Though not generally considered high art, the humble but necessary table lamp gets its due in Moriyasu's enchanting new installation, which dominates the darkened interior of Platform Gallery. Arranged on a pyramid of tables of her design, the ceramic figures in "Lamplight Lavish Gathering" are a menagerie of characters, all shedding a little light on things: Rough-cut faces of women, cowgirls, and little owls glow in the dim space. Like an antiques show from a parallel universe, Moriyasu's installation proves that objects that are functional or inspired by craft can still make for compelling and intellectually rich art. Platform Gallery, 114 Third Ave. S., 206-323-2808. 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. Ends Sat. May 7.
Most political art is boring. Spouting a polemic usually kills all the ambiguity and nuance that make good art so rewarding. But occasionally you need a jolt of good, old-fashioned protest. This international show of prints with radical, antiwar, or activist intent demonstrates just how varied the contemporary political print can be. Some of the stuff is didactic, in the anti-WTO, "war is people," "prisons equal slave ships" vein. But there are plenty of surprises, too. A few favorites: Bob Freimark's near-abstract lithograph of Kuwait oil derricks, Dionne Haroutunian's writhing Self-Portrait in Times of War, Karen Fiorito's Madonna of the Bomb (pictured), Jason Uraban's clever juxtaposition of Stalin and Tom Selleck, and Mike Stephen's bizarre dream of Fozzie Bear attacking George W. Bush. Phinney Community Center, 114 Third Ave. S., 206-323-2808. 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. Ends Sat. April 29.