Visual Arts Picks

PATTI WARASHINA

For some reason, ceramics is often perceived as a second-class art medium. Perhaps it's because of the fragility of the form, or maybe because of pottery's long association with craft and utility. But thanks to longtime efforts by ceramic artists such as Seattle's Patti Warashina, that art-versus-craft distinction is being slowly chipped away. In "Real Politique," a show of new work by the UW professor emeritus, surreal figures that appear playful or informal on the surface— goggle-eyed watchtowers, masked women, headless strongmen—harbor deeper, serious concerns. Each of the 10 pieces expresses some aspect of Wara­shina's history, whether personal or political: Tule Lake Retreat alludes to the guard towers of an internment camp, while in Sitting Ducks a woman meets the world with open arms, oblivious to whatever malicious forces might have her in their gun sights. Reception: 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Thurs. July 1. Howard House, 604 Second Ave., 206-256-6399. 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Sat. Show runs through Aug. 7. ANDREW ENGELSON

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