All posts in “Events & Programs”

Film/Life: The Eternal Return of David Lynch

David Lynch Movie Night Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Wed Jul 20 2016
7:30 Pm – 9:45 PM

Writer, director, furniture maker, painter, musician, songwriter, vocalist, and photographer David Lynch believes in reincarnation: “You die and you have a little time in a dream and, by golly, you come back.”

Born and raised in the Northwest (Montana, Washington, Idaho), Lynch, who now lives in Los Angeles, keeps coming back to our neck of the woods to reincarnate one of his most potent and enduring artistic dreams: Twin Peaks. In this international TV phenomenon (1990-91), Lynch’s floating-in-a-dream, emotional-visceral storytelling penetrated the dark woods and rainy mists of a small town to reveal secret desires and enigmatic metaphysical connections.

The idea of exploring beneath the surface of everyday reality is central to Lynch’s sensibility. His father was a Forest Service research scientist who probed pine trees for hidden disease, and for over three decades Lynch, the daily meditator, has plumbed the deep inner stream of his subconscious.

Things hummed along pleasantly in the town of Twin Peaks. People worked in the sawmill, chowed down at the diner, drank hot black coffee; kids went to school, everyone felt safe with Sherriff Harry Truman on guard—and then the sweetheart of the community, golden Homecoming Queen Laura Palmer, was found cold, blue, dead and wrapped in plastic on a lakeshore. Unprecedented for TV, we saw the town grieve for a harrowing period of time. Nothing less than innocence was lost, chaos reigned, an almost cosmic wound was suffered.

Laura Palmer

The FBI sent Dale Cooper to investigate, and he was indeed a Special Agent well beyond the parameters of his job description. He was dressed in regulation black suit, white shirt and dark tie, but his mind colored outside orthodox lines. He was a stalwart and true defender of the law, but he intuitively sought clues by throwing rocks at bottles while reciting people’s names, correctly read folks’ romantic status in a split second, entered “a box of chocolate bunnies” into the official record and voiced a child-like wonder at “those amazing trees you’ve got around here.” Cooper got to know Laura’s parents, her friends and those she loved, but all his efforts couldn’t solve the mystery of her killing. He knew that two plus two sometimes equals seven, but even his creative, non-linear mind couldn’t grasp the shape of an ancient evil that breathed in empty rooms. And he was haunted by Laura;  it felt like his mission was to save a girl who was already dead.

It took Lynch and his writing/production partner Mark Frost so long to reveal Laura’s killer that many viewers dropped out, and Twin Peaks was cancelled in its second season. The continuing story of Laura, Cooper, the town, and its denizens remained an energy-generating locus in Lynch’s mind, so in September of 1991 he and his cast and crew returned to the Snoqualmie Valley to shoot the theatrical film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. (This blog’s author, in stealth mode, witnessed much of the filming, as recounted in his book David Lynch: Beautiful Dark). The filmmakers expected the typical Northwest gloomy chill, but were met with a golden eighty-degree Indian Summer. Lynch believes that “things happen when they’re supposed to,” and he embraces artistic accidents. So since this prequel film would focus on Laura Palmer’s days and nights leading up to her death, he saw the unexpected death-of-summer atmosphere as a perfect fit.

Lynch is very much a hands-on creator, but for part of the TV Twin Peaks run he was away making his film Wild at Heart (1990), and when he resumed production he didn’t like the way the show had meandered away from its essence. So Fire Walk With Me is the intimate, direct-experience (rather than TV’s alluded-to) story of Laura and those she loves and fears. She’s a vital young woman who chooses/is chosen by the shadow side of life, a schoolgirl of the sorrows, but with delivering angels hovering near. For, though no one can convey the terrible power and beauty of darkness like Lynch, he believes in the white-light grace of transcendence. Sheryl Lee’s stunningly committed performance as Laura can make you feel that the order of the universe is at stake. In addition to the TV Twin Peaks’ fine cast (including the late, great Catherine E. Coulson as The Log Lady and Lynch himself as FBI Inspector Gordon Cole), Fire Walk With Me features Keifer Sutherland, Chris Isaak, and a tall, thin gentleman named David Bowie.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)Directed by David Lynch, Shown: David Bowie

Throughout the TV run of Twin Peaks, Lynch’s hypnotic narrative bent time and space, and made dreams invade reality. So, though Fire Walk With Me precedes Laura’s death, it also follows it; it’s a prequel and a sequel—and a bridge to the future. For the third time in twenty-seven years Lynch has brought his continuing story and cameras to the Northwest: the new incarnation of Twin Peaks will air on Showtime cable in 2017.

