Muse/News: Summer Goth, Abstract Bearden, and 1920s Paris

SAM News

“An existential blockbuster”: Margo Vansynghel previews Alberto Giacometti: Toward the Ultimate Figure for Crosscut’s “things to do” in July. In addition to SAM’s summer goth moment at the downtown museum, she also recommends the return of Summer at SAM at the Olympic Sculpture Park, the free series of performances, activities, and food kicking off this Thursday, July 14. 

“Few visual artists have become as synonymous with existentialism as Alberto Giacometti (1901–1966), sculptor of slender anguish… At SAM, photographs of the artist in his studio (by photographers like Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Gordon Parks) accompany dozens of Giacometti’s paintings and sculptures. Among a thicket of his elongated bronze sculptures and busts, expect some of his greatest hits, such as ‘The Nose,’ a bronze depicting a tormented Pinocchio-from-your-nightmares stuck in a cage, or the iconic, life-sized ‘Walking Man I.’”

For their latest events round-up, The Seattle Times’ Vonnai Phair interviews Robert Rutherford, SAM’s Manager of Public Engagement at the Olympic Sculpture Park, about this year’s edition of Summer at SAM

“‘The park has been an amazing resource for the last two years helping people cope with everything that’s going on by just having some green space and some respite and a space to retreat to,’ Rutherford said. ‘One of the things that we really wanted to focus on as we come back into in-person programs is bringing the piece that’s been missing from the last two years from the park — and that is community.’”

Here’s Brittni Williams for Travel Noire with recommendations for “one day in Seattle,” including the Olympic Sculpture Park and its “spectacular, contemporary sculptures that are a treat to capture in photos.”

Local News

Here’s KEXP’s announcement of Ethan Raup as the music organization’s next President and CEO, succeeding longtime CEO Tom Mara. SAM’s music-loving Chief Financial Officer, Cindy Bolton, serves as a KEXP board member and helped select Raup for the position.

This past Saturday, the new Georgetown arts space Mini Mart City Park held its opening celebration. The Stranger’s Jas Keimig previewed its first solo show of colorful works by Nikita Ares

For the Seattle Times, Gayle Clemans reviews the Romare Bearden exhibition now on view at the Frye Art Museum.

“These abstract paintings are both radically different from his later collages and full of foreshadowing, holding hints of Bearden’s compositional virtuosity and material experimentation. This exhibition sets out to prove a point and it does so brilliantly: These paintings were fundamentally important to Bearden’s development as a collage artist.”

Inter/National News

Artnet’s Zachary Small looked into attendance figures for museums across the country, finding that for many, it has plateaued or dropped. SAM shared data showing about an 88% recovery to pre-pandemic numbers, faring better than some other institutions but with a ways still to go. 

“A beacon of light”: Here’s the New York Times’ obituary for celebrated abstract artist Sam Gilliam, who died recently at the age of 88. Five of his paintings are in SAM’s collection; revisit this SAM Blog deep dive into his work Union (1977).

Hannah Stamler for Art in America reviews Pioneers at the Musée du Luxembourg, a survey of women artists who worked in 1920s Paris

“The show considers how female painters, photographers, and sculptors, drawn to Paris from near and far, navigated the era’s tensions, finding ways to insert themselves into a still male-dominated art world and proclaim their right to self-determination.”

And Finally

“Meanwhile at the pool.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Alborz Kamalizad.

Muse/News: Arty Party, Astro-Blackness, and a Communal Embrace

SAM News

The museum held its annual summer fundraiser this past Friday at the Olympic Sculpture Park. Artists, makers, chefs, musicians, performers, supporters, and more all came together to have a blast while raising funds for the museum’s artistic and educational programs. Seattle Refined was there to capture all the magic in this sun-drenched photo slideshow.

“A Tribute to the Sustenance of Friendship”: Kristie Kahns for Chicago-based Sixty Inches from Center on the exhibition now on view at the Grand Rapids Art Museum that brings the work of friends and colleagues Dawoud Bey and Carrie Mae Weems together for the first time. Stay focused: Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue heads to SAM this fall!

“These tales of friendships and affiliations create a subversive dimension of art history, and they are also a testament to the adamant question from political activist and organizer Ella Baker: ‘Now, who are your people?’

Local News

The Seattle Times’ Jerald Pierce speaks with Anastacia-Reneé as the celebrated writer prepares to leave Seattle after 15 years for a new adventure in New York City. 

The Stranger’s Jas Keimig on Jeremy Buben’s 200-piece, food-focused art collection being auctioned off at the Museum of Museums.

“Afrofuturism reigns at Seattle museums this June”: Crosscut’s Margo Vansynghel on new exhibitions at MoPOP and the Museum of Museums.

“Whether you are a seasoned Afro-space traveler or new to “astro-Blackness,” the artworks exhibited at MoPOP and MoM offer an intriguing and interstellar voyage into Afrofuturism and beyond.”

Inter/National News

“This is like a Jenny Holzer installation or something right”: Artnet’s Dorian Batycka reports on last week’s news from the US Supreme Court, sharing how the art world responded to the Court overturning people’s constitutional right to an abortion in the United States.

“What do Andrew Wyeth’s funeral drawings, wreathed in lateness, have to offer ‘us’?”: Zack Hatfield in the summer edition of Artforum with a deep dive into Andrew Wyeth’s Funeral Group drawings. He references in passing the scholarship of former SAM curator Patricia Junker, who curated the Andrew Wyeth exhibition at SAM back in 2017

Patricia Leigh Brown for the New York Times on the proliferation across the US of memorials to victims of mass shootings

“If design is a window on the culture, perhaps there is nothing more revealing than the Curtain of Courage Memorial unveiled last week in San Bernardino, Calif., a sculptural ribbon of patterned bronze and steel meant to enfold the Mendozas, Meinses and Johnsons, among the families who lost 14 loved ones killed in a mass shooting in 2015, in its sinuous communal embrace.”

And Finally

Happy birthday, Lucille Clifton. Here’s her “blessing the boats”—it might help.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Elizabeth Crook / Seattle Refined.

Muse/News: Caffeinated Curator, Material Realities, and Shang Relics

SAM News

“Christie’s, consecrated statues, and coffee”: Seattle Met’s Sophie Grossman peeks into a day in the life of Natalia Di Pietrantonio, SAM’s Assistant Curator of South Asian Art. Her first exhibition at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, Embodied Change: South Asian Art Across Time, is on view now through July 10—don’t miss it!

Last week, we shared the exciting news that José Carlos Diaz will be joining SAM in July as the new Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art. He spoke with KUOW’s Kim Malcolm about what he’s thinking about as he makes his way to Seattle.

“I’m going to hit the ground running. I really want to get a sense of where we are, listen to the staff, but also start communicating with stakeholders and think about what the needs are for an institution in the Pacific Northwest, and how that responds to what’s happening in the country.”

For International Examiner, Susan Kunimatsu reviews an installation of Japanese art now on view at the Seattle Art Museum, Folding Into Shape: Japanese Design and Crafts.

“The Seattle Art Museum’s collection of Japanese art is so vast that only a fraction is on display on any given day. But the depth of its holdings allowed curator Xiaojin Wu to create this little gem of a show. Taking the concept of containment and the technique of folding and selecting objects that represent different artists’ responses to those ideas, she has shown how cultural influences flow across media and over time.”

Susan has been busy! She also previewed our summer exhibition for, well, Preview. Tickets are on sale now for Alberto Giacometti: Toward the Ultimate Figure, which opens at SAM on July 14. (Did you see our trailer for the show, featuring original animation and music by SAM designers L. Fried and Natali Wiseman??)

And business-oriented Quartz found inspiration for professionals in Giacommetti’s tireless quest for discovery in his art. 

Local News

This past Sunday, many in the US celebrated Juneteenth. In case you missed it, the Seattle Times’ graphic team shared information on the meaning of the holiday’s flag (including a link to print your own!). Explore more about its history at juneteenth.com and check out this article written by SAM Marketing Associate Karly Norment Meneses on how to celebrate responsibly. 

No change in commute: the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) announced that Tom Mara will be its next executive director. Mara just celebrated his departure from SIFF neighbor KEXP after 30 years with the radio station.

