Visual Arts Finland: Designed Environments Humanist philosophy and minimalist aesthetics come together

Visual Arts

Finland: Designed Environments Humanist philosophy and minimalist aesthetics come together in Finnish design. Nordic Heritage Museum, 3014 N.W. 67th St., Seattle, WA 98117 See website for details. Ongoing through Sunday, July 26, 2015

Read My Pins An exhibition showcasing over 200 political campaign pins from former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s personal collection. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details. Ongoing through Sunday, June 7, 2015

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BAM Biennial: Knock on Wood Again, there’s a very materials-focused emphasis to this biannual group show. Clay and fiber art were featured in 2012 and 2010, respectively; now it’s the chisel-and-mallet set’s turn to display their creations. Some of the three dozen artists featured you know or have seen before at BAM (or local galleries), like Rick Araluce, Whiting Tennis, and W. Scott Trimble. The juried selection offers every variety of woodworking from the Northwest, ranging from indigenous Native American carvings to smartly modern furniture that might fit into your SLU condo. In addition to a juried award, which bestows a future solo show and a $5,000 prize (the winner to be announced this week), there’s a popular balloting system whereby visitors can select their own favorite pieces. Unlike the Frye’s current crowdsourced #SocialMedium show, here you cast your voting on regular old scraps of paper-appropriate, of course, since they were originally made of the same material the artists are using. (Through March 29; see bellevuearts.org for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 $5-$10 Tuesday, March 17, 2015

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Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Tuesday, March 17, 2015

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DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Tuesday, March 17, 2015

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Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Tuesday, March 17, 2015

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Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Tuesday, March 17, 2015

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George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Tuesday, March 17, 2015

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Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop Mr. is his name, which makes the post-Takashi Murakami art of its creator sound more formal than it is. A candy-colored, anime-saturated explosion of shallow surfaces and Hello Kitty kawaii, the work on view here will mostly be paintings, some quite large. Video games and cartoon characters are obvious points of departure for Mr., yet they’re objects of nostalgia-not tokens of an optimistic, technology-augmented future. Mr. was born in 1969 and came of age during Japan’s 1980s economic boom. (Remember those American fears of the period, repeated in books and movies, that Japan would supplant our might?) Then Japan basically collapsed into its ongoing economic slump, giving rise to the no-hope generation known as otaku: depressed, geeky shut-ins with no prospects for real jobs, who live at home-even into their unmarried, asexual 30s-and find succor in comic books, cell phones, computer games, and the Internet. Live On isn’t necessarily a celebration of such malaise; it’s an expression of yearning for bygone times and childish pleasures. The movement is sometimes called moe (literally “budding,” or coming of age), and Mr. also creates assemblages from the talismans and scraps of his youth. His art is equal parts sugar and sadness. (See museum website for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $5-$7 Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Tuesday, March 17, 2015

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Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Tuesday, March 17, 2015

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Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Tuesday, March 17, 2015

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Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Tuesday, March 17, 2015

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Terminal: On Mortality and Beauty February is the cruelest month. With such an early spring (or an absence of winter), the trees budding and flowers blossoming, it’s hard to think about death-yet here it is, staring us in the face. The morbid subject of this group show unites disparate photographers including Sylvia Plachy, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Wojnarowicz, and (closer to home) Robert Adams and Isaac Layman. There are no dead bodies (though one mummy), yet images of illness and decay abound. Animal carcasses prove irresistible subjects, and Catherine Chalmers actually creates some interesting scenes with dead cockroaches. (Eeew!) Corpses being static, early photography-when exposures took minutes, not seconds-often memorialized the dead. Here, in this contemporary selection of 16 postwar artists and 43 images, death is more conceptual than personal. Old dogs, taxidermy animals, and even the tinfoil remnants from some cooked salmon-this courtesy of Seattle artist Layman-make one think about our animal kinship with the natural world. Our furry and feathered cousins are interred with less respect (see Richard Misrach’s desert burial pit), though how we treat their remains-or photograph them-here seems a kind of rehearsal for human rites. (Through April 4). BRIAN MILLER Photo Center NW, 900 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 Free Tuesday, March 17, 2015, 12pm

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Ai Weiwei’s Colored Vases Ai has a contentious relationship with traditional ceramics, having famously-or infamously, depending on your perspective-dropped and shattered a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty urn for a 1995 photo series. It was a shocking and still controversial act, a rupture and repudiation of officially sanctioned history and taste, a slap at the canon and an insistence on the value of the new. (Look what we’re doing now, Ai is saying; new and important Chinese art is being made today.) These vases aren’t inherently precious. They’re old, yes, but Ai was able to buy these earthenware vessels in bulk because there are so many of them, because China has so much history. Our nine vases were sloppily dipped in various bright shades of inexpensive industrial paint. The new has been crudely overlaid upon the old; history is erased, and the action forces you to consider what exactly was there to begin with. Ai’s concealing is also revealing, a kind of emperor-has-no-clothes provocation. How many ordinary Chinese factory workers would want such an old, unpainted urn? And how many Chinese billionaires, plus rich Western collectors abroad, would want one of Ai’s signature works? Ever the shrewd appropriator of found materials, Ai is the one setting the price on objects both new and old. (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thurs.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $7-$10 Wednesday, March 18, 2015

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BAM Biennial: Knock on Wood Again, there’s a very materials-focused emphasis to this biannual group show. Clay and fiber art were featured in 2012 and 2010, respectively; now it’s the chisel-and-mallet set’s turn to display their creations. Some of the three dozen artists featured you know or have seen before at BAM (or local galleries), like Rick Araluce, Whiting Tennis, and W. Scott Trimble. The juried selection offers every variety of woodworking from the Northwest, ranging from indigenous Native American carvings to smartly modern furniture that might fit into your SLU condo. In addition to a juried award, which bestows a future solo show and a $5,000 prize (the winner to be announced this week), there’s a popular balloting system whereby visitors can select their own favorite pieces. Unlike the Frye’s current crowdsourced #SocialMedium show, here you cast your voting on regular old scraps of paper-appropriate, of course, since they were originally made of the same material the artists are using. (Through March 29; see bellevuearts.org for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 $5-$10 Wednesday, March 18, 2015

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Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Wednesday, March 18, 2015

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DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Wednesday, March 18, 2015

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Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Wednesday, March 18, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Wednesday, March 18, 2015

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George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Wednesday, March 18, 2015

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Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop Mr. is his name, which makes the post-Takashi Murakami art of its creator sound more formal than it is. A candy-colored, anime-saturated explosion of shallow surfaces and Hello Kitty kawaii, the work on view here will mostly be paintings, some quite large. Video games and cartoon characters are obvious points of departure for Mr., yet they’re objects of nostalgia-not tokens of an optimistic, technology-augmented future. Mr. was born in 1969 and came of age during Japan’s 1980s economic boom. (Remember those American fears of the period, repeated in books and movies, that Japan would supplant our might?) Then Japan basically collapsed into its ongoing economic slump, giving rise to the no-hope generation known as otaku: depressed, geeky shut-ins with no prospects for real jobs, who live at home-even into their unmarried, asexual 30s-and find succor in comic books, cell phones, computer games, and the Internet. Live On isn’t necessarily a celebration of such malaise; it’s an expression of yearning for bygone times and childish pleasures. The movement is sometimes called moe (literally “budding,” or coming of age), and Mr. also creates assemblages from the talismans and scraps of his youth. His art is equal parts sugar and sadness. (See museum website for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $5-$7 Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Northwest in the West: Exploring Our Roots On view are some 70 works by regional artists including Guy Anderson, Justin Colt Beckman, Fay Chong, Gaylen Hansen, Eirik Johnson, and Paul Horiuchi. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Wednesday, March 18, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Wednesday, March 18, 2015

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Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Wednesday, March 18, 2015

• 

Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Wednesday, March 18, 2015

• 

Terminal: On Mortality and Beauty February is the cruelest month. With such an early spring (or an absence of winter), the trees budding and flowers blossoming, it’s hard to think about death-yet here it is, staring us in the face. The morbid subject of this group show unites disparate photographers including Sylvia Plachy, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Wojnarowicz, and (closer to home) Robert Adams and Isaac Layman. There are no dead bodies (though one mummy), yet images of illness and decay abound. Animal carcasses prove irresistible subjects, and Catherine Chalmers actually creates some interesting scenes with dead cockroaches. (Eeew!) Corpses being static, early photography-when exposures took minutes, not seconds-often memorialized the dead. Here, in this contemporary selection of 16 postwar artists and 43 images, death is more conceptual than personal. Old dogs, taxidermy animals, and even the tinfoil remnants from some cooked salmon-this courtesy of Seattle artist Layman-make one think about our animal kinship with the natural world. Our furry and feathered cousins are interred with less respect (see Richard Misrach’s desert burial pit), though how we treat their remains-or photograph them-here seems a kind of rehearsal for human rites. (Through April 4). BRIAN MILLER Photo Center NW, 900 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 Free Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 12pm

• 

Ai Weiwei’s Colored Vases Ai has a contentious relationship with traditional ceramics, having famously-or infamously, depending on your perspective-dropped and shattered a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty urn for a 1995 photo series. It was a shocking and still controversial act, a rupture and repudiation of officially sanctioned history and taste, a slap at the canon and an insistence on the value of the new. (Look what we’re doing now, Ai is saying; new and important Chinese art is being made today.) These vases aren’t inherently precious. They’re old, yes, but Ai was able to buy these earthenware vessels in bulk because there are so many of them, because China has so much history. Our nine vases were sloppily dipped in various bright shades of inexpensive industrial paint. The new has been crudely overlaid upon the old; history is erased, and the action forces you to consider what exactly was there to begin with. Ai’s concealing is also revealing, a kind of emperor-has-no-clothes provocation. How many ordinary Chinese factory workers would want such an old, unpainted urn? And how many Chinese billionaires, plus rich Western collectors abroad, would want one of Ai’s signature works? Ever the shrewd appropriator of found materials, Ai is the one setting the price on objects both new and old. (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thurs.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $7-$10 Thursday, March 19, 2015

• 

BAM Biennial: Knock on Wood Again, there’s a very materials-focused emphasis to this biannual group show. Clay and fiber art were featured in 2012 and 2010, respectively; now it’s the chisel-and-mallet set’s turn to display their creations. Some of the three dozen artists featured you know or have seen before at BAM (or local galleries), like Rick Araluce, Whiting Tennis, and W. Scott Trimble. The juried selection offers every variety of woodworking from the Northwest, ranging from indigenous Native American carvings to smartly modern furniture that might fit into your SLU condo. In addition to a juried award, which bestows a future solo show and a $5,000 prize (the winner to be announced this week), there’s a popular balloting system whereby visitors can select their own favorite pieces. Unlike the Frye’s current crowdsourced #SocialMedium show, here you cast your voting on regular old scraps of paper-appropriate, of course, since they were originally made of the same material the artists are using. (Through March 29; see bellevuearts.org for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 $5-$10 Thursday, March 19, 2015

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Thursday, March 19, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Thursday, March 19, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Thursday, March 19, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Thursday, March 19, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Thursday, March 19, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Thursday, March 19, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Thursday, March 19, 2015

• 

Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop Mr. is his name, which makes the post-Takashi Murakami art of its creator sound more formal than it is. A candy-colored, anime-saturated explosion of shallow surfaces and Hello Kitty kawaii, the work on view here will mostly be paintings, some quite large. Video games and cartoon characters are obvious points of departure for Mr., yet they’re objects of nostalgia-not tokens of an optimistic, technology-augmented future. Mr. was born in 1969 and came of age during Japan’s 1980s economic boom. (Remember those American fears of the period, repeated in books and movies, that Japan would supplant our might?) Then Japan basically collapsed into its ongoing economic slump, giving rise to the no-hope generation known as otaku: depressed, geeky shut-ins with no prospects for real jobs, who live at home-even into their unmarried, asexual 30s-and find succor in comic books, cell phones, computer games, and the Internet. Live On isn’t necessarily a celebration of such malaise; it’s an expression of yearning for bygone times and childish pleasures. The movement is sometimes called moe (literally “budding,” or coming of age), and Mr. also creates assemblages from the talismans and scraps of his youth. His art is equal parts sugar and sadness. (See museum website for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $5-$7 Thursday, March 19, 2015

