First things first, no rollerblading and don’t sell vape juice in the galleries.
Seriously though, we want you to have a great visit to SAM and with Remix (SAM’s late-night, creative night out that is definitely not a party) coming up on Friday, November 15 (tickets are still available, FYI), Weird Dog Productions is here to help outline how to behave at our museum.
Don’t touch the art, leave your selfie sticks at coat check, stay hydrated at the water fountains, and you’ll be an art influencer in no time. And remember, the Seattle Art Museum appreciates you!
“Vulnerability” has been a bit of a buzz word ever since Brené Brown’s TED Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability.” Having watched Brené’s TED Talk and read one of her books, I value vulnerability a lot, but being vulnerable myself can still feel fairly nerve-wracking. So when the other Emerging Arts Leader Intern and I were asked to lead a My Favorite Things Tour, little did I know that the next 10 weeks would also include a road trip down vulnerability lane.
When I first heard about
the tour, I thought this tour would remain in the realm of theoretical,
academic concepts. To be fair, a large part of the process involved researching
the history behind each piece, utilizing resources from SAM’s libraries
(thanks, Traci, Jordyn, and Yueh-Lin!), and meeting with curators (thanks, Pam
and Chiyo!). But along with the historical research, our mentors and
colleagues, Rachel, Seohee, David, and Priya (thank you all!), encouraged us to
delve vulnerably into our stories and weave them into each piece.
Because of this, I began asking myself some questions about my story, including being mixed race. For a while, I’ve been nervous about my voice because being mixed race often feels like a grey area between two distinct points of view and voices in society. But as I worked on the tour, each of our mentors and countless people shared their time, insight, stories, and vulnerability to help me process, ask deeper questions, and craft the content of the tour. Without them, the tour and this blog post would look entirely different.
Not to mention, I’ll
always cherish the times the other Emerging Arts Leader Intern, Cat, and I
practiced nearly 50 versions of our ever-evolving tour with each other. Because
our tours delved into more personal topics, we became each other’s support and
cheerleader through a lot of ups and a few downs. Together, we also arranged
informational interviews with staff across many departments, assisted at events
like SAM Remix, DragonFest, and Summer Institute for Educators, and attended
department and equity team meetings. I learned so much from working with Cat
(miss you!) and love the ways in which SAM values and integrates
Throughout this entire internship, I’ve learned so much about museums, equity work within museums, and about myself. The interdisciplinary focus provided the opportunity to learn about many of the departments that comprise SAM. All throughout and above the galleries, it’s inspiring to see how many dedicated individuals play a role – from fundraising to checking coats to communicating with the press to leading student tours—to make SAM the museum that it is.
I also learned a lot
about equity work in museums that I didn’t know before. I’ve realized that it’s
not enough to know some terms or read some papers or books, but it takes the
vulnerability to ask myself the same questions within these papers. And it
takes the bravery to answer these questions honestly.
SAM gave me a safe space to ask questions and come from a posture of growth and progression rather than perfection. More than ever, I’ve learned how crucial and empowering it is to connect with people who share both similar and different experiences. The ways that SAM strives for equity within education, programming, exhibitions, staff, and every part of SAM is inspiring. SAM is opening up dialogue, asking themselves, and others, critical questions, and aiming to lead and learn with each step towards furthering inclusivity and equity. SAM taught me that it takes vulnerability and guts to genuinely look at equity within ourselves in order to implement equity institutionally and beyond.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who made this internship so special. And guess what? I’m so grateful, honored, and thrilled to continue on with SAM’s amazing Development Team as a Campaign Assistant! See you around!
– Lauren Farris, SAM Campaign Assistant & 2019 Emerging Arts Leader Intern
During my first week as an Emerging Arts Leader Intern at Seattle Art Museum, I was told that by the last week of the internship this reflection post for the blog would be due. I remember thinking, “Oh, that sounds easy enough—just summarize what happened in a paragraph or two.” Clearly, I had no idea what was headed my way. The past week has been an endless cycle of drafting, writing, editing, only to draft again. (You know that feeling of when there’s so much you want to say, and say eloquently, that words and sentences are flying around your mind and you’re scrambling to make sense of them, but you actually just end up staring at the blinking text cursor for an hour? Yeah, that.)
