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Lectures and Events
Figurehead Fund-raiser Performance artists Lynn Di Nino, Claudia Riedener, and Steve Kanick have a vision: They want to roll a thousand plastic heads down Tacoma's 11th Street to the musical accompaniment of arias from La Traviata and the dancing of 40 jesters. Um . . . OK, whatever. Sounds kinda cool. This evening slide show and talk is intended to raise money for the project. Plastic heads ain't cheap, you know. Reception and slide show: 8-10 p.m. Wed. Dec. 15. Panamonica's, 1117 S. Tacoma Ave. (Tacoma), $10, 253-396 0774.
Lecture: Affect and Response UW English professor Kathy Woodward explores how we respond intellectually and perceptually to literature and visual art, specifically, the pieces on display in the Henry's excellent "Work of the Work" show. 7 p.m. Thurs. Dec. 16. Henry Art Gallery, UW campus, free with admission, 206-543-2280.
Public Art Unveiling Mermaid and Neptune-themed glass mosaics created by middle-school students under the direction of Mauricio Robalino make their debut at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center. Reception: 4-6 p.m. Fri. Dec. 17. Rainier Valley Cultural Center, 3515 S. Alaska St. (Columbia City), 206-760-4287.
Video Art Screening: Mark O'Connell A screening of new video pieces by Mark O'Connell, whose work is a cacophony of visual collage—from B-movies to war footage. 7 p.m. Thurs. Dec. 16. 911 Media Arts. 402 Ninth Ave., free, 206-682-6552.
Howard House "Sell Out," a group show by Howard House artists (see SW This Week, p. 45) Reception: 7 p.m. Thurs. Dec. 16. 604 Second Ave., 206-256-6399. 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Sat.
Crawl Space "Fantastically Ordinary:" new, understated sculpture and drawings on wax and other media by two University of Washington BFA graduates: Chad Wentzel and Rachael Olson. Reception: 6-9 p.m. Sat. Dec. 18. 504 E. Denny Way #1 (near Olive), 206-240-6015. Noon-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun.
Ballard/Fetherston Michael Schultheis' scrappy abstract canvases, plus Frank Huster's photographs of crumbling walls and flaking paint. 818 E. Pike St., 206-322-9440. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Sat. Ends Sat. Dec. 18.
1506 Projects Tony Weathers' "Yes, Oui, Si; Waiting," is a site-specific video installation questioning our desire for commodities and consumer goods. 1506 E. Olive, 206-329-5400. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat.-Sun.
911 Media Arts The contemporary media center celebrates its move to new digs with an installation by the region's most prominent and brilliant video artists, Gary Hill. The work is Language Willing, a piece simultaneously frenetic and lethargic, which incorporates text from Australian poet Chris Mann. 402 Ninth Ave., 206-682-6552. 1-7 p.m. Tues.-Sat.
Artemis "Seven Tiny Artists" refers to the size of the artwork, not the artists. On hand will be small and affordable paintings, photographs, jewelry, and other cool stuff by Liz Tran, Todd Karam, and Kate Endle. 3107 S. Day St., 206-323-0562. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tues.-Fri.; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.
Art Institute of Seattle Gallery The AIS annual faculty exhibit showcases sculpture, video, painting, and mixed media by 40 faculty members. 2323 Elliott Ave., 206-448-0900. 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Thurs.; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat.
Atelier 31 Rebecca Raven's 2- and 3-dimensional paintings inspired by the silent-movie era will be the last hurrah for this Belltown gallery, which will close shop at the end of the year. 2500 First Ave., 206-448-5250. 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon., Tues., & Sat. 10:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Wed.-Fri.
BIF's Mixed-media landscapes and little paintings by the late local arts renaissance man, Wesley Wehr, plus sculpture and drawings done between 1965 and 1975 by Ben Sams. 5828 Roosevelt Way N.E., 206-522-1607. Noon-5:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat.; noon-4 p.m. Sun.