Northwest in the West: Exploring Our Roots On view are some 70 works by regional artists including Guy Anderson, Justin Colt Beckman, Fay Chong, Gaylen Hansen, Eirik Johnson, and Paul Horiuchi. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Thursday, March 19, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Thursday, March 19, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Thursday, March 19, 2015

• 

Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Thursday, March 19, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Thursday, March 19, 2015

• 

Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Thursday, March 19, 2015

• 

Terminal: On Mortality and Beauty February is the cruelest month. With such an early spring (or an absence of winter), the trees budding and flowers blossoming, it’s hard to think about death-yet here it is, staring us in the face. The morbid subject of this group show unites disparate photographers including Sylvia Plachy, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Wojnarowicz, and (closer to home) Robert Adams and Isaac Layman. There are no dead bodies (though one mummy), yet images of illness and decay abound. Animal carcasses prove irresistible subjects, and Catherine Chalmers actually creates some interesting scenes with dead cockroaches. (Eeew!) Corpses being static, early photography-when exposures took minutes, not seconds-often memorialized the dead. Here, in this contemporary selection of 16 postwar artists and 43 images, death is more conceptual than personal. Old dogs, taxidermy animals, and even the tinfoil remnants from some cooked salmon-this courtesy of Seattle artist Layman-make one think about our animal kinship with the natural world. Our furry and feathered cousins are interred with less respect (see Richard Misrach’s desert burial pit), though how we treat their remains-or photograph them-here seems a kind of rehearsal for human rites. (Through April 4). BRIAN MILLER Photo Center NW, 900 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 Free Thursday, March 19, 2015, 12pm

• 

Ai Weiwei’s Colored Vases Ai has a contentious relationship with traditional ceramics, having famously-or infamously, depending on your perspective-dropped and shattered a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty urn for a 1995 photo series. It was a shocking and still controversial act, a rupture and repudiation of officially sanctioned history and taste, a slap at the canon and an insistence on the value of the new. (Look what we’re doing now, Ai is saying; new and important Chinese art is being made today.) These vases aren’t inherently precious. They’re old, yes, but Ai was able to buy these earthenware vessels in bulk because there are so many of them, because China has so much history. Our nine vases were sloppily dipped in various bright shades of inexpensive industrial paint. The new has been crudely overlaid upon the old; history is erased, and the action forces you to consider what exactly was there to begin with. Ai’s concealing is also revealing, a kind of emperor-has-no-clothes provocation. How many ordinary Chinese factory workers would want such an old, unpainted urn? And how many Chinese billionaires, plus rich Western collectors abroad, would want one of Ai’s signature works? Ever the shrewd appropriator of found materials, Ai is the one setting the price on objects both new and old. (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thurs.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $7-$10 Friday, March 20, 2015

• 

BAM Biennial: Knock on Wood Again, there’s a very materials-focused emphasis to this biannual group show. Clay and fiber art were featured in 2012 and 2010, respectively; now it’s the chisel-and-mallet set’s turn to display their creations. Some of the three dozen artists featured you know or have seen before at BAM (or local galleries), like Rick Araluce, Whiting Tennis, and W. Scott Trimble. The juried selection offers every variety of woodworking from the Northwest, ranging from indigenous Native American carvings to smartly modern furniture that might fit into your SLU condo. In addition to a juried award, which bestows a future solo show and a $5,000 prize (the winner to be announced this week), there’s a popular balloting system whereby visitors can select their own favorite pieces. Unlike the Frye’s current crowdsourced #SocialMedium show, here you cast your voting on regular old scraps of paper-appropriate, of course, since they were originally made of the same material the artists are using. (Through March 29; see bellevuearts.org for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 $5-$10 Friday, March 20, 2015

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Friday, March 20, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Friday, March 20, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Friday, March 20, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Friday, March 20, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Friday, March 20, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Friday, March 20, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Friday, March 20, 2015

• 

Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop Mr. is his name, which makes the post-Takashi Murakami art of its creator sound more formal than it is. A candy-colored, anime-saturated explosion of shallow surfaces and Hello Kitty kawaii, the work on view here will mostly be paintings, some quite large. Video games and cartoon characters are obvious points of departure for Mr., yet they’re objects of nostalgia-not tokens of an optimistic, technology-augmented future. Mr. was born in 1969 and came of age during Japan’s 1980s economic boom. (Remember those American fears of the period, repeated in books and movies, that Japan would supplant our might?) Then Japan basically collapsed into its ongoing economic slump, giving rise to the no-hope generation known as otaku: depressed, geeky shut-ins with no prospects for real jobs, who live at home-even into their unmarried, asexual 30s-and find succor in comic books, cell phones, computer games, and the Internet. Live On isn’t necessarily a celebration of such malaise; it’s an expression of yearning for bygone times and childish pleasures. The movement is sometimes called moe (literally “budding,” or coming of age), and Mr. also creates assemblages from the talismans and scraps of his youth. His art is equal parts sugar and sadness. (See museum website for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $5-$7 Friday, March 20, 2015

Northwest in the West: Exploring Our Roots On view are some 70 works by regional artists including Guy Anderson, Justin Colt Beckman, Fay Chong, Gaylen Hansen, Eirik Johnson, and Paul Horiuchi. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Friday, March 20, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Friday, March 20, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Friday, March 20, 2015

• 

Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Friday, March 20, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Friday, March 20, 2015

• 

Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Friday, March 20, 2015

• 

Terminal: On Mortality and Beauty February is the cruelest month. With such an early spring (or an absence of winter), the trees budding and flowers blossoming, it’s hard to think about death-yet here it is, staring us in the face. The morbid subject of this group show unites disparate photographers including Sylvia Plachy, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Wojnarowicz, and (closer to home) Robert Adams and Isaac Layman. There are no dead bodies (though one mummy), yet images of illness and decay abound. Animal carcasses prove irresistible subjects, and Catherine Chalmers actually creates some interesting scenes with dead cockroaches. (Eeew!) Corpses being static, early photography-when exposures took minutes, not seconds-often memorialized the dead. Here, in this contemporary selection of 16 postwar artists and 43 images, death is more conceptual than personal. Old dogs, taxidermy animals, and even the tinfoil remnants from some cooked salmon-this courtesy of Seattle artist Layman-make one think about our animal kinship with the natural world. Our furry and feathered cousins are interred with less respect (see Richard Misrach’s desert burial pit), though how we treat their remains-or photograph them-here seems a kind of rehearsal for human rites. (Through April 4). BRIAN MILLER Photo Center NW, 900 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 Free Friday, March 20, 2015, 12pm

• 

Ai Weiwei’s Colored Vases Ai has a contentious relationship with traditional ceramics, having famously-or infamously, depending on your perspective-dropped and shattered a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty urn for a 1995 photo series. It was a shocking and still controversial act, a rupture and repudiation of officially sanctioned history and taste, a slap at the canon and an insistence on the value of the new. (Look what we’re doing now, Ai is saying; new and important Chinese art is being made today.) These vases aren’t inherently precious. They’re old, yes, but Ai was able to buy these earthenware vessels in bulk because there are so many of them, because China has so much history. Our nine vases were sloppily dipped in various bright shades of inexpensive industrial paint. The new has been crudely overlaid upon the old; history is erased, and the action forces you to consider what exactly was there to begin with. Ai’s concealing is also revealing, a kind of emperor-has-no-clothes provocation. How many ordinary Chinese factory workers would want such an old, unpainted urn? And how many Chinese billionaires, plus rich Western collectors abroad, would want one of Ai’s signature works? Ever the shrewd appropriator of found materials, Ai is the one setting the price on objects both new and old. (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thurs.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $7-$10 Saturday, March 21, 2015

• 

BAM Biennial: Knock on Wood Again, there’s a very materials-focused emphasis to this biannual group show. Clay and fiber art were featured in 2012 and 2010, respectively; now it’s the chisel-and-mallet set’s turn to display their creations. Some of the three dozen artists featured you know or have seen before at BAM (or local galleries), like Rick Araluce, Whiting Tennis, and W. Scott Trimble. The juried selection offers every variety of woodworking from the Northwest, ranging from indigenous Native American carvings to smartly modern furniture that might fit into your SLU condo. In addition to a juried award, which bestows a future solo show and a $5,000 prize (the winner to be announced this week), there’s a popular balloting system whereby visitors can select their own favorite pieces. Unlike the Frye’s current crowdsourced #SocialMedium show, here you cast your voting on regular old scraps of paper-appropriate, of course, since they were originally made of the same material the artists are using. (Through March 29; see bellevuearts.org for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 $5-$10 Saturday, March 21, 2015

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Saturday, March 21, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Saturday, March 21, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Saturday, March 21, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Saturday, March 21, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Saturday, March 21, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Saturday, March 21, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Saturday, March 21, 2015

• 

Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop Mr. is his name, which makes the post-Takashi Murakami art of its creator sound more formal than it is. A candy-colored, anime-saturated explosion of shallow surfaces and Hello Kitty kawaii, the work on view here will mostly be paintings, some quite large. Video games and cartoon characters are obvious points of departure for Mr., yet they’re objects of nostalgia-not tokens of an optimistic, technology-augmented future. Mr. was born in 1969 and came of age during Japan’s 1980s economic boom. (Remember those American fears of the period, repeated in books and movies, that Japan would supplant our might?) Then Japan basically collapsed into its ongoing economic slump, giving rise to the no-hope generation known as otaku: depressed, geeky shut-ins with no prospects for real jobs, who live at home-even into their unmarried, asexual 30s-and find succor in comic books, cell phones, computer games, and the Internet. Live On isn’t necessarily a celebration of such malaise; it’s an expression of yearning for bygone times and childish pleasures. The movement is sometimes called moe (literally “budding,” or coming of age), and Mr. also creates assemblages from the talismans and scraps of his youth. His art is equal parts sugar and sadness. (See museum website for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $5-$7 Saturday, March 21, 2015

Northwest in the West: Exploring Our Roots On view are some 70 works by regional artists including Guy Anderson, Justin Colt Beckman, Fay Chong, Gaylen Hansen, Eirik Johnson, and Paul Horiuchi. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Saturday, March 21, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Saturday, March 21, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Saturday, March 21, 2015

• 

Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Saturday, March 21, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Saturday, March 21, 2015

• 

Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Saturday, March 21, 2015

• 

Terminal: On Mortality and Beauty February is the cruelest month. With such an early spring (or an absence of winter), the trees budding and flowers blossoming, it’s hard to think about death-yet here it is, staring us in the face. The morbid subject of this group show unites disparate photographers including Sylvia Plachy, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Wojnarowicz, and (closer to home) Robert Adams and Isaac Layman. There are no dead bodies (though one mummy), yet images of illness and decay abound. Animal carcasses prove irresistible subjects, and Catherine Chalmers actually creates some interesting scenes with dead cockroaches. (Eeew!) Corpses being static, early photography-when exposures took minutes, not seconds-often memorialized the dead. Here, in this contemporary selection of 16 postwar artists and 43 images, death is more conceptual than personal. Old dogs, taxidermy animals, and even the tinfoil remnants from some cooked salmon-this courtesy of Seattle artist Layman-make one think about our animal kinship with the natural world. Our furry and feathered cousins are interred with less respect (see Richard Misrach’s desert burial pit), though how we treat their remains-or photograph them-here seems a kind of rehearsal for human rites. (Through April 4). BRIAN MILLER Photo Center NW, 900 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 Free Saturday, March 21, 2015, 12pm

• 

Ai Weiwei’s Colored Vases Ai has a contentious relationship with traditional ceramics, having famously-or infamously, depending on your perspective-dropped and shattered a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty urn for a 1995 photo series. It was a shocking and still controversial act, a rupture and repudiation of officially sanctioned history and taste, a slap at the canon and an insistence on the value of the new. (Look what we’re doing now, Ai is saying; new and important Chinese art is being made today.) These vases aren’t inherently precious. They’re old, yes, but Ai was able to buy these earthenware vessels in bulk because there are so many of them, because China has so much history. Our nine vases were sloppily dipped in various bright shades of inexpensive industrial paint. The new has been crudely overlaid upon the old; history is erased, and the action forces you to consider what exactly was there to begin with. Ai’s concealing is also revealing, a kind of emperor-has-no-clothes provocation. How many ordinary Chinese factory workers would want such an old, unpainted urn? And how many Chinese billionaires, plus rich Western collectors abroad, would want one of Ai’s signature works? Ever the shrewd appropriator of found materials, Ai is the one setting the price on objects both new and old. (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thurs.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $7-$10 Sunday, March 22, 2015