When I reflect on the past 10 weeks of my internship, I imagine having one of those View-Masters (they’re still relevant, right?) and clicking through reels of moments at SAM. It starts with the welcoming faces of everyone I meet coming into view. Then, a whirlwind of back-to-back meetings; getting lost in the labyrinth of the administrative office; storage visits with Carrie (thank you, Carrie!); always pressing the wrong level in the elevator; researching objects; conducting informational interviews with staff; preparing for my My Favorite Things tour; taking part in Career Day, Seattle Art Fair, Summer at SAM, and Remix; and so much more. As if in slow motion, images of my last week include the nerve-wracking day of my tour and saying goodbye to everyone I had the privilege of working with.
I’m surprised how much I changed in this short time span. In the beginning, I thought I knew enough about diversity and equity work from courses at university and my past experiences that I was only focused on giving my perspectives rather than allowing myself to be vulnerable and molded by those far more experienced than I. Working closely with the equity team this past summer, I found myself constantly learning, practicing, and honing the use of an equity lens in my work. I experienced the behind-the-scenes of a museum and community working towards transparency and racial and social equity. I saw every meeting ask how to be inclusive, provide access, and advance equity. There was, and is, so much I don’t know, not only regarding the arts and museums, but also in becoming a better ally for community. Watching and working alongside these amazing and passionate individuals, I’ve come to reevaluate myself, my goals, and my passions on a weekly basis.
What resulted of this reevaluation was the “My Favorite Things” tour I had the privilege of leading (I still can’t believe I led a tour). To close off, I’d like to share a snippet from what I shared at the tour.
“We tend to get easily distracted if an issue doesn’t directly affect us. From this internship and conducting research for this tour the past few weeks, I’ve realized again and again that privilege doesn’t always mean monetary wealth or status. It could be not having to worry about being seen as a threat walking in your own neighborhood late at night. It could be not feeling your heart pound every time you see words like ICE and DACA and UNDOCUMENTED in the headlines. It could be your close friends and family asking you if you’re doing alright and being able to genuinely answer that you’re well instead of brushing it off with an “I’m okay” when you really cried yourself to sleep at night because you’re supposed to have everything under control. Just because it doesn’t affect us directly, doesn’t mean it’s not there nor does it mean it’s less important. As a community, in order to work towards true equity, we have to embrace and endure all pains as if they are our own. We must face our worst selves and acknowledge our lacking. It’s going to be difficult; it will be uncomfortable…but I invite you to join me in this continuing journey of becoming more aware, becoming more responsible, and becoming more informed not only for ourselves but also for each other.”
To everyone I met and worked with this past summer, thank you so much for your continuous kindness, encouragement, and acceptance. I’ve never felt more welcome and cherished in a workplace setting than at SAM. And, thank you for all you do on a daily basis to work for and better our community.
As I walked towards the Seattle Art Museum to begin my Emerging Arts Leader internship, I was excited. I knew I would be working with the education and curatorial departments, but had only the minutest idea of what the internship would entail. At the staff entrance, I saw the other Emerging Arts Leader Intern for the summer nervously sitting on the couch. As Seohee Kim and I began to get to know each other, it was apparent we had many similarities. We are both passionate about immigrant rights and we both originally intended to take a law career track but found ourselves working in the arts, despite the initial backlash from our parents. I didn’t know it then, but Seohee and I would become an inseparable and fierce duo.
