Muse/News: Thrilling Ali, Wake Floats, and Craft is Art

SAM News

Amelia Ketzel pens a “love letter” to Anida Yoeu Ali’s performance-based works for Variable West—part of a recurring series for the platform for West Coast art. See Hybrid Skin, Mythical Presence now at the Seattle Asian Art Museum!

“Ali’s presence is thrilling and completely engrossing: what will these colorful entities do next? Where will they go? Where can they go?”

Check this out: Last week, The Seattle Seahawks and Delta Airlines visited the Seattle Art Museum to surprise Yaoyao Liu, SAM Manager of School & Educator Programs, naming her a “Delta Community Captain” for making a difference with her work to support arts education

Local News

The Seattle Times returns to its This City Block series, this time visiting Ballard. Rachel Gallaher features “3 must-visit Ballard museums and art galleries.”

Sarah Stackhouse for Seattle Magazine reports back from Visit Seattle’s annual meeting that the city of Seattle is “again the place to be,” with an increase in visitors nearing pre-pandemic levels.

In her latest ArtSEA post, Crosscut’s Brangien Davis remembers the late Richard Serra with a visit to Wake at the Olympic Sculpture Park

“Narrowed at the base of what might be the prow and stern, the five rusted steel forms seem to move as a flotilla, impossibly balanced as a giant ship on water — how does it stay afloat?”

Inter/National News

Via Artnet: “The Door From ‘Titanic,’ Too Small to Fit Two People, Sells Big at Auction.” (“Too small”??)

Faye Hirsch for Art in America on the retrospective of Käthe Kollwitz now on view at the Museum of Modern Art. 

Joyce J. Scott: Walk a Mile in My Dreams opened last week at the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA). Baltimore Magazine interviewed Scott to preview the retrospective, which was co-organized by the BMA and the Seattle Art Museum and opens here this fall. 

“I’m an artist-craftsperson. I don’t separate them. I’m always doing both. It’s the same impulse, the same creative feeling or setting that makes me make a cup and makes me make a piece of sculpture. There’s not a hierarchy that I ascribe to.”

And Finally

In case you missed our big announcement.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Alborz Kamalizad.

Muse/News: Must-See Smith, Seattle U Gift, and Finally Gilot

SAM News

“3 must-see shows by Indigenous artists in Seattle this spring”: Gayle Clemans for The Seattle Times recommends Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Memory Map among two other exhibitions at the Frye Art Museum and the Henry Art Gallery.

“Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (citizen of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation) has been a force in the art world for over five decades, creating deeply impactful work and opening doors for the increasing recognition of contemporary art by Native Americans.”

And don’t miss Elizabeth Hunter’s “mother-daughter review” of the exhibition for Seattle’s Child, featuring insights from Smith, reflections on the works on view, and tips for how to make the most of a museum visit with your family.

Spring is here, and so is a new edition of The Stranger’s Art and Performance Magazine featuring a dazzling Anida Yoeu Ali on the cover. Inside the magazine—which you can pick up around the city—catch the interview with Ali that covers “absurdity, grief, the diasporic dilemma, cosmogonies, and Dune.” (Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Memory Map is also among the mag’s recommendations.)

Local News

Via Jas Keimig for South Seattle Emerald: “New Seattle-based podcast Invisible Histories explores the history of Seattle—specifically South Seattle—that might not always be readily apparent or celebrated.”

Seattle Magazine rounds up a bevy of spring arts recommendations around the city, including Calder: In Motion.

“Seattle University gets $300 million gift of art — among largest in history”: Margo Vansynghel of The Seattle Times announces exciting news for the city’s arts scene. 

“The collection—which spans more than six centuries and contains prime examples of Western art history—will serve as a resource for students, faculty and art enthusiasts across the city, said Seattle University President Eduardo Peñalver. ‘I think it’s a win-win for Seattle University and for Seattle,’ he said.”

Inter/National News

The New York Times sends a chorus of three critics—Jason Farago, Travis Diehl, Martha Schwendener—to the Whitney Biennial.

Via Artnet: “Forget Kate Middleton’s Photoshop Blunder: Here Are Other Royals Who Had Their Portraits Edited.”

Via Rhea Nayyar for Hyperallergic: “Picasso Museum Is Showing Françoise Gilot’s Work, Finally.”

“In a press interview regarding the new display, Musée Picasso President Cécile Debray noted that Gilot was at last ‘being given her rightful place as an artist’ at the Parisian institution through this special exhibition of her work.”

And Finally

“What Your Bookshelf Organization Says About You.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Chloe Collyer.

Muse/News: Surreal Dreams, Found Imagery, and Women Artists

SAM News

“Jaune Quick-To-See Smith’s vision of America celebrated in Seattle Art Museum retrospective”: Saint Bryan of KING5 Evening spoke with the groundbreaking artist as her landmark show opens at SAM.

For her latest ArtSEA post, Brangien Davis of Crosscut—soon to be known as Cascade PBS—features local women artists as we welcome Women’s History Month. She shared impressions from her first look at Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Memory Map.

“At the press preview, decked out in all-black clothing and Doc Marten boots, Smith shared her many Seattle connections…‘Being here at Seattle Art Museum is a surrealistic dream for me,’ she said. ‘I keep pinching myself.’”

The exhibition is also on The Stranger’s list of “Best Things to Do in Seattle This Month.”

Nick Ng of My Edmonds News spoke with artist Andy Eccleshall about Luminosity, his new show at SAM Gallery. Erik Bennion, SAM Gallery Manager, was interviewed for the story. 

“His use of light and eye for composition is what really struck me. He is an incredible painter, depicting the Northwest in a fabulous way. What more could you ask for?”

Local News

For South Seattle Emerald, Jas Keimig has your “Arts in the South End” round-up for happenings in March.

Art Beat, the blog of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, shares information on DREAM TEMPLE (for Octavia), a new exhibition opening March 7 at ARTS at King Street Station.

Via Gayle Clemans for The Seattle Times: “At Seattle’s Henry Art Gallery, a powerful exhibit by Hank Willis Thomas.”

“Trained as a photographer, Thomas now uses found imagery (particularly old ads), textiles, sculpture, video and photographic works, and collaborative practices — whatever it takes to get us to look closely and think deeply.”

Inter/National News

“We are not letting the horror be forgotten”: Stephen Smith for The Art Newspaper on the opening of the Museum of Civilian Voices in Kyiv, Ukraine.

ARTnews finds the angle: “Sad Oompa Loompa from Viral Wonka Experience Draws Comparisons to Manet Painting.”

Artnet’s Jo Lawson-Tancred on the launch of “Museums with Men,” a series of audio guides for US and UK museums from art historian and podcaster Katy Hessel.

“Hessel’s voice will expertly navigate audiences towards works by underrepresented artists that might be otherwise lost in a sea of Old Masters and macho modernists.”

And Finally

“It turns out California’s famed burger chain has some Washington in its secret sauce.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Alborz Kamalizad.

Curator Foong Ping Invites You to Look Again

“I looked really carefully at the object; I found a Chinese character that nobody has noticed before.”

– Foong Ping, Foster Foundation Curator of American Art

Look Again is a new series that joins curator Foong Ping as she uncovers mysteries and celebrates hidden details of beloved works in SAM’s collection.

In the above video, Foong gets you up close with the Dragon Tamer Luohan, a dynamic 14th–century wood statue that has been in the museum’s collection since 1936. The sculpture is now on view in the “Bringing Blessings” gallery of Boundless: Stories of Asian Art at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. In this exhibition, works across cultures and time periods tell diverse stories of Asia in a series of thematic galleries.

According to Chinese Buddhism, Luohans (also known as Arhats) are the original disciples of the Buddha. They are enlightened beings with distinctive pursuits and supernatural powers. In this video, Foong discusses her discovery of a Chinese character on the sculpture that no one had noticed before. The character identifies this Luohan as a tamer of dragons—a creature long associated with life-giving, spring rains. Ping also notes her favorite part: His gritted teeth as he summons the dragon from the heavens with a powerful hiss.

And don’t miss the first edition of Look Again, in which Foong introduces you to the nearly 1,000 pound, earthquake-proof Buddha statue—with tiny elegant feet—that stands in the Alvord Park Lobby and gazes out upon the surrounding Volunteer Park.

Stay tuned for more art discoveries with Foong Ping in future episodes to come!

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Muse/News: Living Color, Art Home, and Sargent’s Fashion

SAM News

“Artist, Agitator, Bug”: For University of Washington Magazine, Shin Yu Pai writes about Anida Yoeu Ali: Hybrid Skin, Mythical Presence, now on view at the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

“Ali notes that the themes in her work, like the history of war, trauma and genocide, are not frequently presented in mainstream cultural institutions. She seeks to be politically provocative and aesthetically remarkable while also conveying playfulness and joy.”

Former Seattleite Leslie Kelly returns for a fun-filled weekend for the Spokesman-Review’s “Going Mobile” series, making stops at the Olympic Sculpture Park and the Seattle Art Museum to see Calder: In Motion, The Shirley Family Collection.

Via Seattle Met: “Artist Cristina Martinez Shares Her Favorite Seattle Spots”—including the Seattle Art Museum. 

“As a family we spend a significant amount of time there…I always make my kids show me their favorite and least favorite piece.”

Local News

The Seattle Times’ Margo Vansynghel brings you “6 Seattle photo exhibits to see in March.” Shout out to Jo Cosme, a former Emerging Arts Leader Intern in Graphic Design at SAM; go see her show at 4Culture!

Crosscut Now takes you behind the scenes of Seattle Opera as it prepared to debut X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X. See it there now through March 9.

Elizabeth Hunter and her daughter Cora continue their explorations of cultural spaces; this time, they visit Wa Na Wari in the Central District to enjoy art…and cookies. 

