supporting the arts

Wa Na Wari: a Seattle version of 'Hotel California'

When I reluctantly ended my first visit to Wa Na Wari, I told one of the co-founders if I didn’t get out now, I’d never leave this home-turned-gallery space. Apparently that was plan all along: get people in the door with the art, then lull them into staying. Kinda like Hotel California, but homey instead of sinister.

Wa Na Wari co-founder Rachel Kessler and visitors

Wa Na Wari co-founder Rachel Kessler and visitors

Creative reminders of home are woven throughout the house, like the hanging sculptures by Henry Jackson-Spieker. They literally mark “places that were points of gatherings or comfort” when the Greene family lived there.

Henry Jackson-Spieker glass & wood sculpture above family table

Henry Jackson-Spieker glass & wood sculpture above family table

Wa Na Wari continues the revived trend of home-based art exhibit spaces. Not pop-ups — permanent galleries. No surprise that New York artists have done this in apartments — or just in one apartment room — considering New York rents. The phenomenon seems to be solidifying in Seattle and nearby communities too, as real estate gets pricier by the minute.

Still from “Remembering Her Homecoming,” a film by Natassja E. Swift

Still from “Remembering Her Homecoming,” a film by Natassja E. Swift

The thing I love the most about Wa Na Wari, though, is it still feels welcoming like a home — not merely a house-shaped gallery. In fact, the view into the backyard shook me for a moment: it’s strongly reminiscent of my grandparents’ home in Kentucky, which no longer exists.

Contemplating art & community with Wa Na Wari co-founder Inye Wokoma

Contemplating art & community with Wa Na Wari co-founder Inye Wokoma

This weekend is an especially good time to visit: environmental artist and icon Marita Dingus is teaching a doll-making class on August 11th. Plus, her own doll sculptures are on display upstairs.

Selected works by Marita Dingus

Selected works by Marita Dingus

If you have so much fun you can’t bear to leave, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Show closing: Leaving the "Motherland"

This is it, folks: the last weekend you can visit the “Motherland.” Last flight out leaves Saturday.

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You have two options left to you: join the artists, collectors and other art lovers at the closing reception…

Credit: CoCA Seattle

Credit: CoCA Seattle

… or get your hands on a catalog of all the art exhibited.

This might be your best option if you’re committed to holiday-related events that overlap the closing reception. Bonus: The catalog cost also helps support future CoCA exhibits and events.

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This is your engraved invitation — go!

In training for an Art Marathon

Getting down to the wire this weekend, as I prep for my first (art) marathon.

Friends of mine have participated before in this fundraiser for the Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA Seattle), but they have lots more experience creating work in front of a live audience. Me, on the other hand… I’m usually holed up in the studio muttering to myself as I work. So it’s a bit of a personal challenge. I’m honored to be working alongside 19 other artists, including painters Braden Duncan and Jazz Brown as well as kinetic sculptor Casey Curran.

But wait — there’s more! You’re invited to stop by and watch the paint fly on September 20th. This way, you get a special preview of the brand-new artworks to be auctioned off at the gala on September 22nd.

I’ve sketched out ideas, but details always change in the process — come see!