artist collaborations

Saying goodbye to North Light Books

I’ve met some of my favorite people through books: real, live people who wrote the books that introduced me to collage and mixed media art. So I’m a little sad to hear a specialty publishing empire is crumbling. F+W Media, which owns North Light Books and several other imprints, declared bankruptcy recently. North Light published many art technique books, including Destination Creativity: The Life-Altering Journey of the Art Retreat.

Ric ë  Freeman-Zachery and Earl Zachery in 2010, collecting material for the book Destination: Creativity

Ricë Freeman-Zachery and Earl Zachery in 2010, collecting material for the book Destination: Creativity

I was lucky enough to watch Earl Zachery collect photos while Ricë Freeman-Zachery collected the words. And then Ricë turned around and included a comment from me in the book. (I still get a little thrill out of seeing the pull quote.) I’ve also become friends with her editor Tonia Jenny, who edited two books by another artist/author pal, Michael de Meng.

Michael de Meng mugging for the camera during Artfest 2011

Michael de Meng mugging for the camera during Artfest 2011

Fortunately, none of these people rely on F+W to pay their bills anymore. But I still have their books in my collection, and I still keep up with some of their authors on social media, including MaryBeth Shaw, Crystal Neubauer and Gina Rossi Armfield.

Making silly faces with Michael de Meng at Artfest 2011. Photo by Lana Guerra.

Making silly faces with Michael de Meng at Artfest 2011. Photo by Lana Guerra.

If these artists keep writing, I hope Quarry Books scoops them up. (Quarry published three of the five books in which my art and commentary appear). I want them to help my artist/author friends keep blowing people’s minds. In the meantime… g’night, North Light.

Liberty Bank Building: be the first in the door

Remember field trip days when you were a kid? That break from the norm to go on an adventure?

Curator Esther Ervin (wearing hat) leads Redmond,WA students on a Liberty Bank Bldg art tour. Credit: Jackie Peterson

Curator Esther Ervin (wearing hat) leads Redmond,WA students on a Liberty Bank Bldg art tour. Credit: Jackie Peterson

You can recapture that feeling at the grand opening of the Liberty Bank Building apartments — it’s only 22 days away! Details:

The event is free, kid-friendly, and open to the public, so I’m planning on arriving early. I may have said this before, but it bears repeating: unless a resident invites you to visit at a later date, this is your last and only chance to see the art in person. Mark your calendars!

Coming soon: "Locally Sourced"

If you've never been to the Pacific Northwest, this "Portlandia" sketch will give you a (slightly exaggerated) taste of the obsession over 'local origins.'

What -- and who -- qualifies as "local?" That's the Big Question behind our exhibit at the Columbia City Gallery.

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All four contributing artists are women of color who've lived here for a long time: Carletta Carrington Wilson, Bernadette Merikle, Susan Ringstad Emery and me. I think of us all as local, as familiar as coffee in Seattle. But you know how people talk about coffee here: like it's some rare, exotic thing seen only once in a blue moon. 

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Not surprising, then, that a coffee-related marketing blurb encapsulated that paradox, which I wanted to convey in my collages: "Rare & Exquisite."

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Each of us artists has a different take on being local. Carletta's textile work speaks to migrations through time and space. Bernadette imagines her ancestors deciding the question of local origins. And Susan, who calls herself an urban Iñupiat, considers Native (and "native") Seattle icons. Come see for yourself: the opening reception for "Locally Sourced" is May 19th at 5pm PST. Hope to see you in a few hours!