“These little reminders of home—a claw foot bathtub, the smell of food cooking in the kitchen—are what make Wa Na Wari such a memorable art venue. No matter where you are, you are reminded: This is a home.”

Inter/National News

Via Colin Moynihan for The New York Times: “What’s in a Name? For This Rembrandt, a Steep and Rapid Rise in Price.”

Big news for the museum field: “Marilyn Jackson Named the New President and CEO of the American Alliance of Museums.”

Jo Lawson-Tancred for Artnet on Sargent and Fashion, which is now on view at Tate Britain in London after a successful run at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

“Like an antidote to the avant-garde, Sargent’s paintings have a timeless charm owed to his uncanny ability to bring subjects to life on canvas… Walking through the galleries, one feels almost like they are stepping into a century-old conversation between fully sentient figures.”

And Finally

“Bartell’s has always been more than a drugstore.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Chloe Collyer.

Muse/News: Heroic Art, Eco-Feminist Trash, and Harlem at the Met

SAM News

Anida Yoeu Ali: Hybrid Skin, Mythical Presence is now on view at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. For NW Asian Weekly, Kai Curry highlights Ali’s experiences bringing sculptural garments to life in real-world contexts.

“As a society, we don’t talk enough about the heroism of artists. Of what an artist like Ali risks in order to ask the hard questions—and to force the public to ask them as well. Strip searches, theft, violence…These interactions, though surreal, are real. They give the artist and the audience insight into who the artist is—but also into who we are.”

Via Karen Ho for ARTnews: “A Vast Gift of Calder Sculptures Could Change the Seattle Art Museum—and the Surrounding City—Forever.”

Kids at home? Yulia Fiala for Seattle’s Child has you covered with “21 fun things to do for midwinter break”—including a visit to Calder: In Motion, The Shirley Family Collection.

Local News

KING5 Evening interviews artist Juliana Kang Robinson about her special edition Seattle Kraken logo created for Lunar New Year. Robinson is a teaching artist with SAM, and you can also see her work on the crosswalk art at First and University.

Via Jadenne Radoc Cabahug for Crosscut: “From 2020 to now: 4 Seattle Black activists reflect on their work.”

In the latest edition of “Artists to Know,” The Seattle Times’ Margo Vansynghel profiles Marita Dingus and her sculptures made of discarded materials. Her work is in SAM’s collection.

“Saving these materials from the landfill isn’t just a means to a waste-reducing end: Dingus considers herself an environmental, feminist artist steeped in African American art traditions and a belief in ecological and racial justice.”

Inter/National News

Artnet’s Brian Boucher on a witty gesture rendered in an asparagus stalk by Édouard Manet. 

Via Holland Cotter of The New York Times: “The Met Aims to Get Harlem Right, the Second Time Around.”

“The museum isn’t framing the show as an institutional correction, though how can it be viewed otherwise? At the same time, it’s more than just that. It’s the start — or could be — in moving a still-neglected art history out of the wings and onto the main stage.”

And Finally

“The dog who deserves an Oscar.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Abbey Road, The Red Chador: Genesis I, Main St. & 102nd Ave, Bellevue, Washington, USA, 2021, Anida Yoeu Ali, Cambodian American, b. 1974, archival inkjet print, Image courtesy of the artist, © Studio Revolt, photo: Dylan Maddux.

Muse/News: Ceramics Competition, Black History, and Ai’s Memory

SAM News

“Celebrates everything that goes into the work of the performance artist”: For Observer, Dan Duray features Anida Yoeu Ali: Hybrid Skin, Mythical Presence, now on view at the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

On Seattle Met’s list of “Things to Do in Seattle”: Last week’s Saturday University on February 10, which features a lecture and performance exploring the transmission of spiritual knowledge, or ilmu, in East Javanese performing arts.  

Local News

Seattle Refined interviews Aaron Murray for their “artist of the week” series. You can see some of his clay creations at SAM Shop. 

“Otherworldly landscapes and an upside-down volcano”: Another excellent round-up of arts happenings from Crosscut’s Brangien Davis. 

Thanks to Jas Keimig for this “Event Guide to Black History Month 2024” from South Seattle Emerald. Mark your calendars!

“It’s February, which means it’s time to highlight and uplift the rich history, culture, and traditions of Black people in the United States. We even have one extra day this year (Feb. 29, it’s a Leap Year!), which means you have ample time to make your plans…”

Inter/National News

Karen Ho for ARTnews reports on the arrival of “The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down,” a new reality competition television show for ceramics on CBC guest-judged by actor Seth Rogen. The article mentions another judge, ceramicist Brendan Tang, whose work is in SAM’s collection and on view now in Chronicles of a Global East.

Via Min Chen for Artnet: “Airplane Mode: 7 Artists Who Were Nerds for Aviation.” Yep, Alexander Calder is on the list for his moving sculpture at JFK Airport and his designs for jets.

Jonathan Landreth for the New York Times interviews Ai Weiwei about Zodiac, the artist’s new “graphic memoir.” 

“The idea was to gather things from my memory, like a timeline, and offer mystical stories from China’s past. I explained it as a mix of memory and mythology.”

And Finally

Let’s “watch this” again.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Jo Cosme.

Muse/News: In-Between, Music Hook, and New Supper

SAM News

Anida Yoeu Ali: Hybrid Skin, Mythical Presence is wowing visitors to the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Crosscut’s Brangien Davis features the exhibition in her ArtSEA post. And don’t miss Annie Atherton’s interview with Ali for Seattle Magazine, in which they discuss nuances of identity and the role of humor of absurdity in her work. 

“We’re told that fragmentation is having to split our Asian-ness or our American-ness, our bicultural identities—that we have to become more whole. What I’m teasing out is what I call the diasporic dilemma. What I’ve figured out for myself, is that the in-between space, working in fragmentation is how I’m whole.”

The Seattle Times’ Margo Vansynghel reports on new NAGPRA regulations that require institutions to conduct more consultations with Native tribes before exhibiting or researching Native cultural objects. At SAM, five objects in the Native American galleries have been taken off view and information has been posted in the galleries to encourage dialogue on this important process.

“For now, SAM says it is committed to working with tribes in reviewing its collection. This process is to ensure the institution is in compliance with the new law, a spokesperson said, as well as the museum’s own policies around ethical collecting and display and its goal of strengthening its relationships with Indigenous communities and other ‘communities of origin.’”

Local News

Crosscut’s Brangien Davis also gathered up recommendations for Black History Month.

“How Did January Become Summer Camp Season?” asks Seattle Met’s Allecia Vermillion. Hot tip! SAM Camp registration opens on February 16 at 5 pm. 

Rachel Gallaher for Seattle Magazine on how Totem Star, a non-profit music organization for youth, is filling up its new location in STATION SPACE at King Street Station.

“‘Music is the hook,’ [Totem co-founder Daniel] Pak says. ‘It’s what you see. It’s what we do. But Totem Star is also a place for our artists to find who they are. We’re creating a safe space for people to be loved, build community, and find each other. We want to help these young people grow into the best versions of themselves.’”

Inter/National News

Via Maximilíano Durón for ARTnews: “Ruth Asawa’s Life as an Aspiring Artist Gets the Graphic Novel Treatment.”

Walker Mimms for Hyperallergic on a “fluent and accessible new book” that explores the pivotal court case when artist James Whistler sued critic John Ruskin

BRB, buying a ticket to London. Jo Lawson-Tancred for Artnet on “How Tavares Strachan Reimagined Leonardo’s Last Supper.”

“Inspired by one of art history’s best known paintings, Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper (ca. 1495–98), the mammoth bronze sculpture imagines a convivial gathering between notable historical figures from Africa and its Diaspora who, in reality, never met because they were separated by time and place.”

And Finally

“Chihuahua named WA’s top dog breed.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Alborz Kamalizad.

Muse/News: Dragon Year, Gum Pete, and Art Gardens

SAM News

Julie Dodobara for ParentMap recommends “Lunar New Year Events for Seattle-Area Kids and Families in 2024,” including the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s celebration on Saturday, February 3. Ring in the Year of the Dragon with us!

While there, you could also take in the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s exciting new exhibition, Anida Yoeu Ali: Hybrid Skin, Mythical Presence. In her new Seattle Magazine column, “Social in Seattle,” Linda Lowry highlights several area events that combined community and art, including the opening events with the artist. For UW Daily, Avery Cook writes how the Tacoma-based artist “blends art and activism to spark important conversations.”

“Vibrant images, breathtaking videography, and genuine artifacts from the performances are on display to demonstrate their influence and cultural significance.”

Seattle Museum Month kicks off this week, reports Emily Molina for 425 Magazine. During the month of February, Visit Seattle partners with area museums for half-off savings. Molina mentions Calder: In Motion, The Shirley Family Collection at the Seattle Art Museum as one of the shows you can see during the month. And ICYMI: Christie’s includes the exhibition on their list of “the best exhibitions and openings of 2024: North America.”

Local News

Crosscut’s Brangien Davis celebrates five years of the weekly ArtSEA post (congrats!) with ideas for forest bathing in tree art, including the Enter the Forest show that opens this Wednesday at SAM Gallery.

Moira Macdonald of The Seattle Times interviews actor and Seattle theater alum Lily Gladstone about her historic Oscar nomination

 The Seattle Times on oft-viral local artist Rudy Willingham’s latest project: “Sticky Pete Carroll mural honors the gum-chomping former Seahawks coach.”

“‘There was something about the gum I thought was so funny,’ Willingham said. ‘He always had gum in his mouth, running up the sidelines, it reminded me of a little kid. I loved how much he enjoyed the job and his childlike enthusiasm.’”

Inter/National News

Laurel Graeber for the New York Times on Artland: An Installation by Do Ho Suh and Children at the Brooklyn Museum, “an ever-expanding fantasy world designed and molded by children.”

ARTnews’ Alex Greenberger reviews Multiple Realities: Experimental Art in the Eastern Bloc, 1960s–1980, now on view at the Walker Art Center.