Everyone we met was genuine, welcoming, caring, and passionate. I honestly could not believe my eyes, it seemed almost suspicious. The education department glows with kindness and a love for the Seattle Art Museum’s mission to connect art to life. I went to college in Connecticut, and although I was raised in Seattle, I didn’t have many friends or connections with the arts community. This quickly changed. I could share with you about how I gained professional experience using The Museum System to research and organize objects. I could tell you about the meetings I sat in on where my voice mattered and my opinions were valued. I could tell you how I learned about the behind-the-scenes work that most people don’t know about. I could tell you how this internship opened my eyes to a possible career path that I would’ve never known about prior to this summer: exhibition design. I could write about each of these topics, but I want to focus on the amazing events that allowed me to get involved with the Seattle community and touched my heart with the amount of support and healing that took place at these events.
Three events, in particular, had a strong impact on me; the [Black] Power Summit, the Creative Advantage, and Remix. The Power Summit was a health and wellness conference for Seattle’s Black community. The first panel was one on mental health and mindfulness. The panel spoke about generational trauma and the stigma behind mental illness within the Black community. I could relate to these trends within the Latinx community. Often times, our parents work so hard to provide for our families that they dwell in survival mode. When we are raised in households where mental illnesses are stigmatized, we feel as if we are a burden to our family if we bring up issues we may be facing. As we keep hiding, the marble-sized issue becomes a bowling ball. One panelist suggested that we sit with our discomfort and strip it of its power over us. The trauma may still be present in the form of memories or thoughts, but it will no longer have power over our ability to thrive.
If you’ve never been to Remix, just know you’re sleeping! Remix is a beautiful event in which many people come together to share the dance floor, art activities, tours, drinks, as well as their most fly outfits. I loved the art activities, but what really impacted me was the dancing. With performing artists such as the Purple Lemonade Collective, Bouton Volonté, and Randy Ford, the dance floor was throbbing with presence and beauty. When the dancers dipped, catwalked, and, yes, even twerked, a semi-circle formed around them of mainly white allies. Space was created for queer and trans people of color to exist, express their passion, make art, and share joy. As they created magic with their bodies, the viewers cheered and recorded, but mainly they yelled words of encouragement and awe. This wonderful space for marginalized groups to feel at ease within a large group of white folks didn’t feel uncomfortable or unwelcoming though. At that moment, race, gender, and sexuality were being praised and we were allowed to take up space with the knowledge that our allies are there to support us. If I wasn’t so busy sweating through my orange romper from all the dancing, I probably would have shed a tear of joy and love.
The Seattle Art Museum is a highly inclusive environment that truly values racial equity. The institution is not building inclusive spaces or challenging our thinking because it is the trendy thing to do. The Seattle Art museum genuinely values equity work, from the director of the museum to interns like me and Seohee, and in between. This experience was one of healing for me after graduating from an institution on the East Coast that lacked passion for equality and often protests had to occur to demand visibility for underrepresented groups. The Seattle Art Museum is taking a stand and a leadership role to highlight and welcome all identities. When the mission statement says that the Seattle Art Museum connects art to our lives, I understand that they connect art to our lives because they know that our lives matter and want to be a space for healing, learning, and unity.
– Dovey Martinez, SAM 2018 Emerging Arts Leader Intern
“Is it a guttural battle cry? A shriek of surprise? A call across a crowded subway platform to an old friend glimpsed boarding a train? A eureka-like shout of stunned recognition that Armenia is the country whose art you long to appreciate the most of all?”
The solo exhibition of Jono Vaughan, winner of the 2017 Betty Bowen Award, is now on view. Project 42 raises awareness of a persistent pattern of extreme violence against transgender people by commemorating 42 murdered individuals. The show was recently highlighted by both City Arts and Seattle Weekly.
“When Jono Vaughan accepted the Betty Bowen Award at the Seattle Art Museum, she opted not to speak about her own work, as is custom. Instead, she invited three local artists with Native heritage to memorialize Fred Martinez, Jr., a trans-identified Navajo teen who was murdered in Cortez, Colo., in 2001.”
