Holly Ballard Martz

Three things you don't do at the Seattle Art Fair

Let’s pretend you’re more interested in the air conditioning than the art at the Seattle Art Fair. Here’s a quick etiquette lesson on three things you just… don’t… do… before you get in the door.

1. Don’t talk smack about the art. They can hear you.

Holly Ballard Martz, “Danger of Nostalgia in Wallpaper Form (in utero),” at ZINC Contemporary

Holly Ballard Martz, “Danger of Nostalgia in Wallpaper Form (in utero),” at ZINC Contemporary

Overheard at preview night, about Holly Ballard Martz’s stunning work: “It’s really abortion-y.”

Wow. That was all you got out of this installation of wire hangers, each bent by hand into the shape of a uterus? If you don’t get it, why not ask about the art? That’s what the gallery staff — and the artist — are there for, to talk to you. P.S. Holly’s less ‘abortion-y’ pieces are on the other side of the wall.

2. Don’t touch — not with your hands, butt or shoulder.

Bigert & Bergström, “Incubator for Earthquakes” (provided by the artists)

Bigert & Bergström, “Incubator for Earthquakes” (provided by the artists)

This is not a children’s museum where you get to play with the exhibits. Don’t touch the art. Even if you intend to buy it. No leaning on the booth walls, either. If you need to sit, use one of the padded benches outside the booth. (While I’m at it: Don’t touch the art in art museums, either. Slow down and breathe deeply until the urge passes.)

3. Don’t hold back on the shine.

LMB-Lisa Kokin Seager Gray duo - Copy.jpg

Wanna show your followers how amaaaaazing the art is? Go for it — and remember to tag the artist AND the gallery presenting the work. You don’t even have to type in names: take a photo of the wall text identifying the piece and post that too. This one simple action shows you know something about the art world, and you’re not just some rando who’s there for the air conditioning. Bonus: you remember the artwork better when you write something about it. Extra credit bonus: other people get to check out the artist and gallery if they like the work.

LMB-Seattle Art Fair 2019 exterior.jpg

One last thing: there will be selfie-bait. Before you take the picture, check your surroundings so you don’t back into the rest of the art. You don’t want to be that person, do you?

"Like Mother..." at TAM: supporting each other

Onward and upward!


Up to the third floor of the Tacoma Art Museum, which is hosting the current manifestation of Like Mother, Like Daughter until the end of March. After the hectic pace of the past few months, I really appreciated the opportunity to unwind, in a sunny room, with the contributing artists.

Some of the marvelous artists contributing to Like Mother, Like Daughter

Some of the marvelous artists contributing to Like Mother, Like Daughter

What better way to celebrate Women's History Month than with these beautiful minds and their work?


Speaking of supporting people you love...


... someone has spoken up for a collage in the exhibit You're Not From Around Here, Are You? In fact, the collector contacted me two different ways to make sure this piece was still available for purchase.

Safe-Not Safe Semiahmoo - crop.jpg

If you're interested in one of these pieces, please let me know through the Contact Me page. (And yes, I do installment payment plans.) If you haven't already, I'd suggest you visit the exhibit while it's still up at the Northwest African American Museum: art always looks so much better in person.

"Like Mother": closing reception

All right, you've convinced me. You have one more chance to see the amazing artwork on display in "Like Mother" at SPACE at Magnuson Gallery.

No, really: The show closes this weekend. I'd like to invite you to the exhibit's closing reception. Details:

Visitors to the show have remarked on how much the themes resonate with them, from funny to poignant to wistful and everything in between. The Stranger recommends our show as well. Go, darling, go: you'll be so glad you went. I say this because a mother knows these things. (And because two of my pieces are in the show, but never mind that.) Go!