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 February 6, like Red and Gold: A Lunar New Year Celebration and Marisa Williamson: 'The Angel of History' and 'The Runaway'—complete with a Google map at the bottom. You can also find more options on our First Thursday calendar, including shorter-term events like the one-night Tara Thomas: Making the Most Out of Work. For art in other neighborhoods, check out our complete visual art calendar.
Anders Bergstrom applies his prodigious trompe-l'oeil skills to creating riffs on one of the humblest of mass-produced goods: the brown paper bag. His hand-folded, hand-cut monotypes and etchings perfectly replicate the everyday object, incorporating interesting chemical or organic-looking stains.
Greg Kucera Gallery
Annual Gallery Artist Group Exhibition
Traver Gallery is one of the best places in town to see innovative sculpture and glass art for free, as well as two-dimensional works, so you shouldn't miss their annual group exhibition if you have any interest in the medium. This year, you'll be able to admire pieces by Ling Chun, Clare Belfrage, Marita Dingus, Mel Douglas, Jun Kaneko, Tori Karpenko, Michael Peterson, Jane Rosen, Preston Singletary, Jane Traver, Lynn Whitford, and Chris Gustin.
Crystal Worl: On the Water
The Juneau-based mixed-media artist shows paintings and carvings created for the new trilingual children's book Cradle Songs of Southeast Alaska.
David Bailin: In Situ
Chiefly working in charcoal, Little Rock's David Bailin makes figurative drawings that reflect on solitude and the environment—the real world as opposed to our internet existence. The artist says, "Place, at the beginning of the 2020s, is ambiguous. Online, we inhabit places of symbols and memes, and, off-line, a world on fire, dangerous and desperate."
Koplin Del Rio Gallery
Gabriel Fernandez and Lisa Golightly
It's a twofer of Oregonian painters: Beaverton resident Gabriel Fernandez paints photorealist scenes of unpopulated ordinary rooms and neighborhoods, taking as subjects sleek Airstream trailers, empty bathrooms, or unoccupied sofas. Portlander Lisa Golightly, who paints figurative and abstract works, makes excellent use of dapples of light, striving to capture "the unplanned and the in-between."
Linda Hodges Gallery
Jay Stern: I Remember Feeling Far
Architectural landmarks serve as anchors for memories in Jay Stern's new collection of paintings.
Kara Mia Fenoglietto: Hope all is well.
Recently, I’ve been confronted about my use of “Best” when signing off e-mails. Where I thought the valediction exuded professionalism, competence, and friendliness, it’s apparently interpreted as hostile, insincere, and condescending to the recipient. Seattle-based artist Kara Mia Fenoglietto uses another sign-off, “Hope all is well,” as a starting point for her conceptual soft-sculpture installation that “examines the disconnect between anxieties and appearances.” Fenoglietto’s sculptures and garments will use bold digital patterns and shape-distorting silhouettes to bridge the divide between the public and private self. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Kenneth Moore: Another Conversation in Black Surreality
Kenneth Moore, who was born in 1949, is a black Los Angeles-based surrealist artist who had never had a solo exhibition in Seattle until last year's show in this gallery. He's also the founder of the jazz club Howling Monk, and jazz sensibilities permeate his visual style.
Frederick Holmes and Company
Marisa Williamson: 'The Angel of History' and 'The Runaway'
The Jacob Lawrence Gallery and SOIL are coming together again to honor and exhibit the work of a resident Black artist. This year, the resident is Marisa Williamson, a New York-based artist who examines history, race, feminism, and technology through video, performance, and sculpture. Some of her most fascinating pieces involve Sally Hemings, an enslaved woman and mistress owned by Thomas Jefferson, and the connections she makes between Heming’s experience and present-day conversations around race. Williamson will bring two different shows that will explore the past, not as it was, but, to quote Walter Benjamin “as it flashes up in a moment of danger” to the JLG and SOIL, respectively. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Melinda Hurst Frye and Jenny Riffle: Picturing Trails
The King County Regional Trails System offers over 300 miles of terrain for public recreation. Inspired by photographs by Johsel Namkung, who documented area parks in the early 1980s, Melinda Hurst Frye and Jenny Riffle show images celebrating the Pacific Northwest's natural landscapes.
Nikita Ares: Chada!
Ares told me, with a laugh, that her least favorite color is purple—it reminds her of Barney—though it still shows up in her paintings. She's working through it though, playing with the color in combination with green, yellow, blue. You will be hard-pressed to find a lot of neutral colors though—the browns, the grays, the beiges, the blacks. Bright, vivid, frenetic hues take precedence above all in her paintings, the oiliness of the pastels are rich, creamy, and dirty. They give off their own heat, resembling the energy she puts into it. There's no tedium to it nor perfection, just like her. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Pao Houa Her and Sadie Wechsler: The American War
What we in America call the Vietnam War is known as the American War in Vietnam, which makes perfect sense. Pao Houa Her and Sadie Wechsler's exhibition, comprising photography, video, and found objects, brings the war's terrible legacy (three million dead, 30 percent of the countryside destroyed in Laos, mass refugeeism from Laos and Cambodia) to our consciousness. Attendees to the gallery can pick up a free poster featuring a poem by Hmong American writer May Lee Yang and artwork by Her and Wechsler.
King Street Station
Peggy Murphy: The Still Life Question
In early 2019, Chase Burns wrote of Murphy's last exhibition (Uprising), "Peggy Murphy’s lush and scrawling works on paper, based on 'observations on an unruly garden,' are helpful things to meditate on as we straddle the line between winter’s darkness and spring’s grayness." In The Still Life Question, her acrylic paintings convey ideas of "tenuous stability, slippery boundaries, and blurred identities."
Red and Gold: A Lunar New Year Celebration
Relish the vivid colors emblematic of the Lunar New Year at this group show boasting the works of Asian American and Asian artists like lacquer painters Phong and Bui Cong Khanh, embroiderer Prince Tiao Nithakhong Somsanith of Laos, paper sculptor June Sekiguchi, sacred geometry painter Yuko Ishii, and sculptor/painter Jonathan Wakuda Fischer.
West Coast Prints
West Coast artists explore the possibilities of printmaking, from photorealist aquatint to folk-art-inspired etching to high-contrast linocut, and the results are impressively diverse. Spend ample time with the work of Californians Marit Berg, Stephen McMillan, and Kevin Fletcher and Seattle-based Michèle Landsaat and Charles Spitzack.