Duncan Gibbs for South Seattle Emerald on the works of Hanako O’Leary and Molly Vaughan, both on view at ARTS at King Street Station through July 7. Vaughan was the 2017 Betty Bowen Award winner and her work is in SAM’s collection. 

“Elevating these topics (reproductive rights, trans rights, women’s health, and autonomy) to the platform of aesthetic enquiry blasts the logic and word games of political rhetoric to pieces. Art demonstrates the material reality of personal experience in a way that can’t be argued or legislated.”

Inter/National News

Best Booths at Basel! ARTnews’ Sarah Belmont takes you there, including to former Seattle-based gallerist Mariane Ibrahim’s inaugural booth, which includes two paintings by Amoako Boafo.

Discoveries via Francesca Aton for ARTnews: “‘First of its Kind’ Viking Age Shipyard Discovered at Birka” in Sweden. (You can always get your Nordic kicks locally at the National Nordic Museum.)

Even more discoveries via Artnet’s Amah-Rose Abrams: “Archaeologists Have Uncovered 13,000 Shang Dynasty Relics in China, Many of Them Used in Sacrificial Rites.” 

“‘The sculptures are very complex and imaginative, reflecting the fairy world imagined by people at that time, and they demonstrate the diversity and richness of Chinese civilization,’ said Zhao Hao, an associate professor at Peking University.”

And Finally

Thank you for your many gifts, Philip Baker Hall—perhaps especially for Bookman.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Chloe Collyer.

Muse/News: New SAM Leader, Artist Discovered, and Seurat’s Ambiguities

SAM News

Last week, SAM shared the exciting news that José Carlos Diaz will be joining the museum as its new Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art. Formerly Chief Curator at The Andy Warhol Museum, Diaz is passionate about contemporary art, multidisciplinary programming, and connecting with artists and communities. You can learn more about him in this interview in the Seattle Times, or elsewhere on this blog. The news was also shared in The Stranger, Artdaily, and Artnet. Diaz’s fraternal twin–from his very artistically inclined family!–was also excited.

“As Diaz noted, museums across the country are challenged by relevancy, battling perceptions that they’re either archaic or not for everyone. It’s important to remember that museums, he said, are ‘living, breathing institutions that have to evolve.’”

Local News

The Seattle Times’ Moira Macdonald shares a moving tribute to her film critic predecessor John Hartl, who died recently at the age of 76. 

Comic artist Jake Slingland draws the Seattle monorail that could have been for the Stranger.

Crosscut’s Margo Vansynghel on Victor Kai Wang, a Chinese-American artist in his late 80s whose work has never been exhibited in a gallery or museum–until now, with his inclusion in a group show at the Wing Luke Museum, thanks to curator Lele Barnett. 

“‘It was like stumbling upon buried treasure,’ Barnett recalls. With her decades of experience placing art in private and corporate collections, she could easily imagine some of these swirling, semiabstract landscape paintings on the walls of a major museum. But most of the works had never left Wang’s home.”

Inter/National News

ARTnews’ Natalie Frank writes an obituary for feminist painter Paula Rego, who died last week at the age of 87.

Via Time Out New York: “New Met exhibit highlights art works by the museum’s employees.” 

Artnet’s Katie White goes below the sunny surface of Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte to explore its ambiguities.

“The painting has been interpreted as revealing the essence of modern existence and its double-edged sword of social spectacle and isolation. A butterfly hovering in the middle left of the painting reinforces this reading. A symbol of fragility, during the Industrial Revolution the butterfly was used in art as motif for the environmental and social consequences of progress. Indeed, this scene of bourgeoise leisure had only recently been enabled by the factory life existing just beyond the painting’s frame.”

And Finally

Via Vulture: “The Highs, Lows, and Whoas From the 2022 Tony Awards.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Alexis Gideon.

Muse/News: Accessible Museums, Black Legacies, and Benin Treasures

SAM News

The Seattle Times reporter Grace Gorenflo and photojournalist Alan Berner checked out SAM’s recent first-ever mask-required hour, speaking with museum visitors about why the offering appealed to them. The museum no longer requires masks for entry, but visitors are encouraged to wear them for their personal safety and comfort–and the next mask-required hours are scheduled for the third Saturdays of June and July. 

“‘Accessibility and inclusivity are important goals for SAM,’ [Chief Marketing Officer Mikhael] Mei Williams said. ‘This was something that we wanted to do to make sure that we could give as many people as possible access to the museum.’”

“[Visitor Melissa] Rothe said that more places that are prone to crowds could benefit from a mask-required hour, and her family would visit any museum that institutes something similar. Her son Ethan, 12, seconded that, saying the mask-required hour makes him feel safer when visiting museums, which he enjoys doing. ‘I just like looking at all the cool stuff that people have built in the past and things that have happened before us,’ he said.”

Thrillist shares a list of “21 Actually Cool Things to Do in Seattle This Summer”; it is an actually pretty cool list, including the recommendation to “get cultured” at SAM. 

The Seattle Times’ Pacific NW Magazine takes a look at the stories behind the official state symbols, including some throwback photographs connected to Middle Fork at SAM and the state tree, the Western Hemlock. The massive sculpture by John Grade that spans the museum’s Brotman Forum entrance lobby was photographed twice by Alan Berner: in 2015, when the artist and his team went into the sky to cast an old-growth hemlock, and in 2018 as visitors gazed up at the final sculpture.

Local News

The Seattle Times’ Jerald Pierce features apprentices and teachers of Washington State’s Heritage Arts Apprenticeship Program, a partnership between Humanities Washington and ArtsWA/Washington State Arts Commission.

“A Water Goddess at the International Arrivals Facility”: The Stranger’s Jas Keimig on Marela Zacarías’s sculpture Chalchiuhtlicue at Sea-Tac. Oh hey: they have a redesigned website to explore, too!

Dive into Crosscut’s Black Arts Legacies project, which “highlights the longstanding, vital and ongoing role of Black artists and Black arts organizations in the cultural landscape of the Seattle region.” Created by many local Black storytellers, including project editors Kemi Adeyemi and Jasmine Jamillah Mahmoud, the project includes written, video, and podcast stories and conversations. 

“We are recognizing an intergenerational group of 26 local musicians, dancers, visual artists, poets, performers, curators and architects, whose creative expressions document the complexity of being a Black artist in Seattle. Theirs are stories of being the first, of contending with discrimination and breaking down barriers, of long careers and careers cut short, and of building community through the arts.”

Inter/National News

“It Feels Right to Grieve With My Hands”: As part of the collaboration between Artnet and Art21, watch sculptor Heidi Lau work on her clay mourning vessels. 

Anthony Ham for Smithsonian Magazine on Papunya Tula, the Australian Aboriginal desert art movement celebrating 50 years. SAM has its own celebration for the artists in its third floor galleries–don’t miss it!

Peggy McGlone for the Washington Post on the continued conversations around US museums returning Benin treasures. SAM was the first to register its works with the Digital Benin Project referenced in the article, and in our fourth floor galleries is a small installation, Benin Art: Collecting Concerns, bringing attention to the works in SAM’s collection and to our efforts to work with the Kingdom of Benin.

“Most significantly, the lessons of the Benins have changed museums’ attitudes toward repatriation, making it less contentious and more commonplace. And that will be its lasting contribution to the field, experts say. ‘These are low-hanging fruit. This is a clear-cut case of these objects must be returned,’ RISD Museum chief curator Gina Borromeo said of the Benin bronzes. ‘There are more complicated issues that need to be addressed in African art, and really in art created in the Global South. It is important that we continue to think about these issues and keep shining a light on them.’”

And Finally

Definitely don’t smear the Mona Lisa with cake.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: L Fried.

Muse/News: Art Immersion, Graffiti War, and Suits of Glass

SAM News

It’s the final week to see Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water! SAM’s spring special exhibition closes May 30. Don’t miss Teen Tix writer Stella Crouch on the exhibition that is “pushing the boundaries of what a single exhibit can be.”

“The exhibit is not limited by a certain medium, location, point of view, age, or history; rather, it embraces the duality of art forms to create an immersive experience. The multitude of forms the exhibit takes emphasizes the universal need for a healthy planet. Ultimately, the exhibit comments there is no place or person who will not be affected by climate change.”

