All posts in “SAM Gallery”

SAM Gallery Artists on Seattle: Enid Smith Becker & Barbara Shaiman

The days are officially getting darker and the work on view the current SAM Gallery show is embracing it. Hanging in the ground floor SAM Gallery is Darks and Lights, featuring Enid Smith Becker, Deborah Bell, Nick Brown, Nichole DeMent, and Barbara Shaiman. The artists in this show contrast darks and lights as autumn turns to winter. Nature’s cycles, retreating to our roots, and finding home are all explored by our premier Northwest artists. Hear from two of the featured artists on what living and working in Seattle means to them and see the show yourself before it closes on November 19. SAM Gallery represents many local artists whose work you can rent or buy. This is one of the numerous ways that Seattle Art Museum supports the arts—by supporting artists.

Enid Smith Becker

My work explores our relationship with the land, time, and space. Despite the different ways each of us approach a place, the land and its beauty is always there. As I paint, I begin with the natural space and into that I layer the rectilinear forms that represent human impact on nature and the different ways that each of us sees the world. One of the things that draws people to Seattle is its natural beauty. As a Northwest native I spend a lot of time outdoors. The paintings in the show Darks and Lights are inspired by places in Washington that we visit on the weekend.

In my work, I am inspired the colors and textures of the natural world. I work in acrylic, but I also build real texture through the inclusion of art paper, junk mail, plant matter, loose-weave cloth, and thread. The constructive nature of combining paint and collage appeals to me. The layering of paint, natural and man-made materials becomes a kind of a metaphorical rebuilding of the land.

 

Barbara Shaiman<

As a ceramic artist whose work references our natural environment and the affect of human activity on it, living in the Northwest plays a pivotal role in my imagery and ideas. Memories of the rock forms, arches, and cave entrances found in La Push and other areas of the Northwest coastline greatly influence my work.

Our relatively easy access to the ocean and mountains is a major part of  my love of Seattle, but I also value the intellectual and artistic stimulation of the city. Environmental justice issues are important to me, as are climate change and sustainability. While being at the coast inspires my awe and my imagery, an evening talking with friends in the city reminds me that we have a lot of work to do to conserve the beauty of our area and enable our neighbors and future generations to enjoy it as well.

While referencing issues such as climate change and  the intersection of natural and human-made environments, I prefer the work to be enigmatic, not to try to supply answers but to encourage us to think about our relationship to the environment with a somewhat altered vision.

Image: Planes, Enid Smith Becker, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48 in. Transition Arch, Barbara Shaiman, glazed stoneware, 15.5 x 16 X 5 in. Photo: Hernan Celis
Share
Work by Harold Hollingsworth

SAM Gallery Artists on Seattle: Harold Hollingsworth

Hear from Harold Hollingsworth, the artist whose work is hanging at TASTE Café in SAM on adulthood and art life in ever-changing Seattle. See how the textures of travel, the shapes of imagination, and the colors of Seattle’s urban ephemera all combine into the abstract and graphic work of this talented SAM Gallery artist. On view through February 4, all the artworks on view in TASTE are available for purchase and SAM members have the option to rent to buy!

The question as to being an artist in Seattle is a ever fluid one in my case. I’ve been here most of my adult life so it’s part of me and I feel a part of her. The city, like myself, is in a constant state of change, trying out new things, celebrating when it can, and admitting mistakes the best it can, openly. I use the city as a partner in collaboration, seeing graphics I can borrow, from a wall with paint or flyers, or a sign coming apart ever so beautifully. I travel away from her from time to time, seeking new inspiration from other places or cities, but I always return and see her again in a new and dynamic way. I’ve had studios in the center of the city and to the south and now the north of her. These places contribute to my work in small and ongoing ways. I keep my eyes open when I move around the city whether on a bike, on foot, or in a car. My camera is always ready for an assist, a sample of something I can use in a new painting—there’s always something available to those who stay attentive.

Harold Hollingsworth, SAM Gallery artist

Photo: Courtesy of Harold Hollingsworth.
Share
The Center Wall Street, Iskra Johnson

SAM Gallery Artists on Seattle: Iskra Johnson, Kate Protage, and Kellie Talbot

Have you read the recent Fall Arts Report, State of the Arts feature in the Seattle Times? The current show hanging at SAM Gallery features three artists whose artwork grapples with Seattle’s layers of history and industry. On view through October 15, Industrial Strength is a visual meditation on the objects, jobs, and people that shape the city. We’ve invited our SAM Gallery artists to get personal and offer their own state of the arts and how it impacts (or doesn’t) their creative output. Hear from Iskra Johnson, Kate Protage, and Kellie Talbot on how Seattle has helped, hindered, and influenced them and their artwork. Each of these artists utilizes the cityscape in their paintings and is fascinated by the unique underbelly of Seattle—from the texture of a wheat-paste wall, to the blur of rain reflections, to long-gone landmarks—Johnson, Protage, and Talbot are paying attention to their surroundings and sharing their thoughts on them with you below.

