North Seattle College

"... Mother" returns next week

It’s like Homecoming Week up in here: “Like Mother” opens its doors in North Seattle next Wednesday, this time at the North Seattle College art gallery.

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Notice there are two opportunities for you to see our work that day! If your schedule allows, you can join us that afternoon. If not, then join us in the early evening and wait out rush hour looking at art instead of sitting in traffic. I promise, it’s far more pleasant to breathe in the sweet smell of beeswax from Deborah Kapoor’s encaustic art installation.

Deborah Kapoor, “My Body, My Home”

Deborah Kapoor, “My Body, My Home”

Maybe you have to head home right away, though; I understand. Rest up on Friday, then join me Saturday evening in Shoreline for the opening of “Living the Dream.”

Lisa Myers Bulmash, “Relatively Progressive” (detail)

Lisa Myers Bulmash, “Relatively Progressive” (detail)

Photo of Edwin T. Pratt. Credit: Black Heritage Society of WA state

Photo of Edwin T. Pratt. Credit: Black Heritage Society of WA state

Hope to see you soon — maybe at both events!

On asking artists to speak at your event

I know we haven’t even gotten to Halloween yet, but I’ve been thinking about January and February 2019. It reminded me of a hilarious comment I heard during an art event:

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This person receives tons of last-minute requests to speak at this Black History Month event, or make a presentation at that Martin Luther King Jr. Day gathering. In one sentence, the person made several points:

  • I am available for (paid) speaking engagements all year round, not just in January or February

  • Please don’t wait until a week or two before your event to invite me to speak

  • I am perfectly capable of speaking about topics other than being a person of African descent

I’m not nearly as well known as that person I quoted, but I was invited to speak at five events during January and February 2018. I accepted four of those invitations.

Me speaking at North Seattle College, with artists Gabrielle Nomura Gainor, Elisheba Johnson & Tariqa Waters

Me speaking at North Seattle College, with artists Gabrielle Nomura Gainor, Elisheba Johnson & Tariqa Waters

Know why I turned down the fifth event? Because the organizer waited until mid-February to ask, and was hoping to compensate me in “exposure” to potential art collectors. Maybe I would’ve said yes anyway… but I was a little busy with events related to my museum show, and curating a group art exhibit.

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So here’s your take-away, if you’re going to invite an artist to speak at your event: Ask early, and offer tangible compensation for their time. Even gas money or social media love is better than “exposure.” And yes, now would be a good time to book me for MLK Day or Black History Month 2019.