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. Below, we've compiled the most promising exhibits to check out that are opening in November—complete with a handy Google map at the bottom. You can also find more options on our First Thursday calendar, including shows that are already open (like (Where) Do We Belong?) and special one-night-only events (like City Arts and Elysian's First Thursday Afterparty). For art in other neighborhoods—including the downtown Seattle Art Museum, which is also free to attend on first Thursday (the special exhibition is half price) and is having an opening reception for their 45th Anniversary Show at SAM Gallery—check out our complete visual art calendar.
Georges Rouault: The Complete Miserere
The print-focused gallery brings another European heavy hitter to town: Georges Rouault, who lived from 1871-1958 and worked in Fauvist and Expressionist modes. Here, you can see his two-part series comprised of the Miserere (plea for the pity of God) and Guerre (war), which responded to the horrors of World War I with Christian and humanist imagery. This is one of the great print series of the 20th century and it's pretty amazing that you can see it in Seattle for free.
Jenny Heishman: rectangle, rectangle
Jenny Heishman’s prolific exploration of materials has included everything from foam core, paper, tape, ink jet print, nylon strap (Wall Belt, 2012) to igneous rock, stainless steel, and urethane paint (skystones, 2016 at Skyway Library). The material is the starting point, and its form is teased into being with throwaways like cardboard becoming monumental in the process (Medium, 2015). For her first solo show since 2015, Heishman has added another dimension by interpreting material into another material—specifically paper fiber into wool fiber. In one piece, paint-splattered handmade paper serves as the reference for a labor-intensive hand-hooked rug, resulting in a meditative portrait of something seemingly accidental. KATIE KURTZ
If you've ever ridden your bike all the way to Bothell on the Burke-Gilman trail, you've seen the work of Kristen Ramirez—a dazzling, 250-foot mural of zig-zags and geometric shapes that lines the inside of the Wayne Tunnel in vibrant shades of orange, purple, and gold. Ramirez is a visual artist, activist, and educator with an MFA in printmaking—a set of processes for creating multiple images by transferring ink onto paper. For her 4Culture exhibition, Ramirez will be using silkscreen, neon, and sandwich boards to explore the role of human beings in creating the dystopian epoch of the geological present. EMILY POTHAST
Margie Livingston: Extreme Landscape Painting
This isn’t your grandma’s landscape painting—there’s not a sun setting over an empty field or a river snaking toward the horizon in sight. Rather, the title of this exhibition refers to Margie Livingston’s practice of harnessing a canvas to her body and then dragging it behind her. Sometimes the canvas will be painted in different layers of colors before being dragged, resulting in a heavily textured painting with various colors exposed and interacting with one another. The Seattle-based artist’s work is interesting, telling a story of the city and acting as an artifact of her performance. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Greg Kucera Gallery
Matthew Dennison: Knowledge of Other Places
Matthew Dennison’s narrative paintings featuring tapered-limbed Chagall-like figures are developed through a process of layering, taping, cutting, and sanding. No broad brushstrokes, the process mirrors how Dennison delves into the day’s headlines and extracts interpretations about how we relate to our environment. In an interview for Oregon Art Beat, Dennison said he’s “trying to address some of those things where we can’t control everything… we think we can and we really don’t.” This is evidenced in The Iceberg, where a figure standing on a cliff stares blankly into the distance while a lone iceberg appears to be slowly melting behind them. KATIE KURTZ
Abmeyer + Wood
Raven Skyriver: Confluence
Skyriver is a Tlingit glass artist who frequently shows at Stonington. His detailed glassworks are typically representational portraits of local marine and other wildlife, raising awareness of threats to Northwest ecosystems.
Saul Becker: Uneven Terrain
A Saul Becker landscape might be a painted sky hanging over a photographed sea on a piece of paper that fits in the palm of your hand. Real places are pulled into a frame, altered digitally and mechanically, and Frankensteined together enchanting monsters for your viewing pleasure. This is one way to be a contemporary landscape painter, to extend the tradition of using a flat surface and paint to evoke place, within a society awash in photography. JEN GRAVES
Greg Kucera Gallery
Tara Booth: Everybody loves a clown, so why can't you?
Tara Booth’s near-wordless universe is dominated by a smeary, lopsided cartoon woman whose emotions—simple delight in everyday pleasures, caffeine-fueled mania, fire-breathing rage at the injustice of the world, grief at the death of her dog—are scrawled all over her shapeless face. Deliberately clumsy and instantly readable, Booth’s work stirs up the amusement and pathos of commedia dell’arte, as seen in her graphic novellas DUII and Nocturne. The Chicago-based artist comes to Mount Analogue to produce a site-specific installation, and will paint directly onto the walls of the gallery, whose furnishings will reflect her sensibilities with “potato chip bags, hand-painted plant pots and bedding, and some framed original works.” Cold Cube Press is also releasing Spicy Metal II, a comics zine with work by Booth and Neon Saltwater. You should buy it. JOULE ZELMAN