Bluebottle The faux ethnic treasures in "Artifacts of Pepelo Island" by Seattle-based artist Iosufatu Sua ask the question: Would you rather visit an anthropology exhibit of "primitive" art or a show of contemporary street painting? And why? 415 E. Pine St., 206-325-1592. 1-7 p.m. Tues.-Fri., noon-6 p.m. Sat.-Sun.
Bryan Ohno This year's holiday group show features a talented roster, including Patricia Hagen (whose abstractions range from candy lozenges to menacing biological forms), sculptor Junko Ijima, and Katina Huston, who does lovely sumi-style ink washes of bicycles. 155 S. Main St., 206-667-9572. 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Tues.-Sat.
Davidson Dion Zwirner's near-abstract paintings recall estuaries and wetlands, but there's a lack of rigor to this new work—nothing really jumps out from the jumble. If you ask me, John Grade is a better interpreter of nature into abstraction (I enjoyed his show of large sculpture here earlier this year). This selection of Grade's drawings and small sculptures delves into the microscopic world without being too literal about it. 313 Occidental Ave. S., 206-624-7684. 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Tues.-Sat.
Foster/White "Small Works" features undersized paintings and sculpture by Eva Isaksen, Alden Mason, Gerard Tsutakawa, and many others. 123 S. Jackson, 206-622-2833. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat.; noon- 5 p.m. Sun.
Friesen Gallery Reilly Jensen's intriguing abstract paintings are collectively titled "Cotard" after Cotard's Syndrome, a psychological state in which a person believes his or her body has become a machine. 1210 Second Ave., 206-628-9501. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat.
G. Gibson Contemporary figurative photographs by Mona Kuhn and flower photographs by Ron van Dongen. 514 E. Pike St., 206-587-4033. 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. Wed.-Fri.; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.
Gallery 4 Culture Designer and photographer Thom Heileson's richly layered photomontages and videos offer up mysterious spaces, a kind of architecture of the unconscious. 506 Second Ave., Suite 200 (Smith Tower), 206-296-7580. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Gallery 110 Steve Miller's "Milky" captures the reactions of a bunch of naked people having gallons of milk poured over them, while Mark Moody's "Dust Collectors" is a series of photos of dust-encrusted entomology exhibits. In Miller's photos, the milk combines with the stark white background to partially erase Miller's subjects, while Moody's bug pictures are also about erasure—in the creepy, ethereal little images, pinned insects corrode under a decade of dust. 110 S. Washington St., 206-624-9336. Noon-5 p.m. Wed.-Sat.
Garde Rail Thick with frostinglike layers of paint (her skies resemble nothing so much as Crest toothpaste), Toronto-based artist Jennifer Harrison's row upon row of painted houses offer a cheery, but abandoned landscape of mythical happiness. 110 Third Ave. S., 206-621-1055. 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Wed.-Fri.; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.
Greg Kucera Susan Skilling's recent minimalist paintings offer passionate glimpses into the heavens—a place of frosty moonlight and orblike objects that recall the intense spiritual iconography of Morris Graves. Lynne Woods Turner's drawings create a place of concentric rings and faint dots, all sketched so lightly they're nearly invisible. There's no need to revive the tired "Northwest Mystics" label (Skilling is from Seattle, Turner from Portland), but these two local artists definitely deliver a quiet, meditative art that's a refreshing blend of complexity and subtlety. 212 Third Ave., 206-624-0770. 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tues.-Sat.
Grover/Thurston Michaelene Walsh's ceramics are sort of creepy but nothing you couldn't give to your aunt Edith for Hanukkah. 309 Occidental St., 206-223-0816. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Sat.
Jack Straw New Media Gallery "Yiju, Songs of Dislocation," is Byron Au Yong's multimedia exploration of his family's forced migration from China. 4261 Roosevelt Way N.E., 206-634-0919. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
James Harris "Low Pressure" features delicate new photographs by Tania Kitchell (see this week's visual arts spotlight). 309A Third Ave., 206-903-6220. 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tues.-Sat.
Kirkland Arts Center An annual holiday sale featuring work by Kirkland Arts Center faculty, including Kamla Kakaria, Michael Otterson, and many others. 620 Market St. 425-822-7161. 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat.; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun.