Emily Steer for Artnet asks, “Are gardens the art of the future?”

“Some artists, however, have taken these interests a step further, elevating the idea of gardening to an expansive, awe-inspiring effect. These artists combine ambitious organic or digital plants with music, poetry, and scientific collaboration.” 

And Finally

The Milwaukee Public Library is the best thing on social media right now.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Chloe Collyer.

Muse/News: Ali’s Debut, New in Old, and Cornell Gifts

SAM News

Anida Yoeu Ali: Hybrid Skin, Mythical Presence has made its dramatic debut at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Jim Dever of KING5 Evening shares this story: “Tacoma artist Anida Yoeu Ali transforms herself to transform others.” Mike Davis of KUOW includes the show in his “list of new art exhibits challenges and inspires.” The exhibition was recommended in a recent Stranger Suggests and in this fun video by The Ticket. And Craig Sailor reviews the show for The News Tribune and its South Sound readers: “Tacoma artist with reputation as global agitator now has solo show at Seattle Art Museum.”

“‘I’m constantly fluctuating between the insider/outsider perspective at any one point,’ she explained Tuesday during a press preview of the show. ‘I’m never quite the person that people expect me to be, whether that’s a local or a foreigner, an insider to a culture, or an outsider, whether I’m here or there.’”

Conde Nast Traveler includes the Seattle Art Museum on its list of “The 16 Best Things to Do in Seattle,” calling out the “well-curated” exhibitions throughout the space.

Speaking of SAM’s collections galleries: American Art: The Stories We Carry was referenced in Artsy’s feature, “15 Leading Curators Predict the Defining Art Trends of 2024.” Marina Isgro of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden name-checked SAM’s 2022 reinstallation of its American art galleries as a trendsetter for other institutions.

Local News

Charles R. Cross offers this remembrance of a Seattle legend: “Susie Tennant, early champion of Nirvana and other bands, dies at 61.”

Get ready for “10 must-see Seattle art shows in February 2024” recommended by the Seattle Times’ Margo Vansynghel.

Brangien Davis’s recent ArtSEA post highlights creative organizations that creatively repurpose old spaces.

“Alongside the city’s constant expansion, arts venues tend to be in flux, always coming and going. Many take a hermit crab approach, making homes in old buildings that lost their original purpose amid the changing times.”

Inter/National News

“A Fire at a Seattle Gallery Destroys Works By Picasso, Rembrandt, and Goya”: A fire at Davidson Galleries made national news, including this from Artnet’s Adam Schrader.

The Olympic Sculpture Park is nominated for Best Sculpture Park in USA Today 10Best’s annual readers’ choice awards. Public voting takes place now until February 19. Maybe you’d like to make your voice heard?

Via Deborah Solomon of the New York Times: “National Gallery of Art Receives Major Gift of Joseph Cornell Boxes.”

“…Cornell seems perfect for the nation’s capital because his story is so archetypally American. He was obstinate, cranky and consumed with the beauty of common objects; he persisted with his art in the face of enormous loneliness. Living with his mother and his disabled brother, he found his inspiration in the work of other artists and dedicated his boxes to figures ranging from the composer Franz Schubert to the poet Emily Dickinson to the television actress Patty Duke.”

And Finally

Art But Make It Sports never misses.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: L. Fried.

Muse/News: Performance Art, Feminist Masks, and 2024 Must-Sees

SAM News

Anida Yoeu Ali: Hybrid Skin, Mythical Presence opens this Thursday at the Seattle Asian Art Museum! The Seattle Times included the exhibition on its list of “most anticipated Seattle exhibits of 2024,” and Gayle Clemans interviewed the artist for a preview of the exhibition, which celebrates two of Ali’s performance-based works, The Buddhist Bug and The Red Chador.

“‘This humorous creature provides a lot of joy to people,’ Ali said in a recent interview. ‘It’s really beautiful to see how approachable this entity is, especially amongst children and families. ‘The Buddhist Bug’ has a way of softening people and eliciting curiosity.’”

And it’s the final week to see Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence. Here’s Allyson Levy for International Examiner on the hugely popular exhibition.

“Ukiyo-e was considered low-brow art due to the highly reproducible nature of woodblock prints, which reigned supreme during the movement. Woodblock prints allowed artists to create a high volume of prints that they could sell cheaply. Even so, the level of detail and sophistication of technique found in woodblock prints is awe-inspiring.”

Looking back: The Seattle Times included Calder: In Motion, The Shirley Family Collection on their list of “top Seattle-area arts and culture happenings of 2023.” Hot tip: The exhibition is on view through the summer—and it rewards repeat viewings.

Local News

Shin Yu Pai for University of Washington Magazine on Cheryll Leo-Gwin’s solo show, Larger Than Life, now on view at The Jack Straw Cultural Center, which “features large-scale colorful prints that use the Chinese coat as a recurring motif.”

Crosscut’s Brangien Davis welcomes 2024 with an overview of colorful shows on view at Seattle galleries.

Via Susan Platt for International Examiner: “Ceramicist Hanako O’Leary interweaves Shinto mythology with feminist ideology.”

“…We experience a powerful feminism that looks at women holding each other and life size masks transformed from historical traditions to suggest the many sides of strong women.”

Inter/National News

A New York Times interactive exploring “the very personal collections that seven artists left behind.”

Hyperallergic names “The Top 50 Exhibitions of 2023,” including the major retrospective of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith that debuted last year at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Your chance to see this groundbreaking exhibition is coming soon, when the exhibition opens at SAM on February 29.

Artnet names “12 Must-See U.S. Museum Shows in 2024,” including Joyce J. Scott, Walk a Mile in My Dreams, a retrospective that debuts at the Baltimore Museum of Art in March before heading to SAM this November. 

“‘Joyce J. Scott’s sophisticated and virtuosic use of a wide range of materials brings beauty and biting irony to bear on subjects ranging from the traumatic to the transcendental,’ the show’s co-curators, Cecilia Wichmann and Catharina Manchanda, said upon announcing the show last summer.”

And Finally

Weird cats of art history.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Live Performance of The Buddhist Bug at Wei-Ling Contemporary Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2019, Anida Yoeu Ali, Cambodian American, b. 1974, Image courtesy of the artist, photo: Nina Ikmal.

Muse/News: Museum Gifts, Unique Bonsai, and Emotional Maps

SAM News

Lee Carter for Artnet on Calder: In Motion, The Shirley Family Collection at SAM, sharing reflections from collectors Jon and Kim Shirley about Alexander Calder’s art and why they wanted to gift their collection to SAM.

“Ultimately, it was important to keep the Alexander Calder pieces together, all at SAM. ‘Museums are great public institutions,’ said Shirley. ‘For years we have lent our Calders to exhibitions in other parts of the country and around the world. It’s clear to me that museums are where they belong and we should work as hard as we can to make museums vital institutions.’”

The Stranger includes SAM Gallery’s Printing the PNW show on their list of “best bang for your buck” events. We can’t say it better than them:

“After peeping legendary Edo-period Japanese ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai’s woodblock prints, paintings, and illustrated books (yes, including Great Wave, plus a LEGO interpretation of it) on view at Seattle Art Museum, why not drop by SAM Gallery to scope out Japanese-inspired prints created by local artists?”

Local News

“Cinerama — ahem, SIFF Cinema Downtown — is back”: The Seattle Times’ Moira Macdonald reports from the reopened theater.

Crosscut’s Brangien Davis’s latest ArtSEA post bids farewell to Wier Harman, recommends Black Nativity at Intiman Theatre, and spotlights some solstice events. 

Here’s NW Asian Weekly on Irene Taylor’s new HBO documentary about a unique 82-year-old bonsai that lives at the Pacific Bonsai Museum.

“… its seeds were sent to Japanese American Juzaburo Furuzawa during his internment under Executive Order 9066 in World War II…The Furuzawa Pine gained international attention in February 2020 when it was stolen from the Pacific Bonsai Museum, only to be mysteriously returned less than 72 hours later.”

Inter/National News

Revisit “The Defining Art Events of 2023,” courtesy the editors of ARTnews.

The Art Newspaper offers this remembrance of sculptor Richard Hunt, who passed away at the age of 88. 

“A World Map With No National Borders and 1,642 Animals”: The New York Times’ Natasha Frost on cartographer Anton Thomas’s “Wild World.”

For Mr. Thomas, this equates to a kind of “emotional geography,” where features with greater emotional heft — the New York City skyline, say, or the Golden Gate Bridge — may take up more space. “There are animals the size of mountain ranges on my map,’ he said. ‘But you know what? The African lion should tower over Kilimanjaro, if we’re drawing an emotional map.””

And Finally

What is a solstice, anyway?

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Installation view of Calder: In Motion, The Shirley Family Collection, Seattle Art Museum, 2023, © 2023 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, photo: Chloe Collyer.

Muse/News: Cora’s Take, Arts Funding, and Guide Dog Art

SAM News

“The shadows look like airplanes!” That’s 7-year-old art critic Cora Hunter on Alexander Calder’s Little Yellow Panel (1936). Read all her impressions in Elizabeth Hunter’s “mother-daughter review” of Calder: In Motion, The Shirley Family Collection. Hunter also features insights from Jose Carlos Diaz, exhibition curator and Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art, and Anna Allegro, Associate Director of Education.

In their “Things to Do” list, Seattle Met highlights Printing in the PNW at SAM Gallery, which features local printmakers as a companion show to the museum’s exhibition of Japanese prints, Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence.

And speaking of SAM Gallery: It got a shoutout from curator Jeremy Buben in “How to give art as a holiday gift in Seattle,” an article by Margo Vansynghel of The Seattle Times. 