Get in the Twin Peaks mood with our Fire Walk With Me screening. The trees are green, the coffee’s black, the Red Room is as mysterious as a blue rose, and shades of good and evil color the night. Get your ticket today.

—Greg Olson, Manager of SAM Films

Images: Photo: Photofest. Photo: ABC/Photofest, © ABC. Photo: New Line Cinema/Photofest, © New Line Cinema.

Summer Mindfulness and Creativity

Like many of us who live in the Pacific Northwest, I was called to this region of the country because of its natural beauty, dramatic mountains, and sparkling waters. I moved here from the concrete flatlands of sprawling Midwest suburbia, where the air too often smells like a combination of diesel and fried food. Thankfully, I was raised by a mother who highly values experiences in the outdoors. She is also a fulltime professional artist, and as a resourceful single mother she brought her children along on her searches for inspiration in the natural world. My mom taught us to appreciate the outdoors by encouraging close attention: listen carefully and you can hear the wind under the wings of migrating Canadian geese; stand still long enough and you may just catch that tadpole. Trees were measured by hugs around their trunks, leaves applauded as they trembled in the breeze, thunderstorms were music to dance to, dirt was painting material, and a flower’s scent was joy juice. The natural world was full of magic and creative potential.

Seattle yoga summer classes at Olympic Sculpture Park

It’s clear now that my own mindfulness practice began in these early experiences with nature. The connections between mindfulness and creativity have been inherently linked throughout my life and I believe that’s true for so many others. Living in our busy urban environment, paying attention to beauty is especially important. We all know how easy it is to be caught up in the speed and pace of the day-to-day bustle. But there is magic here too.

“. . . I hear all sounds running together, combined, fused or following,
Sounds of the city and sounds out of the city, sounds of the day and night,
Talkative young ones to those that like them, the loud laugh of work-people at their meals,
The angry base of disjointed friendship, the faint tones of the sick,
The judge with hands tight to the desk, his pallid lips pronouncing a death-sentence,
The heave’e’yo of stevedores unlading ships by the wharves, the refrain of the anchor-lifters,
The ring of alarm-bells, the cry of fire, the whirr of swift-streaking engines and hose-carts with premonitory tinkles and color’d lights,
The steam-whistle, the solid roll of the train of approaching cars . . .
I hear the chorus, it is a grand opera,
Ah this indeed is music—this suits me. . . .”
–Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

I work at the Seattle Art Museum designing and implementing programs for art and the environment. Many of my programs take place at the Olympic Sculpture Park and I recently planned our robust Summer at SAM season. Every Saturday morning during July and August, hundreds of guests come to the sculpture park to participate in free outdoor yoga with 8 Limbs. It’s a fantastic and productive partnership. It’s also been a surprisingly rewarding program to work on personally. Imagine hundreds of people, all different backgrounds, ages, and skill levels, moving and breathing in sync to a backdrop of the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound, and a masterful collection of minimalist modern sculpture. The energy of each body emanates through the entire nine acres of the park.

In my job, I often live in a world of thought that is fairly abstract, trying to translate complicated histories and dense art language to audiences through multidisciplinary programs. I also get to play with these ideas, stretch, pull, and bend the boundaries of the expected into the unexpected. Art and the environment is a broad subject that has room to encompass natural, built, and virtual environments. Within the field there is a lot of freedom to explore what it means to have a physical body that is deeply connected to and affected by its surroundings.