Linda Hodges A grab bag of artists who'll be on display at Linda Hodges' gallery in 2005, including Alfred Arreguin, Gayle Bard, and Jennifer Beedon Snow. 316 First Ave. S., 206-624-3034. 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tues.-Sat.
Lisa Harris New still lifes and landscapes in pastels and paint by Skagit Valley artist Joel Brock. 1922 Pike Pl., 206-443-3315. 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat.; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun.
National Parks Conservation Association Scott Parker's "National Parks Project" collects photographs, paintings, and sketches from a dream road trip: visiting all 56 officially designated National Parks in two years via Jeep, kayak, bush plane, and on foot. 313-A First Ave., 206-903-1444, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., noon-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun.
Platform "Paperwork" is a group show tackling paper as both material and subject matter by photographer Debra Baxter, printmaker Harriet Sanderson, Brooklyn's Alicia Wargo, San Francisco's Ray Beldner (who creates sculpture with dollar bills), and New York photographer Zelig Kurland. 114 Third Ave. S., 206-323-2808. 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat.
Richard Hugo House Old-fashioned photos and artifacts fill morbid little altarlike shadow boxes by Lisa Mei Ling Fong. 1634 11th Ave., 206-322-7030. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Fri., noon-5 p.m. Sat.
Roq La Rue Mike Leavitt returns with more of his cool Art Army action figures based on all your favorite heroes: R. Crumb, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Van Gogh, and all the rest. Also on display: simple, monochrome paintings all centered around children lost in the woods by Joe Newton. 2316 Second Ave., 206-374-8977. 2-6 p.m. Tues.-Sat., noon- 4 p.m. Sun.
Seattle Museum of the Mysteries Why did it take me so long to discover this place? This funky little collection of curiosities is a deadpan, serious-but-maybe-not subterranean museum dedicated to the paranormal and weird. It's stocked with stuff on the first reported sighting of a UFO (right here in the Northwest), haunted buildings, and Bigfoot. (Who knew the most conclusive proof of Sasquatch after the famous Patterson film is a butt-print the critter supposedly left in the mud?) I have no idea what's mysterious about the ferry Kalakala (other than why anyone would want to build a boat that looks like a stainless steel slug), and the paintings currently on display by Vietnam vet Ray-Paul are unremarkable. Oh, and there's an oxygen bar here if the thought of crop circles takes your breath away. 623 Broadway Ave. E., 206-328-6499. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.
SOIL This month, the artists' collective gallery SOIL becomes a video-performance-theater space with the Butoh-inspired antics of DK Pan as well as installations by video artists Kaleb Hagan-Kerr, Robb Kunz, and others. 112 Third Ave. S., 206-264-8061. Noon-5 p.m. Thurs.-Sun.
Solomon Fine Art "Barely Visible" showcases two artists whose meticulous work transforms the banal into something vital through the act of creation: New York–based Cynthia Lin's silverpoint drawings of paper capture the chaotic beauty of dust, while Marc Dombrosky's fascinating work morphs tossed-aside grocery lists and other found notes into exquisitely detailed embroidery. 1215 First Ave., 206-297-1400. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat.
Velocity Art and Design Funky, postmodern pottery by one of the interior design world's hottest ceramic artists, Jonathan Adler. 2118 Second Ave., 206-781-9494. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat.
Western Bridge The second part of Henry Art Gallery's ambitious show "Work of the Work" (much of which was mounted with the help of William and Ruth True's Western Bridge collection) showcases art that deals with perception and humanist religiosity. Kimsooja's jukeboxlike Mandala: Zone of Zero broadcasts a cacophony of chanting from Tibetans and Gregorian monks, while Steve McQueen's gritty video of trip-hop singer Tricky is a near-claustrophobic immersion in a trance state. Anne Appleby's color field paintings derived from the fleeting colors of Montana's outdoors offer a palpable, quiet grace, while Carston Höller's immersive merry-go-round of fluorescent light takes you to another plane of existence. 3412 Fourth Ave. S. 206-838-7444. Noon-6 p.m. Thurs.-Sat.