And the Seattle Times gets you ready for warmer days with their summer guide. This season, SAM has you covered with the welcome return of Summer at SAM and SAM Remix at the Olympic Sculpture Park (stay tuned for lineup announcements!), a free day of programming celebrating the summer exhibition of sculptures by Alberto Giacometti, and our annual fundraiser with artist creations and a performance by Fly Moon Royalty.

Local News

Crosscut’s Margo Vansynghel with their weekly ArtSEA post; in it, she celebrates a week of positive arts news, including the rescue of the historic Columbia City Theater, art exhibitions worthy of a ferry ride, and a bevy of outdoor festivals coming up.

Seattle Met’s Zoe Sayler on the welcoming and very stylish roller skating scene in Seattle.

The Stranger’s Jas Keimig on “Seattle’s graffiti culture war.”

And so, the collaboration will continue. The more the City buffs, the more graffiti writers will tag, reserving their worst and sloppiest work for the places the City buffs the most, according to one artist. After all, who but a Buddhist would paint a masterpiece if they knew someone would wipe it away the next day?

Inter/National News

Via Jo Lawson-Tencred for Artnet: “Smell Experts Have Recreated Cleopatra’s Perfume.”

Sarah-Rose Sharp for Hyperallergic asks, “Did NASA Spot an ‘Alien Doorway’ on Mars?”

John Vincler for the New York Times on Nick Cave’s new public art project in the Times Square subway station.

“In the subway project, fur, sticks, hair extensions, sequins, buttons, embroidery, festive masks, and even birds and flowers are marvelously and convincingly realized through the glasswork fabricated by Franz Mayer of Munich.”

And Finally

Scallops love disco lights.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Alborz Kamalizad.

Muse/News: Life Pockets, Dance Artists, and Explosive Joy

SAM News

Seattle Met’s Allison Williams with a “Guide to Tide Pooling and Beach Combing around Seattle”; she includes the Olympic Sculpture Park’s pocket beach among the best places to observe sea life. 

Curiocity points readers to “11 awesome free or cheap date ideas in Seattle this summer,” including a visit to SAM using the Seattle Public Library’s Museum Pass. Hint: Here’s a long list of discounts or free days for visiting the Seattle Art Museum and the Seattle Asian Art Museum. (The Olympic Sculpture Park is free to all, every day!)

Make that date a deep dive into Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water, SAM’s spring exhibition that closes May 30! Seattle Met includes it on their list of “things to do” this week

Local News

royal alley-barnes, interim director for the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture, talks with KUOW’s Kim Malcolm about Hope Corps, a new program “to help put artists back to work.”

Converge Media shares the news that ARTE NOIR has named Jazmyn Scott its new executive director; the Black arts & culture space opens this summer in the Central District’s Midtown Square.

“Seattle was once a hub for contemporary dance. What happened?” Local journalist Marcie Sillman for Crosscut on the city’s long history of nurturing dance artists—and the challenges they’re facing right now.

“Even as pandemic restrictions ease and theaters and clubs start to re-open, choreographers like Graney, Gosti and many others are struggling to stay in Seattle. Graney charges that nobody at City Hall, or anywhere outside the dance community itself, seems concerned that artists are being priced out of the city. ‘There’s no one at the helm who has an interest in dance,’ Graney maintains. ‘People don’t care, they just don’t care.’”

Inter/National News

Emmanuel Balogun for Artnet: “6 Artists at the 2022 Venice Biennale Who Are Shifting the Way We Visualize the African Diaspora.”

ARTnews’ Angelica Villa on the record-setting sale of an Ernie Barnes painting, which sold at 80 times more than its estimate.

The New York Times’ Robin Pogrebin on Lauren Halsey’s new work now on view at David Kordansky Gallery. You can see her work at SAM through July 17!

“At a time when many Black artists are being recognized for figurative art, Halsey has been making large-scale sculptures and reliefs. And while her installations may allude to economic hardship, gentrification, or gang violence, they convey an explosive sense of joy.”

And Finally

Via the Seattle Times: “9 great hikes in WA for people with wheelchairs, canes, crutches or strollers.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Chloe Collyer.

Muse/News: Sparks of Hope, Making Space, and Artist Robin Hoods

SAM News

“A must-see”: That’s Sophie Grossman of Seattle Met on Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water. She urges readers to visit the exhibition before it closes on May 30. 

You’ll walk away from these collected works sobered, perhaps, but buoyed by a spark of hope. If humans are capable of all this beauty and devastation, you might muse, what else could we accomplish? What visions for our planet, and our future as a species, could we realize?

London-based magazine New Scientist features the exhibition and how the artworks “bring water’s myriad meanings to life.” And art critic Susan Platt’s review of the exhibition appeared on Art Access. 

This not to-be-missed exhibition immerses, enchants, warns, and finally, hopes to inspire us to action. A video at the end, ‘Water Protectors,’ asks artists, activists, leaders, and scientists, to answer the question ‘What can people do to honor and protect water?’ We must all ask ourselves that question.”

KNKX rounds up ways to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month; the Seattle Asian Art Museum is on the list. 

And finally, a big thank you to the readers of 425 Magazine, who named SAM their favorite museum in the magazine’s reader poll!

Local News

Crosscut’s Brangien Davis devotes the bulk of her recent ArtSEA column to profiling Seattle author Angela Garbes, whose new book on motherhood and labor, “a blend of memoir, research and social commentary,” has just landed on bookshelves.

South Seattle Emerald shares an opinion piece from the Duwamish Tribal Council: “It’s 167 years past time to restore recognition of the Duwamish tribe.”

Via Grace Gorenflo of the Seattle Times: the City of Seattle’s Cultural Space Agency has made its first real estate purchase, parenting with Cultivate South Park on a 32,000 square foot area that will become a community-owned cultural space.

“For more than a century, Richter said, South Park residents have been unable to influence what happens in their own neighborhood, and El Barrio is a step to change that. ‘My hope for South Park is whatever South Park hopes for itself,’ he said. ‘The mission phrase that Coté brought to all of this is that the neighborhood should own the neighborhood. And implied in that ownership is control and agency.’”

Inter/National News

Via Katya Kazakina for Artnet: “An Ethereal Blue Warhol Marilyn Goes for $195 Million at Christie’s, Becoming the Second-Priciest Work Ever Sold at Auction.”

“A Sculptor’s Search for Humanity”: Lance Esplund for the Wall Street Journal on the Alberto Giacometti exhibition now on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art and heading to SAM this summer

Emily Watlington of Art in America on ways that artists are addressing the problems of inequity inherent in the art market and turning them to their—and their communities’—advantage, including Lauren Halsey, whose community-centered work is on view at SAM through July 17.

“I find myself equally inspired by artists putting their money where their mouth is, and moved by how they address immediate needs while carving space for long-term dreaming at the same time, balancing the practical and the ideal rather than choosing between the two. Each of these artists exemplifies a compelling degree of integrity; each refuses to plead powerlessness or sweep the contradictions under the rug. Can the institutions they work with keep up?”

And Finally

Celebrate and get familiar with the work of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize winners.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Chloe Collyer.

Muse/News: Examining Water, City Blocks, and Taurus Artists

SAM News

The annual Museums section of the New York Times landed yesterday, with stories from the field and exhibition round-ups. Ted Loos included SAM’s current exhibition, Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water, on their list of exhibitions on view this spring and summer across the country. Also mentioned: the major Alberto Giacometti exhibition now on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art and headed to SAM this summer!

“[The works] range from comforting, more familiar depictions from the 19th century—like an Albert Bierstadt beach painting and a Hiroshige woodblock print of a whirlpool—to challenging contemporary works that examine water as an endangered or desecrated resource.”

Alison Sutcliffe of Tinybeans has a list of “10 Fantastic Activities to Make Your Mother’s Day Special,” including taking the mom and mom-figure in your life to a museum! At SAM, you can gift a visit (or membership!) and grab brunch at MARKET. As always, entry for kids 14 and under is free.

It’s May! Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with this list from Tinybeans of 19 Asian American-owned businesses and organizations to support, including the Seattle Asian Art Museum (and our friends at The Wing Luke!). 