“‘For $100, you can rent an artwork at SAM Gallery [the art sales and rental gallery of the Seattle Art Museum] for three months,’ he said. ‘Perhaps this is the nudge your friends need to start getting excited about art; plus, it’ll get them involved in picking something out to temporarily live with.’”

Local News

Crosscut’s Brangien Davis shines a light on “10 photo shows that bring light to Seattle’s dark days.”

Did you see The Stranger’s Keep Warm guide? It’s got tips, recipes, interviews and more.

“King County OKs sales tax increase for ‘transformative’ cultural funding.” The Seattle Times’ Margo Vansynghel reports on the council’s approval of “Doors Open,” a new levy.

“…the Metropolitan King County Council unanimously approved a new levy that will provide hundreds of millions in funding to arts, heritage, science and historical preservation nonprofits over the next seven years.”

Inter/National News

“Unsung Women Fashion Designers Finally Get to Strut at the Met”: Artnet’s Raquel Laneri on the Women Dressing Women exhibition.

Maximilíano Durón of ARTnews on “the best booths at Art Basel Miami Beach.”

Via Hilarie M. Sheet for The New York Times: “Her Guide Dog Inspired Her Art. Now the Lab Stars in a Museum Show.”

“It celebrates her 13-year-old guide dog, London, and their mutual dependency. ‘I protect her and she protects me,’ [artist Emilie] Gossiaux said. On a more universal scale, her art seems to remove barriers between animals and the rest of the natural world.”

And Finally

Via AP: “Photographs capture humpback whale’s Seattle visit.” As the whales breached Elliott Bay waters, we spy The Eagle and the Olympic Sculpture Park in the background!

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Installation view of Calder: In Motion, The Shirley Family Collection, Seattle Art Museum, 2023, © 2023 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, photo: Alborz Kamalizad.

Muse/News: Vital Traditions, CID Santas, and Zen Mona Lisa

SAM News

At the close of Native American Heritage Month in November, Megan D. Robinson for Art & Object highlighted “10 Must-See Artworks by Indigenous American Artists at the Seattle Art Museum.” 

“Works by contemporary artists are displayed with older historic pieces, creating a visual dialogue that continues throughout the museum…This gives a sense of cultural continuity and showcases the vitality of Indigenous arts and crafts—the very real living tradition of artistic creation in the Native community—while placing it firmly within the greater realm of worldwide arts and culture movements.”

Hannah Mwangi visits Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence for Seattle University’s Spectator, speaking with fellow visitors about their impressions of the exhibition. And Seattle Met includes the exhibition on its list of Things to Do, calling out the free docent tours available every Saturday and Sunday through the run of the show, which closes after January 21.

And Smithsonian Magazine writes up the “expansive” Calder: In Motion, The Shirley Family Collection exhibition.

Local News

“ArtSEA: Seattle is brimming with holiday shows”: Crosscut’s Brangien Davis has you covered—in rhyme, no less!—with a poetic round-up of holiday happenings.

Here’s even more festive recommendations, including into the South End, from Jas Keimig of South Seattle Emerald.

Tat Bellamy-Walker of The Seattle Times on the two new Santa Clauses who will be at the Chinatown International District’s Wing Luke Museum for its annual CID Santa photo day.

‘We know that’s what creates goodness,’ [Wing Luke Executive Director Joël] Barraquiel Tan said. ‘We know that’s really what true public safety looks like — when we’re all here together on a regular basis. So, if an Asian American Santa is the clarion call for that, let it be that. We need joy at this time.’”

Inter/National News

Brian Boucher of Artnet brings you “12 Famous Artists Offer Life Advice.”

ArtReview is out with its annual Power 100 list. Catch up on what it means, how they decide, and who made the list.

Via Will Heinrich for The New York Times: The “Zen Mona Lisa” makes a “once-in-a-lifetime trip” to the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco for three weeks only.

“An irregular lineup of five orbs, with a sixth in front, absent any background or context and rendered only in tones of gray, the piece, approximately a foot square, exemplifies the kind of stark simplicity and attunement to nature that Americans found so bracing in Zen. It also illustrates just about any Buddhist concept you would care to name.”

And Finally

Via Seattle Met: “Christmas Lights Road Trips in Washington.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Chloe Collyer.

Muse/News: Interesting Pictures, Ritual Objects, and Girls in Windows

SAM News

Here’s Margo Vansynghel of the Seattle Times with arts recommendations for December, including Elizabeth Malaska: All Be Your Mirror. The solo show features tour-de-force paintings by the 2022 winner of SAM’s annual prize for Northwest artists, the Betty Bowen Award.

“Malaska’s brushwork is at once vigorous, detailed and patterned, then loose and almost abstract or even droopy and distorted. The result is beautiful, unsettling and varied — and paints a much more interesting picture.”

“A theatrical new Calder exhibition staged in Seattle”: Don’t miss Elena Goukassian’s take for The Art Newspaper on Calder: In Motion, The Shirley Family Collection. She highlights the thoughtful curatorial choice to “frame his works as a delightfully subtle kind of performance.” ) She also mentions the playlist drawn from Calder’s own record collection.)

“These are all displayed in a newly configured gallery that features individual “stages” for the larger works, vitrines for the smaller ones and “overlook” balcony views—all with an eye towards spotlighting their theatrical nature.”

For the subscriber-only Airmail, Osman Can Yerebakan interviews the Shirleys and relays the story of the first time they heard Dispersed Objects with Brass Gong make a sound. (Are you patient enough to wait to hear it in the galleries?)

ICYMI! “Legendary Children Brought the House Down”: Jas Keimig and Susan Fried capture the magic for South Seattle Emerald.

Local News

It’s dark. Seattle Met helps with “Where to See Holiday Lights in Seattle.”

For her weekly ArtSEA post, Crosscut Brangien Davis features “art, film, and food to honor Native American Heritage Month.”

“Chehalis artist explores cultural appropriation of Native regalia”: Gayle Clemans for The Seattle Times on Selena Kearney: object/ritual, now on view at Solas Gallery.

“After shifting to a more conceptual art practice, Kearney has thought carefully about how much information to reveal in an image and how much to conceal. In this series, all of the photographs are taken in crisp detail with vivid color, as if they are beautiful documents of cheap, often offensive cultural relics.”

Inter/National News

Via Artnet: “5 Massive Pop Culture Moments From 2023 That Remind Us of Renaissance Paintings.”

Via Artdaily: The first New York solo exhibition for Natalie Ball—featuring never-before-seen works—just opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Ball was the winner of SAM’s 2018 Betty Bowen Award and her work is now on view at SAM. 

David Segal for The New York Times on Girls in the Windows (1960) by Ormond Gigli, a photograph that people keep buying and buying.

“He’s working without an assignment because he wants to memorialize those buildings, which stand directly across the street from his home studio. What he doesn’t know is that the image will become one of the most collected photographs in the history of the medium.”

And Finally

Another video from the Calder Foundation archives: The first performance of Work in Progress at Teatro dell’Opera, 1967–68.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Alborz Kamalizad.

Muse/News: Spotting Calder, The Other Curtis, and Smith’s Curation

SAM News

“Seattle Art Museum Becomes the Alexander Calder Destination with Shirley Family Collection”: Chadd Scott of Forbes tells you everything you need to know about Calder: In Motion, The Shirley Family Collection and the future of Calder exploration at SAM.

“By any standard, Calder is an essential. He’s one of the few artists who most people have seen, even if they don’t know it, or his name. They’ve seen his work on the street or in a museum or in a book or on TV. And once introduced, they’ll never forget it–‘oh, that’s a Calder!’”

Ann Binlot of Galerie highlighted the journey of Jon Shirley’s collecting of Calders.

“‘He created a whole new art form,’ said the collector. ‘He created sculpture that’s open to hang in space and incidentally move. There’s just something about how my brain works that I really enjoyed being with the works.’”

José Carlos Diaz, exhibition curator and Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art, appeared on New Day NW to fill host Amity Addrisi in on this exciting moment at SAM when you can see both Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence and Calder: In Motion.

And at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, you’ve got just two weeks left to see Renegade Edo and Paris! Here’s Bob Knetzger for Boing Boing’s take on the prints exhibition.

“It’s a real treat to get to see up close the amazingly precise and exquisitely small Japanese woodcuts—and have them right next to the GIANT lithographed posters advertising Parisian shows and entertainers.”

Local News

The Seattle Times’ Tat Bellamy-Walker—along with videographers Kevin Clark & Lauren Frohne—sits in on a rehearsal of the Jafra Dabke Team, a Seattle-based Palestinian dance group, who performed at LANGSTON this weekend as part of a cultural education and community event. 

“Ties that bind”: Shannon M. Lieberman for Oregon ArtsWatch on a new gallery show of works by Omak, Washington-based Joe Feddersen.

Knute Berger and Stephen Hegg revisit an earlier Mossback Northwest episode, “The Other Curtis Brother,” examining the regional photographer Asahel Curtis. It turns out that the episode generated many new Curtis finds from the public, which the Washington State Historical Society is working to digitize. 

“The digitization is going well but slowly, Berger reports: ‘They can do about a hundred images a day.’ But amazing discoveries are being made already: ‘They’re finding everything from news photos [to] promotional photos of landscapes, pictures of all kinds of people in all walks of life.’”

Inter/National News

Via Brian Boucher of Artnet: “Help! 7 Times People Got Trapped Inside Artworks—Whether by Choice or by Accident.”

“Meet the African Artists Driving a Cultural Renaissance”: Dive into this New York Times multimedia project by Abdi Latif Dahir and Veronica Chambers, part of a larger series on “how Africa’s youth boom is changing the continent, and beyond.”

ARTnews’ Alex Greenberger on the National Gallery of Art’s exhibition of contemporary Native art, “organized with grace” by the artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. (Hot tip: you can see Smith’s dazzling retrospective at SAM next spring!)