William Traver Danish glass artist Tobias Møhl's intricately detailed vessels and forms are notable in that they use no added colors. 110 Union St., second floor, 206-587-6501. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.; noon-5 p.m. Sun.
Wright Exhibition Space This show, curated by Virginia Wright, hopes to revive interest in color field painters Jules Olitski, Morris Louis, Helen Frankenthaler, and Kenneth Noland. Some of the pieces are magnificent in their lush disregard for anything but their own colors: Noland's vast Vista surrounds the viewer with a bath of mauve, while Louis' Mem is a subtle veil of browns. 407 Dexter Ave. N., 206-622-1896. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursdays.
Frye Art Museum Mark Ryden's amazing "Wondertoonel" brings gothic pop surrealism to the sleepy Frye. The California-based artist's morbid and masterfully painted images are lurid and blackly comic: Lincoln's severed head juggles pork chops, Jesus zooms in his spaceship the Godspeed, freaky stuffed animals carve meat, and wide-eyed Keane-esque kids watch the madness unfold. Also on display: Henk Pander portrays modern-day tragedies—the New Carissa oil spill, terminal illness, and ground zero in Manhattan—with disturbing realism. His painting Prayer Before Night, recently acquired by the Frye, is a haunting and strange icon of death in a blaze of fabulousness. 704 Terry Ave., 206-622-9250. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Sat.; noon- 5 p.m. Sun.; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thurs.
Henry Art Gallery "The Work of the Work" is a rewarding and tightly focused exploration of how art works on viewers. Much of curator Elizabeth Brown's guiding aesthetic is to find art that is both accessible to those who don't have an extensive background in art, but art that also stands up to rigorous critical scrutiny. Highlights include Seattle video genius Gary Hill's Tall Ships, a video installation in which ghostly figures approach and recede; Kimsooja's nearly still video of contemplation; Callum Innes' lushly brushed abstract paintings, Wolfgang Laib's radiant installation of hazelnut pollen; and Anne Appleby's superb color field paintings inspired by Montana nature. UW campus, 206-543-2280. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Sun.; 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. Thurs.
Seattle Art Museum "Spain in the Age of Exploration 1492–1819" offers a sampling of the dark visions of Velazquez, Zurbaran, El Grego, Goya, and other masters. This huge show of art and artifacts explores the cultural vibrancy of Spain's golden age through paintings, maps, documents, navigational instruments, suits of armor, and other stuff of empire. Most of the surprises are beyond the big names: Juan de Flandes' tender little biblical scenes, a magnificent bronze crucifixion by Bernini that rivals Donatello's David in its voluptuousness; and a tapestry of human folly and inhumanity designed by Hieronymous Bosch. Also on display: "The View From Here," offers selections of Pacific Northwest art from 1870 to 1940, while "Modern in America," explores the interaction between photography and the paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe, Jasper Johns, and other 20th century greats. 100 University St., 206-654-3100. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Sun.; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thurs.
Tacoma Art Museum "Hudson River School" is an OK collection of landscapes from 19th century American artists including Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Cole, and Frederic Church: heaps of pretty sunsets and over-the-top sublimity for all you nature lovers. Do wander over to two other exhibits: "Sense of Place" is an eclectic selection from the permanent collection, including a collage of memory by Randy Hayes, a lovely little Edward Hopper watercolor, and Merrill Wagner's magnificent Rustoleum-on-steel abstraction, Estuary. Scott Fife's retrospective is also fascinating—the Seattle-based artist works almost exclusively in cut cardboard. Fife's huge dog sculpture Leroy the Big Pup manages to be both monumental and goofy at the same time, while his series "The Idaho Project" portrays the celebrities and participants in a ballyhooed 1905 trial for the murder of Idaho Gov. Frank Steunenberg. 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253-272-4258. Every third Thursday free and open until 8 p.m.; 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Tues.-Sat.; noon-5 p.m. Sun.