And finally, never stop learning: Jing Culture & Commerce interviews Jason Porter, SAM’s Kayla Skinner Deputy Director for Education and Public Engagement, and his co-writer Mary Kay Cunningham about their new book, Museum Education for Today’s Audiences

“‘We see museum educators on the frontlines addressing urgent social issues, acknowledging historical inequalities in museums, innovating for accessibility, and leveraging partnerships with communities to maintain their relevance in a changing world,’ say Cunningham and Porter of the work currently being done.”

Local News

A five-minute listen: Kim Malcolm of KUOW interviewing Amanda Ong of the South Seattle Emerald on spring arts events to look forward to.

The Stranger’s Jas Keimig reports the announcement from Cornish College of the Arts, who has named this year’s Neddy Award winners, Myron Curry and Priscilla Dobler Dzul.

Don’t miss the Seattle Times’ new special project, “This City Block,” which takes the “powerful corner” of 23rd and Union as its first subject. Wrap-around coverage from their team includes stories on Arté Noir, Wa Na Wari, Communion, and so much more.

“What can we learn from This City Block? ‘The lesson of 23rd and Union is that there’s a way,’ [K. Wyking] Garrett said.”

Inter/National News

The New York Times and other outlets report that “Ukraine says Russia looted ancient gold artifacts from a museum,” just one heist among the many examples of damage and destruction to cultural sites.

Via Artforum: “A Diego Rivera mural that was in danger of being sold to help fund the shrunken endowment of its owner, the beleaguered San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), will instead be restored, thanks to a $200,000 grant issued for the purpose by the Mellon Foundation.”

Artnet talks to Bri Luna, AKA Hoodwitch, about “How to Critique the Art of a Taurus Without Getting in a Brawl.” (SAM has an unnervingly high number among our ranks!)

“Tauruses have a love of texture and color and just a fine eye for detail and luxury. Those are things that bleed into our aesthetic as artists.”

And Finally

A worthy Twitter thread: “MY BACKYARD’S BIGGEST NIGHT.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Chloe Collyer.

Muse/News: Art for the Earth, Fair Reflections, and Venice Prizes

SAM News

Earth Day is every day! Get inspired to create change with Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water, now on view at SAM. Aesthetica Magazine features the exhibition on their list of “5 exhibitions for Earth Day” from around the world. So does the Stranger’s Everout list of things to do in Seattle for the important holiday. And Seattle Met includes the exhibition on their list of things to do in Seattle right now.

JiaYing Grygiel for ParentMap offers up “Best Things to Do With Kids on the Seattle Waterfront,” sharing fun secrets for a visit to the Olympic Sculpture Park (and very cute pictures of her kids zooming around sculptures!). 

“Every hour on the hour, a bell chimes and the Father and Son water fountain reverses. Take the walkway over the railroad tracks, where transportation-obsessed kids will love that you can watch train, car, plane, and boat traffic all from the same vantage point.”

Local News

Grace Gorenflo of the Seattle Times continues on the arts recovery beat, with recent stories on creative pandemic fundraising and this look at Mayor Bruce Harrell’s plan for the arts–and what arts leaders think

The Stranger’s Jas Keimig heads to the Henry Art Gallery’s new exhibition and reports back on “Finding Yourself Inside a Magma Slit.”

“How a 1962 art critic reviewed the Seattle World’s Fair”: Crosscut’s Brangien Davis looks back on the 60th anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair and its “World of Art.” (She also shouts out some exhibitions to see for Earth Day, including Our Blue Planet at SAM.)

[Seattle Times art critic Ann G.] Todd was much more impressed with the Fine Art Pavilion’s exhibit of ‘Northwest Indian Art,’ curated by University of Washington anthropology professor and ethnobotanist Erna Gunther (who also served as director of what is now the Burke Museum). Previewing the show in the very first issue of ArtForum magazine (June 1962), Todd gushed, ‘It would be difficult to imagine more stunning proof of the expressive genius of the Northwest’s aboriginals.’”

Inter/National News

“5 Incredible Art Pieces From World-Class Contemporary Artists That Anyone Can Afford”: Jeff Miles for ARTnews with some very cool artist editions you can buy. Might we also recommend a visit to SAM Gallery and SAM Shop?

Tabitha Barber for the Art Newspaper reviews: “A new visual history of domestic service spanning 400 years examines the lives of those working within the home.”

Artnet reports back from the Venice Biennale: “Sonia Boyce and Simone Leigh Win Golden Lions at the Venice Biennale for Work Honoring the Visions of Black Women.”

“Both Boyce and Leigh were the first Black women to represent their nations at the 127-year-old biennale. They are also the first Black women to win Golden Lions… Asked about her plans after the award ceremony, Boyce told Artnet News, ‘I’m going to close the blinds, lie down, and cry for an hour.’”

And Finally

We would really like to be in one of these jazz clubs right now. 

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Natali Wiseman.

Muse/News: Poem to Water, Heartful Ukraine, and Woody’s Creations

SAM News

“Speak them out loud and they form a poem to water”: Art critic Susan Platt on the ten themes explored in Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water, now on view at SAM. And Seattle Met includes the exhibition on their list of things to do in Seattle right now.

“The exhibition…brings together different cultural expressions to demonstrate that water is our shared concern and necessary to our shared survival. In that way, the Indigenous voices are the most resonant in their respectful and deep understanding. But seeing their work and their voices placed among so many other cultures demonstrates the interconnectedness of everyone on the planet.”

Matthew Kangas for PREVIEW Magazine reviews Embodied Change: South Asian Art Across Time. “Teaches us about what we inherit”: Teen Tix writer Aamina Mughal also reviews the exhibition, now on view at the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

“This idea of dynamic identity and reclamation are echoed throughout Embodied Change and are told through the lens of the human body, specifically the female form. One thing that I believe unites these works is the burden of inheritance. There are certain things that we inherit through our heritage without us making the choice to do so. What we do choose, however, is how we carry this inheritance.”

Curiocity has “12 romantic spring date ideas in and around Seattle” that (obvs) includes a stroll through the art-filled Olympic Sculpture Park—or SAM just a mile down the road, if it’s raining! 

Local News

“Only 262 films?” Seattle Times’ Moira Macdonald interviews Seattle International Film Festival director Beth Barrett on what’s different at this year’s festival

The Stranger’s Jas Keimig on the launch of Seattle Restored, a series of pop-up storefront art installations from the City of Seattle. 

Crosscut’s Margo Vansynghel talks with artists Anastasia Babenko and Darya Husak about a solo show series featuring central and eastern European artists that took on even more relevance with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“We want to show the more soulful and heartful way of Ukraine. That it’s not destruction, that it’s not a ruin, that it’s actually a very rich and deep history that gets passed on and carried on through generations.” 

Inter/National News

Via Artnet’s Katie White: “Mr. Darcy’s Puffy White Undershirt From That Unforgettable ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Lake Scene Goes on View at Jane Austen’s House.”

Angelica Villa for ARTnews on a dumpster-diving new gallery show in New York featuring the mostly forgotten artist Francis Hines.

“Extraordinary Monuments to the Mundane”: The New York Times’ T Magazine profiles sculptor Woody De Othello as he looks forward to his inclusion in the Whitney Biennial. As we’ve shared in the past, a sculpture by this rising art world star was recently acquired by SAM for its collection and will go on view later this year. 

“As if the result of a solo game of exquisite corpse, these composite creatures are oddly proportioned and at turns alluring and unsettling. Thus, Othello highlights the thrum of spirituality he finds in everyday environments.”

And Finally

A figure skater’s gold medal-worthy first pitch

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Natali Wiseman.

Muse/News: Kusama Memories, Glass in Tacoma, and Giacometti’s Secrets

SAM News

Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water ripples at SAM! Seattle Met includes the exhibition on their list of things to do in Seattle right now.

Seattle Met’s Zoe Sayler rounds up “10 Mother’s Day Gifts for Your Mom Friends,” including the SAM Shop exclusive “NO” tote by artist Tariqa Waters. 

Via Eater Seattle: Shubert Ho’s restaurants—including MARKET Seattle at SAM—are donating 10% of sales on select days to World Central Kitchen, an organization “that’s helping provide hot meals to Ukrainians suffering from the Russian invasion of their country.”

And here’s Artnet’s Eileen Kinsella on the many complexities of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Rooms; Catharina Manchanda, SAM’s Jon & Mary Shirley Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art, was among the art world voices sharing their experiences showing these works–including before the blockbuster editions. 