• 

BAM Biennial: Knock on Wood Again, there’s a very materials-focused emphasis to this biannual group show. Clay and fiber art were featured in 2012 and 2010, respectively; now it’s the chisel-and-mallet set’s turn to display their creations. Some of the three dozen artists featured you know or have seen before at BAM (or local galleries), like Rick Araluce, Whiting Tennis, and W. Scott Trimble. The juried selection offers every variety of woodworking from the Northwest, ranging from indigenous Native American carvings to smartly modern furniture that might fit into your SLU condo. In addition to a juried award, which bestows a future solo show and a $5,000 prize (the winner to be announced this week), there’s a popular balloting system whereby visitors can select their own favorite pieces. Unlike the Frye’s current crowdsourced #SocialMedium show, here you cast your voting on regular old scraps of paper-appropriate, of course, since they were originally made of the same material the artists are using. (Through March 29; see bellevuearts.org for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 $5-$10 Sunday, March 22, 2015

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Sunday, March 22, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Sunday, March 22, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Sunday, March 22, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Sunday, March 22, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Sunday, March 22, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Sunday, March 22, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Sunday, March 22, 2015

• 

Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop Mr. is his name, which makes the post-Takashi Murakami art of its creator sound more formal than it is. A candy-colored, anime-saturated explosion of shallow surfaces and Hello Kitty kawaii, the work on view here will mostly be paintings, some quite large. Video games and cartoon characters are obvious points of departure for Mr., yet they’re objects of nostalgia-not tokens of an optimistic, technology-augmented future. Mr. was born in 1969 and came of age during Japan’s 1980s economic boom. (Remember those American fears of the period, repeated in books and movies, that Japan would supplant our might?) Then Japan basically collapsed into its ongoing economic slump, giving rise to the no-hope generation known as otaku: depressed, geeky shut-ins with no prospects for real jobs, who live at home-even into their unmarried, asexual 30s-and find succor in comic books, cell phones, computer games, and the Internet. Live On isn’t necessarily a celebration of such malaise; it’s an expression of yearning for bygone times and childish pleasures. The movement is sometimes called moe (literally “budding,” or coming of age), and Mr. also creates assemblages from the talismans and scraps of his youth. His art is equal parts sugar and sadness. (See museum website for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $5-$7 Sunday, March 22, 2015

Northwest in the West: Exploring Our Roots On view are some 70 works by regional artists including Guy Anderson, Justin Colt Beckman, Fay Chong, Gaylen Hansen, Eirik Johnson, and Paul Horiuchi. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Sunday, March 22, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Sunday, March 22, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Sunday, March 22, 2015

• 

Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Sunday, March 22, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Sunday, March 22, 2015

• 

Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Sunday, March 22, 2015

• 

Terminal: On Mortality and Beauty February is the cruelest month. With such an early spring (or an absence of winter), the trees budding and flowers blossoming, it’s hard to think about death-yet here it is, staring us in the face. The morbid subject of this group show unites disparate photographers including Sylvia Plachy, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Wojnarowicz, and (closer to home) Robert Adams and Isaac Layman. There are no dead bodies (though one mummy), yet images of illness and decay abound. Animal carcasses prove irresistible subjects, and Catherine Chalmers actually creates some interesting scenes with dead cockroaches. (Eeew!) Corpses being static, early photography-when exposures took minutes, not seconds-often memorialized the dead. Here, in this contemporary selection of 16 postwar artists and 43 images, death is more conceptual than personal. Old dogs, taxidermy animals, and even the tinfoil remnants from some cooked salmon-this courtesy of Seattle artist Layman-make one think about our animal kinship with the natural world. Our furry and feathered cousins are interred with less respect (see Richard Misrach’s desert burial pit), though how we treat their remains-or photograph them-here seems a kind of rehearsal for human rites. (Through April 4). BRIAN MILLER Photo Center NW, 900 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 Free Sunday, March 22, 2015, 12pm

• 

BAM Biennial: Knock on Wood Again, there’s a very materials-focused emphasis to this biannual group show. Clay and fiber art were featured in 2012 and 2010, respectively; now it’s the chisel-and-mallet set’s turn to display their creations. Some of the three dozen artists featured you know or have seen before at BAM (or local galleries), like Rick Araluce, Whiting Tennis, and W. Scott Trimble. The juried selection offers every variety of woodworking from the Northwest, ranging from indigenous Native American carvings to smartly modern furniture that might fit into your SLU condo. In addition to a juried award, which bestows a future solo show and a $5,000 prize (the winner to be announced this week), there’s a popular balloting system whereby visitors can select their own favorite pieces. Unlike the Frye’s current crowdsourced #SocialMedium show, here you cast your voting on regular old scraps of paper-appropriate, of course, since they were originally made of the same material the artists are using. (Through March 29; see bellevuearts.org for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 $5-$10 Monday, March 23, 2015

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Monday, March 23, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Monday, March 23, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Monday, March 23, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Monday, March 23, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Monday, March 23, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Monday, March 23, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Monday, March 23, 2015

• 

Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop Mr. is his name, which makes the post-Takashi Murakami art of its creator sound more formal than it is. A candy-colored, anime-saturated explosion of shallow surfaces and Hello Kitty kawaii, the work on view here will mostly be paintings, some quite large. Video games and cartoon characters are obvious points of departure for Mr., yet they’re objects of nostalgia-not tokens of an optimistic, technology-augmented future. Mr. was born in 1969 and came of age during Japan’s 1980s economic boom. (Remember those American fears of the period, repeated in books and movies, that Japan would supplant our might?) Then Japan basically collapsed into its ongoing economic slump, giving rise to the no-hope generation known as otaku: depressed, geeky shut-ins with no prospects for real jobs, who live at home-even into their unmarried, asexual 30s-and find succor in comic books, cell phones, computer games, and the Internet. Live On isn’t necessarily a celebration of such malaise; it’s an expression of yearning for bygone times and childish pleasures. The movement is sometimes called moe (literally “budding,” or coming of age), and Mr. also creates assemblages from the talismans and scraps of his youth. His art is equal parts sugar and sadness. (See museum website for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $5-$7 Monday, March 23, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Monday, March 23, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Monday, March 23, 2015

• 

Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Monday, March 23, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Monday, March 23, 2015

• 

Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Monday, March 23, 2015

• 

Terminal: On Mortality and Beauty February is the cruelest month. With such an early spring (or an absence of winter), the trees budding and flowers blossoming, it’s hard to think about death-yet here it is, staring us in the face. The morbid subject of this group show unites disparate photographers including Sylvia Plachy, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Wojnarowicz, and (closer to home) Robert Adams and Isaac Layman. There are no dead bodies (though one mummy), yet images of illness and decay abound. Animal carcasses prove irresistible subjects, and Catherine Chalmers actually creates some interesting scenes with dead cockroaches. (Eeew!) Corpses being static, early photography-when exposures took minutes, not seconds-often memorialized the dead. Here, in this contemporary selection of 16 postwar artists and 43 images, death is more conceptual than personal. Old dogs, taxidermy animals, and even the tinfoil remnants from some cooked salmon-this courtesy of Seattle artist Layman-make one think about our animal kinship with the natural world. Our furry and feathered cousins are interred with less respect (see Richard Misrach’s desert burial pit), though how we treat their remains-or photograph them-here seems a kind of rehearsal for human rites. (Through April 4). BRIAN MILLER Photo Center NW, 900 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 Free Monday, March 23, 2015, 12pm

• 

BAM Biennial: Knock on Wood Again, there’s a very materials-focused emphasis to this biannual group show. Clay and fiber art were featured in 2012 and 2010, respectively; now it’s the chisel-and-mallet set’s turn to display their creations. Some of the three dozen artists featured you know or have seen before at BAM (or local galleries), like Rick Araluce, Whiting Tennis, and W. Scott Trimble. The juried selection offers every variety of woodworking from the Northwest, ranging from indigenous Native American carvings to smartly modern furniture that might fit into your SLU condo. In addition to a juried award, which bestows a future solo show and a $5,000 prize (the winner to be announced this week), there’s a popular balloting system whereby visitors can select their own favorite pieces. Unlike the Frye’s current crowdsourced #SocialMedium show, here you cast your voting on regular old scraps of paper-appropriate, of course, since they were originally made of the same material the artists are using. (Through March 29; see bellevuearts.org for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 $5-$10 Tuesday, March 24, 2015

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Tuesday, March 24, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Tuesday, March 24, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Tuesday, March 24, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Tuesday, March 24, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Tuesday, March 24, 2015

• 

Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop Mr. is his name, which makes the post-Takashi Murakami art of its creator sound more formal than it is. A candy-colored, anime-saturated explosion of shallow surfaces and Hello Kitty kawaii, the work on view here will mostly be paintings, some quite large. Video games and cartoon characters are obvious points of departure for Mr., yet they’re objects of nostalgia-not tokens of an optimistic, technology-augmented future. Mr. was born in 1969 and came of age during Japan’s 1980s economic boom. (Remember those American fears of the period, repeated in books and movies, that Japan would supplant our might?) Then Japan basically collapsed into its ongoing economic slump, giving rise to the no-hope generation known as otaku: depressed, geeky shut-ins with no prospects for real jobs, who live at home-even into their unmarried, asexual 30s-and find succor in comic books, cell phones, computer games, and the Internet. Live On isn’t necessarily a celebration of such malaise; it’s an expression of yearning for bygone times and childish pleasures. The movement is sometimes called moe (literally “budding,” or coming of age), and Mr. also creates assemblages from the talismans and scraps of his youth. His art is equal parts sugar and sadness. (See museum website for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $5-$7 Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Tuesday, March 24, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Tuesday, March 24, 2015

• 

Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Tuesday, March 24, 2015

• 

Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Tuesday, March 24, 2015

• 

Terminal: On Mortality and Beauty February is the cruelest month. With such an early spring (or an absence of winter), the trees budding and flowers blossoming, it’s hard to think about death-yet here it is, staring us in the face. The morbid subject of this group show unites disparate photographers including Sylvia Plachy, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Wojnarowicz, and (closer to home) Robert Adams and Isaac Layman. There are no dead bodies (though one mummy), yet images of illness and decay abound. Animal carcasses prove irresistible subjects, and Catherine Chalmers actually creates some interesting scenes with dead cockroaches. (Eeew!) Corpses being static, early photography-when exposures took minutes, not seconds-often memorialized the dead. Here, in this contemporary selection of 16 postwar artists and 43 images, death is more conceptual than personal. Old dogs, taxidermy animals, and even the tinfoil remnants from some cooked salmon-this courtesy of Seattle artist Layman-make one think about our animal kinship with the natural world. Our furry and feathered cousins are interred with less respect (see Richard Misrach’s desert burial pit), though how we treat their remains-or photograph them-here seems a kind of rehearsal for human rites. (Through April 4). BRIAN MILLER Photo Center NW, 900 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 Free Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 12pm

• 

Ai Weiwei’s Colored Vases Ai has a contentious relationship with traditional ceramics, having famously??or infamously, depending on your perspective-dropped and shattered a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty urn for a 1995 photo series. It was a shocking and still controversial act, a rupture and repudiation of officially sanctioned history and taste, a slap at the canon and an insistence on the value of the new. (Look what we’re doing now, Ai is saying; new and important Chinese art is being made today.) These vases aren’t inherently precious. They’re old, yes, but Ai was able to buy these earthenware vessels in bulk because there are so many of them, because China has so much history. Our nine vases were sloppily dipped in various bright shades of inexpensive industrial paint. The new has been crudely overlaid upon the old; history is erased, and the action forces you to consider what exactly was there to begin with. Ai’s concealing is also revealing, a kind of emperor-has-no-clothes provocation. How many ordinary Chinese factory workers would want such an old, unpainted urn? And how many Chinese billionaires, plus rich Western collectors abroad, would want one of Ai’s signature works? Ever the shrewd appropriator of found materials, Ai is the one setting the price on objects both new and old. (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thurs.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $7-$10 Wednesday, March 25, 2015

