Morgan Thorson's Still Life incorporates repetition and erasure. On the Boards

This weekend—or rather, Thursday through Sunday—is one of the biggest and busiest periods for the Seattle art scene, thanks to the excitement of the massive fifth annual Seattle Art Fair at the CenturyLink Field Event Center. But that's not all: It's also the First Thursday Pioneer Square Art Walk, which will be full of scrappy and stately artistic riches, and many independent organizers are producing other artsy events and shows throughout the city. To help guide you through it all, Stranger art critic Jasmyne Keimig has listed all the things you need to see at the Fair here (from gallery exhibitors like Greg Kucera Gallery and Patricia Piccinini to special projects and talks like Bread Face and Pearl Jam's Mike McCready and Kate Neckel), and, below, we’ve rounded up everything else artsy that’s worth your time this weekend (and doesn't require an Art Fair ticket). Plus, make sure to check out our complete First Thursday and Seattle Art Fair calendars for comprehensive listings.

Found something you like and don't want to forget about it later? Click "Save Event" on any of the linked events below to add it to your own private list.


Jump to: First Thursday | Other Arts Events

TOP FIRST THURSDAY OPENINGS

Curious about tea? Learn all about different types of tea at Tea Discovery!
Learn the history, myth and lore of tea while tasting different samples in a fun, interactive class!
Get Your Tickets for the Savage Love Livestream!
Dan answers your burning relationship questions live and all the money goes to Northwest Harvest!
The 15th Annual HUMP Film Festival is now online, hosted by Dan Savage!
16 sexy films, showcasing a huge range of sexualities, shapes and sizes, streaming from your home!

Chad Yenney: Can't Wait for Yesterday
The genre of analog collage assembled from 1950s advertising, magazines, and children's books is inherently fun, given the juxtaposition of vintage surface-level wholesomeness and the festering dark we expect underneath it. Wenatchee artist Chad Yenney's work, full of "imagined nostalgia of a yesterday that never was" is no exception. Visit an unreal world of human-car hybrids and segmented faces.
A Gallery

Claudia Fitch: Raincoat
Seattle artist and sculptor Claudia Fitch’s studio work often focuses on (and is obsessed with) the female form. In particular, the torso—that mushy, rolly, cuddly mesh of flesh and guts that’s often policed and cinched in. In her latest show at Greg Kucera Gallery, Fitch will expand and expound on her sculptural work with the feminine figure, which often remixes delicate, smooth porcelain with other brasher textures. Also featured are mobiles, paintings, and drawings. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Greg Kucera Gallery

Forever Again
Alongside the Seattle Art Fair, Specialist will show small works by Seattle artists like Ling Chun, Mari Nagaoka, Tuan Nguyen, Nikita Ares, Colleen RJC Bratton, and many other interesting creative types.
Specialist

Girlfriends of the Guerrilla Girls
Feminist, non-gallery-represented artists Leda Shapiro, Sheila Klein, Alice Dubiel, Deborah Faye Lawrence, Hanako O'Leary, Cecilia Concepción Alvarez, C. Davida Ingram, Dawn Cerny, E.T. Russian, and the famous yet anonymous Guerrilla Girls explore anti-racist and anti-sexist themes.
CoCA

Jason Gobin and Trevor Hunt
Fisherman, tribal canoer, and artist Jason Gobin (Tulalip Nation) carves, paints, and digitally renders traditional Salish forms. Trevor Hunt, "part of the famed Hunt family of Fort Rupert on Vancouver Island," continues the legacy of the Kwagiulth artistic style (also known as Kwakwaka'wakw/Kwakiutl, a culture on the north side of Vancouver Island).
Stonington Gallery

Juventino Aranda: In Dreams I Once Believed There Was a Future
Growing up in Walla Walla as the child of Mexican immigrants, Seattle artist Juventino Aranda draws on his family history and childhood for inspiration, exploring how they speak to broader cultural, social, and political themes. Aranda’s art practice encompasses several distinct mediums—conceptual sculpture, textile art, and altered objects. He once cast a MAGA hat in bronze, repainted it red, and only left “GREAT” stenciled in white, calling it THIS IS YOUR LIFE NOW. AMERICA (EL DIA QUE LLEGO LA LLORONA) is a life-size rendition of a plastic candle votive. There’s a sense of humor (and reflection) that pervades his work. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Greg Kucera Gallery