“If the flower in the vase of the 1925 black-and-white gelatin silver print ‘A Shirley Poppy’ could speak, it might say, My heart is wide open. I’ve unfurled my petals so you can see it all. Tracing the valleys of light within the crepe-like petals, one imagines photographer Ella McBride responding from behind her single-lens reflex camera, I notice you.”
The Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice—“the first public museum and memorial to the victims of racial terror in the US”—will open next week in Alabama.
“There is still so much to be done in this country to recover from our history of racial inequality,” says Bryan Stevenson, the founding director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), which spearheaded the project. “We can achieve more in America when we commit to truth-telling about our past.”
He doesn’t do it for the gram—or the Pulitzer. But this was all of us when rapper and songwriter Kendrick Lamar won the prestigious award this week.
– Rachel Eggers, SAM Manager of Public Relations
Image: Installation view of Jono Vaughan: Project 42 at Seattle Art Museum, 2018, photo: Natali Wiseman.
Salesforce consultant, Sans The Tie
Patron member since 2014
What’s your occupation? What are your hobbies or passions? Founder and Managing Director, Sans The Tie. A boutique Salesforce consulting firm. Lover of good wine and espresso, singer of the opening song of the Lion King in different countries while standing on rocks, vegan, and philanthropist in training.
Why do you love art? Art has texture, art has color, art has form, and art has life—and it’s this life that can appeal to so many yet so few at one singular time. That is why I love art, Often pieces are deeply meaningful to some and yet completely irrelevant to others at the same time.
What’s your favorite SAM location? Do you have a special spot to visit? As a new member I have only been able to experience the SAM a few times so I have yet to find a truly favorite place.
I’m so glad that you got involved. We were very involved in the art scene in Dallas. My favorite location in Dallas was the Nasher Sculpture Center because I love sculpture probably more than painted pieces.
I was so excited to find the Olympic Sculpture Park. It’s probably one of the main reasons why we joined as members—to hang out there and do some of the cool, fun member events.
We also did SAM Remix at the Seattle Art Museum just a couple weekends ago actually. It was packed but fun.
What role do you think art plays in society? Do we need art? Are museums important? That’s such a huge question to answer. That’s a really great question because I do not have a long history with art. I never really appreciated art or architecture and all the different styles of architecture, actually, until I met my husband who took me around to all the museums.
I discovered, “Oh, there is this whole other world that I never even knew about or didn’t even think existed in a way that would be meaningful to me.” And through his lens I discovered that there are different types of buildings and architecture. It’s not in a museum, of course, but those buildings themselves are art through the ages.
That’s what really connected me to art—understanding the story and the history.
And then to learn to appreciate Art Deco and what all of the Art Deco buildings really represented, and the parties and the life and the joy that you had. Then to move forward into the Post-Modern era and all the really cool, crazy stuff where people just put a vacuum on a pedestal, and you’re like, “Oh, that’s art!”
So the answer is yes, you need art. Yes, it’s important but that art is going to be something totally different from one person to another.
I think part of the beauty of art is understanding yourself, that lens that you use to view art through, how you find art and its meaning to you.
Membership at SAM is full of perks such as Members Appreciation Night tonight at the Olympic Sculpture Park! Not a member yet? Sign up on Members Night and receive a $10 discount! See you there.
With my summer as a PR intern for SAM coming to a close, I couldn’t leave without giving you a sneak peak of SAM Remix! Just around the corner, Remix promises an evening packed with DJs, dancing, talks and more. And as a first time attendee, I couldn’t be more excited!
Inspired by Sandra Cinto’s Encontro das Águas and Sarah Bergmann’s Portal to the Pollinator Pathway, SAM Remix celebrates stories of the land and seascape with a late night creative explosion on August 24 from 8 pm to midnight. The Olympic Sculpture Park will be alive with the celebratory spirit of Brazilian carnival, dancing, art, games and more!