• 

BAM Biennial: Knock on Wood Again, there’s a very materials-focused emphasis to this biannual group show. Clay and fiber art were featured in 2012 and 2010, respectively; now it’s the chisel-and-mallet set’s turn to display their creations. Some of the three dozen artists featured you know or have seen before at BAM (or local galleries), like Rick Araluce, Whiting Tennis, and W. Scott Trimble. The juried selection offers every variety of woodworking from the Northwest, ranging from indigenous Native American carvings to smartly modern furniture that might fit into your SLU condo. In addition to a juried award, which bestows a future solo show and a $5,000 prize (the winner to be announced this week), there’s a popular balloting system whereby visitors can select their own favorite pieces. Unlike the Frye’s current crowdsourced #SocialMedium show, here you cast your voting on regular old scraps of paper-appropriate, of course, since they were originally made of the same material the artists are using. (Through March 29; see bellevuearts.org for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 $5-$10 Wednesday, March 25, 2015

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Wednesday, March 25, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Wednesday, March 25, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Wednesday, March 25, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Wednesday, March 25, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Wednesday, March 25, 2015

• 

Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop Mr. is his name, which makes the post-Takashi Murakami art of its creator sound more formal than it is. A candy-colored, anime-saturated explosion of shallow surfaces and Hello Kitty kawaii, the work on view here will mostly be paintings, some quite large. Video games and cartoon characters are obvious points of departure for Mr., yet they’re objects of nostalgia-not tokens of an optimistic, technology-augmented future. Mr. was born in 1969 and came of age during Japan??s 1980s economic boom. (Remember those American fears of the period, repeated in books and movies, that Japan would supplant our might?) Then Japan basically collapsed into its ongoing economic slump, giving rise to the no-hope generation known as otaku: depressed, geeky shut-ins with no prospects for real jobs, who live at home-even into their unmarried, asexual 30s-and find succor in comic books, cell phones, computer games, and the Internet. Live On isn’t necessarily a celebration of such malaise; it’s an expression of yearning for bygone times and childish pleasures. The movement is sometimes called moe (literally “budding,” or coming of age), and Mr. also creates assemblages from the talismans and scraps of his youth. His art is equal parts sugar and sadness. (See museum website for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $5-$7 Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Northwest in the West: Exploring Our Roots On view are some 70 works by regional artists including Guy Anderson, Justin Colt Beckman, Fay Chong, Gaylen Hansen, Eirik Johnson, and Paul Horiuchi. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Wednesday, March 25, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Wednesday, March 25, 2015

• 

Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Wednesday, March 25, 2015

• 

Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Wednesday, March 25, 2015

• 

Terminal: On Mortality and Beauty February is the cruelest month. With such an early spring (or an absence of winter), the trees budding and flowers blossoming, it’s hard to think about death-yet here it is, staring us in the face. The morbid subject of this group show unites disparate photographers including Sylvia Plachy, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Wojnarowicz, and (closer to home) Robert Adams and Isaac Layman. There are no dead bodies (though one mummy), yet images of illness and decay abound. Animal carcasses prove irresistible subjects, and Catherine Chalmers actually creates some interesting scenes with dead cockroaches. (Eeew!) Corpses being static, early photography-when exposures took minutes, not seconds-often memorialized the dead. Here, in this contemporary selection of 16 postwar artists and 43 images, death is more conceptual than personal. Old dogs, taxidermy animals, and even the tinfoil remnants from some cooked salmon-this courtesy of Seattle artist Layman-make one think about our animal kinship with the natural world. Our furry and feathered cousins are interred with less respect (see Richard Misrach’s desert burial pit), though how we treat their remains-or photograph them-here seems a kind of rehearsal for human rites. (Through April 4). BRIAN MILLER Photo Center NW, 900 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 Free Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 12pm

• 

Ai Weiwei’s Colored Vases Ai has a contentious relationship with traditional ceramics, having famously-or infamously, depending on your perspective-dropped and shattered a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty urn for a 1995 photo series. It was a shocking and still controversial act, a rupture and repudiation of officially sanctioned history and taste, a slap at the canon and an insistence on the value of the new. (Look what we’re doing now, Ai is saying; new and important Chinese art is being made today.) These vases aren’t inherently precious. They’re old, yes, but Ai was able to buy these earthenware vessels in bulk because there are so many of them, because China has so much history. Our nine vases were sloppily dipped in various bright shades of inexpensive industrial paint. The new has been crudely overlaid upon the old; history is erased, and the action forces you to consider what exactly was there to begin with. Ai’s concealing is also revealing, a kind of emperor-has-no-clothes provocation. How many ordinary Chinese factory workers would want such an old, unpainted urn? And how many Chinese billionaires, plus rich Western collectors abroad, would want one of Ai’s signature works? Ever the shrewd appropriator of found materials, Ai is the one setting the price on objects both new and old. (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thurs.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $7-$10 Thursday, March 26, 2015

• 

BAM Biennial: Knock on Wood Again, there’s a very materials-focused emphasis to this biannual group show. Clay and fiber art were featured in 2012 and 2010, respectively; now it’s the chisel-and-mallet set’s turn to display their creations. Some of the three dozen artists featured you know or have seen before at BAM (or local galleries), like Rick Araluce, Whiting Tennis, and W. Scott Trimble. The juried selection offers every variety of woodworking from the Northwest, ranging from indigenous Native American carvings to smartly modern furniture that might fit into your SLU condo. In addition to a juried award, which bestows a future solo show and a $5,000 prize (the winner to be announced this week), there’s a popular balloting system whereby visitors can select their own favorite pieces. Unlike the Frye’s current crowdsourced #SocialMedium show, here you cast your voting on regular old scraps of paper-appropriate, of course, since they were originally made of the same material the artists are using. (Through March 29; see bellevuearts.org for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 $5-$10 Thursday, March 26, 2015

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Thursday, March 26, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Thursday, March 26, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Thursday, March 26, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Thursday, March 26, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Thursday, March 26, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Thursday, March 26, 2015

• 

Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop Mr. is his name, which makes the post-Takashi Murakami art of its creator sound more formal than it is. A candy-colored, anime-saturated explosion of shallow surfaces and Hello Kitty kawaii, the work on view here will mostly be paintings, some quite large. Video games and cartoon characters are obvious points of departure for Mr., yet they’re objects of nostalgia-not tokens of an optimistic, technology-augmented future. Mr. was born in 1969 and came of age during Japan’s 1980s economic boom. (Remember those American fears of the period, repeated in books and movies, that Japan would supplant our might?) Then Japan basically collapsed into its ongoing economic slump, giving rise to the no-hope generation known as otaku: depressed, geeky shut-ins with no prospects for real jobs, who live at home-even into their unmarried, asexual 30s-and find succor in comic books, cell phones, computer games, and the Internet. Live On isn’t necessarily a celebration of such malaise; it’s an expression of yearning for bygone times and childish pleasures. The movement is sometimes called moe (literally “budding,” or coming of age), and Mr. also creates assemblages from the talismans and scraps of his youth. His art is equal parts sugar and sadness. (See museum website for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $5-$7 Thursday, March 26, 2015

Northwest in the West: Exploring Our Roots On view are some 70 works by regional artists including Guy Anderson, Justin Colt Beckman, Fay Chong, Gaylen Hansen, Eirik Johnson, and Paul Horiuchi. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Thursday, March 26, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Thursday, March 26, 2015

• 

Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Thursday, March 26, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Thursday, March 26, 2015

• 

Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Thursday, March 26, 2015

• 

Terminal: On Mortality and Beauty February is the cruelest month. With such an early spring (or an absence of winter), the trees budding and flowers blossoming, it’s hard to think about death-yet here it is, staring us in the face. The morbid subject of this group show unites disparate photographers including Sylvia Plachy, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Wojnarowicz, and (closer to home) Robert Adams and Isaac Layman. There are no dead bodies (though one mummy), yet images of illness and decay abound. Animal carcasses prove irresistible subjects, and Catherine Chalmers actually creates some interesting scenes with dead cockroaches. (Eeew!) Corpses being static, early photography-when exposures took minutes, not seconds-often memorialized the dead. Here, in this contemporary selection of 16 postwar artists and 43 images, death is more conceptual than personal. Old dogs, taxidermy animals, and even the tinfoil remnants from some cooked salmon-this courtesy of Seattle artist Layman-make one think about our animal kinship with the natural world. Our furry and feathered cousins are interred with less respect (see Richard Misrach’s desert burial pit), though how we treat their remains-or photograph them-here seems a kind of rehearsal for human rites. (Through April 4). BRIAN MILLER Photo Center NW, 900 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 Free Thursday, March 26, 2015, 12pm

• 

Ai Weiwei’s Colored Vases Ai has a contentious relationship with traditional ceramics, having famously-or infamously, depending on your perspective-dropped and shattered a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty urn for a 1995 photo series. It was a shocking and still controversial act, a rupture and repudiation of officially sanctioned history and taste, a slap at the canon and an insistence on the value of the new. (Look what we’re doing now, Ai is saying; new and important Chinese art is being made today.) These vases aren’t inherently precious. They’re old, yes, but Ai was able to buy these earthenware vessels in bulk because there are so many of them, because China has so much history. Our nine vases were sloppily dipped in various bright shades of inexpensive industrial paint. The new has been crudely overlaid upon the old; history is erased, and the action forces you to consider what exactly was there to begin with. Ai’s concealing is also revealing, a kind of emperor-has-no-clothes provocation. How many ordinary Chinese factory workers would want such an old, unpainted urn? And how many Chinese billionaires, plus rich Western collectors abroad, would want one of Ai’s signature works? Ever the shrewd appropriator of found materials, Ai is the one setting the price on objects both new and old. (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thurs.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $7-$10 Friday, March 27, 2015

• 

BAM Biennial: Knock on Wood Again, there’s a very materials-focused emphasis to this biannual group show. Clay and fiber art were featured in 2012 and 2010, respectively; now it’s the chisel-and-mallet set’s turn to display their creations. Some of the three dozen artists featured you know or have seen before at BAM (or local galleries), like Rick Araluce, Whiting Tennis, and W. Scott Trimble. The juried selection offers every variety of woodworking from the Northwest, ranging from indigenous Native American carvings to smartly modern furniture that might fit into your SLU condo. In addition to a juried award, which bestows a future solo show and a $5,000 prize (the winner to be announced this week), there’s a popular balloting system whereby visitors can select their own favorite pieces. Unlike the Frye’s current crowdsourced #SocialMedium show, here you cast your voting on regular old scraps of paper-appropriate, of course, since they were originally made of the same material the artists are using. (Through March 29; see bellevuearts.org for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 $5-$10 Friday, March 27, 2015

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Friday, March 27, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Friday, March 27, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Friday, March 27, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Friday, March 27, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Friday, March 27, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Friday, March 27, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Friday, March 27, 2015

• 

Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop Mr. is his name, which makes the post-Takashi Murakami art of its creator sound more formal than it is. A candy-colored, anime-saturated explosion of shallow surfaces and Hello Kitty kawaii, the work on view here will mostly be paintings, some quite large. Video games and cartoon characters are obvious points of departure for Mr., yet they’re objects of nostalgia-not tokens of an optimistic, technology-augmented future. Mr. was born in 1969 and came of age during Japan’s 1980s economic boom. (Remember those American fears of the period, repeated in books and movies, that Japan would supplant our might?) Then Japan basically collapsed into its ongoing economic slump, giving rise to the no-hope generation known as otaku: depressed, geeky shut-ins with no prospects for real jobs, who live at home-even into their unmarried, asexual 30s-and find succor in comic books, cell phones, computer games, and the Internet. Live On isn’t necessarily a celebration of such malaise; it’s an expression of yearning for bygone times and childish pleasures. The movement is sometimes called moe (literally “budding,” or coming of age), and Mr. also creates assemblages from the talismans and scraps of his youth. His art is equal parts sugar and sadness. (See museum website for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $5-$7 Friday, March 27, 2015

Northwest in the West: Exploring Our Roots On view are some 70 works by regional artists including Guy Anderson, Justin Colt Beckman, Fay Chong, Gaylen Hansen, Eirik Johnson, and Paul Horiuchi. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Friday, March 27, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Friday, March 27, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Friday, March 27, 2015

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Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Friday, March 27, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Friday, March 27, 2015

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Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Friday, March 27, 2015

