Change is always afoot in the art world. That is certainly true in Pioneer Square, where some art galleries are moving or shuttering. Flatcolor Gallery recently closed its Pioneer Square location and Artifact will soon follow. G. Gibson Gallery has moved uptown to Lower Queen Anne. Meanwhile, during art walk there will be non-commercial galleries with interesting shows of their own. Here is our checklist for First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square, ending with the best art parties of the night.
Pioneer Square, North End
Amir Zaki – Survey 1999-2015 at James Harris Gallery
James Harris Gallery has been showing the work of Amir Zaki since it opened in 1999. In that time, the artist has revealed absurd and intriguing elements of the Southern California landscape. Work from ten photographic series will be on display for Survey 1999-2015. I started seeing his work only back in 2008, so a lot will be new to me. Survey is a great chance for new and old fans to familiarize themselves with Zaki’s oeuvre and his keen, eclectic eye.
On view through November 19 at James Harris Gallery (604 2nd Avenue). See more on the website.
Jean-Claude Moschetti – Parallel Worlds at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery – Personal Pick
Duality is a key feature of Jean-Claude Moschetti‘s work. As a French-born man inducted into secret societies of Western Africa, his photography is not merely ethnographic documentation. It’s an exploration of how humans everywhere separate and reconcile perceived binaries: sacred/profane, secret/open, good/evil, natural/supernatural, not to mention racial and sexual divisions. His latest series, Parallel Worlds, looks especially at spirits with a dual nature.
The revered Mamy Wata is both woman and fish, a symbol of fertility, yet barren. She can bring both pregnancy and disease. The tradition of Vodun is already syncretic in nature and can be used to both harm and heal. Images of pin dolls and bewitchment (“Tchakatou,” the title of the featured image above) align parallel with prosperity and blessings. Moschetti’s gorgeous images are variously composed, but they have one thing in common: They are a window into a tradition largely unknown in this part of the world, and a complex worldview that defies black-and-white morality.
Parallel Worlds is on view through December 3 at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery (608 2nd Avenue). See more on the website.
Tashiro Kaplan Building Galleries
Harold Hollingsworth – Cross Pollination at Zinc Contemporary
The graphic and colorful paintings of Harold Hollingsworth often takes cues from signage and typography. In his latest mixed-media works, Cross Pollination, the artist incorporates fragments of decorative flourishes. Stark black floral elements are echoed in painterly strokes of color, across a patchwork of color blocks and diagrammatic fragments. These are skillful hybrids, indeed.
On view through November 26 at Zinc Contemporary (119 Prefontaine Pl S). See more on the website.
Juan Alonso Studio with Carina Del Rosario
Speaking of bold color blocks: Juan Alonso continues to experiment with his style while never departing too much from the graphic and colorful inspirations of his Cuban upbringing. (For more on that, read our 2013 profile of him.) You can see some of his latest works alongside the photography of Carina Del Rosario at his studio during Art Walk. Del Rosario is a teaching artist with Arts Corps and Seattle Art Museum, and her vibrant travel photography will pair beautifully with Alonso’s mixed-media paintings.
Juan Alonso Studio is Suite #104 in the Tashiro Kaplan Building (Entrance at 306 S Washington St).
Apparitions and Water is Everything at Gallery 110
This one is my wild card for the month, as I don’t know the artists, but the previews have got me interested. Nancy Coleman and Darrel Rhea are lifelong sailors, and longtime partners in adventure and design. Water is Everything at Gallery 110 will be their first show together (and Rhea’s public debut as an artist). Coleman’s encaustic and acrylic works are swirly odes to all things that flow; Darrel’s digital works are romantic views of twilit waves without a speck of land. Water really is everything to this pair, and I’m curious to see the works in person.
Apparitions goes far inland to the Great Plains with the works of another artist duo: J. Gordon and Mark Hurst. Their visual and aural works responding to wildlife and landscape have more physicality than the accompanying show, yet are more ghostly, evanescent.
On display through November 26 at Gallery 110 (110 3rd Ave. S). See more on the website.
Around Main St.
Mark Calderon and Jeffrey Simmons at Greg Kucera Gallery
Two very different solo shows open at Greg Kucera Gallery this month and will continue through December. There’s a lot to take in here between the sculptures of Mark Calderon and the layered watercolors of Jeffrey Simmons. Calderon will present bronzes, unique sculptures made of mica and waxed thread and an affecting series of silhouettes in mica. The translucent silhouettes are of hands in various gestures. Each evoke profound emotions, and they do so with an ease that is almost disquieting, even when the gesture is relaxed.
