramic sculptures.
Kirkland Arts Center
Ryan Molenkamp (March 30–June 1): Ryan Molenkamp's lovely large-scale landscapes lend abstract textures and saturated colors to the geography of the Northwest.
Troy Gua: Immaculate Disasters (June 1–Aug 3): Troy Gua's art trades in intersectional identities, cultural critique, and contemporary humor. For this show, Gua has played around with utopic, ukiyo-e-inspired landscapes.
Linda Hodges Gallery
Justin Duffus (Through March 31): Justin Duffus's realistic paintings resemble snapshots of turbulent human behaviors, calling to us to flesh out the stories behind them.
Klara Glosova (Through March 31): 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.
Ginny Ruffner: Reforestation of the Imagination (Through March 24): Ginny Ruffner, with help from new media artist Grant Kirkpatrick, will create a glass and bronze sculpture forest depicting natural and creative regeneration, including "unusually evolved flowers."
Melissa Kagerer: Museum of the Irrational Self (Through March 25): 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. The Museum of the Irrational Self invites the viewer into Kagerer's world of fantasy and awkwardness—braces and all. EP
Patricia Rovzar Gallery
Anne Siems (April 5–30): Anne Siems reflects the influence of medieval, early modern, and romantic European art, setting delicate portraits with Byzantine eyes against abstract backgrounds. To see the work of this German artist (who's now based in Seattle) is to glimpse a compression of Western art through the centuries.
Photographic Center Northwest
Jun Ahn: On the Verge (Through April 8): A slim-looking woman, usually in a purple or blue dress, sits or stands on the edge of a skyscraper in a massive city of skyscrapers (New York City, Hong Kong, Seoul). Her self-portraits are portraits of the human condition in the 21st century. CM
Renee Adams: Reclaim (Through March 31): Renee Adams's mixed media sculptures represent an "artificial reality" in which natural selection has taken a shift, and plants require little more than the debris of humankind to thrive.
Re:Definition 2018: Celebrating 90 Years of Community, Culture and Space (Through Dec 30): For the Paramount's 90th birthday, respected curators Juan Alonso-Rodríguez, Tracy Rector, and Tariqa Waters preside over an exhibition of their own and other locals' works, including "large-scale panels, ceiling installations, video projection, and a rotating salon wall of artwork created by youth from various non-profit organizations." Alonso-Rodríguez's painting and activism won him a Conducive Garboil Grant in 2017, Rector's a Stranger Genius Award winner, and Waters is a longtime Stranger favorite for her roguish and iconoclastic sensibility. They've chosen Christopher Paul Jordan, Junko Yamamoto, Rhea Vega, Kenji Hamai Stoll, Joe (wahalatsu?) Seymour, Jr., and Gabriel Marquez to display work with them in the gallery.
In the Shadow of Olympus (Through March 31): 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."
Masters of Disguise IV: Group Mask Exhibition (June 7–30): This iteration of Masters of Disguise will once again examine masks and their specific cultural, social, and economic place in Pacific Northwest and Alaska, featuring modern and traditional works by a variety of artists in media including glass, wood, stone, hide, fiber, metal, and ceramic.
Preston Singletary: The Air World (April 5–28): Whenever Tlingit artist Preston Singletary unveils new blown, sand-carved glass artwork, you can expect impressive craftsmanship and a mesmerizing take on Native themes, symbols, and codes.
Winston Wächter Fine Art
Etsuko Ichikawa: Vitrified (Through April 25): Seven years ago this spring, an earthquake off the coast of Japan led to the release of radioactive material from a nuclear power in Fukushima. Ever since, world renowned glass artist Etsuko Ichikawa has been thinking about the artifacts left by her Japanese ancestors in terms of the impact of contemporary human civilization on our environment. For her new video Vitrified, she has created a series of glass orbs that contain traces of uranium and give off a haunting green glow and placed them in lush and pristine natural environments. EP
Maja Petrić (Through March 24): Who knew that there were so many awards for light art? Maja Petri knows, because she's either won or been nominated for a number of them. A PhD in DXARTS (digital art and experimental media) from University of Washington, she's now the artist in residence of Redmond. Her light boxes collect data through artificial intelligence and transform them into "unstable environments" that evoke the fragmentation and anxiety of her childhood in wartime Yugoslavia.
Berndnaut Smilde (April 14–May 26): Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde creates massive installations made of materials like inkjet-printed plywood, aerogel, prisms, and clouds. Yes, clouds.
Gage Academy of Art
Rebecca Albiani: Käthe Kollwitz (April 25): The German artist Käthe Kollwitz expressed the agony of WWI, Weimar, and WWII-era Berlin through her bleak, compassionate drawings and prints. Learn about her hopes for social progress and her response to overwhelming despair from lecturer Rebecca Albiani.
Jeffrey Simmons: The Op Art Movement (May 2): Local abstract precisionist Jeffrey Simmons will reintroduce you to the 1960s Op Art movement, whose trademark was inducing illusions of movement or change through abstract designs.
A Survey of Female Surrealists (April 19): Stranger contributor Emily Pothast will offer an overview of the innovations of important female surrealist artists like Leonora Carrington, Kay Sage, and Maria Martins. A workshop with surrealistic prompts and techniques will follow.
Henry Art Gallery
Henry Gala & Dance Party (April 21): Celebrate the Henry's exhibitions with cocktails, dinner, and a short program. After that, dance the night away (until the clock strikes 12).
Seattle Art Museum
Complex Exchange: Figuring Black Futures Today (March 28): Exhibits from the Seattle Art Museum and the Northwest African American Museum (particularly Figuring History and Everyday Black) will inspire community members' conversations on "race, power, politics, and representation." Participants will include Jessica Rycheal, dancer and choreographer Nia-Amina Minor, and Seattle Central College President Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange.
Saturday University: Asian Textiles Across Time and Place (March 31–May 12): Learn about the many facets of Asian textiles, from design to labor to trade, from experts including former Victoria & Albert Museum Senior Curator Rosemary Crill, Japanese artist Shoji Yamamura, and Pratt Institute Associate Professor in Media Studies Minh-Ha Pham.
Kitchen Session with Imani Sims and CD Forum (April 6): The Kitchen Sessions, which highlight black women artists and offer opportunities for dialogue, return as a SAM-CD Forum partnership. Excellent poet Imani Sims will select performers.
Mary Ann Peters with Gary Faigin (April 5): Stranger Genius Award recipient Mary Ann Peters was recognized for her large-scale abstract paintings before her trip to Syria, where part of her family is from. After this journey, she began to focus on Middle Eastern themes and techniques and to experiment with unorthodox materials, like flour and glycerin. Gary Faigin of Gage Academy will be with her onstage to discuss this change.