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Terminal: On Mortality and Beauty February is the cruelest month. With such an early spring (or an absence of winter), the trees budding and flowers blossoming, it’s hard to think about death-yet here it is, staring us in the face. The morbid subject of this group show unites disparate photographers including Sylvia Plachy, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Wojnarowicz, and (closer to home) Robert Adams and Isaac Layman. There are no dead bodies (though one mummy), yet images of illness and decay abound. Animal carcasses prove irresistible subjects, and Catherine Chalmers actually creates some interesting scenes with dead cockroaches. (Eeew!) Corpses being static, early photography-when exposures took minutes, not seconds-often memorialized the dead. Here, in this contemporary selection of 16 postwar artists and 43 images, death is more conceptual than personal. Old dogs, taxidermy animals, and even the tinfoil remnants from some cooked salmon-this courtesy of Seattle artist Layman-make one think about our animal kinship with the natural world. Our furry and feathered cousins are interred with less respect (see Richard Misrach’s desert burial pit), though how we treat their remains-or photograph them-here seems a kind of rehearsal for human rites. (Through April 4). BRIAN MILLER Photo Center NW, 900 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 Free Friday, March 27, 2015, 12pm

• 

Ai Weiwei’s Colored Vases Ai has a contentious relationship with traditional ceramics, having famously-or infamously, depending on your perspective-dropped and shattered a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty urn for a 1995 photo series. It was a shocking and still controversial act, a rupture and repudiation of officially sanctioned history and taste, a slap at the canon and an insistence on the value of the new. (Look what we’re doing now, Ai is saying; new and important Chinese art is being made today.) These vases aren’t inherently precious. They’re old, yes, but Ai was able to buy these earthenware vessels in bulk because there are so many of them, because China has so much history. Our nine vases were sloppily dipped in various bright shades of inexpensive industrial paint. The new has been crudely overlaid upon the old; history is erased, and the action forces you to consider what exactly was there to begin with. Ai’s concealing is also revealing, a kind of emperor-has-no-clothes provocation. How many ordinary Chinese factory workers would want such an old, unpainted urn? And how many Chinese billionaires, plus rich Western collectors abroad, would want one of Ai’s signature works? Ever the shrewd appropriator of found materials, Ai is the one setting the price on objects both new and old. (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thurs.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $7-$10 Saturday, March 28, 2015

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BAM Biennial: Knock on Wood Again, there’s a very materials-focused emphasis to this biannual group show. Clay and fiber art were featured in 2012 and 2010, respectively; now it’s the chisel-and-mallet set’s turn to display their creations. Some of the three dozen artists featured you know or have seen before at BAM (or local galleries), like Rick Araluce, Whiting Tennis, and W. Scott Trimble. The juried selection offers every variety of woodworking from the Northwest, ranging from indigenous Native American carvings to smartly modern furniture that might fit into your SLU condo. In addition to a juried award, which bestows a future solo show and a $5,000 prize (the winner to be announced this week), there’s a popular balloting system whereby visitors can select their own favorite pieces. Unlike the Frye’s current crowdsourced #SocialMedium show, here you cast your voting on regular old scraps of paper-appropriate, of course, since they were originally made of the same material the artists are using. (Through March 29; see bellevuearts.org for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 $5-$10 Saturday, March 28, 2015

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Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Saturday, March 28, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Saturday, March 28, 2015

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DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Saturday, March 28, 2015

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Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Saturday, March 28, 2015

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Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Saturday, March 28, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Saturday, March 28, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Saturday, March 28, 2015

• 

Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop Mr. is his name, which makes the post-Takashi Murakami art of its creator sound more formal than it is. A candy-colored, anime-saturated explosion of shallow surfaces and Hello Kitty kawaii, the work on view here will mostly be paintings, some quite large. Video games and cartoon characters are obvious points of departure for Mr., yet they’re objects of nostalgia-not tokens of an optimistic, technology-augmented future. Mr. was born in 1969 and came of age during Japan’s 1980s economic boom. (Remember those American fears of the period, repeated in books and movies, that Japan would supplant our might?) Then Japan basically collapsed into its ongoing economic slump, giving rise to the no-hope generation known as otaku: depressed, geeky shut-ins with no prospects for real jobs, who live at home-even into their unmarried, asexual 30s-and find succor in comic books, cell phones, computer games, and the Internet. Live On isn’t necessarily a celebration of such malaise; it’s an expression of yearning for bygone times and childish pleasures. The movement is sometimes called moe (literally “budding,” or coming of age), and Mr. also creates assemblages from the talismans and scraps of his youth. His art is equal parts sugar and sadness. (See museum website for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $5-$7 Saturday, March 28, 2015

Northwest in the West: Exploring Our Roots On view are some 70 works by regional artists including Guy Anderson, Justin Colt Beckman, Fay Chong, Gaylen Hansen, Eirik Johnson, and Paul Horiuchi. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Saturday, March 28, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sam Vernon Hidden characters and imaginary spirits appear through stark black-and-white graphics. Olympic Sculpture Park, 2901 Western Ave., Seattle, WA 98121 Free Saturday, March 28, 2015 – Sunday, March 6, 2016

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Saturday, March 28, 2015

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Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Saturday, March 28, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Saturday, March 28, 2015

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Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Saturday, March 28, 2015

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Terminal: On Mortality and Beauty February is the cruelest month. With such an early spring (or an absence of winter), the trees budding and flowers blossoming, it’s hard to think about death-yet here it is, staring us in the face. The morbid subject of this group show unites disparate photographers including Sylvia Plachy, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Wojnarowicz, and (closer to home) Robert Adams and Isaac Layman. There are no dead bodies (though one mummy), yet images of illness and decay abound. Animal carcasses prove irresistible subjects, and Catherine Chalmers actually creates some interesting scenes with dead cockroaches. (Eeew!) Corpses being static, early photography-when exposures took minutes, not seconds-often memorialized the dead. Here, in this contemporary selection of 16 postwar artists and 43 images, death is more conceptual than personal. Old dogs, taxidermy animals, and even the tinfoil remnants from some cooked salmon-this courtesy of Seattle artist Layman-make one think about our animal kinship with the natural world. Our furry and feathered cousins are interred with less respect (see Richard Misrach’s desert burial pit), though how we treat their remains-or photograph them-here seems a kind of rehearsal for human rites. (Through April 4). BRIAN MILLER Photo Center NW, 900 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 Free Saturday, March 28, 2015, 12pm

• 

Ai Weiwei’s Colored Vases Ai has a contentious relationship with traditional ceramics, having famously-or infamously, depending on your perspective-dropped and shattered a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty urn for a 1995 photo series. It was a shocking and still controversial act, a rupture and repudiation of officially sanctioned history and taste, a slap at the canon and an insistence on the value of the new. (Look what we’re doing now, Ai is saying; new and important Chinese art is being made today.) These vases aren’t inherently precious. They’re old, yes, but Ai was able to buy these earthenware vessels in bulk because there are so many of them, because China has so much history. Our nine vases were sloppily dipped in various bright shades of inexpensive industrial paint. The new has been crudely overlaid upon the old; history is erased, and the action forces you to consider what exactly was there to begin with. Ai’s concealing is also revealing, a kind of emperor-has-no-clothes provocation. How many ordinary Chinese factory workers would want such an old, unpainted urn? And how many Chinese billionaires, plus rich Western collectors abroad, would want one of Ai’s signature works? Ever the shrewd appropriator of found materials, Ai is the one setting the price on objects both new and old. (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thurs.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $7-$10 Sunday, March 29, 2015

• 

BAM Biennial: Knock on Wood Again, there’s a very materials-focused emphasis to this biannual group show. Clay and fiber art were featured in 2012 and 2010, respectively; now it’s the chisel-and-mallet set’s turn to display their creations. Some of the three dozen artists featured you know or have seen before at BAM (or local galleries), like Rick Araluce, Whiting Tennis, and W. Scott Trimble. The juried selection offers every variety of woodworking from the Northwest, ranging from indigenous Native American carvings to smartly modern furniture that might fit into your SLU condo. In addition to a juried award, which bestows a future solo show and a $5,000 prize (the winner to be announced this week), there’s a popular balloting system whereby visitors can select their own favorite pieces. Unlike the Frye’s current crowdsourced #SocialMedium show, here you cast your voting on regular old scraps of paper-appropriate, of course, since they were originally made of the same material the artists are using. (Through March 29; see bellevuearts.org for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 $5-$10 Sunday, March 29, 2015

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Sunday, March 29, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Sunday, March 29, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Sunday, March 29, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Sunday, March 29, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Sunday, March 29, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Sunday, March 29, 2015

• 

Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop Mr. is his name, which makes the post-Takashi Murakami art of its creator sound more formal than it is. A candy-colored, anime-saturated explosion of shallow surfaces and Hello Kitty kawaii, the work on view here will mostly be paintings, some quite large. Video games and cartoon characters are obvious points of departure for Mr., yet they’re objects of nostalgia-not tokens of an optimistic, technology-augmented future. Mr. was born in 1969 and came of age during Japan’s 1980s economic boom. (Remember those American fears of the period, repeated in books and movies, that Japan would supplant our might?) Then Japan basically collapsed into its ongoing economic slump, giving rise to the no-hope generation known as otaku: depressed, geeky shut-ins with no prospects for real jobs, who live at home-even into their unmarried, asexual 30s-and find succor in comic books, cell phones, computer games, and the Internet. Live On isn’t necessarily a celebration of such malaise; it’s an expression of yearning for bygone times and childish pleasures. The movement is sometimes called moe (literally “budding,” or coming of age), and Mr. also creates assemblages from the talismans and scraps of his youth. His art is equal parts sugar and sadness. (See museum website for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $5-$7 Sunday, March 29, 2015

Northwest in the West: Exploring Our Roots On view are some 70 works by regional artists including Guy Anderson, Justin Colt Beckman, Fay Chong, Gaylen Hansen, Eirik Johnson, and Paul Horiuchi. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Sunday, March 29, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Sunday, March 29, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Sunday, March 29, 2015

• 

Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Sunday, March 29, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Sunday, March 29, 2015

• 

Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Sunday, March 29, 2015

• 

Terminal: On Mortality and Beauty February is the cruelest month. With such an early spring (or an absence of winter), the trees budding and flowers blossoming, it’s hard to think about death-yet here it is, staring us in the face. The morbid subject of this group show unites disparate photographers including Sylvia Plachy, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Wojnarowicz, and (closer to home) Robert Adams and Isaac Layman. There are no dead bodies (though one mummy), yet images of illness and decay abound. Animal carcasses prove irresistible subjects, and Catherine Chalmers actually creates some interesting scenes with dead cockroaches. (Eeew!) Corpses being static, early photography-when exposures took minutes, not seconds-often memorialized the dead. Here, in this contemporary selection of 16 postwar artists and 43 images, death is more conceptual than personal. Old dogs, taxidermy animals, and even the tinfoil remnants from some cooked salmon-this courtesy of Seattle artist Layman-make one think about our animal kinship with the natural world. Our furry and feathered cousins are interred with less respect (see Richard Misrach’s desert burial pit), though how we treat their remains-or photograph them-here seems a kind of rehearsal for human rites. (Through April 4). BRIAN MILLER Photo Center NW, 900 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 Free Sunday, March 29, 2015, 12pm

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Monday, March 30, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Monday, March 30, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Monday, March 30, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Monday, March 30, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Monday, March 30, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Monday, March 30, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Monday, March 30, 2015

• 

Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop Mr. is his name, which makes the post-Takashi Murakami art of its creator sound more formal than it is. A candy-colored, anime-saturated explosion of shallow surfaces and Hello Kitty kawaii, the work on view here will mostly be paintings, some quite large. Video games and cartoon characters are obvious points of departure for Mr., yet they’re objects of nostalgia-not tokens of an optimistic, technology-augmented future. Mr. was born in 1969 and came of age during Japan’s 1980s economic boom. (Remember those American fears of the period, repeated in books and movies, that Japan would supplant our might?) Then Japan basically collapsed into its ongoing economic slump, giving rise to the no-hope generation known as otaku: depressed, geeky shut-ins with no prospects for real jobs, who live at home-even into their unmarried, asexual 30s-and find succor in comic books, cell phones, computer games, and the Internet. Live On isn’t necessarily a celebration of such malaise; it’s an expression of yearning for bygone times and childish pleasures. The movement is sometimes called moe (literally “budding,” or coming of age), and Mr. also creates assemblages from the talismans and scraps of his youth. His art is equal parts sugar and sadness. (See museum website for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $5-$7 Monday, March 30, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Monday, March 30, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Monday, March 30, 2015