Free yoga classes with 8Limbs Yoga in Seattle
Yoga teaches awareness of the body’s relationship to the ground and earth, the space around and between bodies. It is guided by our interactions with nature and the very profound integration of our spirit, our physical makeup, and the cosmos. The Olympic Sculpture Park provides a unique setting for this awareness to take place at the intersections of art, nature, and the city. During practice, there is grass beneath your feet, breeze blowing from the waterfront, mountains in view, and native plants surrounding you. The city is alive and humming with noise from the street, railroad tracks, and neighborhood comings and goings of a growing area. Amid all of this, the park’s collection of modern and contemporary sculpture brings a focal point of creativity to mindfulness. You are, at once, a part of an entire community of systems and reminded of the many inspirations so readily offered if you just pay attention.

“Everything is gestation and bringing forth. To let each impression and each germ of a feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own intelligence and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artist’s life. Being an artist means not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without the fear that after them may come no summer. It does come. But it comes only to the patient who are there as though eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly still and wide.”
–Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

—Leah Oren, Program Associate for Art and Environment, Seattle Art Museum

8 Limbs instructors will teach two free yoga classes every Saturday at SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park at 9 am (All Levels Flow) and 10:30 am (Level I) from July 9 through August 27. On September 10, 17, and 24 we will continue teaching one class at 10:30 am (Level I). There is no yoga offered over Labor Day weekend.

IMAGES: Photos by Robert Wade.

Film/Life: Cary Grant

Cary Grant for President
Thursdays, Jul 7-Aug 11, 7:30 pm
Seattle Art Museum

In this political year we celebrate the fun-loving intelligence and casual, stylish charm of Cary Grant, who critics, authors, and Clint Eastwood call “the best, most subtly brilliant actor in the cinema.” To put it simply, he’s comic perfection.

Of course perfection takes hard work, even for the man who makes everything look easy and elegant. We picture him at age eighty-two, impeccable in a cashmere sweater, lounging in his Beverly Hills garden. Or fifty years earlier, nonchalant in a formal tuxedo, laughing with Katharine Hepburn at a chic Hollywood soiree. But who’s this nine-year-old Archie Leach of Bristol, England, a child of working-class poverty and a traumatic home life? How did Archie grow up to be Cary, “the man from dream city,” as a character calls him in The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer?

A lonely child weary of his parents’ battles, Archie at nine was astounded to come home from school one day to find his mother gone—forever. Unbeknownst to the boy, his father had committed her to a mental institution and Archie had to live with the mystery of her absence. Alienated from his emotionally distant father and bored with school, Archie was a latch key kid fending for himself. Visiting backstage at a vaudeville stage show, he felt at home amid the “smiling, jostling people wearing costumes; they were cheerful and carefree; I had found a place to be, and people let me be there.”

Cary Grant in 1940

Cary Grant in 1940

Escaping from spiritual darkness, Archie made his way into the light-filled world he was born to inhabit. Mature for his thirteen years, bright, tall, good-looking, athletic and graceful, he began touring Britain with a vaudeville troupe, reveling in audience applause, and, eventually, his father’s pride.  Archie performed in New York at age sixteen, and the can-do American spirit, plus the exuberant, self-confident persona of swashbuckling US movie star Douglas Fairbanks, reinforced the English youth’s quest to discover and become his best self. And just as Archie’s vocal accent would become a unique blending of American and English tones, the English wit and sartorial paragon Noël Coward joined Fairbanks as an inspiring example of how to make one’s way through life.

Archie flexed his artistic muscles on the New York stage, singing, dancing, acting, doing magic tricks and acrobatic stunts, and getting laughs. He identified wet, cold weather with the emotional malaise of his Bristol childhood, and he vowed to always live where the sun shone. It was time. The movies were being made in California, so he got in his used Packard and drove cross-country to Hollywood. He knew where he was going and he was about to take a world of delighted moviegoers with him—but he had to do something about that name. He was Archie Leach, but he chose to be Cary Grant. “I played at being someone I wanted to be until I became that person. Or he became me.”