“Like some great works of art, the Infinity Rooms were not immediately and universally appreciated. Manchanda recalled visiting one at the Whitney Museum (which also owns one) as part of a biennial more than two decades ago, while she was a student in New York. ‘The biennials were always crowded, but I was the only person in line wanting to see it. There was no interest whatsoever.’”

Local News

Via Crosscut’s Brangien Davis: “Remembering Seattle print artist and muralist Kristen Ramirez.”

The Stranger’s Charles Mudede on the “world-class” Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley.

“Ever seen Cheetos made of glass?” The Seattle Times’ Jerald Pierce asking the tough questions–this one about Tacoma Art Museum’s show of glass art by the youth of Hilltop Artists.

“Those who have been through the Hilltop program have seen its ability to teach students invaluable teamwork and leadership skills, with one person taking the lead as a gaffer (who will lift the molten glass) and one or two assistants helping to shape that glass into whatever the gaffer is working on. Keith equated it to a sort of dance, where everyone needs to learn their part and anticipate the moves and needs of others.”

Inter/National News

Art & Object pours out a slideshow of “10 Wineries that Every Art Lover Should Visit.”

Angelica Villa for ARTnews reports: “$30 M. Phillip Guston Painting Could Set Auction Record Amid Long-Awaited Retrospective.”  Hot tip: You can see two Guston paintings, made more than 20 years apart, in Frisson: The Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis Collection in SAM’s galleries.  

“America may finally be ready for Alberto Giacometti’s uncompromising art”: The Washington Post’s Sebastian Smee on the Giacometti traveling retrospective that just debuted at the Cleveland Museum of Art–and heads to SAM this summer!

“But it’s only when you stand in front of them, or in some way stand with them (from the side or directly behind can be just as effective) and focus in on them that they give up their devastating secret (which is also your secret and mine): that we’re alone, that no one else knows what’s in our heads and that we will cease to exist.”

And Finally

Capturing murmurations.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Natali Wiseman.

Muse/News: Water Reading, a Hotel Museum, and Border Perspectives

SAM News

Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water is now overflowing at SAM! Seattle Met includes the exhibition on their list of things to do in Seattle right now. Also, the wonderful librarians at Seattle Public Library created a reading list related to the themes of Our Blue Planet. Speaking of SPL: Curiocity shared that the Seattle Art Museum and the Seattle Asian Art Museum are among the new partners for its Museum Pass program

Dan Allen for NBC Out has “13 LGBTQ art shows worth traveling for this spring,” including SAM’s solo exhibition for Knight | Lawrence Prize-winner Lauren Halsey

Seattle’s Child matches up 27 children’s books with local outings; SAM is recommended alongside My Museum by Joanne Liu as a way to introduce “the idea of how art shows up in our daily lives.”

Local News

The Stranger’s Jas Keimig visits Great Jones Gallery, the new Capitol Hill venture from Timothy Rysdyke and Leah St. Lawrence.

Robert Horton for Crosscut on documentarian Jean Walkinshaw, who “finally gets her due” with an online archive.

Sierra Starks for the Seattle Times reports that the Panama Hotel, already a historic landmark, may be on its way to becoming a museum. This story is a part of “A1 Revisited,” a new series that interrogates their past coverage of events; they begin with their 1942 coverage of the forced removal of Japanese Americans from Bainbridge Island.

“I think the hotel [as a museum] has the opportunity to somehow unveil or interpret the former Japantown area and the vibrancy that it used to have, leading all the way up to 1942,” [Karen] Yoshitomi said. “It provides the stage for all these other stories to be told.”

Inter/National News

Artnet’s Sarah Cascone with “10 Essential New Books on Women Artists to Add to Your Bookshelf Now.”

The Art Newspaper is out with its annual report on attendance figures and trends for museums across the world.

The New York Times’ Siddhartha Mitter heads to the US-Mexico border to meet with the curators and artists of the forthcoming annual survey of American art, the Whitney Biennial. 

“To look at American art — and thus America — they sensed there was value in stepping just outside. The generative alchemy of a border town might offer clues for fresh thinking about other divisions: between racial or gender categories, the material and the spiritual worlds, the living and the dead.”

And Finally

Many things happened at the 2022 Oscars! Let’s…just look at the outfits.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Natali Wiseman.

Muse/News: Date at SAM, New Leader at Wing Luke, and Cultural Data Rescue

SAM News

We love art, and we love love: Thrillist rounded up their picks for “where to go on a date this spring in Seattle,” including “spend a rainy afternoon at Seattle Art Museum” and “go on a self-guided tour of Olympic Sculpture Park.” 

Lauren Halsey’s solo show at SAM in which she “brings together the ancient and contemporary to celebrate Black culture” is a “top pick” in the Stranger

Rosa Sittg-Bell of The Daily at UW interviews SAM curator Natalia Di Pietrantonio about Embodied Change: South Asian Art Across Time, now on view at the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

“I find the body an interesting repository for different changes,” Di Pietrantonio said. “Many artists are really thinking about … [the] emotion of the body and expanding the body as part of the landscape or rethinking the parameters of the body. I felt that the body and thinking about emotions was very important to connect to activism.”

And Seattle Met includes Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water on their list of “things to do in Seattle”; the special exhibition opens to the public this Friday at SAM.

Local News

The Seattle Times has you covered with “what you need to know about mask, vaccine rules at Seattle-area arts and music events.” SAM’s policies continue to align with public health guidelines.

Crosscut’s Brangien Davis commemorates the two-year anniversary of pandemic closures with a return to pandemic art walks, visiting a new ecological installation along the Duwamish River by Sarah Kavage.

Seattle Magazine shares the news that Joël Barraquiel Tan is the new executive director of Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience.

“To me, this opportunity comes in the middle of the pandemic, in the middle of API (Asian Pacific Islander) hate, you have January 6,” he says. “It is about ‘what are you going to do in this moment?’ The cultural capital, the social capital (of the Wing Luke) is the Batmobile. What is going to happen in the next year? It is going to take strong institutions like Wing to get through this.” 

Inter/National News

ARTnews reports: Opening this week at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is the latest site-specific installation commissioned annually for the museum’s rooftop; this year’s creation is by Lauren Halsey, whose work is also on view at SAM!

The New York Times’ Holland Cotter on Fictions of Emancipation: Carpeaux Recast, a new show at the Metropolitan Museum organized around a single marble sculpture.

Via Artnet’s Sarah Cascone: “Ukrainian arts organizations are striving to protect the nation’s cultural heritage—including the websites and digital archives of its museums and libraries.”

“The new initiative Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (SUCHO) has been working around the clock to back-up and preserve data and technology, all of which are threatened by the war.”

And Finally

Dial 1-800-PEP-TALK (actually, it’s 707-998-8410).

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Natali Wiseman.

Muse/News: Bold and Bodied, Aging with Art, and Guard-Curators

SAM News

Kai Curry interviews SAM curator Natalia Di Pietrantonio about Embodied Change: South Asian Art Across Time, now on view at the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

“It focuses particularly on modern contemporary artists that are activist artists that are emboldened and trying to change norms within society,” Di Pietrantonio explained. “I decided upon the theme based on current events, and what I thought Seattle audiences would be drawn to during this particular time.”

And save the dates: Curiocity shares that SAM has announced its lineup of 2022 exhibition openings, including an exhibition on sculptor Alberto Giacometti this summer and a dual exhibition on Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems this fall.

Local News

In her recent ArtSEA letter, Crosscut’s Brangien Davis charts the “seamless pass of the worry baton from COVID to Cold War” in the Blades of Change project by Northwest artist Jill Drllevich.

From Seattle Met’s Malia Alexander: “Wa Na Wari Has a Vision for the Central District’s Black Future.”

Grace Gorenflo of the Seattle Times on 10 years of “creative aging” programs at the Frye Art Museum “that allow individuals living with dementia to foster friendships and community through art.”

“Randy Rowland participated in multiple Creative Aging classes with his wife, Kay Grant Powers, before her death in 2019…‘My wife declined for a long time, and I hadn’t seen her operate at that level for a while. And then all of a sudden, there she was, kind of waxing poetic and talking about the painting that we’re looking at,’ he said.”

