museum exhibits

The serious business of play (dates)

I call them "play dates" but I'm serious about experiencing art with my artist friends.

Artist Rachel Setzer, shown in profile with "Naida, the Proud Princess" by Edward S. Curtis

Artist Rachel Setzer, shown in profile with "Naida, the Proud Princess" by Edward S. Curtis

Rachel Setzer and I took in "Double Exposure" at the Seattle Art Museum recently. She understands my love of tintypes, daguerreotypes and other old-fashioned photo technology, so Will Wilson's prints were a big draw for both of us.

You can see the cooperation between photographer and portrait sitter, which has a different vibe compared to Edward S. Curtis' documents of a 'vanishing' people. However, the Curtis photos far outnumber the contemporary work.

Will Wilson, "Talking Tintype, Andy Everson, Artist, Citizen of the K'  ómoks   First Nation"

Will Wilson, "Talking Tintype, Andy Everson, Artist, Citizen of the K'ómoks First Nation"

The exhibit is more of a Curtis survey with a few living, Northwest Native artists added for local color (pun intended). I think Rachel and I found the exhibit aesthetically pleasing, but still a let-down. Fortunately, Amy Sherald's work is just around the corner.

Amy Sherald, "Saint Woman"

Amy Sherald, "Saint Woman"

It's on view as part of "In This Imperfect Present Moment," an exhibit of 15 contemporary artists whose work local art collectors are lending to SAM. Valencia Carroll and I visited the show for some in-person inspiration. After gawping over Amy Sherald's painting, I also found another favorite by Lawrence Lemoana. His banner prompted me to see a disturbingly familiar parallel between Dave Meinert in Seattle and Jacob Zuma of South Africa.

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Bottom line: if I'm going to venture out of the studio...

Genevieve Gaignard, "Trailblazer (A Dream Deferred)"

Genevieve Gaignard, "Trailblazer (A Dream Deferred)"

geeking out over Genevieve Gaignard's photography with friends makes it worth the effort.

Last chance: "You're Not From Around Here, Are You?"

The last days of my museum exhibit are upon  us: You're Not From Around Here, Are You? closes in one week!

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True, the exhibit closes after April 8th, which is in nine days. But the Northwest African American Museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. So if you've got a day job, or you're a student, realistically you might have only this weekend or next weekend left to visit.

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One last reason to go: some of these artworks have been sold to art collectors.

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Once the show closes, I'm shipping those pieces off to their new homes. So if you'd thought about buying one yourself...

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NOW is the time to speak up for the artwork you love. (And yes, I do installment payment plans.) Let me know: contact me here.

"Figuring History": Artist parent's day out

Took a break from my own work to spend quality time with another artist parent: Valencia Carroll.

Artist Valencia Carroll views Robert Colescott's "A Cruise to Southern Waters"

Artist Valencia Carroll views Robert Colescott's "A Cruise to Southern Waters"

We usually see each other at Onyx Fine Arts exhibits, but this is the first time we've gotten a chance to hang out. So we ran off to the museum.

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What a pleasure to explore "Figuring History" with her... when we take our kids to museums, they always rush us through the exhibits. Dude: it's not a race to the finish line.

Works by Robert Colescott

Works by Robert Colescott

I guess they're not old enough to appreciate the impact art has in person, as opposed to just seeing it in print or online. (Yes, I see the irony of me posting photos of this experience.) As artists, we want to read a painting for things like symbols, historical references, color choices. We especially appreciated all those elements in the work of Kerry James Marshall.

Works from Kerry James Marshall's "Vignette" series

Works from Kerry James Marshall's "Vignette" series

I'm generally against massive doses of sparkle and glitter, but in the hands of these artists... well. I stand corrected. I watched the light dancing among the rhinestones in pieces by Mickalene Thomas, just floored by the sumptuous color and monumental size. I'd highly recommend seeing these works in person: it's difficult to convey their dimensionality online.

Detail of "Dejeuner sur l'herbe: Les trois femmes noires" by Mickalene Thomas

Detail of "Dejeuner sur l'herbe: Les trois femmes noires" by Mickalene Thomas

And who would've thought rhinestones could link 1960s-era James Baldwin and Walter Gadsden to Black Lives Matter in 2017, with such power? Whoa.

"Resist" (full image and inset detail) by Mickalene Thomas

"Resist" (full image and inset detail) by Mickalene Thomas

Good day out. Valencia and I should go on more field trips together.