Bringing Up Baby (1938) Directed by Howard Hawks Shown: Katharine Hepburn (as Susan Vance) , Cary Grant (as Dr. David Huxley)

Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Directed by Howard Hawks
Shown: Katharine Hepburn (as Susan Vance) , Cary Grant (as Dr. David Huxley)

July 7: Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938). Our series begins at the pinnacle of screwball comedy, with serious-minded paleontologist Cary Grant at the top of a ladder putting together a dinosaur skeleton. His life is carefully planned: complete his project, get married tomorrow. But can the intrusive, chaotic whirlwind that is Katharine Hepburn and her pet leopard, Baby, show him a more wonderful life? Library of Congress 35mm print, 102 min.

July 14: My Favorite Wife (Garson Kanin, 1940). Bigamy was never so much fun as when Irene Dunne, lost at sea years ago, returns to find her husband (Grant) married to Gail Patrick. Juggling this crazy, comically contentious situation is difficult enough—and then hunk Randolph Scott, who Dunne was shipwrecked with, enters the picture. Library of Congress 35mm print, 88 min.

July 21: The Philadelphia Story (George Cukor, 1940). In this witty triumph for Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and James Stewart, we join Philadelphia aristocrat Hepburn on the eve of her wedding to tycoon John Howard. Her ex-husband Grant, with a bemused light touch, hangs around the periphery letting her know that she’s making an unwise marriage. And newsman Stewart plunges right in, falling for the magnificent woman he’s been sent to report on. Which man Hepburn will choose remains a beautifully sustained question. Features a famous scene sparked by dialogue Cary Grant improvised. In 35mm, 110 min.

July 28: Arsenic and Old Lace (Frank Capra, 1944). Grant’s a master of polite reserve, so it’s a delightful contrast when he cuts loose and dithers about. What’s driving him to distraction? His wacky Brooklyn aunts just might be poisoning visitors and burying them in the cellar. And then sinister Peter Lorre and Raymond Massey come to call. In 35mm, 118 min.

August 4: Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (H.C. Potter, 1948). Jammed into a tiny Manhattan apartment with his wife (Myrna Loy) and two daughters, Grant dreams of a serene house in the country. He impulsively buys an ancient farmhouse, and gets cheated by the real estate agent in the process. Then, as he deals with a deluge of construction problems, the frustrated Grant has to listen to the wry comments of his friend Melvyn Douglas, who has a flirtatious eye for Loy. In 35mm, 106 min.

August 11: Charade (Stanley Donen, 1963). Grant always worked with the best performers, and his only pairing with Audrey Hepburn is a high-style comic thriller. Hepburn has a lot to be puzzled about: her husband is mysteriously dead, there’s stolen money, and menacing James Coburn and George Kennedy don’t wish her well. But one thing’s for sure—at one point she says to Cary Grant, “You know what’s wrong with you? Nothing.” With music by Henry Mancini. In 35mm, 113 min.

—Greg Olson, Manager of SAM Films

IMAGES: © RKO Radio Pictures Inc., Courtesy of Photofest.

Honor MLK at Art & Social Justice Tours

SAM is celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. with a week of spotlight tours, focusing on works on view in the galleries that relate to themes of race and social justice. We invite you to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy here at SAM.

Visit the galleries at noon today through Monday to participate in a different tour each day, led by members of SAM’s curatorial and educational staff:

Jan 13: Carrie Dedon, Modern and Contemporary Art Curatorial Assistant & David Rue, Education and Curatorial Intern

Jan 14: Marcus Ramirez, Coordinator for Education & Public Programs, and Lindsay Huse Kestin, Museum Educator for Teen, Family & Community Programs

Jan 15: Jeffrey Carlson, Collections Coordinator

Jan 16: Pam McClusky, Curator of African and Oceanic Art

Jan 18: Chiyo Ishikawa, Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art and Curator of European Painting and Sculpture

All tours are free and open to all. Participants will need to purchase a gallery ticket, but no special exhibition ticket is required. We invite you to join the conversation.