Kimya Dawson and Clyde Petersen: Road Dawgz
Check out new paintings and drawings by local DIY music legends (and artists) Kimya Dawson and Clyde Petersen. 
Party Hat

Magic Box: Defining Words in a Digital Age
Butoh dancer and artist Shoko Zama and poet David Thornbrugh present an interdisciplinary dialogue between collage/painting, evoking dictionary illustrations, and ekphrastic writing (i.e., poetic commentary on the works of art). During the gallery reception, two butoh dancers will perform in the window displays.
Bonfire

On Display: A Sampling of Graphic Works from the Herman Miller Archives
Herman Miller was an important company in midcentury furniture design; from its humble origins in small-town Michigan, it came to dominate the field under the leadership of design directors Gilbert Rohde and George Nelson. See treasures from the company archives, including studies for "collaborations with some of the greatest designers of our time—Charles and Ray Eames, Irving Harper, Seymour Chwast, Tomoko Miho, Alexander Girard, and Deborah Sussman."
Non-Breaking Space

Repossessed
Until 1968 in Washington, it was legal to discriminate against minorities, with white-only clauses and other restrictions on homeowner deeds, a practice called “redlining.” This had a deep impact on the history of our city and our communities. At the moment, there’s a wave of artists across Seattle trying to reckon with this ugly history—like Warren Pope’s Blood Lines, Time Lines, and Red Lines at Northwest African-American Museum or Excluded, Inside the Lines at Wing Luke Museum. This group show at SOIL adds to the mix, bringing together Black, indigenous, Asian, Latinx, Muslim, and Jewish artists who work in different mediums to grapple with the history and effects of redlining locally. JASMYNE KEIMIG
SOIL

Robin Arnitz: Maternology
Arnitz paints in a figurative and emotive mode; her series in the past have included self-portraits with her facial features erased and her identity only guessable from what's around her. This exhibition expresses the happiness and stress of early motherhood.
Shift

Yəhaw̓ Closing Weekend: Performances on the Plaza
"The world's premiere Quileute Drag Queen," Hailey Tayathy, will be joined by Swinomish band Black Belt Eagle Scout and Pawnee Nation/adopted Upper Ahtna Athabaskans band Ghost Horse during the last week of the unmissable yəhaw̓ Indigenous art exhibition.
King Street Station

OTHER ARTS EVENTS WORTH CHECKING OUT

THURSDAY–SATURDAY

Adrain Chesser and Timothy White Eagle
Expect something queer, ritualistic, and immersive at this installation by Timothy White Eagle and Adrain Chesser.
Oxbow

THURSDAY–SUNDAY

Morgan Thorson: Still Life
Minneapolis-based choreographer Morgan Thorson’s cyclical five-hour dance installation Still Life will feature a cast of dancers from Minnesota and the Pacific Northwest. Created for a white-walled gallery space, the piece will "[explore] what it means to kill choreography by erasing material with each repetition of the work."
Base: Experimental Arts & Space

CLOSING FRIDAY

Offerte: Photographs by Steven Miller
Steven Miller burned '70s to '90s gay porn magazines in a fire pit and photographed the inferno in a tribute to "love and loss through the AIDS years." The all-consuming fire is meant to represent desire and power, countering the association of flames with Christian hell.
The Factory

FRIDAY–SATURDAY

festival:festival
This multidisciplinary festival offers the chance for photographers, multimedia artists, dancers, and others to create artwork on intersectional identities. Among the participants are some of Seattle's most active and appreciated: singer-songwriter JusMoni, filmmaker/artist/musician Clyde Petersen, slam poet J Mase III, visual artist Ryna Frankel, queer indigenous hip-hop artist Dakota Camacho, choreographer Alice Gosti, and many others.
Capitol Hill

OPENING SATURDAY

Forward–Part 3
Shaun Kardinal curates the third phase of Forward, an annual series in which artists receive a piece, transform it, exhibit it, and pass it on. See work by Tim Cross, Mari Nagaoka, Markel Uriu, and others.
Glassbox Gallery

Northwest Influencers
The Housewright Gallery's inaugural exhibition highlights influential pre- and post-war artists from the Northwest School, including Glen Alps, Peter Camfferman, James Fitzgerald, Richard Gilkey, Paul Horiuchi, and others.
Housewright Gallery