“[The exhibition] proves that Native American artists cannot be pigeonholed into one aesthetic—or even one medium—and that their output has taken up the painful remnants of colonialism via a range of subjects. Smith’s exhibition also demonstrates that the struggle for land rights continues to impact not just the objects these artists make, but their outlook on the world as well.”

And Finally

Still digging in the archives thanks to the Calder Foundation: “Sculpture and Constructions, 1944 by Herbert Matter.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Installation view of Calder: In Motion, The Shirley Family Collection, Seattle Art Museum, 2023, © 2023 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, photo: Alborz Kamalizad.

A Monumental Gift Goes On View: Inside Calder: In Motion at SAM

“How can art be realized? Out of volumes, motion, spaces bounded by the great space, the universe.”

– Alexander Calder

This November, SAM begins a long-term commitment to Alexander Calder, the American artist celebrated for revolutionizing sculpture with his renowned mobiles and stabiles. Earlier this year, SAM announced the incredible gift of more than 45 seminal Calder artworks by longtime supporters Jon and Kim Shirley. Their magnificent collection—one of the most important private holdings of Calder’s art—is the result of 35 years of thoughtful collecting. 

Now on view at SAM, Calder: In Motion, The Shirley Family Collection thematically highlights pieces from every decade of Calder’s career, dating from the 1920s to the 1970s. The exhibition also includes examples of Calder’s works on paper and an oil painting, among other media, representing the expansiveness of his oeuvre. Sections devoted to his artistic experimentation, natural forces and dynamics, and the artist’s lasting contribution to modern art are also featured.

“As truly serious art must follow the greater laws, and not only appearances, I try to put all the elements in motion in my mobile sculptures. It is a matter of harmonizing these movements, thus arriving at a new possibility of beauty.”

– Alexander Calder

To accentuate the artist’s exploration of height, scale, and movement, the exhibition is installed in the museum’s double-height galleries—a unique space for large-scale works with several overlooks from the floor above. The exhibition design captures a sense of movement, with an S-shaped, curved wall that wraps around the iconic 22-foot-tall sculpture Red Curly Tail (1970) and divides the galleries into a series of vignettes illuminating the exhibition’s themes and highlighting the lyricism of Calder’s creations.

Elsewhere on view are the oil painting The Yellow Disc (1958), a medium that Calder engaged with throughout his career but is not nearly as well known as his sculpture; Untitled (Métaboles) (1969), a mobile the artist created as part of a stage set for a ballet; and Fish (1942). The latter, a significant work from a rare series of mobiles created during and after World War II when metal was scarce, is made of wire framing and found materials.

The central gallery traces Calder’s career, highlighting his achievements across the miniature and the monumental. The expansive Toile d’araignée (1965), an airy, monochromatic mobile hovers over several artworks, including the masterful standing mobile Bougainvillier (1947).

“That others grasp what I have in mind seems unessential, at least as long as they have something else in theirs.”

– Alexander Calder

The final gallery considers the artist’s legacy, with works that demonstrate Calder’s accomplishments throughout his most productive decades and his impact on the evolution of modern art. It includes Untitled (1936), Little Yellow Panel (ca. 1936), Jonah and the Whale (ca. 1940), Untitled (ca. 1942), Constellation with Red Knife (1943), Yellow Stalk with Stone (1953), and Squarish (1970). This gallery also serves as a bridge into the museum’s modern and contemporary galleries.

The Shirley family’s generous gift will also inspire public programs exploring Calder’s artistic practice. Events are planned for both the Seattle Art Museum and the Olympic Sculpture Park and will include talks, tours, performances, art-making workshops, and a family-friendly festival—stay tuned for more details!

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

This article first appeared in the October 2023 through January 2024 edition of SAM Magazine and has been edited for our online readers. Become a SAM member today to receive our quarterly magazine delivered directly to your mailbox and other exclusive member perks!

Image: Bougainvillier, 1947, Alexander Calder, 1898-1976, sheet metal, rod, wire, lead, and paint, 78 x 82 x 54 in., Promised gift of Jon and Mary Shirley, © 2023 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, photo: Nicholas Shirley.

Muse/News: Calder Surprises, Cultural Space, and Native Knowledge

SAM News

“A tender new show at the Seattle Art Museum will delight and surprise Calder newbies and connoisseurs alike.” Margo Vansynghel of The Seattle Times reviews Calder: In Motion, The Shirley Family Collection, which is curated by José Carlos Diaz, SAM’s Susan Brotman Deputy Director of Art. The review appeared in print in the Sunday edition.

“These days, so many institutions find themselves competing with the tumult on our screens or with immersive “museums” where visitors take selfies in front of LED walls. Here, nothing shouts. You can take these sculptures in all at once, but consider taking your time to follow the minuscule movement of a small perforated disc or a wispy metal petal as they react to the movements of our bodies in space. Your patience will be rewarded.”

Crosscut’s Brangien Davis featured the Calder exhibition in her ArtSEA post, sharing details about Calder’s Seattle connections and collector Jon Shirley’s assertion that “everything looks better here than in our house.” 

“Calder wasn’t a fan of imposing “meaning” on his works, preferring instead that they be experienced in the moment—enjoyed for their… physicality and wonder. You’ll have plenty of chances to do so, as this show is the first in a Shirley-funded plan for annual exhibits, programming, and collaborations, including with artists influenced by Calder.”

And Kurt Schlosser of Geekwire spoke with collector Jon Shirley about the former Microsoft executive’s love of in-person art. 

“Shirley said Calder’s hands-on creation of art always appealed to him, and while artificial intelligence is a big deal at Shirley’s former company and across the tech and cultural landscape, art remains a physical creation in his view.”

Local News

Grace Madigan of KNKX reports that ArtsWA has approved grants for 17 arts programs serving military communities and veterans.

Seattle Met names The Boat its “Restaurant of the Year” for how sisters Quynh and Yenvy Pham brilliantly renewed their family’s restaurant’s history as Seattle’s first pho shop.

Dominic Gates of The Seattle Times shares news of another exciting opening event: a new cultural hub for five youth-focused community organizations in the historic King Street train station.

“Olisa Enrico, executive director of the Cultural Space Agency that developed the project, called it ‘a new home here for young artists to thrive, a safe haven for artistic expression.’ It will feed the ‘dreams of young minds, who will find inspiration and a sense of belonging here,’ she told the diverse audience. ‘You belong here.’”

Inter/National News

Via Andy Battaglia of Art in America: “Nicholas Galanin’s Pointed Public Sculpture Inspires Glorious Noise in New York.”

“In quiet yet scrupulous detail, the exhibition asks how the US National Park Service (NPS) shapes the narratives it tells about this country and the lands it claims”: Alexis Clements for Hyperallergic on a new show at LA’s Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI).

Taylor Defoe invites Jaida Grey Eagle to highlight four key works now on view in an exhibition she guest-organized: In Our Hands: Native Photography, 1890 to Now at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. 

“‘I don’t look at this as a beginning,’ Grey Eagle said, alluding to the colonialist logic of racing to be the first to put a name on something. ‘I look at it as an acknowledgment. There have been many people who have dedicated their lives to this medium and I don’t ever want to erase their work.’ The show, she went on, is about ‘honoring the knowledge that has been there and that museums have failed to support.’”

And Finally

Another gem from the Calder Foundation archives: “From the Circus to the Moon” (1963) by Hans Richter.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Installation view of Calder: In Motion, The Shirley Family Collection, Seattle Art Museum, 2023, © 2023 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, photo: Alborz Kamalizad.

Muse/News: Hokusai’s Fame, Culture Streetcars, and Caravaggio’s Cardsharps

SAM News

José Carlos Diaz, SAM Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art, was interviewed for KING5’s Evening Magazine about Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence, from the Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which is now on view at SAM.

“Hokusai’s probably an artist you’ve always known. You know him for the Great Wave, but he’s also one of the most famous artists of all time.This exhibition has almost 300 works that represent the artists Katsushika Hokusai, but also his peers, his pupils, his rivals, and also the influence he had on Europe as well as contemporary culture today.”

On Saturday, the Seattle Asian Art Museum hosted the Diwali Family Festival. KING5 News’ Angeli Kakade previewed the event on Friday’s broadcast, and Nicole Henao, SAM Manager of Teen & Family Programs, appeared on the Saturday morning news to share all the details (did you catch it?). 

Jas Keimig for South Seattle Emerald with recommendations for arts events in November, including Legendary Children on November 17 at the Olympic Sculpture Park. This celebration of queer and trans BIPOC communities is produced with many partners.

Local News

“At this Green Lake dive bar, karaoke is a cathartic, unifying experience”: Nathalie Graham for the Seattle Times with a moving read. 

Crosscut’s Brangien Davis gets you ready for the Big Dark in her latest ArtSEA post, including an update on the just-christened SIFF Cinema Downtown’s opening date. 

Joshua McNichols and Mike Davis on the proposal for a streetcar line through downtown Seattle that would connect cultural institutions

“Putting the streetcar line at the center of this arts renaissance is not just a gimmick. It turns out there’s a strong correlation between the presence of the arts downtown and transportation, whether it’s streetcars or single occupancy vehicles.”

Inter/National News

Claire Selvin for ARTnews on the Whitney Museum of American Art’s new show on Ruth Asawa that focuses on her works on paper. 

“Collectors Marilyn and Larry Fields make ‘landmark gift’ of 79 works to MCA Chicago”: Ruth Loepz for The Art Newspaper reports on a gift of art “predominantly by woman-identifying and BIPOC artists.”

“There’s Much More to Caravaggio’s ‘The Cardsharps’ Than Vice”: Katie White of Artnet takes another look at the masterpiece, now on view in Chicago.

“The painting is mischievous, the older conman’s face comical in expression, and we feel ourselves rooting, with a bit of a smile, for the bad guys.”

And Finally

Let’s dive into the Calder Foundation archives: “Works of Calder, 1950 by Herbert Matter.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Alborz Kamalizad.