Iskra Johnson

Shadow Wall, Iskra Johnson

The Calligraphic Street, Iskra Johnson

I am a Seattle native and an unapologetic descendent of the Northwest Mystics. I like the sense of being on the edge of the continent and the brooding state of contemplation the natural environment inspires. The frontier also defines the ethics of my social interactions. I see conversation as a practice of risk-taking improvisation, and my personal motto has always been talk to strangers, how else are you going to make new friends? If I had an MFA I could call this “social practice” and get a grant for walking down the street, but unfortunately it’s just my way of being. I was born with a New York personality in a city of impenetrable Nordic reserve.

My work documenting construction sites might really just be about talking to somebody: these men in orange vests with stickers on their hats are the only people on the street not looking at their phones. Although my prints may look like pure contemplations of inanimate beauty, beneath the architectural structure is a confrontation with urban alienation and a path to transform it. All of my work involves photography in the field, and a bit of personal risk. My favorite social practice moment happened a few weeks ago when I was photographing a fire hydrant. A man shouted at me from across the street, are you that girl who takes pictures of fire hydrants? I saw you here last year. He then told me he has never seen fire hydrants the same way. That made my day.

Kate Protage

Bridge Blues, Kate Protage

Familiar Journey, Kate Protage

I left the corporate marketing world to become a full-time painter about 15 years ago. I live a smaller life now, but it’s a good life, and I’m doing what I love.

I couldn’t do it without Jody and the team at the SAM Gallery. They are so good at what they do that I struggle to keep up! I just focus on creating new work, and they handle everything else with ease and grace. Now if I could only figure out how to create faster! Budget, convenience, inspiration . . . all of these factors play into an artist’s ability to create. A home studio offers convenience, but a studio that’s part of a larger artist community can be a great source of inspiration. It turns out that for me, the best solution is a little of both. My husband Chris (also an artist) and I have work spaces at home, but we also share a small space at Equinox Studios in Georgetown, where we’ve found an incredible support system and a strong sense of community. One of my favorite things about Seattle is that a wide array of artistic trends are considered acceptable and cool. I’m surrounded by talent that reveals itself in a variety of shapes and forms and I feel encouraged to develop my own voice. Hearing that a painting of mine is the first piece of original artwork that someone has purchased is an amazing feeling. It is such a privilege and honor to be the catalyst for creating a new collector.

Making art is not just fun: I work longer hours now than I ever did as a marketer, and it’s hard work. As Seattle has become entrenched as a technology and e-commerce hub, our population has grown by leaps and bounds. I know some the challenges that this brings: as a perpetual renter, I’ve had to move further and further from the “popular” parts of town because they’re no longer affordable or accessible. But that population bump also brings more opportunities to connect and succeed as an artist. We live in a city where the possibilities are wide open.

Kellie Talbot

Boy Bar, Kellie Talbot

Market Liquor, Kellie Talbot

In the 28 years that I’ve lived in Seattle I’ve witnessed dramatic changes to the city. Being a professional artist will always have its challenges. Gone are the days of cheap rent but now we see art walks in every neighborhood—there’s even a touring art bus—so I feel the community has come a long way in supporting local artists. Because of my subject matter, I miss the blue-collar economy of the past—airplanes, fishing, ship building. I miss the general surliness of old Seattle. But this new economy has done more than raise housing costs. It has enabled working artists to sell locally and be a part of a vibrant art scene. The days of the Northwest School seem very romantic but I’m sure that is hindsight. I know they struggled with rent and the cost of living too. There will always be the challenge of balancing earning a living and being able to afford living in the city.