Xenobia Bailey, Henry Jackson-Spieker, Marita Dingus, Nastassja Swift: Installations
The new Central District gallery Wa Na Wari is accomplishing something beautiful: nurturing the legacy of black creativity in the neighborhood, formerly a bastion of Seattle's African American culture, by, among other things, exhibiting the work of excellent artists. This group of installations should be an impressive demonstration of the possibilities of this approach, with four prominent black artists contributing new work. Crochet master Xenobia Bailey, who's had pieces exhibited in many museums, crafts marvelous trippy hats, mandalas, sculptures, and more out of textiles. Guggenheim Fellowship winner Marita Dingus produces mixed-media sculptures using salvaged materials. Accomplished sculptor Henry Jackson-Spieker, known for small- and large-scale sculptures, "explores tension, balance and symmetry" and innovatively interrogates gallery space. Rising Virginian artist Nastassja Swift creates felted fiber dolls as well as paint, print, and performance works. Any one of these artists would be worth seeing; taken together, they make up something unmissable.
Wa Na Wari
Opening reception Saturday

CLOSING SATURDAY

Bisco Smith: More Than We Know
Though the work is rather straightforward, New York artist Bisco Smith makes black-and-white exciting. The marks on his canvas resemble writing, like it’s actually trying to communicate something through words to the viewer. That’s—in part—due to his process of creation. Selecting an instrumental song or beat to play as he paints, Smith then freestyles lyrics “that express the consciousness and energy of that moment.” Although these lyrics aren’t exactly legible (at least to my eye), the paintings pulse with life. Drawing on his background as a street artist, Smith often composes his works using materials like household paint, rollers, spray paint, and white paste. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Treason Gallery

Peter Gronquist: Searcher
Portland-based sculptor-painter-taxidermist Peter Gronquist’s latest show “explores light as an added material to his paintings.” Some of these paintings—though that word strains under the weight of what Gronquist is actually doing—fall somewhere between a James Turrell space and a Dan Flavin installation. He’s interested in how light plays off the surface of his work, using Plexiglas (a type of acrylic) as part of each piece, adding LED lights to certain paintings and not to others. Additionally, Gronquist will also show A Visual History of the Invisible, a series that attempts to capture the shapes and constant presence of the wind. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Winston Wächter

Uses of History
Guest curated by Melissa E. Feldman, Uses of History explores how artists from the Pacific Northwest and beyond engage with history and the past. Each artist comes from a different part of the arts and crafts world (painting, glass, weaving, film), and revisits “histories that haunt the present, seeking connection—or a reckoning—with the past.” The show includes major artists exhibiting in the PNW for the first time: Abbas Kowsari of Iran, Haris Epaminonda of Cyprus, and Jeremy Deller from the UK. Uses of History also serves as the North American debut of a few films: Deller’s Everybody in the Place: An Incomplete History of Britain 1984–1992 and Epaminonda’s Chimera (which is currently showing at the Venice Biennale!). JASMYNE KEIMIG
studio e
special reception Saturday

CLOSING SUNDAY

Erin Kendig: Giants
These gouache and watercolor paintings double as love letters to Northwest flora and fungi. Using mixed perspectives, patterns, curious symmetries, and sinuous lines, Kendig evokes animistic landscapes and mushrooms and plants with plenty of personality.
Ghost Gallery

Rick Araluce: The Night Theatre
Guggenheim Fellowship recipient Araluce specializes in detailed, illusion-filled, faintly sinister tiny dioramas that look incredibly realistic and impart feelings of delicious disorientation. It feels like you're peeking into a parallel universe that isn't quite to scale with ours.
Roq la Rue

CLOSING MONDAY

Trimpin: Hear and Now
Trimpin is a musical genius who builds room-sized art installations that are also instruments. Picture a Rube Goldberg machine exploded all over a room, but one you can play Beethoven on. This year, Trimpin is again partnering with students from Path with Art, a nonprofit that works with homeless people to create original works of art. Together they'll construct a new sound sculpture bursting with poetry, visual art, and, of course, music. Last year, they built a giant wagon that played music when you rolled it around, and I can't wait to see what strange little machine they come up with this year. RICH SMITH
Goethe Pop-up Space

Found something you like and don't want to forget about it later? Click "Save Event" on any of the linked events below to add it to your own private list.