Muse/News: Spooky SAM, Haunted Seattle, and Macabre Prints

SAM News

“A ghosthunter’s guide to the Seattle Art Museum”: Just in time for Halloween, Crosscut’s Brangien Davis finds the scary scenes of the legendary Hokusai, now on view in Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence, from the Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

SAM is the best! But don’t take our word for it: Seattle magazine’s readers said so in the just-announced annual spotlight on the best of the city.

Local News

Via Seattle Met’s Eric Nusbaum: “Nancy Pearl Shares Her Favorite Seattle Spots,” including a mention of the Seattle Asian Art Museum, SAM’s original home in Volunteer Park.

“Authentic, embodied, and fly as hell”: Jas Keimig for South Seattle Emerald on Shabazz Palaces’ new album. 

“5 allegedly haunted and spooky Seattle spots to visit”: Sarah-Mae McCullough of the Seattle Times goes ghosthunting. 

“Later in the night when I’m alone, I definitely don’t go downstairs to use the restroom,” [Merchant’s Cafe and Saloon staffer Naget] Atouani said. “I keep the lights on until the last minute.”

Inter/National News

Via Olivia McEwan for Hyperallergic: “Frans Hals, a Dutch Golden Age Rebel.”

Chen & Lampert present another “hard choices” quiz for Art in America: “Should You Become a Performance Artist?”

Artnet on a “macabre collection of spooky art heads” from the late print dealer Richard Harris heading to auction.

“Harris began assembling his trove around 2001, with an especial focus on symbolic representations of death. As he once put it: ‘I think that everyone ought—not to be obsessed by fact of death, but be aware of the fact that dying is a part of living.’”

And Finally

It’s Halloween; it’s KXVO Pumpkin Dance time.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Chloe Collyer.

Meet the 2023 Betty Bowen Award Winner: Tariqa Waters

The Seattle Art Museum and the Betty Bowen Committee are proud to announce Seattle artist Tariqa Waters as the winner of the 2023 Betty Bowen Award! The juried award comes with an unrestricted cash award of $15,000 and a solo exhibition at SAM. This year’s committee included Gary Glant (Chair), Mike Hess, Mark Levine, Sangram Majumdar, Catharina Manchanda, Llewelyn Pritchard, Greg Robinson, Norie Sato, Anthony White, and Merrill Wright.

Tariqa Waters’s innovative practice encompasses mixed-media tableaus, paintings, photographs, film, and immersive installations that push the aesthetics of commercial advertising into surreal, otherworldly territory. It is at the juncture with product advertising that Waters interrogates the importance of styling and beauty, especially its significance for Black women. Her work will be featured at the Seattle Art Museum in a solo exhibition in 2024, with dates to be announced.

Solo exhibitions of Waters’s work have been shown in Seattle at the Hedreen Gallery, the Northwest African American Museum, and the Museum of Museums (MoM). She has been awarded multiple prizes and grants, including the Conductive Garboil Grant, the Artist Trust Fellowship Award, the Neddy Artist Award, and the Artist Trust Arts Innovator Award. Waters is a two-time finalist for the Betty Bowen Award, winning the Kayla Skinner Special Recognition Award in 2020 and the Gary Glant Special Recognition Award in 2021. She was named one of Seattle’s Most Influential People in 2023 by Seattle Magazine.

Samantha Wall won the Kayla Skinner Special Recognition Award and Mary Ann Peters won the Gary Glant Special Recognition Award, in the amount of $2,500 each. Finalists Derek Franklin, Lisa Liedgren Alexandersson, and Ido (Lisa) Radon will each receive Special Commendation Awards in the amount of $1,250, awarded annually since 2020. The six finalists were chosen from a pool of 414 applicants from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho to compete for the $23,750 in awards.

Founded in 1977 to continue the legacy of local arts advocate and supporter Betty Bowen, the annual award honors a Northwest artist for their original, exceptional, and compelling work. Betty Bowen (1918–1977) was a Washington native and enthusiastic supporter of Northwest artists. Her friends established the annual Betty Bowen Award as a celebration of her life and to honor and continue her efforts to provide financial support to the artists of the region. Since 1977, SAM has hosted the yearly grant application process by which the selection committee chooses one artist from the Northwest to receive an unrestricted cash award, eligible to visual artists living and working in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

“This award serves as a testament to the countless hours, sleepless nights, and relentless dedication that I have poured into my craft,” says Waters. “It is a validation of the risks I have taken, the boundaries I have pushed, and the artistic growth I have experienced along the way. As an artist, it is not always easy to navigate the complexities of the creative process, but this recognition affirms that my work has resonated with others and has made a meaningful impact.”

The 2022 winner was Portland artist Elizabeth Malaska. Her solo exhibition, All Be Your Mirror, debuts at the Seattle Art Museum November 17, 2023–June 16, 2024. Learn more about Waters and all of the 2023 Betty Bowen finalists here.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Images: Tariqa Waters by Alex Cayley. Samantha Wall by Stephen Slappe. Mary Ann Peters by Amanda Smart.

Muse/News: Tremendous Hokusai, Indigenous Fashion, and a Gentileschi Revealed

SAM News

All that’s fit to print! SAM exhibitions were featured in the print editions of two Sunday newspapers:

Calder: In Motion, The Shirley Family Collection, which opens in the double-height galleries of November 8, was previewed by Tanya Mohn for the New York Times, who told the story of “giving the gift of Calder.”

“‘Because of Jon Shirley’s meticulous collecting,’ said José Carlos Diaz, curator of the show and deputy director for art at the museum, ‘we have representation of basically every type of work Calder did as a professional artist from the ’20s, all the way to his death in 1976. It helps us create one of the most important collections of the 20th century in Seattle.’”

And the just-opened Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence, from the Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston was reviewed by Gemma Wilson of the Seattle Times, who offered “5 highlights of Seattle Art Museum’s tremendous new Hokusai exhibit.”

“Investigate these prints and you’ll notice the tiny details that give his work such a sense of dynamism: snow blowing in, a hat rolling away, water rushing under a bridge. ‘Landscapes so gorgeous they knocked people’s socks off,’ said [MFA Boston curator Sarah] Thompson.”

The dazzling Hokusai exhibition was also recommended by Mike Davis of KUOW, Charles Mudede of The Stranger, and Brangien Davis of Crosscut (who goes birding in this week’s edition of arts picks).

Local News

Via Margo Vansynghel of the Seattle Times: “Meet Gülgün Kayim, the new director of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture.”

Jas Keimig for South Seattle Emerald on the launch of FILIPINOTOWN Magazine, “a new publication dedicated to highlighting the diversity and strength of the Filipino American community in Seattle.”

Fashion and culture writer Andrew Hoge with his first Seattle Times story on the Eighth Generation blanket that draped actor Lily Gladstone on the cover of British Vogue. (There’s a callback to SAM’s 2018 Double Exposure exhibition.)

“A cover feature is an impressive milestone for any brand. For Eighth Generation, however, it’s an essential step in the company’s mission to flip the narrative on consuming Indigenous culture and art.”

Inter/National News

Hilarie Sheets for the New York Times on the transfer of a five-ton sculpture by Richard Lippold from Lincoln Center to La Guardia Airport.

Elena Goukassian of the Art Newspaper on Ann Philbin’s retirement from The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles after 25 years as its director.

Sarah Cascone of Artnet on how a female nude by Artemisia Gentileschi, once “prudishly censored by heavy drapes of blue,” is now restored by digital imaging technology

“…restoration scientists went over the painting—which curators removed from the ceiling for the first time in its history—with a fine toothed comb, examining every nanometer and every thin layer of paint.”

And Finally

The New Yorker’s Sasha Frere-Jones on Ryuichi Sakamoto.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Chloe Collyer.

Muse/News: Membership Musts, Kucera’s 40th, and Hendricks at the Frick

SAM News

Seattle Times readers just GET it (especially Cynthia Ryan). Sarah-Mae McCullough gathered their recommendations for what new arrivals to the city really need and waterproof gear and access to our cultural offerings got top mentions.

“Take this example from Cynthia Ryan. ‘When I moved here, my boss gave me a 1-year membership to the Seattle Art Museum and an enormous umbrella,’ Ryan said. ‘I gave the umbrella away early on but buy my own membership now. I think of it as a present to myself.’”

“Why Seattle Is One Of The Best Cities For A Fall Weekend Getaway”: Katie Chang for Forbes highlights the city’s offerings for local and visitors alike, including the Seattle Art Museum—with a special callout to American Art: The Stories We Carry—and the Seattle Asian Art Museum. 

Local News

Crosscut’s Brangien Davis talks with Rafael Soldi about his new solo show at the Frye Art Museum. There’s an interview and a video.

Chase Hutchison of The Stranger on “Five Films You Need to See at Seattle Queer Film Festival.”

The Seattle Times’ Gemma Wilson on the new show at the Greg Kucera Gallery, which looks forward and back at their impressive roster of artists on the occasion of the gallery’s 40th anniversary

“‘Something Old, Something New’ elucidates not only the evolution of an artist’s career over time, it highlights the connective tissue between artist, gallery and arts community.”

Inter/National News

Sarah Cascone for Artnet catches you up on the four artists who are among the 20 winners of this year’s MacArthur “genius” fellowships, each receiving an $800,000 grant.

Via Francesca Aton for Art in America: “Women’s History Is at the Forefront of Judy Chicago’s Retrospective at the New Museum in New York.”

Natasha Seaman for Hyperallergic on the Frick’s exhibition of 14 Barkley L. Hendricks portraits.

“While the exhibition’s premise is to explore Hendricks’s connection to the art history embodied in the museum’s regular collection, its effect is to change the way we view those same paintings.”

And Finally

Meet a “queen that’s thicker than a bowl of oatmeal.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Alborz Kamalizad.

