On The Town: Out of Sight, Seattle Art Fair and First Thursday Art Walk

Posted on August 07, 2015, 9:00 am
9 mins


Out Of Sight

The beginning of August kicked off right away in the arts world with the Out Of Sight survey of contemporary art in the Pacific Northwest, presented by Vital 5 Productions. Out Of Sight includes everything from drawings to short film to kinetic sculptures from 108 artists, some of whom chose to be inspired by the site itself: King Street Station. Greg Lundgren had sought out the long unused and forgotten space and built it out with the help of the community, including fellow Out of Sight curators Kirsten Anderson, Sharon Arnold and Sierra Stinson.

There was a stark switch in crowds as one ascended to the opening party on July 30. Before the public opening, there was a private reception hosted by The Goodship Company for devotees of its refined marijuana edibles. Artist Kyler Martz was on hand to give attendees a tattoo (selected from six cheery, nautical options), filling the already buzzing chambers with the buzzing sound of his needle. Martz is booked months in advance, so it was a great opportunity for fans of his work who had a fondness for nautical themes and were impulsive enough to let him go to work on them.

Rainier beer in tallboys were flowing, while the hip crowd took its time enjoying the wildly diverse artworks in the expansive space. My favorite piece was one entirely composed of pressed flour, whose motifs were inspired by the architectural details of King Street Station itself. Mary Ann Peters and MKNZ created a 13’ x 17’ piece inlaid with floral and geometric patterns. The meticulous detail stopped people in their tracks, inspiring awe at a most ephemeral object. You can see it and more at Out of Sight through August 21 by appointment (and on select open days).

Seattle Art Fair

Right after the Out Of Sight Preview Party, I ran to the inaugural Seattle Art Fair at the Century Link Event Center with VS Executive Editor Sarah Caples and Managing Editor T.s. Flock. Guests had no idea what to expect and what the turn-out would be. The line to get in seemed about a mile long when we arrived, which was exciting to behold. In fact, more than 4,000 attended on opening night.

At the entrance was Negar Farajiani’s “Made in China,” a massive beach ball fenced in a small area. Its containment was a little sad, seeing as the piece has been in fields and public spaces around the world, inspiring group interactions at every stop. Still, it was a cheery way to greet visitors, suggesting an air of levity to those who might have been intimidated by their first art fair.

It was hard to decide whether I wanted to look at the art or the crowd—a high-fashion melting pot of patrons and jeunesse dorée, artists and performers. We chatted up our artists and advocates like Paul Kuniholm Pauper, Juan Alonso-Rodriguez, Dylan Neuwirth, Anna Skibska, Jiawen Shi, and spotted many noteworthy people from Vulcan’s Senior Curator Greg Bell, and arts power couple Michael and Barbabra Malone. There were exciting and vibrant conversations taking place left and right between comrades and friends that had probably not been able to coincidentally find one another at overlapping events until now. Other locals were there with representation from different galleries around Seattle, including artist Rodrigo Valenzuela, who has been showing around the country in recent months. Valenzuela remarked wryly about people taking selfies with his artwork, which is itself composed of many layered photos of photos in carefully produced sets. It seems the guests just deepened the mise en abyme.

Read T.s. Flock’s remarks on the fair and what it means for Seattle here.

First Thursday Art Walk

Just a week after Seattle Art Fair and Out of Sight, Pioneer Square Art Galleries once again held their First Thursday Art Walk event. I was most excited about returning to Glass Box Gallery, whose art and crowd captivated my attention last month. With help from LoveCityLove, artist Meghan Shimek opened her show ROVE on the first level of the gallery. The soft textures of her woven, fiber pieces were light and inviting the moment one entered the clean bright space. To rove—to travel constantly without a fixed destination—was the theme and motivation behind all her pieces, but assembled in one place, they felt like they were all coming home. The artist herself presented a familiar warmth, roving through the gallery barefoot.

Going upstairs, photographer Luis Brisceno presented “Sayulita in Seattle,” a series of photographs that he had taken while living in Mexico. Brisceno animatedly described the inspiration behind his photos including his fascination with water, and its endless symbolism and uses. Photos included young boys escaping the heat with water as well as lightening storms making real of the humidity. The juxtaposition of the two exhibits in Glass Box were wonderful in their shared exploration of commonalities no matter where one may rove. Glass Box once again proved to have a cool crowd with absolutely stunning art work.

We also really enjoyed the opening of Reverie: Lush Life at Roq La Rue. The group show included work from dozens of local and international artists, each interpreting the concept of a lush life in unique ways. Sam Wolfe Connelly‘s “Moonburn” was a moody, sultry interior shot of a young, tattooed woman lounging in amber light. Meanwhile, Jonathan Viner‘s gorgeous “Meet Me in Helsinki” showed the upper half of a buttoned up and frilled woman lounging listlessly before wintry rooftops.

We also made a stop at the FEAT exhibition of work by twelve Artist Trust fellows in the lower floor of the newly renovated Galvanize building. The featured artists were Antonia Price, Jesse England, Ellen Ziegler, June Sekiguchi, Todd Jannausch, Michelle de la Vega, Humaira Abid, Aaron Haba, Gail Grinnell, George Rodriguez, Tom Gormally and Rebecca Cummins. The space allowed for innovative displays of the work—hanging from the rafters, placed on the floor by the brick walls—and lent a texture to the experience one doesn’t often get in a traditional gallery setting.

The team also made a stop at the lively opening of work by Jake Millett at Martyr Sauce facing Occidental Park. Guests spilled out from the staircase gallery into the sidewalk, where Millett had also made available clothing using his designs. The relaxed, outgoing attitude of the crowd was a perfect end to the evening. These shows were a perfect match for our Vanguard Seattle‘s editorial theme for August: Easy Living. FEAT wrapped this weekend, but check out the others this month in Pioneer Square.

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