Simmons’ congeries of circles and bubbles arranged in symmetrical patterns and columns take on a mystical tone. No specific tradition comes to mind (except maybe a Qabbalistic Tree of Life, here and there). It’s something more fundamental—the orbit of planets, of atoms, the innate harmony of the sphere. It’s work that feels good without feeling fluffy.
Works by Calderon and Simmons are on view through December 23 at Greg Kucera Gallery (212 3rd Avenue South). See more on the website.
KISS FEAR opening at Bonfire
Over the next three months, Bonfire will be presenting art and poetry responding to American gun culture in KISS FEAR. Poet Daemond Arrindell and artists Mary Coss and Holly Ballard Martz explore the subject with melancholy, tenderness and a touch of dark humor. In addition to the show of poetry, sculpture and video, there will be occasional performances and events in the space through the winter. The preview during Art Walk will be quickly followed by an official opening reception on Saturday, November 5 from 6pm to 9pm. Read more about the show on Bonfire’s website.
On display through January 28 at Bonfire (603 S Main Street).
Tracy Boyd at Artifact
The final show at Artifact Gallery is a solo exhibition of paintings by Tracy Boyd. Boyd works LARGE on canvases and tarps, with big strokes and bold colors that give her subjects a frenetic energy. (Read more about her in our 2013 profile of her work.) You really need to step back to get a full view of the works, which is hard in Artifact’s narrow space. Don’t miss your chance to get immersed in a dynamic display of color and stroke. The doors will only be open from 5:30-7:30pm at Artifact Gallery (313 1st Ave S).
Alla Goniodsky – Reconstructed Memories at ArtXchange Gallery
Stage designer, painter and sculptor Alla Goniodsky presents her debut solo exhibition at ArtXchange. The array of work is clearly theatrical, with fin-de-siecle, doll-like forms cavorting in a variety of media. They look a little ghoulish at times, and some will appreciate that more than others. I appreciate them primarily for the skill in their craft and the consistency of Goniodsky’s aesthetic. She has made her own little world for audiences to explore (and perhaps bring home with them).
On view through November 26 at ArtXchange Gallery (512 1st Avenue South). See more on the website.
Narrative at AXIS Pioneer Square – Personal Pick
Artists Reilly Jensen, Izzie Klingels and Bette Burgoyne offer up an array of allegorical works for Narrative at AXIS Pioneer Square. All three artists pack their work with detail. Jensen’s work fuses organic and mechanical forms in works that look like a landfill of dreams (disappointed or realized, and largely forgotten). Klingels alludes to a broader story in vaporous fragments with her exacting, pointillist works. Burgoyne goes fully ethereal in her series “Smoke Noir.”
While this show opens, the adjacent corner gallery will hold a closing reception for the previous show, Audio/Visual, as well as an opening for artist Jessica Jorgensen‘s solo show, A Quiet Truth. Live music and a pop-up shop from vinyl seller Knick Knack Records will make for a festive evening to complement the moody works of Narrative.
Narrative is on display through January 5 at AXIS Pioneer Square (308 1st Avenue South). See more on the Facebook event page.
Celebrating Tariqa Waters at Martyr Sauce
Artist Tariqa Waters recently received the Conductive Garboil Grant from 4Culture, and the arts org is celebrating at her gallery and studio, Martyr Sauce. Waters is one of the most dear and dynamic figures (not to mention stylish) in the local arts scene. Local audiences recently got the first major show of her work at the Northwest African American Museum. You’ll see some of those works at Martyr Sauce, in case you missed that exhibition. Light refreshments and karaoke will also be on the menu. (Sadly, Martyr Sauce is not ADA accessible.) The party goes from 6-9pm at Martyr Sauce (102 S Jackson St).
Thick as Thieves Launch Party at Brainfreeze
The new quarterly comics zine Thick as Thieves launches at Brainfreeze (formerly The Lusty Lady). Come check out the new issue and meet some of the contributing artists. Sarra Scherb recently wrote about the origins of the zine and what to expect from it. (We’re pretty excited.) The party runs from 6-11pm at Brainfreeze. Read more on the Facebook event page.