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SAM Art: Members lecture Wednesday

The daughter of a prominent Chinese figure painter, Lu Wujiu instead chose to work in the United States, and to focus her practice on abstraction-based visual language. Lu has been praised for her ability, “to see the analogies between traditional Chinese attitudes and the vigour of contemporary western abstract expressionism” (Professor Reverend Harrie Vanderstappen, University of Chicago).

This series is inspired by a 26-verse poem written in the mid-17th century, wherein the poet reflects on life’s meaning during the dynastic change from Ming to Qing. The poem begins with the beauty of Lake Yuan (in modern day Zhejiang province in southeastern China), in spring, as the poet passed by a mansion where he stayed with a friend ten years before. This mansion now belonged to someone else, just as the Manchus now had control over China, allowing the poet to lament the sufferings in this world which were beyond one’s control.

Echoing 17th-century woodblock illustrations of epic novels, these 26 images are by turns semi-representational, emotional, and referential. As such, the paintings focus on providing a pictorial homage to the deep sentiments of the poem, rather than treating it as an historical narrative.


Members Art History Lecture Series: Josh Yiu
June 20, 2012
7–9 pm
Plestcheeff Auditorium, first floor, SAM downtown

Josh Yiu, Foster Foundation Curator of Chinese Art, speaks on SAM’s Chinese art collection, including this recent acquisition.

The Song of Lake Yuan (detail), 1993-2005, Lu Wujiu (Chinese, lives and works in U.S.), ink on paper, 23 1/4 x 25 3/16 in., Gift of Wu-Chiu Lu and Shih-Du Sun, 2012.7.2.9, © Lu Wujiu. Not currently on view.

My Senior Project: Hanging out with SAM’s Teen Advisory Group

My name is Angela Scoggins and I’m a senior at Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences. For 6 weeks I will be interning at the Seattle Art Museum working in the education department. You might be wondering why I am working instead of going to school. Well during the last 6 weeks of the school year seniors in our school have the opportunity to intern at any place they desire in Seattle. I am really into arts, particularly photography and guitar, and I hope next year I can continue learning and pursuing it. I decide to intern at the Seattle Art Museum.  What better place to doing something with art than at an art museum? So far since I started I have been working closely with the Teen Advisory Group. TAG is a program where teens use leadership skills to plan tours and events at SAM.   I’m looking forward to seeing what is still in store for the future.

In the last few meetings, the teens learned the dos and don’ts of giving a tour. We started with an activity called “Perfect Day.” Every teen drew a picture of their perfect day, then we put them on the board for everyone to see. The teens had  the option to show their picture and explain their perfect day. Some had really fun ones such as going to outer space or riding a dinosaur through the streets of Paris. Others, such as myself, pictured a day on the beach in the sun or reading a good book on a rainy day. There were lots of laughs and humor as people explained their drawing. Having everyone explain their perfect day gave them a chance to act as if they were giving a tour.  By knowing their art and being able to explain it they demonstrated skills in giving tours.

Once the ice breaker was over we moved on to another topic; the 5C’s of giving a tour: confidence, clarity, conduct, content and connect.  The skits proved to be one the best parts of the day. Everyone split up into 5 groups to correspond with the 5C’s of giving a tour. Each group had to use their word and come up with a skit that showed a positive and negative example of the word being used during a tour. Most of the skits were pretty funny, especially the ones that included the Clorox box. One of the groups used a Clorox container they found in the art studio to show content or lack of it. To show content they talked about the Clorox box and its origins. They said Clorox was invented because it was so dirty in the past that they needed something to clean with.

At the end of the day the teens split up into groups of four, and hit the galleries to write about artworks that interested them. The majority of the teams decided to find works by their favorite artists, while other focused on a theme. Themes varied from the role of women in art to American Culture and featured works from the African, European, Northwest Coast, and Contemporary galleries.

I had an wonderful experience with the teen program the last 6 weeks. I got to do what I enjoy and be around people my own age who are also interested in art. My senior project was great. It was an amazing learning experience.

Happy Earth Day!

If you liked Earth Hour then you’ll love Earth Day (it’s like 24 times better than Earth Hour). While Earth Hour challenged people to make lasting change, Earth Day is a celebration of all that we have achieved and a look forward to differences we can still make.

SAM has already made a number of changes in an effort to be more sustainable. They include:

  • Reduced the museum’s carbon footprint, including cuts in energy use, paper conservation, and waste reduction
  • Switched to 100% recycled copy paper
  • Earned Salmon-Safe certification of land management practices at the Olympic Sculpture Park. (Watch this video of Gardner Bobby McCullough employing one of those practices)
  • Supported SAM’s museum educators in designing art activities that use repurposed, recycled and non-toxic supplies
  • Created a culture of sustainability within SAM, including meeting with departments to identify barriers to “going green”

And now that it’s Earth Day, the SAM Goes Green team isn’t letting this opportunity go by without challenging our coworkers to continue moving forward and establishing more green habits. This week we are asking SAM staff to pledge to make a difference. We’re going to track the changes they make at home and at work and offer incentives for the most actions taken. A little positive reinforcement will hopefully encourage big change!

