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 having opening receptions on October 4—complete with a handy Google map at the bottom. You can also find more options on our First Thursday calendar, including one-night-only events like 100 under $100, the 2018 Fall Art Walk Awards, and a Halloween-themed live screen-printing party. For art in other neighborhoods, check out our complete visual art calendar.
Claude Zervas: Starlings
“Conscious thought is so overrated,” Claude Zervas says while we’re discussing his recent body of work. Starlings is a series of thickly layered oil paintings that—if anything—are a meditation on the fickle, tricky, and long-drying medium. Zervas has always leaned more toward minimalism with 3D and video work stripping nature and science to their most essential components and presented in abstracted ways. Zervas returned to painting about five years ago starting with pen and ink drawings, continuing on to acrylic, then—encouraged in part by Joe Park—landing on oils which he described as “a revelation.” The months-long process of layering rich pigment and cutting it away allows Zervas to have new ideas about the work while stripping it of any overt meaning. KATIE KURTZ
Greg Kucera Gallery
Marioni's lovely and justly celebrated glass art is often a throwback to the beautiful, symmetrical design of Venetian, Greek, and even Etruscan traditions, though he has also created reticello "gourds" inspired by African basketry. But his forms are anything but monotonous: Many of his vessels would look appropriate in a German expressionist sci-fi film.
Haein Kang: Illusion
Haein Kang, a Ph.D. candidate at DXARTS at the University of Washington, overlays technology onto human experiences and broadcasts the results of this interplay. For Illusion, Kang travels straight into the brain with an interactive installation that is activated by EEG signals. The instructions are simple: “Have a seat. Close your eyes. Focus on your breathing. Your brain waves will produce a rhythm.” As part of the show, Kang will host a "Gentle Introduction to EEG" workshop on October 11 for people to try out the headset. KATIE KURTZ
Munich-born Heike Brachlow, now working not far from London, carefully balances her highly varied, colorful, and ingenious glass objects—expect precarious pendulums, columns, tops, and wobbly cylinders.
Interpreting the Landscape: A Group Exhibition
The so-called "Big Four," a quartet consisting of famed Northwest artists Guy Anderson, Kenneth Callahan, Mark Tobey, and Morris Graves, are just two of the landscape painters exhibited in this show. Others include Victoria Adams, Kathleen Adkinson, William Cumming, Nathan DiPietro, Richard Gilkey, Lisa Gilley, Jacob Lawrence, David Kroll, and many other eminences of our region. Styles range from realism to surrealism to abstraction.
Jenny Schmid: Wildness Lost
Schmid's latest prints enlist the help of mythical creatures like the Wild People and the Mermaid drawn from 16th-century art to flesh out themes of technology and environmental ruin.
Ling Chun and Ashley Norwood Cooper: Color Color
Ling Chun, a Hong Kong–born sculptor who’s been living in the United States since the age of 17, is now based in Helena, Montana, where she creates wildly colorful, semi-amorphous ceramics incorporating fake hair, paint, metal, resin, and wood. Her works radiate a childlike adventurousness and a seeming heedlessness of conventional tastes, despite their appeal. Ashley Norwood Cooper, based in Cooperstown, New York, produces imaginative, expressionistic domestic and woodland oil paintings on panel. Though the two artists work in very different mediums, they share a love of busyness, an apparent desire to fill every space with color and pattern. JOULE ZELMAN
Preston Singletary: Raven's Treasures
Over the course of a career spanning more than 40 years, contemporary Tlingit artist Preston Singletary has become one of the biggest names in the Northwest's thriving, collaborative glass-art community. Challenging the notion that indigenous art must be defined by a relationship to traditional materials, Singletary's work has expanded the notion of what constitutes a "traditional material," creating objects rooted in both history and innovation. Singletary's work is in the collections of many museums around the world. EMILY POTHAST
Zack Bent: In Memoria
In the summer of 2014, Zack Bent began taking his three sons on regular pilgrimages to a plot of land just south of Cle Elem, Washington. When he began visiting this site, it had just been burned by a forest fire; today, the region is showing signs of regeneration and regrowth. Through a series of photographs of his children interacting with the land over the span of four years—as well as sculptures made from overwintered tarps—Bent has documented not only the transformation of the land, but also the growth of his children into adolescents. It's a way of experiencing the land that many of us aren't accustomed to, in which time is subordinate to space, rather than the other way around. EMILY POTHAST