In compiling my end-of-the-year Top 10 lists, one thing I realized is that in Seattle, contemporary art is seldom boring. Obtuse at times, sure, but also intriguing, thanks to art spaces like the Bill and Ruth True-founded Western Bridge, Scott Lawrimores much-lauded Project, and the smaller galleries in Pioneer Squares Tashiro-Kaplan building. Two of those that made me gasp, grimace, and feel something on a regular basis this year were Punch and SOIL. And through the end of 2007, both house the results of an international show juried by Western Bridges Eric Fredericksen, A bell is a cup until it is struck. From almost 1,000 entries Fredericksen selected strong work from locals like Gretchen Bennett, as well as prize-winners Sol Hashemi from Vancouver (Jurors Choice), Florian Japp from Berlin (Punch Choice) and Eugenes Mike Bray (Soil Choice). Linking them loosely, Fredericksen shows At SOIL, a series of confrontations with geometry; at Punch, confrontations with nature. The themes include spills, spots, piles, trash, smoke, mirrors, bread, sunsets, Jesus, trees, motor homes, and a poodle. Put it on your list of 10 things to do before 08. SOIL Gallery, 112 Third Ave. S., 264-8061. Noon-5 p.m. Thurs.-Sun. Punch Gallery, 119 Prefontaine Pl. S., 621-1945. Noon-5 p.m. Fri.-Sun. Ends Dec. 30.
Dec. 6-30, 2007