Seattle Art Fair 2015: Your Weekend Guide

Posted on August 01, 2015, 2:56 am
13 mins


Whether you read about it here or elsewhere (say, the New York Times), you have probably learned by now that Seattle has a major art fair going on. That’s exciting for a lot of reasons, even if you aren’t crazy about art fairs or you aren’t an art collector…yet. You don’t have to be an art collector—you don’t even really have to be a big art enthusiast—to enjoy the buzz around the arts right now, and there is a lot of really accessible work displayed around town.

You’ve heard about it, but you work a 9 to 5 and this precious weekend is your first and last chance to see it all. So where do you start?

Saturday, August 1

Satellite Seattle and COLLECT Seattle

Artist Kate Sweeney and collaborators have put together a beautiful site called Satellite Seattle, which has a map showing events around town at venues hosting exhibitions, lectures, performances and fairs of their own in tandem with the Seattle Art Fair. I’m making my own recommendations, but you should check the page out and maybe you’ll find something right around the corner from you that is easy to check out…or something more adventurous that appeals for personal reasons. Check out the site here. I am pus

Of special note is the COLLECT Seattle bus tour, which functions as a catered shuttle service to many of these events during the day (and to the Seattle Art Fair itself). Stops include the installation by Robert Montgomery at the Denny Substation site, SAM Gallery in downtown, Mad Art in South Lake Union and the TK Art of the City Street Fair. Get all the information on the Satellite Seattle website.

TK Art of the City Street Fair

From 11 AM to 11 PM on Saturday, the Tashiro Kaplan Building is holding its annual street festival, an all ages event with live music, painting and performance, interactive and special exhibitions, and open galleries and studios for guests to peruse. The performance list is as follows:

It’s free an open to the public, and so close to the Seattle Art Fair and Out of Sight that you can easily attend before or after those other stops if you have a mind (and the energy) to do it all.

Saturday and Sunday, August 1 and 2

FEAT 2015: Fellowship Exhibit Artist Trust at Galvanize

Artist Trust is sponsoring an exhibition of the twelve 2015 Artist Trust Fellowship recipients at the newly restored (and named) Galvanize building in Pioneer Square. These are established and innovative working artists working in many media. (Some of them seem to switch mediums every year but always in a way that seems effortless.) They are Humaira Abid, Rebecca Cummins, Michelle de la Vega, Jesse England, Tom Gormally, Gail Grinnell, Aaron Haba, Todd Jannausch, Antonia Price, George Rodriguez, June Sekiguchi and Ellen Ziegler. The exhibition is open 11 AM to 7 PM on Saturday, 12 PM to 6 PM on Sunday. (111 S Jackson St)

Out of Sight at King Street Station

108 artists, emerging and established, represented and independent, young and not-so-young, have contributed work to this independent exhibition in a newly restored space in King Street Station. Vital 5 Production, spearheaded by Greg Lundgren, in collaboration with Kirsten Anderson and Sharon Arnold of Roq la Rue Gallery and co-curator Sierra Stinson. The newly installed walls and pedestals are filled with art. Some are covered by murals from artists who have bridged the gap between public/street art practice and gallery work, including Baso Fibonacci and Jeff Jacobson.

The kinetic sculptures of Casey Curran are always crowd-pleasers, and his undulating field of gold pyramids is hypnotic. Mary Ann Peters and MKNZ collaborated to produce an ephemeral sculpture from 200 pounds of pressed flour. Chris McMullen has built from scratch two interactive steel sculptures, one of which is installed on the east side of the building overlooking the train tracks below. Turning its crank causes a series of large metal rings to rise and fall with a “Clunk” a la the trains below.

In the evening, there will also be live musical performance by Music by NIGHT SHIFT Sound: Epaulets, Tony Snark, and St. Joseph to jazz up the bar service. (The bar is open 5 PM to 8 PM and is cash only.) The doors are open 12 to 8 PM on Saturday and 21+, but on Sunday it is all ages, open from 10 AM to 6 PM. In the morning, from 10 AM to 2 PM, a Swedish Pancake Brunch will be available.

I have more to say about the dynamics of Out of Sight on its own terms and what it represents in the Seattle Arts community. That is another article, but for now I will say that the $10 cost of admission is worth it. It’s a unique show, definitely one of the larger independent art happenings in a long time, and it is a great complement to the Art Fair proper down the road.

The Seattle Art Fair

The main attraction for the weekend—plan to spend at least a few hours here per visit. Just the signature exhibition Thinking Currents, curated by Leeza Ahmady, demands at least 30-40 minutes just to see its bevy of short films and digital installations.

Of course, all work demands time to truly appreciate, but with over 60 commercial gallery booths and a number of non-profits with stations, individual, static pieces can become a blur. In my longer essay on the Seattle Art Fair and what it means, I have given recommendations. They don’t even scratch the surface, but at least get you to a few different corners of the fair.

It is worth reiterating that there are lectures and panels to attend as well. On Saturday, August 1, from 2 PM to 3 PM, artist Natalie Jeremijenko gives insights into her scientific, ecologically-conscious art practice. From the Seattle Art Fair website:

In this panel, she will explore strategies to redesign energy, food and transportation systems that can contribute to the common good, increase soil, aquatic and terrestrial, biodiversity and improve human and environmental health.

Shortly after, from 3:30 PM to 5 PM, a keynote discussion will be led on the curation and ideas behind the signature exhibition of the fair, Thinking Currents. I would really only recommend setting aside those 90 minutes if you have already spent a good amount of time in that exhibition and want to have it unpacked in greater detail. There are a lot of heady themes (globalization, environment, the flow of information, and lots of water symbolism), which makes for interesting viewing and, I bet, a heady discussion, but if you don’t have long, I think you’ll be more edified by exploring in a self-directed fashion.

The exhibition is open 11 AM to 7 PM on Saturday, 12 PM to 6 PM on Sunday. Admission for one day is $20 (and worth it). See the website for more info. Look below for some of our Instagrams from Out of Sight and the Seattle Art Fair to get yourself primed.

But before you do…

Dark Cool Quiet

Northwest Film Forum presents what they call “schmooze-free theater space” with two hours of looped video art and short films from a stellar roster of locals, including KeseyPollock, Juniper Shuey, Dakota Gearheart and Rodrigo Valenzuela. If you want a taste of culture but you just don’t want to face a crowd after a long week (and maybe a few nights of art parties already under your belt) 5 to 9 PM this weekend, NWFF is the place to be. (1515 12th Ave) Viewers may enter any time during the program, which is on an approximately 2-hour loop.

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

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