Image: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library. “Martin Luther King, Jr. (left) and Eslanda Goode Robeson (right).” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 13, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/a7d0e925-f8b7-eff6-e040-e00a18060357

SAM Lights Pro Tips

Our second annual SAM Lights event is happening this Thursday evening, December 17 from 6-9pm! To help you make the most of your experience at this popular event, we’ve come up with a list of pro tips from SAM staff members to ensure a fabulous time is had by your friends and loved ones.

Pro Tip #1: Arrive throughout the evening
The entire evening is filled with art, lights, music, and more. Feel free to arrive at the time that makes sense for you, your family, and your personal preferences!

Pro Tip #2: Get out and enjoy the park beyond the PACCAR Pavilion
Come bundled up and show everyone how Seattle does winter! Take part in the energetic procession of music and light down the Z Path led by the Chaotic Noise Marching Corps at 7:15 pm. Don’t miss your only chance to see Andy Behrle’s light installation, apparition.

Pro Tip #3: Take public transportation
Garage parking will not be available this evening, so be sure to bus to the sculpture park!

Pro Tip #4: Grab a hot drink
Keep toasty while you explore the park’s lights. Buy a warm drink from Taste or Hot Revolution Donuts, or bring your own.

Pro Tip #5: Hang out in the Garage
The Garage will be decked out with lights, DJ Sharlese from KEXP will be spinning for you all night long, and food trucks will be serving up some sweet and savory treats. Check out 314 Pie and Hot Revolution Donuts and take a break from the rain and enjoy your eats in the City Arts Lounge.

Pro Tip #6: Become part of the show
Wear your best light-inspired ensemble and become a part of the art experience.

Pro Tip #7: Take the event program with you
Know before you go by accessing the SAM Lights program from your mobile device at visitsam.org/samlights.

See you there!

Photo: Nathaniel Willson

HAMMERING MAN BECOMES THE “12TH MAN” ON FRIDAY, JAN 16

Show your Seahawks support this Friday, and join Hammering Man as he transforms into the 12th Man! For the third year in a row, we’ll be honoring our hometown team by projecting the number 12 on Hammering Man by artist Jonathan Borofsky.

Wear your Seahawks gear to the museum tomorrow and get in for free!

At 6 pm, we’ll light up the 48-foot Hammering Man at 1st Ave and University St with the number 12.

GO HAWKS.

Image: Joshua Trujillo/seattlepi.com

SAM TALKS: NANDIPHA MNTAMBO

Join the Seattle Art Museum Friday, November 8 in the Plestcheeff Auditorium at 6:30 pm as we welcome Swaziland native artist Nandipha Mntambo for an engaging and enlightening discussion about the art of bullfighting and one’s relationship with cows. Her hide sculptures, performance videos and startling photography put ancient mythology and contemporary reality in a new framework.  Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from the 2011 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner.

Mntambo’s talents include photography, videography, taxidermy and sculpture. Taxidermy and her interest in chemical processing are the backbone for her unique sculptures where she fuses the dichotomy between humans and animals by rendering the female form with the treated hides of cattle.

The artist combines fluidity, nature and femininity to create truly mesmerizing work. One can’t help but wonder how Mntambo creates a fixed sculpture with a tremendous amount of detail from a once pliable cow hide. Take the time to discover more about her inspiration and interests that led to success and international recognition!

Check out the SAM Calendar for more information.

By Hilary St. Clair, Communications Intern

Nandipha Mntambo, Photo: Tim Aguero

SAM Talks With Valerie Steele

Do you consider yourself fashionable? Creative? Curious? Well, whether you’re the world’s next top fashion designer or, like me, just a compulsive shopper, SAM Talks this Friday, July 19, is sure to intrigue, inform, & inspire you.

This SAM Talks will be given by someone that I am particularly excited about, Valerie Steele. For those of you who don’t know, Valerie Steele is the Director and Chief Curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (MFIT) in New York City… but that’s not all! She is also a fashion historian, and has been described as one of “fashion’s brainiest women” and a “High-Heeled Historian!” She has even been on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

… Ha! You thought I was done, didn’t you? Not quite!

