It’s post-Labor Day, but there is still a bit of summer left to be had and plenty of reasons to get out this weekend for art and design in Seattle. Put away those white shoes and get some walking shoes on…
Whim W’him Presents Choreographic Shindig 2015
Local dance troupe Whim W’him will present three original works commissioned by the company, opening Friday, September 11, 2015 at the Erickson Theatre off Broadway (1524 Harvard Ave E). Part of a new program that allows the troupe’s dancers to select choreographers, the show titled Choreographic Shindig has enlisted: Joshua Peugh, Texas-based founder and Artistic Director of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance; San Francisco-based Maurya Kerr, founder of tinypistol and winner of the 2011 Hubbard Street National Choreographic Competition; and Ihsan Rustem, the Zurich-based winner of Sadler’s Wells Global Dance Contest in 2012.
I am personally most excited about Rustem’s work. He has worked in this region before, completing a commission in 2012 for Portland’s NW Dance Project. Titled “Mother Tongue,” it was a gorgeous, athletic, perfectly contemporary work delivered with conviction and empathy. Whim W’him was founded with a desire to unite balletic and contemporary styles while also keeping an eye to matters of social justice. Sometimes light and witty, sometimes heavy-handed, but always performed with panache, the style and repertoire of Whim W’him is well-suited to Rustem’s aesthetic, and I look forward to seeing his latest. Naturally, I am also excited to see work by Peugh and Kerr for the first time.
Performances of Choreographic Shindig 2015 continue through September 19 (which is good, because opening night has been sold out for a while). Check out the times and buy tickets online.
Also, consider seeing Rustem’s Mother Tongue when it returns to Portland’s Lincoln Center in October. I am seriously pondering a special trip for it, October 22-24. See more and get tickets online.
The Seattle Design Festival Block Party, September 12 – 13
(+ Some Gallery Shows)
The theme of this year’s Seattle Design Festival is Design for Equity, emphasizing the social justice aspects of smart design to build stronger, healthier communities. From 10 AM on Saturday and Sunday into the evening, multiple booths and installations will fill Occidental Park (300 Occidental Ave S), inviting kids and adults to interact with design concepts and learn more about the challenges of building a community that is truly equitable.
Topics at the heart of this include affordable housing issues in times of rapid growth, accessibility issues for differently-abled people, demographic gaps in education and potential solutions to these problems. The installations are always engaging and entertaining, but this year we expect that audiences will be led to think more deeply and experience greater empathy, too.
While you are down in Pioneer Square, do check out some of the gallery shows, too. Martyr Sauce (located across the street from Occidental Park on 122 S Washington St) will be giving a special presentation on both days from 4 PM to 7 PM. Other galleries will be holding regular hours, so check them out early. I highly recommend the Peter Millett solo show at Greg Kucera Gallery (212 3rd Avenue) and the Paul Vexler exhibit next door at Foster / White Gallery (220 3rd Avenue) as both are shows of large sculpture that complement the installation-style of the #SDF2015 Block Party.
Notably, two shows are in their final days this weekend at GLASS BOX Gallery (831 Seattle Blvd S). On the upper floor, Makenzie Stone presents OK FORTUNE, while the ground floor galleries are occupied by Serrah Russell‘s ISLANDED, an exhibition of new collage, photography and sculpture, as well as a video installation in the gallery’s dark room. I missed the opening, but I am making sure to stop by this weekend while attending the Design Festival.
For more information about SDF 2015, check out the website of organizing entity Design in Public, and also see a listing of participants and this weekend’s schedule on the Sched page for the block party. Check out my previous post for a concise listing of Seattle Design Festival events in the coming weeks.
Georgetown Art Attack, September 12, 6 to 9 PM
(+ a special show at Equinox Studios)
It’s the second Saturday, so it’s time again for Georgetown Art Attack. The streets will be lively with revelers of all stripes, and I am particularly excited to see work by Vancouver, B.C.-based artist Patryk Stasieczek, who will be transforming Interstitial Gallery (6007 12th Ave South, 3rd Floor) into an “immersive, light-based experience” titled Inverse Light and Chamber. Stasieczek is philosophical about his work, which includes this play with light and deconstructed photographs, and he promotes this dialog with other artists through his work as director and co-curator of Vancouver’s Gallery 295, which focuses on emerging fine art photographers. From Interstitial:
In a direct response to Interstitial’s unique layout, Inverse Light and Chamber transforms the room into a site where the material production of photography and the resulting visual composition are combined. Using colored light in a wide variety of formats, Stasieczek allows the viewer to experience the gallery space as image and the viewer as camera. The room is dark, the eyes adjust, the edges articulate, and the work is engaged.
Nearby, at the Oxbow event space (6118 12th Ave S), this is one of your last chances to check out Shake by artist Alex Lockwood. This is a great show for all-ages. Lockwood’s meticulous transformation of garbage (everything from bottle caps to shotgun shells) into masks and kinetic sculptures is playful and inspiring. I can’t recommend it highly enough. During art walk, there will be a closing reception at 7 PM and an artist talk at 8 PM. See the Facebook event page.
On the far end of the strip, I also recommend new works by Brian Cypher at studio e (609 S Brandon St) and the grand opening of Praxis Arts (5511 Airport Way S), a 3000 sq.-foot creation and exhibition space, premiering with a collaborative group show titled Art Collision. Learn more on the Facebook page.
Don’t be shy with taking the Georgetown Art Attack shuttle bus (you’ll find signage for pickup points all along the main strip) and get over to Equinox Studios (6555 5th Avenue S). Artists Celeste Cooning and Katie Miller were selected as the 2014/15 ArtBridge Fellows and have created large-scale site-specific installations at the studios. Appointments for viewing can also be made through Equinox Studios, but we recommend seeing it with everyone for the big opening.
So much to do, so Get Out, Seattle!