Meet the 2023 Betty Bowen Award Finalists

Every year, SAM and the Betty Bowen Committee, chaired by Gary Glant, give the Betty Bowen Award, a juried award that comes with an unrestricted cash award of $15,000 and a solo exhibition at SAM. The award was founded in 1977 to continue the legacy of local arts advocate and supporter Betty Bowen and honors a Northwest artist (from Washington, Oregon, or Idaho) for their original, exceptional, and compelling work. In addition, two Special Recognition Awards in the amount of $2,500 and three Special Commendation Awards in the amount of $1,250 will be awarded by the Betty Bowen Committee.

Recent winners include Elizabeth Malaska (2022; her solo show All Be Your Mirror is on view November 17, 2023–June 16, 2024),  Anthony White (2021), and Dawn Cerny (2020). On view in SAM’s galleries right now are works by past winners Natalie Ball (2018), Jack Daws (2015), and Marie Watt (2005). The connections between SAM and these exceptional artists from our region continue over the years. 

Today, we are announcing the six finalists of the 2023 award who were selected from a pool of 414 applicants. Stay tuned for the announcement of the winner on October 23!

Derek Franklin – Portland, Oregon

Derek Franklin is an artist, curator, and artistic director who utilizes painting and sculpture to investigate the ways in which one responds to violence inextricably woven into societal structures. Drawing from constructivist theatre design, Franklin conceptualizes the home as a kind of stage and centers his inquiry on the objects that bear witness to daily domestic rituals, such as eating or drinking. Activated by the audience’s presence, Franklin’s work asks viewers to engage in communal experiences of sadness, awkwardness, and humor.


Lisa Liedgren Alexandersson – Seattle, Washington

Lisa Liedgren Alexandersson’s current project explores the intersections of artistic hierarchy, labor, and skill through the process of creating cotton and linen woven works. These materials evoke the history of painting through both material and the notion of the grid, a key point of investigation for their work. Adapting 1960’s Swedish kitchen towel weaving instructions into new artistic works, Liedgren Alexandersson prods the dual status of textiles as domestic, utilitarian objects, and as demonstrations of skillful aesthetic exploration.


Mary Ann Peters – Seattle, Washington

As a second generation Arab-American, Mary Ann Peters’s work constructs an outline for cultural inquiry that employs history, architecture, science, and heritage to respond to undermined diasporic narratives. Peters filters a personal exploration of these themes through the concept of audience perception and the ethical considerations of artistic discourse. Peters challenges the concept of an image being neutral, instead focusing on visuals that coalesce and redefine contemporary topics.


Ido (Lisa) Radon – Portland, Oregon

Ido Radon’s mixed media and multi-sensorial work is guided by long-term interests in the ideological and material structures and processes that produce reality under the conditions of advanced capitalism. Radon interrogates the use of various technologies to mediate the abstractions of capitalism and counter-histories of revolutionary impulses. The rise of the personal computer and community computing provide a historical and cultural grounding through which Radon incarnates feminist theory and critical discourses in complex aestheticized forms. 


Samantha Wall – Portland, Oregon

Samantha Wall’s recent series, Beyond Bloodlines, pulls from Korean folklore and Euro-centric mythologies to expose the effects of alienation and exile within the diaspora. Delicately layered on Dura-lar, the symbolic form of the serpent woman represents the status of Otherness applied to women who deviate from narrow margins of social acceptance. Wall’s drawings navigate the artist’s identity as a Black Korean immigrant, and remodel pathways for Black American narratives of existence within the US. 


Tariqa Waters – Seattle, Washington

Tariqa Waters is a multimedia artist who invokes traditional pop aesthetics to mediate the co-opting of Black culture, and consumerism. Her immersive installations, video works, large-scale sculptures, and photographs utilize humor, satire, and spectacle to critique and defy expectations, incorporating intentional anachronisms that navigate ideas of femininity, gender, race, and beauty. By recalling memory, myth, and tall-tales, Waters lays bare the contradictions and dualities rooted in Americana aesthetics.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Images: Installation view of Grief is On My Calendar Everyday at 2:00 PM, 2023, Derek Franklin, mixed media, 110 x 216 x 192 in. © Derek Franklin. B-cognition, 2023, Lisa Liedgren Alexandersson, linen, cotton, and wood, 63 x 30 x 240 in. Photo: Musse Barclay, © Lisa Liedgren Alexandersson. impossible monument (the threads that bind), 2023, Mary Ann Peters, silk, silk thread, silk waste, silk pods, glycerin, wood, and water, 84 x 60 x 144 in., © Mary Ann Peters. Sail or Temporary composition of a specter of a world, 2023, Ido Radon,, mixed media, 138 x 47 x 2 in. © Ido Radon. Becoming, 2023, Samantha Wall, conté crayon and ink on Dura-Lar, 80 x 80 in., © Samantha Wall. Pink Ball Barrette, 2022, Tariqa Waters, blown glass, 9 x 9 x 9 in. © Tariqa Waters.

Muse/News: Art Doctor, Fall Reading, and Dürer’s Spite

SAM News

“Behind the scenes at SAM’s new Asian art conservation studio”: For the Seattle Times’ Pacific Northwest Magazine, Brendan Kiley takes you into SAM’s Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Conservation Center and introduces to you to Tanya Uyeda, the center’s new conservator of East Asian paintings.

“Now that SAM has its own studio and conservator—with plans to hire others, likely with Chinese or Korean expertise—it hopes to treat works not only from its own collection, but collections around the country. From here on out, Uyeda expects to be doing a lot of surgery.”

Here’s a Seattle Times reader “rave” for the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s 2020 remodel. Good news: You’ve now got one more day a week to visit our Art Deco gem; it’s now open Thursdays as well as Friday–Sunday. 

Among The Seattle Times’ Margo Vansynghel’s “Must-see Seattle-area exhibits in October” is a free book launch event. Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore debuts Touching the Art at SAM on Sunday, October 15. Andrew Engelson also recommended the book in “New Local Releases to Read This Fall” in The Stranger’s fall Art and Performance Quarterly.

“No, I’m not recommending an art show where you’re allowed to touch the art. But I promise that you’ll feel like you’re up close with the paintings local writer Mattilda B. Sycamore describes in her new—and yes, touching—memoir.”

Local News

Get your fall reading list together with this Seattle Met list of Washington State Book Awards winners and finalists.

Whether you made it or missed it, relive the joy of Walk the Block at Wa Na Wari

Vansynghel also reported on the departure of E. Michael Whittington as the executive director of the Bellevue Arts Museum. Kate Casprowiak Scher has been named interim executive director.

“Scher—who’d already been volunteering with the museum—has already jumped into the fray, connecting with staff and assuming Whittington’s responsibilities to make the transition as smooth as possible.”

Inter/National News

Farah Nayeri for the New York Times Magazine on Louvre director Laurence des Cars’s “big plans for the world’s most visited museum.”

CBS Sunday Morning shared highlights “from hip hop to Picasso” in the upcoming arts season. There’s even a mention of Renegade Edo and Paris: Japanese Prints and Toulouse-Lautrec, on view through December 3 at the Seattle Asian Art Museum!

A spicy headline, via Adam Schrader for Artnet: “Albrecht Dürer Painted Himself Into a 16th-Century Altarpiece to Spite a Patron Who Paid Him Poorly, New Research Suggests.”

“It’s essentially him saying, ‘this is not actually about you as a patron, Mr. Heller. This is art and this will endure and will be looked at in 500 years’ time.’”

And Finally

“The great Seattle sitcom.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Alborz Kamalizad.

Muse/News: Fall Arts, Departing Thoughts, and Viva Boterismo

SAM News

It’s the best time of the year: fall arts! Dive into coverage from both The Seattle Times and The Stranger. On our cheat sheet for visual arts coverage is the Seattle Times’ recommendation for “9 Seattle-area art exhibits to catch in fall 2023,” including shoutouts to two huge SAM shows for two iconic artists, Katsushika Hokusai and Alexander Calder; The Stranger includes both shows on its list, too. 

You’ve got two weeks to hit the Central District streets to see the public art outdoor exhibition Femme Noire. It was recently blurbed in The Stranger and Crosscut, and Jas Keimig interviewed Elisheba Johnson of Wa Na Wari about the project for South Seattle Emerald.

“Throughout the day, we’re constantly accosted by all sorts of visual stimuli—cars whooshing past on the street, ads on every conceivable visible space, the endless scroll of our social media feeds. These banners—thoughtfully placed near busy street corners, bus stops, and benches—offer a moment of contemplation and curiosity for the viewer on the street. ‘We’re showcasing, through community partners and public activation, the power of seeing Black art,’ said Johnson.”

“Romantic Weekend Guide for LGBTQ+ Couples”: Jon Bailey for Vacationer Magazine shares the whirlwind details of a recent visit to Seattle with his husband, Triton. Thanks for visiting SAM!

Local News

“The arts are still in recovery.” That’s one respondent to a recent survey of King County arts organizations conducted by the Seattle Times. Reporter Margo Vansynghel shares all the insights on why this fall season will be “crucial” for the arts

And here’s new Seattle Times arts and culture reporter Gemma Wilson on another current trend among regional arts: a “once-in-a-generation” leadership change across various sectors. 

One of those departing—after 15 years at helm!—Sylvia Wolf of the Henry Art Gallery, shares thoughts with Hannelore Sudermann for the University of Washington Magazine.

“She also points to the Frye Art Museum, the Henry and the Seattle Art Museum as fulfilling the notion that civil society is advanced with having art and culture as part of the landscape. Yet with the population and the wealth in the region, there is untapped potential for further elevating the arts here. ‘We could be placing Seattle as one of the best arts cities in the country,’ Wolf says, ‘but we’re not there yet.’”

Inter/National News

Ten years of Culture Type! Victoria L. Valentine shares the “Top 10 Most Read Posts” since the launch of the site that covers art, history, and culture from a Black perspective. 

