Date Night in Seattle: Capitol Hill Art Walk June 2014

Posted on June 11, 2014, 6:45 pm
11 mins

With so much to see and hear and do for Capitol Hill Art Walk this Thursday (June 12), it will be tough to narrow the options, especially if you are planning a night with a friend or significant other. From 5 to 8PM, galleries, retailers, cafes and restaurants will be hosting art lovers, and the party will continue into the wee hours at some locales. You can read my more complete guide to the evening’s events, but if it all seems overwhelming, here are recommendations for three different experiences in the midst of the second Thursday Art Blitz.

The Full Passport

Part of the buzz this month is the Passport to Art challenge and raffle. The Art Walk organizers have distributed Passports to the many participating venues and if you ask for one and fill it with stamps from four different places, you are eligible to enter a raffle at the big party at Vermillion at the end of the evening. Businesses from around the Hill have contributed prizes, so there is plenty to entice participation, but of course the real reward is seeing lots and lots of art!

Painting by Rachid Bouhamidi on display at Blindfold Gallery

Painting by Rachid Bouhamidi on display at Blindfold Gallery

The new site for Capitol Hill Art Walk seems to be unusable from Android devices. (Maybe Apple users will have better luck.) Hence, it may be best to plot a path in advance if you want to see as much art as possible. I recommend starting north and working south. Check out paintings from LA-based Rachid Bouhamidi at Blindfold Gallery, then see new works from Seattle artist Cait Willis at Ghost Gallery. Head down Olive and make a left on Bellevue Ave, where you will find works by illustrator Pam Wishbow at Broadcast Coffee (1623 Bellevue Ave) and prints and ceramics from Linda Y. Kajimura and Jason Marta around the corner at Grace Gallery (400 E Pine Street, suite 215). Head down Pine to Melrose and make a left to stop in at Glasswing to see ink drawings by Olivia Knapp, who has also collaborated with designer Deborah Roberts for her clothing line Silvae, also on display.

It will be time to turn around and head up Pike, stopping by Victrola (310 E Pike St) to see collage works by Tim Manthey. You and your date can grab coffee here or at the next stop, Kaladi Brothers, attached to the Gay City Health Project (517 E Pike St), where a diverse group show of photographic portraits are on display for Pride Month. Participating artists include Andrew Caldwell, Juan Franco, Elise Koncsek, Nan Leiter and Mario Lemafa.

Onward to Capitol Cider (818 E Pike St), which will display Master Copies by Gage Academy of Art students and offer cocktail pairings with the paintings. (If you are artistically inclined, you’ll be tempted to just stop here for the Drink & Draw portion of the evening, which will include a live model and provide drawing materials to participants.)

Head south on Broadway one block and make a left by Blick’s art supply to get to Sugarpill Apothecary (900 E Pine St), presenting work by fiber artist Antonia Price. If you’re lucky, you might catch a performance by her in the shop. Zigzag to the corner of Pike and 11th and see abstract work from painter Maria Toro at Retrofit Home and sculpture from found objects by Yvette Endrijautzki at Cafe Pettirosso. Head up Pike to Cupcake Royale (1111 E Pike St) and see colorful and comforting quilts by Joey Veltkamp, then around the corner to Northwest Film Forum (1515 12th Ave) for their video art program curated by Vera Petukhova.

If you have energy, take a stroll down 12th to Hedreen Gallery and Photo Center Northwest (900 12th Ave) to see their shows, then double back and land at Vermillion, where you can add your very full passport to the raffle and hopefully take home a prize. You’ll have earned it!

Dancer, or "Curved Line of the Instant" from Deco Japan

Dancer, or “Curved Line of the Instant” from Deco Japan. Image courtesy of Seattle Art Museum.

Delectable Deco

A slower pace and quieter night can be just as fulfilling, and the Deco Japan exhibit at Seattle Asian Art Museum and Salome at the Northwest Film Forum are a gorgeous pairing of early 20th century aesthetics. The film—chosen by artist and designer Mark Mitchell for the Coming Out All Over: Queer Film Style series—is a dreamy, scintillating complement to the active lines and colors of the museum show.

Start early at the Asian Art Museum and feast your eyes on the giddy colors and lines of pre-war Japanese design. Also on display will be Ai Weiwei‘s painted vessels, a new acquisition for the museum. If you are up for a walk and exit on the east side of Volunteer Park, consider stopping by Victrola Coffee on 15th, which will be displaying oil paintings by Michelle Anderst. If you exit on the west side, head down to Roy St and pop into the cozy caffeine nook Joe Bar (810 Roy St) and enjoy the lush, soft paintings of Siolo Thompson. The artist’s latest series puts her excellent craft to good use with portraiture of women’s hands, richly layered textiles, and symbols of domesticity—a counterpoint to the decadence of the deco and Salome. Just don’t take too long, as you might want to join the tail end of Happy Hour (starts at 6:30 PM) at NWFF.

After the film ends a little before 9PM, it will still be light outside. You might consider crossing the street and having a nibble by the gorgeous Japanese courtyard garden at Momiji—an aesthetic bookend for the night that could even complement the film if you order something with the head still attached.

At last, if you want a quiet night cap in mood lighting, consider Poco Wine Bar (1408 E Pine St), which is also participating in Art Walk, displaying colorful, playful travel-inspired watercolors by Levi Hastings. (Hastings also happens to have a piece at the Japanese monster-inspired Super Kaiju group show at True Love Gallery, and while that may fit some of the night’s themes, squeezing it in would prooooobably be overdoing it.)

Party Central

There are so many celebrations and social hours at a variety of retail spaces all along the Pike-Pine corridor, one can spend the whole evening just getting to know local businesses in a creative and convivial company. True Love Art Gallery on Summit might be a good place to start for its fun, casual vibe (It’s also a tattoo parlor.) and the works on display inspired by anime and Japanese monster flicks. From there, head to Babeland (707 E Pike St) for a sip of bubbly, a raffle and discounts on…ya know…something for later.

Up the street at Paris Eastside (816 E Pike St) you can find more cheap nibbles and drinks served up by the proprietors from their stock of delicious imported goods. Also imported from France is visiting artist Manu Monzon, whose works will be on display. From there, pop up to Retail Therapy (905 E Pike St.) which is celebrating it’s 11th anniversary with refreshments, music from DJ Riz Rollins and art by Marcanthony Lee. Not incidentally, Retail Therapy has a great stock of cards and gifts that range from whimsical to downright eccentric, and it is almost Father’s Day…

If you are ready for a bigger party and want to do some good, head over to Velocity Dance Center in the Oddfellows Building (1621 12th Ave, Suite 100) for Divas Take the Hill, a night of dinner, drinks, dancing and drag performances to support the Inspire Youth Project, serving at-risk youth. VIP tickets can include dinner at Tin Table if you have worked up an appetite.

Of course the party continues at Vermillion late, so don’t miss that either. There are walking art tours and activities at the Shelter House in Cal Anderson Park from 5PM to 7PM, so if you don’t have the energy for these other dates, let someone else direct you. Enjoy!

T.s. Flock is a writer and arts critic based in Seattle and co-founder of Vanguard Seattle.