• 

Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Monday, March 30, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Monday, March 30, 2015

• 

Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Monday, March 30, 2015

• 

Terminal: On Mortality and Beauty February is the cruelest month. With such an early spring (or an absence of winter), the trees budding and flowers blossoming, it’s hard to think about death-yet here it is, staring us in the face. The morbid subject of this group show unites disparate photographers including Sylvia Plachy, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Wojnarowicz, and (closer to home) Robert Adams and Isaac Layman. There are no dead bodies (though one mummy), yet images of illness and decay abound. Animal carcasses prove irresistible subjects, and Catherine Chalmers actually creates some interesting scenes with dead cockroaches. (Eeew!) Corpses being static, early photography-when exposures took minutes, not seconds-often memorialized the dead. Here, in this contemporary selection of 16 postwar artists and 43 images, death is more conceptual than personal. Old dogs, taxidermy animals, and even the tinfoil remnants from some cooked salmon-this courtesy of Seattle artist Layman-make one think about our animal kinship with the natural world. Our furry and feathered cousins are interred with less respect (see Richard Misrach’s desert burial pit), though how we treat their remains-or photograph them-here seems a kind of rehearsal for human rites. (Through April 4). BRIAN MILLER Photo Center NW, 900 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 Free Monday, March 30, 2015, 12pm

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Tuesday, March 31, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Tuesday, March 31, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Tuesday, March 31, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Tuesday, March 31, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Tuesday, March 31, 2015

• 

Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop Mr. is his name, which makes the post-Takashi Murakami art of its creator sound more formal than it is. A candy-colored, anime-saturated explosion of shallow surfaces and Hello Kitty kawaii, the work on view here will mostly be paintings, some quite large. Video games and cartoon characters are obvious points of departure for Mr., yet they’re objects of nostalgia-not tokens of an optimistic, technology-augmented future. Mr. was born in 1969 and came of age during Japan’s 1980s economic boom. (Remember those American fears of the period, repeated in books and movies, that Japan would supplant our might?) Then Japan basically collapsed into its ongoing economic slump, giving rise to the no-hope generation known as otaku: depressed, geeky shut-ins with no prospects for real jobs, who live at home-even into their unmarried, asexual 30s-and find succor in comic books, cell phones, computer games, and the Internet. Live On isn’t necessarily a celebration of such malaise; it’s an expression of yearning for bygone times and childish pleasures. The movement is sometimes called moe (literally “budding,” or coming of age), and Mr. also creates assemblages from the talismans and scraps of his youth. His art is equal parts sugar and sadness. (See museum website for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $5-$7 Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Tuesday, March 31, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Tuesday, March 31, 2015

• 

Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Tuesday, March 31, 2015

• 

Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Tuesday, March 31, 2015

• 

Terminal: On Mortality and Beauty February is the cruelest month. With such an early spring (or an absence of winter), the trees budding and flowers blossoming, it’s hard to think about death-yet here it is, staring us in the face. The morbid subject of this group show unites disparate photographers including Sylvia Plachy, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Wojnarowicz, and (closer to home) Robert Adams and Isaac Layman. There are no dead bodies (though one mummy), yet images of illness and decay abound. Animal carcasses prove irresistible subjects, and Catherine Chalmers actually creates some interesting scenes with dead cockroaches. (Eeew!) Corpses being static, early photography-when exposures took minutes, not seconds-often memorialized the dead. Here, in this contemporary selection of 16 postwar artists and 43 images, death is more conceptual than personal. Old dogs, taxidermy animals, and even the tinfoil remnants from some cooked salmon-this courtesy of Seattle artist Layman-make one think about our animal kinship with the natural world. Our furry and feathered cousins are interred with less respect (see Richard Misrach’s desert burial pit), though how we treat their remains-or photograph them-here seems a kind of rehearsal for human rites. (Through April 4). BRIAN MILLER Photo Center NW, 900 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 Free Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 12pm

• 

Ai Weiwei’s Colored Vases Ai has a contentious relationship with traditional ceramics, having famously-or infamously, depending on your perspective-dropped and shattered a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty urn for a 1995 photo series. It was a shocking and still controversial act, a rupture and repudiation of officially sanctioned history and taste, a slap at the canon and an insistence on the value of the new. (Look what we’re doing now, Ai is saying; new and important Chinese art is being made today.) These vases aren’t inherently precious. They’re old, yes, but Ai was able to buy these earthenware vessels in bulk because there are so many of them, because China has so much history. Our nine vases were sloppily dipped in various bright shades of inexpensive industrial paint. The new has been crudely overlaid upon the old; history is erased, and the action forces you to consider what exactly was there to begin with. Ai’s concealing is also revealing, a kind of emperor-has-no-clothes provocation. How many ordinary Chinese factory workers would want such an old, unpainted urn? And how many Chinese billionaires, plus rich Western collectors abroad, would want one of Ai’s signature works? Ever the shrewd appropriator of found materials, Ai is the one setting the price on objects both new and old. (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thurs.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $7-$10 Wednesday, April 1, 2015

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Wednesday, April 1, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Wednesday, April 1, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Wednesday, April 1, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Wednesday, April 1, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Wednesday, April 1, 2015

• 

Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop Mr. is his name, which makes the post-Takashi Murakami art of its creator sound more formal than it is. A candy-colored, anime-saturated explosion of shallow surfaces and Hello Kitty kawaii, the work on view here will mostly be paintings, some quite large. Video games and cartoon characters are obvious points of departure for Mr., yet they’re objects of nostalgia-not tokens of an optimistic, technology-augmented future. Mr. was born in 1969 and came of age during Japan’s 1980s economic boom. (Remember those American fears of the period, repeated in books and movies, that Japan would supplant our might?) Then Japan basically collapsed into its ongoing economic slump, giving rise to the no-hope generation known as otaku: depressed, geeky shut-ins with no prospects for real jobs, who live at home-even into their unmarried, asexual 30s-and find succor in comic books, cell phones, computer games, and the Internet. Live On isn’t necessarily a celebration of such malaise; it’s an expression of yearning for bygone times and childish pleasures. The movement is sometimes called moe (literally “budding,” or coming of age), and Mr. also creates assemblages from the talismans and scraps of his youth. His art is equal parts sugar and sadness. (See museum website for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $5-$7 Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Northwest in the West: Exploring Our Roots On view are some 70 works by regional artists including Guy Anderson, Justin Colt Beckman, Fay Chong, Gaylen Hansen, Eirik Johnson, and Paul Horiuchi. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Wednesday, April 1, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Wednesday, April 1, 2015

• 

Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Wednesday, April 1, 2015

• 

Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Wednesday, April 1, 2015

• 

Terminal: On Mortality and Beauty February is the cruelest month. With such an early spring (or an absence of winter), the trees budding and flowers blossoming, it’s hard to think about death-yet here it is, staring us in the face. The morbid subject of this group show unites disparate photographers including Sylvia Plachy, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Wojnarowicz, and (closer to home) Robert Adams and Isaac Layman. There are no dead bodies (though one mummy), yet images of illness and decay abound. Animal carcasses prove irresistible subjects, and Catherine Chalmers actually creates some interesting scenes with dead cockroaches. (Eeew!) Corpses being static, early photography-when exposures took minutes, not seconds-often memorialized the dead. Here, in this contemporary selection of 16 postwar artists and 43 images, death is more conceptual than personal. Old dogs, taxidermy animals, and even the tinfoil remnants from some cooked salmon-this courtesy of Seattle artist Layman-make one think about our animal kinship with the natural world. Our furry and feathered cousins are interred with less respect (see Richard Misrach’s desert burial pit), though how we treat their remains-or photograph them-here seems a kind of rehearsal for human rites. (Through April 4). BRIAN MILLER Photo Center NW, 900 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 Free Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 12pm

• 

Ai Weiwei’s Colored Vases Ai has a contentious relationship with traditional ceramics, having famously-or infamously, depending on your perspective-dropped and shattered a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty urn for a 1995 photo series. It was a shocking and still controversial act, a rupture and repudiation of officially sanctioned history and taste, a slap at the canon and an insistence on the value of the new. (Look what we’re doing now, Ai is saying; new and important Chinese art is being made today.) These vases aren’t inherently precious. They’re old, yes, but Ai was able to buy these earthenware vessels in bulk because there are so many of them, because China has so much history. Our nine vases were sloppily dipped in various bright shades of inexpensive industrial paint. The new has been crudely overlaid upon the old; history is erased, and the action forces you to consider what exactly was there to begin with. Ai’s concealing is also revealing, a kind of emperor-has-no-clothes provocation. How many ordinary Chinese factory workers would want such an old, unpainted urn? And how many Chinese billionaires, plus rich Western collectors abroad, would want one of Ai’s signature works? Ever the shrewd appropriator of found materials, Ai is the one setting the price on objects both new and old. (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thurs.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $7-$10 Thursday, April 2, 2015

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Thursday, April 2, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Thursday, April 2, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Thursday, April 2, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Thursday, April 2, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Thursday, April 2, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Thursday, April 2, 2015

• 

First Thursday Art Walk Beginning around 5 p.m. and often lasting to 9 p.m., the monthly art celebration includes venues like the Tashiro Kaplan Building, Roq La Rue, James Harris, Greg Kucera, and all the other Pioneer Square galleries. Occidental Park will also be full of artists and vendors. Occidental Park, S. Main St. & Occidental Ave. S. Free Thursday, April 2, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Thursday, April 2, 2015

• 

Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop Mr. is his name, which makes the post-Takashi Murakami art of its creator sound more formal than it is. A candy-colored, anime-saturated explosion of shallow surfaces and Hello Kitty kawaii, the work on view here will mostly be paintings, some quite large. Video games and cartoon characters are obvious points of departure for Mr., yet they’re objects of nostalgia-not tokens of an optimistic, technology-augmented future. Mr. was born in 1969 and came of age during Japan’s 1980s economic boom. (Remember those American fears of the period, repeated in books and movies, that Japan would supplant our might?) Then Japan basically collapsed into its ongoing economic slump, giving rise to the no-hope generation known as otaku: depressed, geeky shut-ins with no prospects for real jobs, who live at home-even into their unmarried, asexual 30s-and find succor in comic books, cell phones, computer games, and the Internet. Live On isn’t necessarily a celebration of such malaise; it’s an expression of yearning for bygone times and childish pleasures. The movement is sometimes called moe (literally “budding,” or coming of age), and Mr. also creates assemblages from the talismans and scraps of his youth. His art is equal parts sugar and sadness. (See museum website for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $5-$7 Thursday, April 2, 2015

Northwest in the West: Exploring Our Roots On view are some 70 works by regional artists including Guy Anderson, Justin Colt Beckman, Fay Chong, Gaylen Hansen, Eirik Johnson, and Paul Horiuchi. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Thursday, April 2, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Thursday, April 2, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Thursday, April 2, 2015

• 

Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Thursday, April 2, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Thursday, April 2, 2015

• 

Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Thursday, April 2, 2015

• 

Terminal: On Mortality and Beauty February is the cruelest month. With such an early spring (or an absence of winter), the trees budding and flowers blossoming, it’s hard to think about death-yet here it is, staring us in the face. The morbid subject of this group show unites disparate photographers including Sylvia Plachy, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Wojnarowicz, and (closer to home) Robert Adams and Isaac Layman. There are no dead bodies (though one mummy), yet images of illness and decay abound. Animal carcasses prove irresistible subjects, and Catherine Chalmers actually creates some interesting scenes with dead cockroaches. (Eeew!) Corpses being static, early photography-when exposures took minutes, not seconds-often memorialized the dead. Here, in this contemporary selection of 16 postwar artists and 43 images, death is more conceptual than personal. Old dogs, taxidermy animals, and even the tinfoil remnants from some cooked salmon-this courtesy of Seattle artist Layman-make one think about our animal kinship with the natural world. Our furry and feathered cousins are interred with less respect (see Richard Misrach’s desert burial pit), though how we treat their remains-or photograph them-here seems a kind of rehearsal for human rites. (Through April 4). BRIAN MILLER Photo Center NW, 900 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 Free Thursday, April 2, 2015, 12pm

