Seattle Art Gallery Guide: First Thursday Art Walk, February 2020

Posted on February 06, 2020, 8:09 am
7 mins


We’re back in those months when the sunset is actually AFTER First Thursday Art Walk begins. And there are some great shows to see this month, including several group shows with something for everyone.

Personal Picks For Pioneer Square and Downtown Art Galleries

West Coast Wonders at Davidson Galleries

Of the five artists featured in this group show, I’m most familiar with Charles Spitzack‘s woodblock prints. I would go to a show just for those, but I am eager to see more from Marit Berg, Kevin Fletcher, Michele Landsaat and Stephen McMillan. The artists work across print media, including etching, monotype, linocut and chine-colle.

Check out the online exhibition images for a preview of all five participating artists. And for those who are curious about learning print basics, Charles Spitzack will be teaching a Moku Hanga workshop at Pratt this month. Read more about the two-day course, February 22 and 23, on the Pratt website.

Anne Siems, “Beast + Lover.” Image courtesy of the artist and Patricia Rovzar Gallery.

Anne Siems at Patricia Rovzar Gallery

The latest solo show by portraitist Anne Siems is well-timed, given that MoPop currently has a show on tattoo culture, Body of Work. Siems’ new collection features enigmatic women in her instantly identifiable style but baring more flesh than usual. In this show, Tattooed, her subjects themselves become canvases for mystical and archetypal symbols. I fully expect Vanguard Seattle Executive Editor Sarah Caples to gasp and want to take home at least three of them. (I want one, too.)

See them online at Patricia Rovzar Gallery’s website.

Marisa Williamson: Runaway at SOIL Gallery

Jacob Lawrence Legacy Residency Artist Marisa Williamson recently opened a gorgeous solo exhibition, Angel of History, at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery. This month, SOIL Gallery hosts Williamson’s satellite installation, Runaway. During art walk, from 6-8pm, there will also be an artist reception. Hopefully, this more centrally located work will inspire more visitors to head to the U District and see Williamson’s full exhibit.

And on Friday, Williamson will give an artist talk at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, starting at 6pm. If you can brave the Friday rush hour traffic to get there, I highly recommend it.

More In The Pioneer Square Art Galleries

Amir Zaki, “Concrete Vessel 55.” Image courtesy of James Harris Gallery.

BLOW-UP and Talking To a Stranger at James Harris Gallery

The front rooms of James Harris Gallery feature a big solo show of composite photography by Bing Wright, titled BLOW-UP. These ambiguous images are actually rendered from single photos, nesting more recognizable elements in “blown up” details. At back, a small group show, Talking to a Stranger, juxtaposes works by Evan Nesbit, Brad Winchester and Amir Zaki in “conversation” with each other. The subject in brief: creation through fragmentation and re-integration.

Annual Juried Show at Gallery 110

I am always delighted by the variety and quality of works that turn up at Gallery 110‘s annual juried show. The credit goes to not just the artists, but the professional juror who must sort through hundreds and hundreds of submissions. This year, the juror is Amanda Donnan, curator at The Frye Art Museum. Based on the previews I have seen, this year’s 10th anniversary show, twixt cup and lip, is going to be stellar. You can vote for your own favorites at the opening reception during art walk, so come and make some lucky artist’s day.

Group Show at Foster/White Gallery

There’s no unifying thread to the display at Foster/White Gallery this month…just something for everyone. Examples: gorgeously subtle oil paintings and a richly textured, mountainous book excavation by Guy Laramee; highly abstracted landscapes by Chase Langford and Sarah Winkler; and whimsical ceramic sculptures by Calvin Ma. See a sampling of what’s on display on the gallery website.


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More to See In And Around Pioneer Square

These are the last weeks to catch Ryan W Kelly’s A Forest for the Trees at METHOD Gallery. It’s a beautifully crafted, queer-as-fuck, carnivalesque display of masks, life size-puppets, and a “bear”-skin rug self-portrait. Around the corner, see Jay Stern‘s abstracted, disorienting interior paintings at Specialist. And if you can get yourself across the International District to the always cool Glass Box Gallery, go see the explosively colorful works of Nikita Ares at her solo show, CHADA! (and don’t worry about making it your last stop, as it is open till 9pm, later than the other galleries).

At ARTS at King Street Station, Thursday is also the opening of The American War, responding to legacy of the war in Viet Nam. This deserves its own trip, but the exhibition will be open until 8pm during Art Walk this month and next. Artists Pao Houa Her and Sadie Wechsler present over forty objects, including contemporary and hitsorical photography, poetry and video. The exhibit is on display through March 21.

Featured image: Detail of Charles Spitzack “Into the Wind.” Image courtesy of the artist and Davidson Galleries

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