Kick off the night with Show Brazil! in the Gates Amphitheater, followed by Seattle indie rockers BOAT telling stories of dinosaurs, real-life, punctuation, and the ferocious sounds of lobsters—I don’t think I’ve ever heard the ferocious sounds of lobsters, but I can’t wait to find out! Dance all night as Tigerbeat mixes everything from mainstream pop to local favorites in the PACCAR Pavilion, and under the stars as DJ Riz infuses the waterfront with his soulful beats. And don’t miss the outdoor screening of our favorite thriller Jaws against the backdrop of the Puget Sound—I can’t imagine a better venue!
The park will be filled with creative activities! Make seed bombs to grown Washington wild flowers at home with artist Jeanne Dodds. Remix the sights and sounds of the Olympic Sculpture Park by creating a portable viewfinder with Seattle artists The Unearth Collective. Experience the park in new and unexpected ways on My Favorite Things: Highly Opinionated Tours—The Park After Dark with local artists, curators and more. And come play America’s favorite beanbag toss game cornhole on boards designed by Dumb Eyes. Design sea adventure hats with Seattle artist Romson Bustillo for your next nautical adventures—I’m gathering inspiration from Cinto’s Encontro das Águas, a piece that celebrates our planet’s most precious resource: water.
Like Encontro das Águas, one of Remix’s very own co-hosts, the Center for Environmental Law and Policy (CELP) is committed to preserving Washington’s water resources. Suzanne Skinner, executive director at CELP, said this about their role in Washington:
We have been watching the country burn this summer and we are now seeing Cle Elum fight rampant fires. The impacts of climate change are upon us—and in the West—where water has always been in short supply—that means more demands for our increasingly short supplies. We need water for everything. The Center for Environmental Law and Policy (CELP) is Washington’s water watchdog. We bring our water law expertise and passion to help citizen groups and tribes throughout the state to protect their rivers, streams and aquifers. From what we learn from people working on the front lines, river by river, aquifer by aquifer, we advocate for science based, sustainable water management in the legislature, in the courts and with government agencies. Now more than ever, we need to work together to protect our water resources.
You can browse the links below to find out more about the CELP or any of our other rad cohosts.
We will party rain or shine, so please dress for the weather, as many tents will be located outside throughout the park.
Every Remix is different, so be sure not to miss it!
P.S. Don’t forget that the first 50 guests at the door in aqua blue get in FREE.
Hey there! It’s Natalie Dupille, SAM’s newest PR intern. I’m excited to be working here, and even more excited for tomorrow—and not just because June 1 is my 21st birthday. Tomorrow is Remix, SAM’s hippest quarterly event, and it promises an evening jam-packed with performances, talks, dancing, DJs, and more.
I’m totally intrigued by Seattle band Midday Veil, who will be fusing mesmerizing, hypnotic rock meditations and vibrant projections to grace us with unique multimedia performances at 9:00 and 10:45 pm in the South Hall. On top of that, there’s the collaborative music and art installation by SAM and Olson Kundig Architects, inspired by the Theaster Gates exhibition, which runs through July 1. Join us in the Chase Open Studio, where, in addition to listening stations and hands-on activities, DJ Riz presents the Stairway to Vinyl Listening Party, where he’ll spinning LPs from the Record Store’s robust collection of records throughout the evening.
Remix is also a great opportunity to check out SAM’s newest exhibit, Ancestral Modern, an exuberant exhibition of contemporary art from one of the world’s oldest living cultures that includes more than 100 artworks created by Australian Aboriginal artists in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Cellist Paul Rucker will be creating “Sonic Interpretations” live in Ancestral Modern at 9:15 and 10:30 pm tomorrow, a surefire way to experience an already rousing exhibition.
Having never before attended Remix, I am thrilled to not only be able to attend, but also to be a part of this exciting event. Looking forward to all that and more, hopefully my enthusiasm is contagious, and I will see you there!
PS- The first 50 people in rainbows get in for free. Rock that ROYGBIV!