• 

Ai Weiwei’s Colored Vases Ai has a contentious relationship with traditional ceramics, having famously-or infamously, depending on your perspective-dropped and shattered a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty urn for a 1995 photo series. It was a shocking and still controversial act, a rupture and repudiation of officially sanctioned history and taste, a slap at the canon and an insistence on the value of the new. (Look what we’re doing now, Ai is saying; new and important Chinese art is being made today.) These vases aren’t inherently precious. They’re old, yes, but Ai was able to buy these earthenware vessels in bulk because there are so many of them, because China has so much history. Our nine vases were sloppily dipped in various bright shades of inexpensive industrial paint. The new has been crudely overlaid upon the old; history is erased, and the action forces you to consider what exactly was there to begin with. Ai’s concealing is also revealing, a kind of emperor-has-no-clothes provocation. How many ordinary Chinese factory workers would want such an old, unpainted urn? And how many Chinese billionaires, plus rich Western collectors abroad, would want one of Ai’s signature works? Ever the shrewd appropriator of found materials, Ai is the one setting the price on objects both new and old. (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thurs.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $7-$10 Friday, April 3, 2015

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Friday, April 3, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Friday, April 3, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Friday, April 3, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Friday, April 3, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Friday, April 3, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Friday, April 3, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Friday, April 3, 2015

• 

Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop Mr. is his name, which makes the post-Takashi Murakami art of its creator sound more formal than it is. A candy-colored, anime-saturated explosion of shallow surfaces and Hello Kitty kawaii, the work on view here will mostly be paintings, some quite large. Video games and cartoon characters are obvious points of departure for Mr., yet they’re objects of nostalgia-not tokens of an optimistic, technology-augmented future. Mr. was born in 1969 and came of age during Japan’s 1980s economic boom. (Remember those American fears of the period, repeated in books and movies, that Japan would supplant our might?) Then Japan basically collapsed into its ongoing economic slump, giving rise to the no-hope generation known as otaku: depressed, geeky shut-ins with no prospects for real jobs, who live at home-even into their unmarried, asexual 30s-and find succor in comic books, cell phones, computer games, and the Internet. Live On isn’t necessarily a celebration of such malaise; it’s an expression of yearning for bygone times and childish pleasures. The movement is sometimes called moe (literally “budding,” or coming of age), and Mr. also creates assemblages from the talismans and scraps of his youth. His art is equal parts sugar and sadness. (See museum website for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $5-$7 Friday, April 3, 2015

Northwest in the West: Exploring Our Roots On view are some 70 works by regional artists including Guy Anderson, Justin Colt Beckman, Fay Chong, Gaylen Hansen, Eirik Johnson, and Paul Horiuchi. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Friday, April 3, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Friday, April 3, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Friday, April 3, 2015

• 

Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Friday, April 3, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Friday, April 3, 2015

• 

Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Friday, April 3, 2015

• 

Terminal: On Mortality and Beauty February is the cruelest month. With such an early spring (or an absence of winter), the trees budding and flowers blossoming, it’s hard to think about death-yet here it is, staring us in the face. The morbid subject of this group show unites disparate photographers including Sylvia Plachy, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Wojnarowicz, and (closer to home) Robert Adams and Isaac Layman. There are no dead bodies (though one mummy), yet images of illness and decay abound. Animal carcasses prove irresistible subjects, and Catherine Chalmers actually creates some interesting scenes with dead cockroaches. (Eeew!) Corpses being static, early photography-when exposures took minutes, not seconds-often memorialized the dead. Here, in this contemporary selection of 16 postwar artists and 43 images, death is more conceptual than personal. Old dogs, taxidermy animals, and even the tinfoil remnants from some cooked salmon-this courtesy of Seattle artist Layman-make one think about our animal kinship with the natural world. Our furry and feathered cousins are interred with less respect (see Richard Misrach’s desert burial pit), though how we treat their remains-or photograph them-here seems a kind of rehearsal for human rites. (Through April 4). BRIAN MILLER Photo Center NW, 900 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 Free Friday, April 3, 2015, 12pm

• 

Ai Weiwei’s Colored Vases Ai has a contentious relationship with traditional ceramics, having famously-or infamously, depending on your perspective-dropped and shattered a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty urn for a 1995 photo series. It was a shocking and still controversial act, a rupture and repudiation of officially sanctioned history and taste, a slap at the canon and an insistence on the value of the new. (Look what we’re doing now, Ai is saying; new and important Chinese art is being made today.) These vases aren’t inherently precious. They’re old, yes, but Ai was able to buy these earthenware vessels in bulk because there are so many of them, because China has so much history. Our nine vases were sloppily dipped in various bright shades of inexpensive industrial paint. The new has been crudely overlaid upon the old; history is erased, and the action forces you to consider what exactly was there to begin with. Ai’s concealing is also revealing, a kind of emperor-has-no-clothes provocation. How many ordinary Chinese factory workers would want such an old, unpainted urn? And how many Chinese billionaires, plus rich Western collectors abroad, would want one of Ai’s signature works? Ever the shrewd appropriator of found materials, Ai is the one setting the price on objects both new and old. (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thurs.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $7-$10 Saturday, April 4, 2015

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Saturday, April 4, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Saturday, April 4, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Saturday, April 4, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Saturday, April 4, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Saturday, April 4, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Saturday, April 4, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Saturday, April 4, 2015

• 

Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop Mr. is his name, which makes the post-Takashi Murakami art of its creator sound more formal than it is. A candy-colored, anime-saturated explosion of shallow surfaces and Hello Kitty kawaii, the work on view here will mostly be paintings, some quite large. Video games and cartoon characters are obvious points of departure for Mr., yet they’re objects of nostalgia-not tokens of an optimistic, technology-augmented future. Mr. was born in 1969 and came of age during Japan’s 1980s economic boom. (Remember those American fears of the period, repeated in books and movies, that Japan would supplant our might?) Then Japan basically collapsed into its ongoing economic slump, giving rise to the no-hope generation known as otaku: depressed, geeky shut-ins with no prospects for real jobs, who live at home-even into their unmarried, asexual 30s-and find succor in comic books, cell phones, computer games, and the Internet. Live On isn’t necessarily a celebration of such malaise; it’s an expression of yearning for bygone times and childish pleasures. The movement is sometimes called moe (literally “budding,” or coming of age), and Mr. also creates assemblages from the talismans and scraps of his youth. His art is equal parts sugar and sadness. (See museum website for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $5-$7 Saturday, April 4, 2015

Northwest in the West: Exploring Our Roots On view are some 70 works by regional artists including Guy Anderson, Justin Colt Beckman, Fay Chong, Gaylen Hansen, Eirik Johnson, and Paul Horiuchi. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Saturday, April 4, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Saturday, April 4, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Saturday, April 4, 2015

• 

Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Saturday, April 4, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Saturday, April 4, 2015

• 

Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Saturday, April 4, 2015

• 

Terminal: On Mortality and Beauty February is the cruelest month. With such an early spring (or an absence of winter), the trees budding and flowers blossoming, it’s hard to think about death-yet here it is, staring us in the face. The morbid subject of this group show unites disparate photographers including Sylvia Plachy, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Wojnarowicz, and (closer to home) Robert Adams and Isaac Layman. There are no dead bodies (though one mummy), yet images of illness and decay abound. Animal carcasses prove irresistible subjects, and Catherine Chalmers actually creates some interesting scenes with dead cockroaches. (Eeew!) Corpses being static, early photography-when exposures took minutes, not seconds-often memorialized the dead. Here, in this contemporary selection of 16 postwar artists and 43 images, death is more conceptual than personal. Old dogs, taxidermy animals, and even the tinfoil remnants from some cooked salmon-this courtesy of Seattle artist Layman-make one think about our animal kinship with the natural world. Our furry and feathered cousins are interred with less respect (see Richard Misrach’s desert burial pit), though how we treat their remains-or photograph them-here seems a kind of rehearsal for human rites. (Through April 4). BRIAN MILLER Photo Center NW, 900 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 Free Saturday, April 4, 2015, 12pm

• 

Ai Weiwei’s Colored Vases Ai has a contentious relationship with traditional ceramics, having famously-or infamously, depending on your perspective-dropped and shattered a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty urn for a 1995 photo series. It was a shocking and still controversial act, a rupture and repudiation of officially sanctioned history and taste, a slap at the canon and an insistence on the value of the new. (Look what we’re doing now, Ai is saying; new and important Chinese art is being made today.) These vases aren’t inherently precious. They’re old, yes, but Ai was able to buy these earthenware vessels in bulk because there are so many of them, because China has so much history. Our nine vases were sloppily dipped in various bright shades of inexpensive industrial paint. The new has been crudely overlaid upon the old; history is erased, and the action forces you to consider what exactly was there to begin with. Ai’s concealing is also revealing, a kind of emperor-has-no-clothes provocation. How many ordinary Chinese factory workers would want such an old, unpainted urn? And how many Chinese billionaires, plus rich Western collectors abroad, would want one of Ai’s signature works? Ever the shrewd appropriator of found materials, Ai is the one setting the price on objects both new and old. (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thurs.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $7-$10 Sunday, April 5, 2015

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Sunday, April 5, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Sunday, April 5, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Sunday, April 5, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Sunday, April 5, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Sunday, April 5, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Sunday, April 5, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Sunday, April 5, 2015

• 

Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop Mr. is his name, which makes the post-Takashi Murakami art of its creator sound more formal than it is. A candy-colored, anime-saturated explosion of shallow surfaces and Hello Kitty kawaii, the work on view here will mostly be paintings, some quite large. Video games and cartoon characters are obvious points of departure for Mr., yet they’re objects of nostalgia-not tokens of an optimistic, technology-augmented future. Mr. was born in 1969 and came of age during Japan’s 1980s economic boom. (Remember those American fears of the period, repeated in books and movies, that Japan would supplant our might?) Then Japan basically collapsed into its ongoing economic slump, giving rise to the no-hope generation known as otaku: depressed, geeky shut-ins with no prospects for real jobs, who live at home-even into their unmarried, asexual 30s-and find succor in comic books, cell phones, computer games, and the Internet. Live On isn’t necessarily a celebration of such malaise; it’s an expression of yearning for bygone times and childish pleasures. The movement is sometimes called moe (literally “budding,” or coming of age), and Mr. also creates assemblages from the talismans and scraps of his youth. His art is equal parts sugar and sadness. (See museum website for hours.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $5-$7 Sunday, April 5, 2015

Northwest in the West: Exploring Our Roots On view are some 70 works by regional artists including Guy Anderson, Justin Colt Beckman, Fay Chong, Gaylen Hansen, Eirik Johnson, and Paul Horiuchi. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Sunday, April 5, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Sunday, April 5, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Sunday, April 5, 2015

• 

Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Sunday, April 5, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Sunday, April 5, 2015

• 

Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Sunday, April 5, 2015

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Monday, April 6, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Monday, April 6, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Monday, April 6, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Monday, April 6, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Monday, April 6, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Monday, April 6, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Monday, April 6, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Monday, April 6, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Monday, April 6, 2015

• 

Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Monday, April 6, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Monday, April 6, 2015

• 

Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Monday, April 6, 2015

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Tuesday, April 7, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Tuesday, April 7, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Tuesday, April 7, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Tuesday, April 7, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Tuesday, April 7, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Tuesday, April 7, 2015

• 

Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Tuesday, April 7, 2015

• 

Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,” Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Tuesday, April 7, 2015

• 

Ai Weiwei’s Colored Vases Ai has a contentious relationship with traditional ceramics, having famously-or infamously, depending on your perspective-dropped and shattered a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty urn for a 1995 photo series. It was a shocking and still controversial act, a rupture and repudiation of officially sanctioned history and taste, a slap at the canon and an insistence on the value of the new. (Look what we’re doing now, Ai is saying; new and important Chinese art is being made today.) These vases aren’t inherently precious. They’re old, yes, but Ai was able to buy these earthenware vessels in bulk because there are so many of them, because China has so much history. Our nine vases were sloppily dipped in various bright shades of inexpensive industrial paint. The new has been crudely overlaid upon the old; history is erased, and the action forces you to consider what exactly was there to begin with. Ai’s concealing is also revealing, a kind of emperor-has-no-clothes provocation. How many ordinary Chinese factory workers would want such an old, unpainted urn? And how many Chinese billionaires, plus rich Western collectors abroad, would want one of Ai’s signature works? Ever the shrewd appropriator of found materials, Ai is the one setting the price on objects both new and old. (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thurs.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $7-$10 Wednesday, April 8, 2015

