Best of Gage at Gage Academy
The Gage Academy of Art held their Best of Gage party on Friday June 19, showcasing the works of Academy students of all ages and style—sculpture, painting and drawing. Some are established artists acquiring or refreshing their skills, while others are attempting art for the first time, studying in the classical atelier style for which Gage is known. A VIP-early entrance allowed for leisure viewing—and purchasing—of the works before the full crowd arrived.
There was a buzz in the storied halls of the academy in North Capitol Hill. Each artists’ hub served as mini galleries, sometimes tight, cramped, and hot filled with surprises and textures. The best part about the crowd was that there really was no way to distinguish if someone was a student, a professor, a patron or just a curious eye. One soft-spoken woman arrived at an artists’ area, surveyed her work, and decided to buy four pieces outright.
Guest jurors chose the best works in multiple categories. Artist Kathleen Coyle took first for Landscape, Heather Cromwell took first for Abstract, and Erin Pollock of KeseyPollock took first for the Narrative category.
Check out the full list of winners and the juror’s statement on Gage’s website.
July 2015 First Thursday Seattle Art Walk
It was a classic hot summer evening, and starting my tour of the galleries at the Foster White Gallery, I was greeted by a cool calm, the smell of fresh lilies and the massive sculptures of Will Robinson. Simple but beautiful, they invite viewers to touch or even sit on the cool stone from which they are carved. A grand bouquet of white lilies sat at the front of the gallery from the vernissage the night before, which honored the life of gallery founder Donald Isle Foster. The Memorial Show on display included works from over thirty artists touched by his life and his dedication to the arts. Some of the artists are now represented by other galleries or are independent, so it is quite a feat for the gallery—and a feast for the eyes—to see so many works from them in one place, unified in their appreciation for one of the most historically significant figures in Seattle’s arts community.
Vanguard managing editor T.s. Flock and I made our way to see artist (and occasional guest columnist for Vanguard Seattle) Anna Skibska, who is known for creating beautiful, monumental sculptures of glass, and is expanding her reputation to include beautiful and unique jewelry. Many necklaces were on display along the walls of Azuma Gallery, wine was flowing and musician Lindee Hoshikawa provided pop-folk with acoustic accompaniment.
Other stops included Punch Gallery, showing the giant lacy hats and embroidered vests of Ries Niemi, and Gallery 4Culture, with an interactive light and sound installation by artist group Let’s. We marveled at the play of light on the shaped and painted wood sculptures of Michael Finnegan at Method Gallery and the modern PNW vibe of two artists at Bryan Ohno Gallery: large paintings by emerging artist Adrianne Smits and new metal sculptures from Travis Pond, who was recently in the local news as he installed a massive elk formed from the parts of a John Deere tractor at a private collector’s home on the Puget Sound. We popped briefly into Roq La Rue Gallery and chatted up gallerists Sharon Arnold and Kirsten Anderson, who are working hard on preparing a massive exhibition of local artists in King Street Station during the upcoming Seattle Art Fair. This exhibition is a collaboration between Anderson, Arnold, Greg Lundgren and Sierra Stinson and features work from dozens of artists working in diverse media.
We ended our day at Glass Box Gallery, showing the colorful, mixed-media works of Toby Warren, which put a twisted spin on Americana—including a hanging installation of a derelict boat that provided the setting for a creepy barbie doll party next to a bright red, plastic handgun. The gallery attracts a hip, engaging crowd. Perfectly ripped jeans and dark lipstick, chilled beer and light snacks give it a leisurely feel despite the space’s stark surroundings on the edge of the International District and SODO. Be sure to catch the next First Thursday Art Walk, August 6.
City Arts Art Walk Awards at Sole Repair
City Arts Magazine hosted its seasonal Art Walk Awards party at Capitol Hill’s Sole Repair on Thursday, July 9. The minute I stepped foot in the venue, the chill vibe was set with the DJ playing late 90s hip-hop and everyone holding beer from Blue Moon Brewing Company, the event’s sponsor. The venue was crawling with muted tones and classic all-black outfits, as attendees viewed the nine-nominated artworks and voted for their favorite. Most of the nominated finalists were there, including Linda Davidson, Sarah Teasdale, and Kimberly Trowbridge, who will soon be teaching at her own atelier through Gage Academy at the Miller Art Studio in Georgetown.
Many art world insiders floated through, such as SAM Gallery Manager Jody Bento, curator Sierra Stinson, and of course many local artists, including Kristie Severn, Shaun Kardinal and Hami Bahadori. Artist couple Pete Fleming and Allyce Wood were in attendance—their last public party before moving to Norway.
Photos by Tiffany Bri
In the mezzanine, the tighter quarters made for intimate conversations and a real buzz overlooking the crowd by the bar below. Local artist, Liz Tran was accompanied by long-time friend and Paris-based artist, Kesha Bruce. Tran currently has a public art piece up in Edmonds and will be shown by SAM Gallery at the Seattle Art Fair before beginning a residency in Iceland in the fall. Kesha Bruce lives and works in France, but she has roots in Iowa and New York. Her work is on display at several galleries across the country, including the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. From their circle of friends, laughter roared and glasses clinked as they shared advice and stories of adventure. Appropriate to an event celebrating art, the guests were keen on hearing and telling stories, and dishing the latest gossip. Even waiting in line for the bathroom became an opportunity to uncover a crazy story from the person next to you.
With the stroke of 11, the crowd suddenly began to surge with the Capitol Hill party crowd, and it was shoulder-to-shoulder when it was announced that artist Robert Hardgrave had received the most votes for his large photocopy collage on mulberry paper titled “Retirement Fund,” displayed earlier this year at Studio e in a special solo show of Hardgrave’s work curated by Beth Cullom. The next City Arts Art Walk Awards will be on October 9.