Inter/National News

Artnet has been sharing news out of Ukraine and impacts of the war on its cultural people and places, including an opinion piece from Olesia Ostrovska-Liuta, the director general of Kyiv’s Mystetskyi Arsenal National Art and Culture Museum Complex, who wrote about what’s going on there and how others can help.

Frieze has a video exploring the work of Woody De Othello, in which he explores “the emotion of everyday objects.” A sculpture by this rising art world star was recently acquired by SAM for its collection.

From NPR: “Meet the security guards moonlighting as curators at the Baltimore Museum of Art.”

“Chief Curator Asma Naeem, one of the people who came up with the idea of security/curators, says they pick up lots of insights, and pass them along to visitors. Naeem remembers her early days of museum-going. ‘For me, walking into a museum for the first time was something very intimidating.’ Guards helped. ‘I felt like I could go up to one of the guards and hear their observations and comments, and just ease into being a visitor.’”

And Finally

The People of Third and Pine.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Natali Wiseman.

Muse/News: Halsey on View, Cat Towers, and P-Funk Approval

SAM News

Now on view at SAM: the solo exhibition for Lauren Halsey, the 2021 recipient of the SAM’s Gwendolyn Knight | Jacob Lawrence Prize. Artdaily announced the show, and family-focused Tinybeans included the show on their list of 13 Ways Families Can Explore Black History in Seattle.”

Northwest Asian Weekly has a mention of Embodied Change: South Asian Art Across Time, the inaugural exhibition by SAM’s first-ever curator of South Asian art. It’s now on view at the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

Local News

The Seattle Times’ Grace Gorenflo on the journalists of color who have joined Seattle’s KING5 in recent years, filling the shoes of the trailblazers who came before.

Here’s Berette S. Macaulay on “The Poetics of Barbara Earl Thomas” for the University of Washington College of Arts & Sciences webpage. The book for her recent solo show at SAM is available at SAM Shop.

Crosscut’s Margo Vansynghel joins fellow art critics in experiencing a new installation of cat towers at the Museum of Museums.

“On a recent Sunday afternoon, three art critics sniffed, prowled, jumped and climbed their way through a new exhibit. Khione gravitated to a colorful installation featuring cloth orbs and plastic linked chains. Oliver climbed on top of an austere, spiraling sculpture made out of 4x4s, plywood, masonite and carpet. And Luna sat in a small separate room, processing her impressions.”

Inter/National News

Via Artnet: Another Super Bowl “friendly wager” of art sees a Robert Henri painting from the Cincinnati Art Museum heading to LA’s Huntington Library. SAM’s adventures in Super Bowl-ing in 2014 and 2015 are mentioned.

Tatler names “4 Power Couples of Design” from history, including the architects of the 1991 Seattle Art Museum building, Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi.

The New York Times’ T Magazine interviews the legendary George Clinton; he mentions Lauren Halsey as a current inspiration.

“Halsey said it was one of her dreams in life to design a stage for Clinton to perform on that would match the scale of the maximalist P-Funk concerts of the 1970s. And why not? If nothing else, Clinton’s career has been an ongoing argument that anything is possible. He  has a handful of live performances on the horizon, and when asked if he was planning to ever go back on tour, Clinton responded, ‘Oh, hell, yeah.’”

And Finally

An adieu to Café Presse from Bethany Jean Clement.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Natali Wiseman.

Muse/News: Support Arts, Depression-Era Shakespeare, and a Posthuman Biennale

SAM News

“Support arts in long road to recovery.” That’s the message from the Seattle Times editorial board, reviewing the data from the recent COVID Cultural Impact Study conducted by ArtsFund. SAM participated in the study, and director and CEO Amada Cruz was interviewed about SAM’s recovery process so far.

“While there is reason to hope the worse days of the pandemic may soon be behind us, the arts community faces years of uncertainty…How quickly creative organizations recover has a big impact on the region’s quality of life. A vibrant arts scene is good for the economy, good for the community, and good for the soul.”

Seattle Met is out with a new compendium of “Seattle’s essential museums,” including, of course, SAM with its three locations of globe-trotting art.

“The museum’s 2017 Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, a trailblazer in the now wildly popular genre of immersive art installations, exemplifies its ambitious global reach, while its 2021–22 retrospective on the work of photographer Imogen Cunningham speaks to its enduring local commitments.”

Local News

A change approaches for the Frye Art Museum: The Seattle Times reports that its director and CEO Joseph Rosa will step down at the conclusion of his current contract, saying he wants to make room for “an emerging talent within our field.”

Seattle artist Michael Spafford has died at the age of 86. The Seattle Times shared about the legacy of the beloved painter, printmaker, and teacher.

Dusty Somers for the Seattle Times on the forthcoming shows by Seattle Shakespeare Company: Hamlet and As You Like It, both performed entirely by actors of color and using the Depression-era Works Progress Administration’s support for theater as a framing device.

“We could have just done it set here in present day, but we were like, ‘There’s an opportunity to tell a greater story here,’ ” [diversity programming coordinator Lamar ] Legend said. “There are just too many parallels with that period of history and the one we’re currently in.”

Inter/National News

Via Artdaily: The American Federation of Arts announced Kimerly Rorschach named President of the AFA’s Board of Trustees.” Congratulations to SAM’s former director (2012-19) and best wishes for this exciting new role!

Dorian Batycka for Artnet on how Ukrainian artists and cultural producers are responding to the tensions within the country as Russia threatens to invade.

ARTnews shares the full list of artists to be featured in this year’s Venice Biennale, which is curated by Cecilia Alemani, director and chief curator of High Line Art in New York.

“The exhibition is rooted in posthuman thought,” Alemani said. “Many contemporary artists are imagining a posthuman condition challenging the presumed Western condition using the white man as a measure of all things. They propose difference alliances, fantastic bodies. This is why the exhibition includes a large amount of female and gender nonconforming artists.”

And Finally

David Byrne does T Magazine’s artist’s questionnaire.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: L. Fried

Muse/News: Gods & Bods, Remover Art, and Maus Banned

SAM News

“Gods, bods, and power at Seattle Asian Art Museum”: Here’s Crosscut’s Brangien Davis on Embodied Change: South Asian Art Across Time.

“When I visited the show last weekend, I was thrilled to learn about contemporary artists who were entirely new to me.”

And Seattle Met’s Allecia Vermillion names the “best new restaurants: takeout edition,” including SAM’s new spot, Market Seattle, the second location of the beloved Edmonds restaurant.

“…this Market sits inside Seattle Art Museum, where you can now tear into a fried soft-shell crab in a bag amid ample lights and white-backdrop gallery vibes.”

Local News

Lunar New Year festivities in the region kicked off on Saturday; Seattle Times’ Vonnai Phair has a round-up of all the ways to welcome the Year of the Tiger.

The Locals Going to the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics in 2022”: Malia Alexander for Seattle Met with all the local names to cheer on.

The Stranger’s Chase Burns catches up on Sundance flicks; Matt McCormick’s short 2002 film the subconscious art of graffiti removal, narrated by Miranda July, is the one that sticks with him.

“The relationship between tagger and remover is an ongoing one. Often, a remover will cover an original tag, only for the tagger to return and tag on top of the remover’s masking. This back-and-forth can continue for years, with the remover coming back and using different shades of paint, creating a layered, more colorful image. This can be accidentally beautiful.”

Inter/National News

If you’re still loving jigsaw puzzles, the at-home hobby that swept the world during the pandemic, Culture Type has a round-up of puzzles featuring the work of celebrated Black artists, including Jacob Lawrence, Derrick Adams, and Faith Ringgold.

Tessa Soloman for ARTnews on a coyote-man sculpture discovered years ago in Tacámbaro, an area in central Mexico, which archeologists are now studying. They believe the sculpture may represent a dynasty that once ruled the area.

Artnet reports: Art Spiegelman has spoken out about the banning of his Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel Maus by a Tennessee school board.

“The district’s decision to censor the book, because it said the material was inappropriate for students, ‘has the breathe of autocracy and fascism about it,’ Spiegelman told CNN.”

And Finally

On Artnet’s podcast: “The Nazis Stole Her Family’s Art. Here’s How She Got It Back.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Natali Wiseman.