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Wednesday, April 8, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Wednesday, April 8, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Wednesday, April 8, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Emerge/Evolve 2014 Featured finalists from Portland’s Bullseye Glass Company’s “Emerge” competition in kiln-glass. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, WA 98004 See website for details Wednesday, April 8, 2015

• 

George Tsutakawa: Fountain of Wisdom Years have passed, and the downtown library designed by Rem Koolhaas has agreeably woven itself into the urban fabric. You may not like the ramps or shelving or noise inside, but tourists love to photograph the glassy, faceted exterior, and most architectural critics agree on its modernist merit. Still, walking past, I sometimes miss the small, rather cheap, but more intimate old International Style stack of boxes. Built in 1960, demolished in 2001, the prior library had a reader-friendly scale-nooks and crannies, and a courtyard containing Fountain of Wisdom by sculptor George Tsutakawa. The late local artist (1910-1997) didn’t live long enough to see his work-the city’s first public art commission of note-relocated to the corner of Fourth and Madison, where it now sits next to the new library entrance. But where is the plaque? The abstract bronze flanged structure developed from a series Tsutakawa modeled on the obo-in Japanese, a pile or cairn of rounded stones left by travelers-a shape you’ll find echoed in his many other subsequent fountains designed around the Northwest. But Fountain of Wisdom also rests in the postwar visual vocabulary of Brancusi and Jim Flora. It’s not just traditional; there’s something a little Jetsons about it-like a metal flower on a distant planet. It’s all wrong for the aesthetic of Koolhaas, who probably hates flowers or anything curved and organic that defies his rigid geometry. For that reason, I like the plucky little footnote to the big new building looming over it. Now about that plaque… BRIAN MILLER Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 Free Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Northwest in the West: Exploring Our Roots On view are some 70 works by regional artists including Guy Anderson, Justin Colt Beckman, Fay Chong, Gaylen Hansen, Eirik Johnson, and Paul Horiuchi. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Pan: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe 1895-1900 The fin de siecle arts journal Pan featured artists including Rodin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. (Also running during the same span is the jewelry show 1900: Adornment for the Home and Body, drawn from the local collection of Wayne Dodge and Lawrence Kreisman.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 See website for details. Wednesday, April 8, 2015

• 

Skyspace James Turrell’s Skyspace stands on two concrete pillars in the Henry’s erstwhile sculpture courtyard. On the exterior, thousands of LED fixtures under the structure’s frosted glass skin create slowly shifting colors, making the pavilion a spectacular piece of public art every night. Inside, the ellipse of sky seen through the chamber’s ceiling suddenly appears to be very, very close, a thin membrane bulging into the room. Wispy bits of cirrus clouds passing by appear to be features on the slowly rotating surface of a luminous, egg-shaped blue planet suspended just overhead. Emerging from the Skyspace, I find the night wind and the light in the clouds come to me through freshly awakened senses. A dreamy, happy feeling follows me home like the moon outside my car window. (Weds., Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thurs., Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.) DAVID STOESZ Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98195 $6-$10 Wednesday, April 8, 2015

• 

Stronghold The original UW campus downtown was once covered with old-growth timber, as was its present location when the school moved north in 1895. Now, as that institution continues its inexorable sprawl south of Pacific Street toward Portage Bay, New York artist Brian Tolle reminds us of that arboreal past with his recently installed Stronghold. It is at first glance nothing more than a stump on a manicured lawn. Walk closer (sprinklers permitting) and you’ll see it’s a constructed stump, an invented artifact made of inexpensive cedar slats. Measuring about 23 feet in diameter-with a seating area within, possibly for picnics-Stronghold suggests the enormous tree trunks that once drove this region’s economy, that helped establish the city and our state’s first university (founded in 1861). But such towering cedars and firs are all gone, of course, and Tolle’s materials are of the size and grade you could buy at any lumberyard. This neo-stump stands next to a new UW bioengineering building (near 15th Avenue Northeast and Pacific)-appropriate, since technology is the new timber of the Northwest. In shape, the irregular ring also echoes our skyline of ancient, crumbling volcanoes (Mount St. Helens in particular) that were formed in violence. The installation recreates local history before it met the crosscut saw. BRIAN MILLER University of Washington Campus, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle,WA 98105 Free Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Water Mover Unbuilt lots, even sloped blackberry patches sitting on unstable soil, are fast disappearing in Seattle. Particularly in Fremont, where townhouses sprout like mushrooms, any real-estate resistance is appreciated. Sitting next to the Fremont Branch Library, A.B. Ernst Park was completed four years ago with a spiral ramp and stair maze leading down to the alley behind the old P.C.C. Designed by Bend, Oregon landscape architect J.T. Atkins, it seemed a perfect place to sit and read in the south-facing light, but-D’oh!-a guard rail was deemed necessary to keep kids and other visitors from toppling off the textured concrete seats and into the sage. Thus, Seattle sculptor Jenny Heishman was commissioned by the city and Fremont Neighborhood Council to build a fence that didn’t look like a fence. Water Mover is anything but. Its scalloped orange half-pipes are like an aquaduct to nowhere. The broken ring of solid yet irregularly situated water chutes playfully suggests some irrigation scheme where none is needed (the plants are all indigenous). Here the runoff is simply directed into a bucket, or onto the porous concrete and into the ground. Summer may be the best time to enjoy the park, but to better appreciate Heishman’s contribution, take your umbrella during a November downpour and see how the contraption works. BRIAN MILLER Ernst Park, 723 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103 FREE Wednesday, April 8, 2015

• 

Wawona At the center of the atrium at MOHAI, newly relocated to the Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union, is a permanent new sculptural installation that helps anchor the museum to our maritime past. From 1897 into the ‘40s, the schooner Wawona carried cargo on Puget Sound. Then it was moored for decades, rotting, near the Center for Wooden Boats (now MOHAI’s neighbor). The upkeep wasn’t worth it, and the hull was dry-docked for salvage four years ago. That’s where artist John Grade comes in. As part of MOHAI’s $60 million renovation, Grade was commissioned to create something from the old Douglas fir timbers that had been preserved below the waterline. They’ve been dried and sanded, carefully drilled with little round fissures (suggesting both ship’s portals and worm holes), then bolted and hung from the ceiling in a hollow, tapered tower that recalls both a ship’s mast and a tree. The five-and-a-half-ton Wawona is intended to be kinetic, Grade told me at its unveiling: “I want kids to bang on it.” Enter the enclosure at its base, and you can push and sway the whole structure, the loose metal fittings creaking like a ship rocking in its berth. Look up through the 65-foot tower, and it pierces the roof. Below (viewed through a Plexiglas window), it almost touches the water. Both ends are intended to decay over time, says Grade: “I’m interested in how things change. Nothing’s permanent.” The fate of the old Wawona bears him out, yet this recycled new Wawona is a prime example of regionally sourced art. “It’s about as local as you can do it,?? Grade adds. “It’s definitely my most ambitious piece.” BRIAN MILLER Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109 $12-$14 Wednesday, April 8, 2015

• 

Ai Weiwei’s Colored Vases Ai has a contentious relationship with traditional ceramics, having famously-or infamously, depending on your perspective-dropped and shattered a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty urn for a 1995 photo series. It was a shocking and still controversial act, a rupture and repudiation of officially sanctioned history and taste, a slap at the canon and an insistence on the value of the new. (Look what we’re doing now, Ai is saying; new and important Chinese art is being made today.) These vases aren’t inherently precious. They’re old, yes, but Ai was able to buy these earthenware vessels in bulk because there are so many of them, because China has so much history. Our nine vases were sloppily dipped in various bright shades of inexpensive industrial paint. The new has been crudely overlaid upon the old; history is erased, and the action forces you to consider what exactly was there to begin with. Ai’s concealing is also revealing, a kind of emperor-has-no-clothes provocation. How many ordinary Chinese factory workers would want such an old, unpainted urn? And how many Chinese billionaires, plus rich Western collectors abroad, would want one of Ai’s signature works? Ever the shrewd appropriator of found materials, Ai is the one setting the price on objects both new and old. (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thurs.) BRIAN MILLER Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), Seattle, WA 98112 $7-$10 Thursday, April 9, 2015

• 

Changing Form The most popular viewpoint in the city is often a bore for kids. Whenever I walk up to Kerry Park, on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, shutterbugs, wedding parties, and sightseers are intent on the panoramic view. Watch what the children do, however, when they squirm free of parental grasp or out of the camera’s frame. Installed in 1971 as a bequest from the same family that gave us the priceless strip park, Changing Form is one of those large Henry Moore-influenced abstract steel sculptures that don’t always wear their age so well. There’s nothing fun or frivolous about the two stacked cutout forms, pure geometry, yet kids flock to the 15-foot-high structure. It’s shaped a bit like building blocks from childhood, and the lower portion forms an eminently climbable cradle. Not many visitors bother to read the brass plaque identifying the artist. Would you be surprised to learn it’s a woman? Very little public art in Seattle-or at least that from the pure commission, pre-public-funding era-comes from female hands. Born here, Doris Totten Chase (1923-2008) studied architecture at the UW, then turned to painting in the late ‘40s. By that time she was a wife and mother of two kids-not some kind of beatnik, not an outrageous headline-grabber like the celebrated (male) artists of the day. An early-’70s divorce freed her to move to Manhattan, where she worked in film and video and lived a thoroughly avant-garde life at the Chelsea Hotel. Sometimes you gotta leave Seattle to find bohemia. Just don’t tell that to your kids while they’re playing. BRIAN MILLER Kerry Park, 211 W. Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119 Free Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dale Chihuly The Tacoma native and glass artist has donated several works to TAM, now on permanent display. See museum website for hours. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $8-$10 Thursday, April 9, 2015

• 

DuPen Fountain Seattle Center is in transition, yet again. Memorial Stadium is crumbling. The Fun Forest has closed. The Sonics may come back (briefly) to KeyArena, but then what? But in certain quiet corners of the civic campus, things are working just fine. Though briefly endangered by a skateboard park last summer, located northwest of the Key in a concrete box canyon, one such enduring element from the original 1962 World’s Fair design is DuPen Fountain. A UW professor and sculptor, Everett DuPen (1912-2005) worked in concert with prominent modernist architect Paul Thiry, who designed the old Seattle Center Coliseum and other Center sites, to establish the water garden (sometimes also called the Fountain of Creation). Local tots and moms use it as a wading pool in summer. When the splashing subsides in autumn, it’s a place for calm contemplation. The bronze forms within do suggest creation; poised over the waters and boulders, there’s a sense of nature struggling to take shape, emerging as if from tide pools. Unlike the Garden of Eden, life isn’t raised by a single divine touch. The inchoate organic and the human form are here linked together. In the fountain’s comparatively short history, two generations of mothers and children have waded in these waters. Those life cycles echo the longer path of evolution, perhaps giving hope for the grounds outside the fountain. BRIAN MILLER Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109 Free Thursday, April 9, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Over 60 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries.  Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 See website for details. Thursday, April 9, 2015

• 

Eloquent Objects Although the tendency would be to view this selection of Southwestern art as a Georgia O’Keeffe show (with 22 of her paintings on view), the intent is to bring the New Mexico still-life tradition out of the desert and to our mossy climes. Thus another 40-odd works will represent her peers and heirs: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Gustave Baumann, Eliseo Rodriguez, and a dozen more. Flowers, cow skulls, cacti, and the Painted Desert are surely represented here, but there’s a meditative way of seeing that’s equally important to the arid inspiration. The desert strips away everything excess (recall Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence saying he liked the desert because “It’s clean”), always a useful lesson for artists. This touring show is making its only West Coast stop in Tacoma. TAM has more works by O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in its permanent collection (some added with the recent Haub family bequest), though she’s the main draw here, and her influence extends far beyond Santa Fe. We’ll see that reach in a concurrently running companion show, The Still Life Tradition in the Northwest, featuring local names like Morris Graves, Norman Lundin, and Doris Chase. (Through June 7.) BRIAN MILLER Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 $14 Thursday, April 9, 2015




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