Share

SAM Gallery Artists on Seattle: Troy Gua

The life of the artist is often romanticized and misunderstood. Here at SAM we support artists on an international and local level through hanging their artwork in our exhibitions and installations, creating programs led by teaching artists, and showcasing artists in SAM Gallery where visitors can purchase art to begin their own collection. Learn about the experience of being a contemporary artist in Seattle by hearing from our SAM Gallery artists. First up is Troy Gua whose work is currently on view at TASTE Café in SAM through November 9, 2017. You can also see Troy’s work at the Washington State Convention Center via SAM Gallery through January 15, 2018, as well as at Out of Sight through August 2017 and Feast Art Center in Tacoma through September 16, 2017. Learn more about how living in Seattle impacts this pop-culture inspired, multi-media artist.

Of course, I can only speak for myself when I say that the state of being a working artist in Seattle has never been better. There are those who are struggling and would strongly disagree, but I’ve been fortunate enough to have found a path that works for me and that has developed into a sustainable income and way of life (fingers crossed), and it really all started, and continues, with my partnership with SAM Gallery. They’ve introduced my work to so many collectors—seasoned as well as first-timers just starting their collections with my work, to real estate developers and entrepreneurs looking to activate their spaces with art, all adding layers of engagement and connection that I could only fantasize about without them.

When I first signed on to work with Barbara Shaiman and SAM Gallery in 2009, it was huge for me. They sold a lot of paintings and got a lot of eyeballs in front of my work, but it wasn’t until the gallery was moved (at last!) into the museum building that things really took off. Jody Bento took the reins and honored me with the first show in the beautiful new space, which also happened to be the gallery’s first ever solo show, and it was beyond my wildest dreams. That was December 2013, and since then, the city has exploded in growth.

Now, there are two sides to everything, and urban growth and population explosions have their downsides, to be sure, but I’m looking at it from the standpoint of being given the opportunity to provide more folks with personal and cultural enrichment through art, and boy am I grateful for that opportunity. But I’m also sympathetic and not blind to the fact that the population boom is causing many artists to be priced out of the city, forced to move and they are taking their artistic energy with them, friends included. That’s a lose-lose situation and it sucks.

Having more people in your city doesn’t automatically translate into having more people in your gallery, though, and I know what a privilege it is to be affiliated with a space that is as accessible as an art gallery can possibly be, at the center of the city’s cultural hub, with staff that are engaging and nurturing, helpful and attentive, with not a whiff of pretension. I think the secret (which is no secret at all) is inclusivity. As Keith Haring said, ‘Art is for everyone’, and for those looking for it in Seattle, it’s everywhere.

There’s so much constantly going on that, even for those with the energy and wherewithal to try, it’s hard to keep up with. From the monthly gallery art walk nights in Pioneer Square, Georgetown, Capitol Hill, and just about every other neighborhood in the city, to the special (and oftentimes mind blowing) exhibitions at spaces like MadArt and Pivot in South Lake Union, from the city’s public art programming to DIY art spaces and the bounty of coffee shops, cafés, and restaurants that show local art, it really is everywhere—an abundance of favorable circumstances for folks to express themselves and experience creativity in our beautiful but changing city. Lucky us!

– Troy Gua, SAM Gallery artist

Images: Islands, Troy Gua, digital print and resin, 30 x 48 in. Tahoma (After Hokusai), Troy Gua, digital print and resin, 30 x 48 in. Heartland, from the Immaculate Disaster Series, Troy Gua, 24 x 36 in., digital print and resin.

Share

Printmaking in the Digital Age

What does the word “printmaking” mean in our digital age?

SAM Gallery’s June show, Contemporary Printmakers, supplies answers as varied as the artwork on view.

From the digital images of Stephen Rock and Troy Gua, to the mélange of techniques used by Kate Sweeney and Iskra Johnson, these artists use printmaking for many reasons. On the practical side, Gua says collector demand led him from painting to digital mediums. Meanwhile, Kate Sweeney’s desire is to push a two-dimensional surface into revealing three-dimensional space.

Luck or Chance: Many universes are possible, simultaneous and interpenetrated by Kate Sweeney

Printmaking, simplified, is when an artist works on one surface and then applies or transfers that work to a different surface. You’re probably familiar with how a wood block, an acrylic stamp, or a metal plate can be pressed onto a sheet of paper—this is printmaking. The idea of the repeatable image, or part of an image, has held appeal as a way to reprise elements of an artwork for artists and art collectors for millennia. Think of Andy Warhol and how his repeated gestures are fundamental to understanding the work as well as the artist’s intent.