Muse/News: The Body at SAM, SOIL’s Independence, and Bearden’s Cartoons

SAM News

Now on view at the Seattle Asian Art Museum: Embodied Change: South Asian Art Across Time, the first show from our first-ever curator of South Asian art, Natalia Di Pietrantonio. The show presents art on the human body from ancient to contemporary times. Artdaily, 425 Magazine, and Capitol Hill Seattle all shared the news.

Seattle Museum Month returns in February, and with that, AFAR puts Seattle on its list of “best places to travel” that month, name-dropping SAM’s collection show, Frisson: The Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis Collection, as something to see.

And finally, ArtsFund released its 2022 COVID Cultural Impact Study, tracking the impact of the pandemic on Washington’s cultural sector. Seattle press reported on the study, including KUOW, KING5, and The Seattle Times, who interviewed Amada Cruz, SAM’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director and CEO, about SAM’s recovery and future.

“‘The thing that’s interesting is because this uncertainty is still in place, we still don’t know what those changes are going to be,’ Cruz said. ‘We have learned that we have to be nimble, and we’re learning to be nimble.’”

Local News

Some media news! Meet Luna Reyna, Crosscut’s new Indigenous affairs reporter.

The Seattle Times’ Moira Macdonald on the retirement of Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Noelani Pantastico after 25 years. Lots of video links included!

Also in the Seattle Times: Ann Guo on SOIL Gallery, the indie gallery going strong since 1995.

“As a staunchly independent initiative, SOIL has the privilege of being nimble, challenging itself to evolve along with changing times and attitudes.”

Inter/National News

ARTnews reports: the Hirshhorn Museum and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery have jointly acquired Infinity Mirrored Room—My Heart Is Dancing into the Universe (2018) by Yayoi Kusama.

French fashion designer Thierry Mugler died at the age of 73. His sci-fi couture is currently on view at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris; see images from the show at Artnet.

Michael Lobel for Artforum on Romare Bearden’s earliest work from the 1930s, which saw him working as a political cartoonist.

“It’s exceedingly common for artists’ output in popular, ephemeral contexts—cartooning, illustrating, advertising, and the like—to be taken less seriously than their endeavors in more traditional artistic media. In this case, that needs to change, and Bearden’s images should be kept in mind as the conversation about Guston continues to play out.”

And Finally

Revisit Hilton Als on André Leon Talley from 1994.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Natali Wiseman.

Muse/News: American Themes, Fannie’s Debut, and Witnessing History

SAM News

There’s only three weeks left before we close the shutter on Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective, and a lot to look forward to in Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water, opening in March. But let’s look even further to October, when SAM will unveil its reinstalled American art galleries…

The project is guided by Theresa Papanikolas, Ann M. Barwick Curator of American Art, and it engages Indigenous artists Wendy Red Star and Nicholas Galanin as well as 11 paid advisors from the Seattle community. Papanikolas was interviewed for an article by Zachary Small for Artnet; in it, he explores several similar projects in the works across the country to reimagine the meanings of “American” art.

“‘Chronology is something that is imposed onto history,’ said Theresa Papanikolas, curator of American art at the Seattle Art Museum. ‘It gets to be a little deterministic.’ Papanikolas said that viewers can expect a very different kind of gallery experience. She is particularly excited for Red Star’s installation, which is still being completed but will ‘conjure ideas of portraiture, landscape, and Seattle’ while also ‘literally bringing Indigenous voices into the gallery.’”

Local News

Emily Benson for High Country News on Evergreen, a new anthology of Northwest writings that’s notably “grim” and “gloomy.”

Allison Williams for Seattle Met with a deep dive on two “strange” interpretive museums in the Columbia Gorge.

Gemma Alexander for the Seattle Times on “Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer,”  playwright Cheryl L. West’s one-woman show now playing at Seattle Rep.

“I believe stories come along to show you something. This one encouraged me on my courage journey. Who would have known that it would happen during a time when we were all really looking for hope, when we were looking for that sort of resilience of spirit?” asks West. “She was such an inspiring woman. So the show asks the question, ‘What can we do at this point?’”

Inter/National News

Alex Greenberger for ARTnews reports: Interscope Records, LACMA Team Up for Show of Artworks Inspired by Music.”

Kristian Vistrup Madsen for Artforum on the debut in Dresden of a newly conserved painting by Johannes Vermeer; Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window now includes a painting of Cupid where once was a white wall.

Jillian Steinhauer for the New York Times on Arrivals, now on view at New York’s Katonah Museum of Art, yet another exhibition that grapples with American myths.

“At its best, ‘Arrivals’ offers the feeling of witnessing arguments or conversations between artists across place and time — and it makes you understand the stakes of those conversations.”

And Finally

Crosscut’s Knute Berger and Stephen Hegg with a video story on the “dogs that helped shape PNW history.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Tim Aguero.

Muse/News: Art of Folding, Artists in Storefronts, and Rembrandt’s Close-Up

SAM News

You’ve got just under a month to see Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective, closing February 6 at SAM! Catch up on why this exhibition is a can’t-miss with KING5; curator Carrie Dedon recently appeared on both New Day NW and Evening Magazine to share her love for the photographer.

While you’re there, check out the collection galleries, including Folding Into Shape: Japanese Design and Crafts. The Seattle Times’ Jade Yamazaki Stewart recently visited the show, connecting the works on view with childhood memories of intricately wrapped onigiri.

“Folding, wrapping, layering, and weaving are part of some of life’s most important events in Japan: birth, marriage and death. At such significant times in one’s life, the care taken to fold, wrap and layer shows respect and consideration. This carefulness, and astounding craftsmanship, is on full display at the exhibition.”

And finally, here’s the Seattle Times’ list of “13 Seattle-area arts-and-culture events to look forward to in 2022.” Brendan Kiley recommends Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water, SAM’s next special exhibition that opens March 18.

Local News

Here’s Rain Embuscado for the Seattle Times on “Why ‘people have been craving’ Seattle’s First Thursday Art Walks.”

Margo Vansynghel of Crosscut floats to the Belltown studio housing Moth & Myth, a paper butterfly business creating beautiful swarms for customers and galleries.

Amanda Omg for South Seattle Emerald reports on the recent launch of Seattle Restored, a program from the City of Seattle “focused on activating vacant commercial storefronts in Downtown Seattle neighborhoods” that will “prioritize featuring BIPOC artists and entrepreneurs.” Applications are open and on a rolling basis, so get your idea in!

“This is so, so, so important for giving voice to people who might not have a voice in our society,” [Shunpike Executive Director Line] Sandsmark said. “I’ve been in many situations where I’ve been able to see how impactful the arts are in really supporting a healthy society. It’s a wonderful way to make the space available and accessible to people, to artists, who have lost so much space, who have been displaced because of gentrification, to focus on and create more opportunity for those who have had less opportunity in the past.”

Inter/National News

The lede from Artnet’s Sarah Cascone: “A year ago, before the smoke had fully cleared after a group of insurrectionists stormed the Capitol building, curators and historians were already grappling with the complicated question of how best to preserve the historical record.” Read the rest about the rapid-response collecting for January 6 artifacts.

Watch this space: ARTnews reports that a new biopic about the young Jean-Michel Basquiat is in the works, directed by Julius Onah and starring Kelvin Harrison, Jr.

Here’s the Associated Press on how a “new hi-tech photo brings Rembrandt’s ‘Night Watch’ up close.”

“The 717-gigapixel photo allows viewers to zoom in on Captain Frans Banninck Cocq and see how the 17th-century master put the tiniest of white dots in his eyes to give life to the painting’s main character. It also shows the minute cracks in his pupils, brought on by the passage of time.”

And Finally

A must-read: The New York Times’ Wesley Morris on Sidney Poitier.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: L. Fried.

Muse/News: Cunningham’s BFF, Nomura’s Moment, and Exiting 2021

SAM News

Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective is now on view at SAM! Jas Keimig of the Stranger falls for the friendship between Cunningham and sculptor Ruth Asawa, which is explored in the show via portraits and a dynamic installation of Asawa’s “floppy, organic” works.

Misha Berson wrote for Oregon ArtsWatch about the “many faces” of Imogen Cunningham on view in the exhibition, sharing some memories of spotting the artist herself out and about in San Francisco, too.