Steele is also the renowned author of several books, including that which coincides perfectly with SAM’s current exhibition, Future Beauty: 30 years of Japanese Fashion, Japan Fashion Now. Japan Fashion Now, both the exhibition and accompanying book, were completed in 2010, and explored what has been called Japan’s “fashion revolution,” beginning in the 1980’s.  From this “fashion revolution” emerged an innovative and radical notion of what fashion is, one that played with the unusual, both in terms of materials and design, and the imperfect. 

In this talk, Steele will discuss and analyze this movement by exploring the ingeniousness and influence of Japanese fashion designers, such as Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, and Rei Kawakubo! — These designers (and many, many others) are featured in Future Beauty – Don’t miss the opportunity to expand your knowledge, improve your style, or just hang-out and listen to one of the most interesting people in the world of fashion!

For More Information Visit: http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/calendar/eventDetail.asp?eventID=26286&month=6&day=19&year=2013&sxID=&WHEN=

Caroline Sargent, Communications Intern

Valerie Steele, Director & Chief Curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (MFIT).
SAM Remix

Remix: It’s Got What You Need

As a brand-new intern at SAM, my very first assignment involved getting up close and personal with the details of the upcoming Remix (as in tomorrow, Friday, June 7!), and let me tell you, the night is jam-packed with good stuff. After learning about all the events, activities, and performances planned, it’s no surprise I’m counting the hours until the doors open, and you should be, too!

Every quarter, SAM holds Remix, an after-hours, 18-and-older event, drawing hordes of party-goers to SAM Downtown to get an intimate view of the museum’s latest exhibition, test their own art-making abilities at various activity booths, watch some unbelievable dance performances, and, of course, bust a move (or two, or ten) of their own.

This season’s Remix event is centered on the Modern exhibition The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States and promises to be nothing short of a modern explosion and an event that you don’t want to miss.

Come see SAM after dark, this Friday from 8 pm–midnight, when the lights turn low and the jams turn up.

DJ Riz kicks the night off in the Brotman Forum with an irresistible, groove-inducing variety of soul-meets-pop-meets-hip-hop beats.

As if that weren’t enough reason to linger, the Brotman Forum will also play venue to three performances by Seattle’s Alchemy Tap Project, whose dancers bring a whole new modern flavor to tap dancing.

Want even more dance?

Head up to the third floor galleries for Modern art-inspired dance vignettes by Seattle-based Salt Horse.

While you’re there, take advantage of SAM’s aptly-titled My Favorite Things: Highly Opinionated Tours to get a fresh and highly opinionated (surprise!) look at SAM’s Collection Galleries. With a wide array of knowledgeable and outspoken guides to choose from, the only way you could possibly go wrong with these tours is by not taking one.

After seeing Fifty Works for Fifty States, you’ll no doubt be itching to start an art collection of your own (if you aren’t, you might want to get your pulse checked), and SAM’s got you covered.

Head to the Chase Open Studio area where artist Joey Veltkamp and other local artists will be waiting to create and exchange mini artworks with you in the SAM Mini Fair; grab a FREE Remix tote bag to store your goods!

If all this dancing, art collecting, and opinion-hearing has you feeling wiped, swing by the Rec Room for libations at the bar and some good, old-fashioned (but not) bingo. If you’re envisioning a room in Florida with faded floral prints and a slow-moving ceiling fan, stop right there. This is not your grandmother’s bingo (and if it is, you’ve got one cool grandma).

Hosted by the fabulous members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, this bingo has a modern (art that is) twist with cards featuring pictures of SAM’s favorite modern artworks. One game in, and you’ll be dying to make a habit of it (SAM is not responsible for any pun-related injuries).

With all the excitement and endless stream of options offered, you may just feel like a kid in a candy store. If you want to make that metaphorical candy a reality, TASTE Restaurant is open ‘til midnight to keep your sweet tooth satisfied. Didn’t I say SAM’s got you covered?

Whatever venue you favor, be it the dance floor, the art exhibition and galleries, or any of the numerous SAM creates studios (minimalist jewelry making, anyone?), one thing is for certain: SAM Remix has everything you need to make this Friday a night to remember.

-Carter Stratton, Communications Intern

Photo by Robert Wade.