View Corridor by Iskra Johnson

Today’s printmakers come to the medium for similar reasons but their toolkit includes computers, cameras, traditional print presses, handmade “pressure” prints, photocopies, and just about anything else that can be scratched and used to make marks on a surface. Whether it is the psychedelia of color explosions in Gua, Sweeney, and Rock’s work; or the whisper of minimalism in Rachel Illingworth’s pieces, the printmaking process helps artists tell their story in a multitude of ways.

When Flowers Speak to Clouds by Stephen Rock / From the Terrace (A Study of Edges) No. 6 by Rachel Illingsworth

Johnson says it best: “the process forces a certain surrender of control . . . with work that appears to have ‘arrived’ rather than having been ‘made’.” Her current body of work revolves around the theme of impermanence. Sweeney is contemplating gravity waves, dark matter, and all things quantum-theory related. And although 20th-century artist Agnes Martin didn’t work extensively with prints, it’s easy to see that she is a favorite of Illingworth’s. Gua wants to pay homage to the beautiful imagery and composition of Japanese woodblock prints, but also Northwestern-ize his work by using familiar landmarks.

Artist Curt Labitzke, a University of Washington Art Department Professor who runs the print studio there says his work in this show isn’t a print, but rather a painting. However, he used techniques to bring scratched elements through the back of the paper surface. So is it a print, based on the definition above? SAM Gallery invites you to see this show and decide for yourself.

The show runs June 9–July 7 and features the work of Northwest artists Troy Gua, Rachel Illingworth, Iskra Johnson, Curt Labitzke, Stephen Rock, and Kate Sweeney.

SAM Gallery is located in the lower level of Seattle Art Museum’s downtown location and open the same hours as the museum. All of the artwork is for sale and members can try before they buy, with a low-cost art-rental program.

Images: Somerset (Cathedral), Troy Gua, resin coated metallic chromogenic print on panel, 30 x 48 in. Luck or Chance: Many universes are possible, simultaneous and interpenetrated, Kate Sweeney, acrylic on paper collage with digital print, monoprint, braille print and transfer print, 46 x 49 in. View Corridor, Iskra Johnson, archival pigment print, 33 x 61 in. When Flowers Speak to Clouds, Stephen Rock, pigmented print with watercolor, mounted on board, 36 x 24 in. From the Terrace (A Study of Edges) No. 6, Rachel Illingworth, monotype with Pochoir, 40 x 31 in.

Share

Spring into SAM Gallery for Flourishes

Now on view at SAM Gallery—Seattle Art Museum’s art sales and rental gallery—through April 21 is Flourishes, an exhibition featuring three Northwest artists whose work involves embellishments, ornaments, waves, fonts, and graffiti. We talked with each of the artists to learn how SAM Gallery increases their exposure and finds audiences for their work.

 

"Play of Light" by Nichole DeMent

Nichole DeMent
Exhibiting at SAM Gallery since 2011

What has been your experience of exhibiting at SAM Gallery so far?
I am extremely pleased to have my work as a part of SAM Gallery on an ongoing basis. Not only do I benefit through frequent rentals and sales, but I’m elated that part of my commission goes back to support such an important arts organization as the Seattle Art Museum. The entire staff at SAM Gallery is always welcoming and very professional. They are a joy to work with and I feel extremely comfortable sending friends, clients, and collectors to them.

How has showing your work at SAM Gallery impacted your career as an artist?
The other gallery on San Juan Island that represents my work first saw my work at SAM Gallery, and the staff were generous enough to share my info with her.

 

"Queen Bee" by Harold Hollingsworth

Harold Hollingsworth
Exhibiting at SAM Gallery since 2014

What has been your experience of exhibiting at SAM Gallery so far?
It’s been truly wonderful and encouraging, the enthusiasm for the work I make has made a big difference in my approach and experimentation. I’m very happy here.

How has showing your work at SAM Gallery impacted your career as an artist?
I had been wanting to show for some time, and thanks to the staff and interest by SAM Gallery, I’m able to showcase work that I have been showing out of Seattle, in places like Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Portland, Cincinnati, and Berlin.

 

"Pacific Northwest in Orange 1" by Nina Tichava

Nina Tichava
Exhibiting at SAM Gallery since 2010

How did exhibiting your work at SAM Gallery come about?
I had relocated to Seattle from Santa Fe and was looking for gallery representation—so many people that I met in Seattle referred me to SAM Gallery as having “the best artists in the Pacific Northwest.” I’ve been showing exclusively with SAM Gallery as my PNW representation since 2012.