Will Heinrich gathers “More Than 90 Art Shows and Exhibitions to See This Fall” for the New York Times’ fall arts preview. 

Via Taylor Defoe of Artnet: RIP to Colombian artist Fernando Botero, who passed away at the age of 91.

“Across a seven-decade-long career, Bottero developed a style—sometimes referred to as ‘Boterismo’—that was unmistakably his own. His subjects, often middle-class laborers in moments of leisure or celebration, bore pinched facial features and plump frames. His depictions of food and land were similarly sumptuous. References to European art history shaped his painted scenes; so did a pair of competing impulses under the surface: humor and social critique.”

And Finally

“Seattle’s Lusty Lady marquee comes down.” (Not to worry; it will rise again.)

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Alborz Kamalizad.

Muse/News: Look Beneath, Grade Nets, and Murrell’s Renaissance

SAM News

Renegade Edo and Paris: Japanese Prints and Toulouse-Lautrec is now on view at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Susan Kunimatsu explores the exhibition’s themes for International Examiner.

“[Curator Xiaojin Wu] takes us on a deep dive into the sociological conditions in two emerging world capitals on opposite sides of the globe, inviting us to look beneath the visible similarities in the art.”

Foong Ping, Foster Foundation Curator of Chinese Art, shared her curator’s take on the exhibition Chronicles of a Global East with Decorative Arts Trust. Don’t miss this show, which features fascinating objects related to the Silk Roads and maritime routes of the premodern global world, now on view at the Seattle Art Museum.

And you’ve got two weeks left to see Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks at the Seattle Art Museum before its last day on Sunday, September 10. 

Local News

Take a walk: David Kroman for the Seattle Times on an exciting gift of $45 million to “create a walking and biking path on the east side of Alaskan Way, a greenway that will act as a pedestrian-friendly connection between Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park to the north and the new Waterfront Park to the south.” 

The Frye Art Museum announced that MariPili Tapas Bar chef Grayson Corrales will reopen their Café Frieda. The Seattle Times’ Bethany Jean Clement has the Galician-inflected details.

And Crosscut’s Brangien Davis heads to the woods with her latest ArtSEA post, finding Danish troll sculptures and a new John Grade installation of nets in the Washington Park Arboretum.

“And what if birds decide the nets make for great nests? ‘Oh,’ Grade said, ‘I would love that.’”

Inter/National News

Via Maddie Klett for ARTnews: “An Asian Imports Store, Not a Museum, Is the Site of the Summer’s Most Surprising Art Show.”

“Romance and heartbreak”: Artnet’s recurring spotlight on gallery shows features a “mixtape-inspired” show at International Center of Photography.

And Denise Murrell, curator at large at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, dreamed of an exhibition dedicated to the Harlem Renaissance and its artists’ dedication to “radical modernity”; it will open at the Met next February. 

“Murrell said she hoped Harlem Renaissance would be the start of long-term partnerships between the Met and historically Black colleges and universities to help preserve and exhibit their collections on a national scale.”

And Finally

RIP Bob Barker, “the patron saint of sick days.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Alborz Kamalizad.

Muse/News: Provoking Prints, Artful Trash, and Untold Stories

SAM News

“Visually astounding, thought-provoking.” That’s Kai Curry for NW Asian Weekly reviewing Renegade Edo and Paris: Japanese Prints and Toulouse-Lautrec, now on view at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Get over to beautiful Volunteer Park to see these stunning prints!

And Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks is on view at the Seattle Art Museum through September 10. Check out recent mentions in Seattle Medium, Crosscut, and Seattle Met

Have you gotten your tickets to SAM Remix yet? It’s this Friday! It’s The Ticket’s top pick.

Local News

Via Paul de Barros of the Seattle Times: “Peek inside KNKX’s new Seattle home by Pike Place Market.”

The Seattle Times’ Moira Macdonald brings you scenes from Sea-Meow

“More art, less trash”: Crosscut’s Scarlet Hansen on Seattle ReCreative and other area “creative reuse” centers.

“Seattle ReCreative operates like a thrift store for art supplies. The nonprofit receives donations from fine-art supplies to plastic straws, cutlery and beaded necklaces, all of which would otherwise end up in landfills.”

Inter/National News

Barry Schwabsky for Art in America: “Francoise Gilot Was More Than Picasso’s Muse—She Lived Life on Her Own Terms.”

Roslyn Sulcas for the New York Times on Koyo Kouoh’s rejuvenation of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (known as Zeitz MOCAA) in Cape Town.

Via Artnet’s Sarah Cascone: Check out the National Mall’s first outdoor public art show of sculptures. We want to see Wendy Red Star’s! (Hot tip: Her work is now on view in American Art: The Stories We Carry at SAM.

“‘The mall remains a symbol of our Democratic ideals as a nation. Beyond Granite: Pulling Together does not shy away from those aspects in our history that can be very hurtful to Americans. We must tell those untold stories fiercely,’ Charles Sams, director of National Park Service, said at the exhibition’s unveiling. ‘We are only stronger by our diversity. Without it, ecosystems collapse.’”

And Finally

“How to Support Maui Fire Victims from Seattle.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Alborz Kamalizad.

Muse/News: Building Love, Butler’s Street, and an Art KO

SAM News

Via 425 Magazine: “Local Creative Pros on the Northwest Places That Make Them Swoon.” Architect Jim Graham admires how the Olympic Sculpture Park’s PACCAR Pavilion “mixes seamlessly and beautifully with the landscape.” And interior designer Kirsten Conner appreciates the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s original Art Deco design and 21st-century update (she even had her wedding reception there!). 

Culture Type is among the outlets announcing the news that Baltimore-based artist Joyce J. Scott will be featured in a retrospective of her 50-year career. Walk a Mile in My Dreams opens at the Baltimore Museum of Art in March 2024 and then heads to SAM next fall.

Local News

ICYMI: Check out Susan Fried’s photo essay on Umoja Fest 2023

Via The Seattle Times: “Seattle City Council approves nearly $1M grant for Cinerama.” Full speed ahead for SIFF as they look to launch a capital campaign to get the theater open again. 

The Stranger’s Charles Mudede reflects on the philosophy of writer Octavia Butler on the occasion of a street being named for her in Lake Forest Park. 

“Butler moved here from Southern California in 1999. She bought a simple but cozy-looking house at the top of a hill and near three things she could not live without: a nearby bus stop, a nearby bookstore, and a nearby supermarket.”

Inter/National News

Watch a New York Times exclusive: “How a Rare Portrait of an Enslaved Child Arrived at the Met.”

Via Artforum: The New Yorker has announced Jackson Arn as its new art critic, succeeding Peter Schjeldahl in the role.

Artnet’s Eileen Kinsella on a “Knockout Show on the Surprising Links Between Art and Boxing” that spans two venues in New York. 

“‘We discovered women artists using boxing as a shorthand for victimization or an idea of empowerment. The fact that the boxer was like a Schroedinger’s Cat… both a winner and a loser,’ is a through line of the show, said [curator Sara] Cochran.”

And Finally

Physical media nerds, unite!

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Chloe Collyer.

Muse/News: Boafo’s Presence, History Digs, and Pastel Bauhaus

SAM News

Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks, the Ghanaian artist’s debut museum solo exhibition, is now on view at the Seattle Art Museum! Evening Magazine interviewed Ramzy Lakos, SAM’s Educator for Digital Learning, about working with the artist to create a Seattle-exclusive smartphone tour for visitors that shares the artist’s perspective

“It’s very personal, I think, to paint someone’s skin using your fingers. And it also leaves a trace of the artist on the painting itself. And I think that’s something he wants you to feel; he wants you to feel like he’s there in the gallery with you.”

And at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, don’t miss historical Japanese prints and Toulouse-Lautrec works in Renegade Edo and Paris. KUOW’s Mike Davis recommends the show in the most recent edition of his “adventures in art.” And in a recent Stranger Suggests, Charles Mudede recommended the “expertly curated” exhibition.

“This was not the stuff of the warrior class. This was the floating world of fleeting and popular pleasures: music, theater, whore houses. Also fleeting was the nightlife of Belle Époque Paris brilliantly and famously captured by the prints of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Local News

“Seattle’s Museum of Museums to shut down after three years”: The Seattle Times’ Margo Vansynghel reports on the sad loss for the city’s museum community. 

In her latest ArtSEA post, Brangien Davis of Crosscut shares details about “the fancy new entrance to the Colman Dock ferry terminal” debuted recently by Waterfront Seattle as part of the massive waterfront renewal project. 

“Unearthing Japanese American history at a dig site in North Seattle”: The Seattle Times’ Tat Bellamy-Walker on the former site of Green Lake Garden Co. and the archaeology project to reveal its story as home to a Japanese American community before WWII-era incarceration.

“‘We’re digging up these histories, but this history is all around us,’ [archaeologist Alicia] Valentino said. “These people didn’t just disappear. They’re in the community today.’”

Inter/National News

In another archaeology story, Hadami Ditmars reports for the Art Newspaper on the discovery of a “1,000-year-old fish trap and the remains of the ancestral village of ȾEL¸IȽĆE (pronounced Tel-eech).”

Melena Ryzik for the New York Times on the new Louis Armstrong Center, which joins the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens for even more ways to celebrate the famed jazz trumpeter, singer, and bandleader.

“It Was Like Pastel Bauhaus”: Artnet speaks with artists Gary Panter and Wayne White about working with the late Pee-wee Herman to bring “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” to life.

“Paul [Reubens], Ric, and Wayne, we’re all painters,’ Panter said. ‘We really brought the sensibility of art and art history to the set. Paul was more of a conceptual artist. He had a lot of input, and we had endless ideas.’”

And Finally

“Meet the diplomat in Seattle who’s become a social media star by folding origami cranes.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: L. Fried.

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