-Liz Stone, Operations Assistant/Digital Media Support Specialist

Specter, 2011, Gretchen Bennett, American, b. 1960, blown glass, hemp rope, Photo: Robert Wade

Last Call for Color

Time is running out to bring your collection of lids in to the Olympic Sculpture Park!

In Trenton Doyle Hancock’s wildly fictitious narrative, color is the source of salvation to a race of creatures who are seeking spiritual nourishment. For his installation, A Better Promise, Hancock playfully encourages you to pour color into his work by bringing plastic tops in all colors. The plastic caps add a whole spectrum of light into the installation and, for Hancock they “are in a way the surrogates for the color salvation.” As the artist has said, this installation “has to do with hope, color, connecting with people, connecting with community.” And you all have shown that he’s definitely connected with this community. Read More

Win Tickets to see Thelma Schoonmaker!

We’re still on an Oscar-high here at SAM, and to celebrate we’re giving away a pair of tickets to see a set of fab films (The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp and Peeping Tom) and as a big bonus you also get to see celebrated film editor Thelma Schoonmaker! It really doesn’t get better than this if you are into film.

Martin Scorcese’s Oscar-winning editor and the widow of director Michael Powell will will present the West Coast premiere of Powell and Pressburger’s freshly restored The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, as well as Powell’s latest masterpiece, Peeping Tom. Schoonmaker will introduce both films and answer audience questions. And all you have to do to win tickets is to answer the below question correctly by 5 pm Thursday, March 1. From the correct answers we’ll randomly select and announce the winner on Friday, March 2.

Thelma Schoonmaker and Martin Scorcese first worked together at:

A. Woodstock

B. The Newport Jazz Festival

C. A Shakespeare in Central Park production of Macbeth

D. The Monterey Pop Festival

Give us your best guess – good luck!

– Calandra Childers, Communications Manager

Record Store Listening Party Schedule for January 10-13

TUES | January 10

6:30 PM

Selector: Joshua Kohl, Degenerate Art Ensemble Co-Artistic Director/Co-Founder

Joshua Kohl has created original works for dance, silent film, concert ensembles, “classico-punk-big band” shows and street performances and has collaborated extensively on the creation of invented instruments used in DAE performances. Kohl has performed extensively throughout the U.S., as well as in the Netherlands, Italy, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, and Germany, with the support of Arts International Fund for U.S. Artists and the Mid-Atlantic States Foundation’s U.S. Artists International. In addition to his work with Degenerate Art Ensemble, Kohl has created scores for the San Francisco-based dance theater company inkBoat; for a commissioned performance of c(h)ord (2008) at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Tale of Two Cities (2007) and Night Flight (2007–2009) for Seattle’s Book-It Repertory Theatre; as well as Twelfth Night (2007) and The Beard of Avon (2007) for Portland Center Stage. In spring 2011 Kohl will perform with Haruko Nishimura at the Center for Performance Research in New York City, and he will be in a residency with DAE at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center: A Laboratory for Performance, Long Island, New York.

WED | January 11

6:30 PM

Jonathan Cunningham and Rich Jensen, Hollow Earth Radio, Last Night’s Mixtape, Metro Times Music Blog

Cunningham is bound to make you think, talk and move just as he does in on Hollow Earth Radio – the weekly radio show that features music and conversation connected to Seattle’s musical hot bed known as the Central District. Broadcasts “could include anything from Jimi Hendrix to Ernestine Anderson to Ray Charles to Vitamin D to Shabazz Palaces to Wheedle’s Groove or a conversation about gentrification…they aim to unearth a local gem each week from yesteryear that more contemporary listeners need to know.”

THURS | January 12

6:30 PM

Selectors: Randy Engstrom, Founding Director of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center and Chair, Seattle Arts Commission and a Few Good Friends

Randy Engstrom is a dynamic arts leader with a vision for the new frontier. Originally from Chicago, he first arrived in the west in 1995 to attend Evergreen State College and moved on to Seattle post-graduation. During his time in the Pacific Northwest region he has helped found numerous creative ventures and organizations including serving as the Founding Director of the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center and Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. Randy continues to develop innovative programs that help support and nurture vibrant communities through his consulting practice, Reflex Strategies.

The Record Store is a temporary extension of the Theaster Gates show housed in a storefront in Pioneer Square. A collaboration between SAM and Olson Kundig Architects, the Record Store is open for the general public to browse the robust collection of records and play albums for the entire store or listen in a small group.

While nothing is for sale in the store, the exchange of ideas and concerns is encouraged. The goal is for the Record Store to function as a cultural commons where ideas, issues and moments in time are discussed, debated or responded to.

The Record Store will feature a series of “listening parties” with guest DJs, artists, community folks, dancers, musicians, urban planners, activists, etc. Each “selector” will borrow from the same collection of LP’s or brings a few of their own records that act as the sound track that illustrates their ideas. Irruptions might take various forms including: debates, writing or dance classes, silent reading, tastings, workshops, to-do-lists or a sermon.

[storefront] Olson Kundig Architects
406 Occidental Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98104

Tues| Wed | Thurs
12 – 4 pm and 6:30 – 9:00 pm