How has showing your work at SAM Gallery impacted your career as an artist?
Through SAM Gallery my work has been introduced to new collectors (especially young collectors, which is often a “missing” demographic for many commercial galleries) and museum patrons—a much larger community of people who are looking at and experiencing art. Additionally, SAM Gallery has connected and introduced me to countless established and emerging artists in the Pacific Northwest—I often leave a SAM Gallery visit totally inspired to paint and excited to be in a strong, supportive (and growing!) arts community like Seattle.

Interested in buying or renting work from SAM Gallery? Find out more information and browse our inventory, or stop by!

Images: Photo courtesy of Nina Tichava. Play of Light, Nichole DeMent. Queen Bee, Harold Hollingsworth. Pacific Northwest in Orange 1, Nina Tichava.
Share

Rafael Soldi at SAM Gallery

 

 

Rafael Soldi’s photography has a certain sentimentality to it. His work is personal, often portraying himself or those closest to him in seemingly private moments.  He uses photography as tool for coping, understanding and moving through life. In his series, “Sentiment” on view at SAM Gallery in our Summer Introductions exhibition, Rafael has captured a complicated break up with images that chronicle the pain, fear and healing process he’s navigated over the last two years.

 

“Embrace” archival inkjet print

Rafael shoots medium format color film which he then scans to make digital archival pigment prints. Using only natural and available light, his portraits make you feel as though you’re witnessing not something that was composed or fussed over, but a beautiful moment that just happened to be captured.

 

"Bajo Tu Manto" archival pigment print

“Bajo Tu Manto” archival pigment print

Originally from Peru, and then New York City, Rafael now works for the Photographic Center Northwest as their Marketing Director. He notes Matisse, Modigliani and Toulouse-Lautrec as painters that he seeks inspiration from and Harry Callahan as his favorite photographer. Rafael openly gathers inspiration from his friends and colleagues and readily admits that his work is directly influenced by those he surrounds himself with.

"A Step Towards Somthing I Have Yet To Figure Out" archival pigment print

“A Step Towards Somthing I Have Yet To Figure Out” archival pigment print

-Alyssa Rhodes, SAM Gallery Coordinator

On view at SAM Gallery through August 18th.

1220 3rd Ave (at University)
Seattle WA 98101
Tues – Sat 10:30 – 5
206.343.1101

samgallery@seattleartmuseum.org

“I’m Here, Youre There” archival inkjet print
Share

Summer Introductions at SAM Gallery

 I come at painting from the wrong way around. I do not set out to illustrate anything – not an object, a scene, nor an idea. The painting is a record of events in the studio and of experiments both intuitive and calculated – with color, with the physical properties of paint on a surface, and with random shapes and gestures. Throughout most of the process, the subject of the painting is the painting itself. Marks, colors, and shapes accumulate, are modified, are erased by abrasion or layering, are consolidated and connected to one another. Over time a working surface is built, destroyed, and rebuilt.

During the process, as work continues, glimpses of subject matter beyond the canvas begin to appear. Relationships and connections develop between what happens on the canvas and personal memories of dreams, events, and landscapes. The painting moves from an inchoate assemblage of visual elements to “something resembling something,” however abstract. Relationships are built, strengthened, diminished, redrawn.

JoEllyn Loehr, Tumbling Dice, oil on panel

 Within this seemingly random process, there are themes and patterns that recur. The image is oriented to the edges of the canvas. The surface constitutes a shallow field of space established by variations in transparency and intensity. The color black is important to the overall visual structure. There is a balance between finished and raw, dull and bright, areas of gestural activity and areas of calm, between grace and awkwardness.

 

JoEllyn Loerh, Sauseebe 2, oil on panel

Over time I have realized that the paintings echo similarities in structure that can be perceived over vast differences in scale: from microscopic views of insect wings, to geological processes in land formations, and even to hypotheses about the ordering of matter in the cosmos. These structures then are ultimately the subject matter, arrived at more viscerally than intellectually, through the process of painting itself.

 -JoEllyn Loehr

Come see artwork by artists JoEllyn Loehr, Katie Anderson, Leif Anderson, Patti Bowman, Betty Jo Costanzo, David Owen Hastings, Rafael Soldi, Bradley Taylor, and June Sekiguchi in our Summer Introductions exhibition opening Thursday, July 19, 2012.

Join us for the Opening Reception
Thursday, July 19,  from 5 – 7pm

Exhibiton through August 18, 2012

SAM Gallery
1220 3rd Ave
Seattle WA
98101

 206 343 1101

Top photo: JoEllyn Loehr, Steens, oil on panel
Share
Share