I'm gonna say it again, hell, I'm gonna make that joke all weekend. Yes, I'm referring to the Rihanna song "Umbrella," on the Daily Weekly,


Under My Bum-ber-ella

The visual art pops at this year's Bshoot.

I'm gonna say it again, hell, I'm gonna make that joke all weekend. Yes, I'm referring to the Rihanna song "Umbrella," on the Daily Weekly, and I'm also hoping this post won't be bumped by more reports of sketchy politico behavior...at least not until a few of you are inspired to check out the visual/performance art exhibits at Bumbershoot tomorrow (and Sunday, and Monday). Jiminy!

This morning at the 2007 Mayor's Arts Awards, which preceded the official opening of the Bshoot art exhibits in the Northwest Rooms, many upstanding community members got their comeuppance. Please read about them here. I'd most like to relate to you the joke made by emcee Nancy Guppy (of the Seattle Channel) when she announced the award for Massive Monkees breakdance crew. "They just got back from the Vans Warped Tour, which I think you were at, weren't you Mayor?" Chuckles all around.

Rather than bum-rush the 1 p.m. open bar (christ!), I beelined for the NW Rooms post-ceremony. First up, there's art of and inspired by mopy crooner (and Belle & Sebastian forebear) Nick Drake, much of it intriguing.

Next, read Adriana's piece on the Instant Coffee installation "Nooks," then try and find a space in one of them between bands if you can. The room that houses the nooks also has a few twin mattresses with crochet bedspreads, a disco ball adorned with knitta-style cast-off's, and cute things in each nook like a basket of strawberries, deck of cards, play-doh. When I thought of the nooks along with the white beanbag chairs in a video room of the Drake exhibit, there was a cumulative sense of this year's Bshoot having calm, cozy havens where you could even potentially make out.

Onward, to the Portable Confessional Units by PDL (which/whom you can read about via the P-I's Regina Hackett here). I stepped inside one of the three boxes with the intention of not revealing anything remarkable, and ended up having a 30-minute conversation about art, respect, pretension, and expectation. And he managed to pull one confession out of me. Poor guy has to sit in the box for 11-8 for the next three days. But, I bet he'll get to hear a lot of secrets.

Claimin' Space, curated by BLVD Gallery's and KutCulture's Damion Hayes, was full of eye-popping work by urban artists like Darvin Vita, and the Seattle-Havana poster show was full of excellent work by folks like Jeff Kleinsmith and Andrio Abero (who did our Bshoot cover)- a Flatstock teaser of sorts, with its own theme.

And finally, Learning to Love You More, an installation curated by Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher. It's based on a web site begun years ago, where mini-art and observation assignments are replicated by people who snail-mail them in. For Bumbershoot, a Redmond-based family called the Olivers have documented all 63 of the assignments, and the results are truly touching and hilarious. I liked wondering how the family reached a consensus on who would do which assignment, since the results would be so different each time. The amount of thought put into them (see #30) and the beauty (#9) and humourous humanity of it all (#35) was moving.

In the words of Rihanna, "Now that it's raining more than ever/Know that we'll still have each other/You can stand under my um-ber-ella/You can stand under my um-ber-ella."

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