Seattle Met shares their picks for the best seafood in Seattle, including SAM’s favorite new friend, MARKET Seattle.

Local News

Patheresa Wells for South Seattle Emerald on the meanings of Kwanzaa and how to celebrate the holiday this year, including in-person or virtual events at Wa Na Wari and the Northwest African American Museum.

Crosscut’s Margo Vansynghel looks back on “10 Seattle artworks that exemplify 2021.”

Jade Yamazaki Stewart on the much-deserved recognition of Seattle painter Kenjiro Nomura in a new book and an exhibition at the Cascadia Art Museum. (Hot tip: You can also see Nomura’s work on view at SAM in the collection installation Northwest Modernism!)

“But [Cascadia Art Museum curator David F.] Martin…said he’s had issues getting major museums to accept Nomura’s work, always getting the same response: that the paintings would better fit in a Japanese historical museum. This bothers Martin, who views Nomura as an American artist. ‘He was integrated in the art society here,” he says. “Why should I separate him by his ethnicity?’”

Inter/National News

The trailblazing thinker bell hooks passed away last week. Janelle Zara for Artnet celebrated hooks’ wide-ranging work, including her art criticism and how the writer was “instrumental in cracking open the white, western canon for Black artists.”

New York Times critics Holland Cotter and Roberta Smith offer their Best Art Exhibitions of 2021.”

“Exit this year through the museum gift shop,” says the New Yorker’s Rachel Syme in her detailed list of recommendations, including the “thank you” tote from SAM Shop, which is open during museum hours and online for holiday needs!

“Although each shop shares its sensibility—and its profits—with the larger institution it is attached to, many of the smaller and funkier museum shops stuff their shelves with eccentric trinkets that echo the museum’s aesthetic more in spirit than in substance.”

And Finally

The story behind Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Ruth Asawa, Sculptor, 1952, Imogen Cunningham, American, 1883–1976, sepia toned gelatin silver print, 9 1/2 × 7 1/2 in., Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Ruth Asawa and Albert Lanier, 2006.114.1, Photo: Randy Dodson, © 2021 The Imogen Cunningham Trust.

Muse/News: A Gutsy Woman, A Dance Legacy, and Black Formalism

SAM News

Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective is now on view at SAM! Appearing on New Day NW, ArtZone’s Nancy Guppy recommends several art shows for the holiday season, including SAM’s major exhibition.

“Don’t miss this,” says Lauren Gallow for LUXE Magazine about the exhibition, sharing quotes from the SAM curator for the show.

“As a woman artist on the cutting edge of her field, Cunningham’s story is an important one to tell,” says Carrie Dedon, SAM’s Assistant Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art. “She undertook artistic collaborations with Ruth Asawa and Martha Graham, and I hope viewers leave not only with an understanding of Cunningham’s innovation and experimentation, but also her collaborative and charismatic spirit.”

Hannelore Sudermann of the University of Washington Magazine—Cunningham’s alma mater!—highlights the photographer’s Northwest roots.

“‘There’s so much evidence that she embodies the ethos of a Seattleite—being adventurous, being a free thinker and really embracing nature. And being such a gutsy woman so early on,’ says Elizabeth Brown, an expert in the history of photography, UW lecturer, and former chief curator of the Henry Art Gallery.”

Local News

Seattle Met’s Sophie Grossman with a look at the many returns of Seattle performing arts this season.

“Prone to falling down digital rabbit holes”: The Stranger’s Jas Keimig interviews artist Anthony White about In Crystallized Time, the new show he curated at Museum of Museums.

The Seattle Times’ Crystal Paul with a fond farewell to dani tirrell, beloved dance artist and choreographer, who is moving to Washington, DC.

“‘Contributing to the rise and the presence of African American choreographers, to me that is the big legacy. Dani worked tirelessly. I don’t know what’s going to happen with all of that now that dani’s not here,’ said Donald Byrd, artistic director of Spectrum Dance Theater.”

Inter/National News

The Wall Street Journal’s Kelly Crow speaks with museum directors about their thoughts on immersive “art productions” such as the recent Van Gogh “immersive experience” that criss-crossed the country.

In a Landmark Move, the Metropolitan Museum of Art Has Removed the Sackler Name From Its Walls”: Artnet’s Sarah Cascone reports on the major decision.

Maximilíano Durón for ARTnews on the wide recognition and slate of shows for artist Derrick Adams; his work is currently on view in Seattle at the Henry Art Gallery alongside the work of Barbara Earl Thomas.

“As a Black artist, I want that freedom and liberty for people to experience my painting on their own terms, with or without having a built-in, overly structured narrative of the Black plight attached to it.”

And Finally

“How deaf-blind Seattle transit riders shared their stories with Crosscut”: go behind the scenes to see how reporting happens.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Installation view of “Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective” at Seattle Art Museum, 2021, photo: Natali Wiseman.

Muse/News: A Trailblazer, a New Arts Pub, and a Living Artwork

SAM News

Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective is now on view at SAM! Crosscut’s Margo Vansynghel appeared on KUOW’s Friday segment of arts picks to talk about why you should see this exhibition of work by a “trailblazer.” Musée Magazine, Pro Photo Daily and EQ Magazine all had mentions of the show.

“A lifetime of seeing through to beauty”: Diane Urbani de la Paz for Peninsula Daily News shares her experience of the exhibition (noting Cunningham’s Port Angeles childhood).

“Wandering through the galleries, you feel like you know this woman, this defiant one who opened her mind to the world.”

Tamara Gane for Travel + Leisure recommends “art al fresco” at SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park on their list of 24 things to do in Seattle.

Local News

For International Examiner, Robert Ryoji Dozono offers a remembrance of Northwest sculptor Michihiro Kosuge, who passed away in October.

Seattle Magazine is out with its list of the city’s “Most Influential People of 2021,” including art world leaders Michael Greer and Vivian Hua, KNKX news director Florangela Davila, Dr. Ben Danielson, and more.

New! Arts! Publication! Rain Embuscado for The Seattle Times with all the details on PublicDisplay.ART, a new venture from veteran publisher Marty Griswold; the first cover star is SAM favorite Tariqa Waters.

“Seattle-based artist Anouk Rawkson, who is featured in the magazine’s debut, says PublicDisplay.ART serves as a sorely needed platform. ‘With COVID, a lot of the arts suffered,’ Rawkson said in a phone interview. “For any artist, to get your body of work out to the public is a great opportunity.’”

Inter/National News

Artnet’s Sarah Cascone interviews artist Saya Woolfalk on the occasion of her new show at the Newark Museum of Art; Woolfalk’s dazzling SAM installation, Lessons from the Institute of Empathy, is still on view on the museum’s fourth floor!

“On destroying guitars and turning life into sculpture”: The Financial Times on artist Naama Tsabar’s new solo show in Miami; SAM recently acquired a work by the artist for its collection.

Billy Anania for Hyperallergic on an artists’ project in Ethiopia aimed at restoring biodiversity lost in the area due to climate change.

“This living artwork — part of the larger ‘Trees for Life’ project — will be visible from outer space, making it the first Earth observation artwork composed entirely from plant life.”

And Finally

Josephine Baker enters the Pantheon.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Self-Portrait with Grandchildren in Funhouse, 1955, Imogen Cunningham, American, 1883–1976, gelatin silver print, 8 3/4 × 7 5/16 in., The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2006.25.2, © 2021 The Imogen Cunningham Trust.

Muse/News: Camera as a Blade, Hockey in Seattle, and Architects’ Ideas

SAM News

Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective is now on view at SAM! Ann Guo for the Seattle Times explored why Seattle’s Imogen Cunningham is one of the leading photographers of her time.”

“The photographer wielded the camera as one would a blade — precise and controlled, yet with delicate grace.”

And here’s an appreciation of the photographer’s body of work in Airmail, focusing particularly on her work with nudes.

“It is perhaps this quality of reflective quiet that epitomizes Cunningham’s art across time. In all of her photos we sense not only her concentration, but the vibrancy of being in subjects animate and inanimate.”

Also on view at SAM: Frisson: The Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis Collection featuring Abstract Expressionist and post-war art. Here’s Renee Diaz for UW Daily on the exhibition.

Local News

From the Seattle Times: Why arts critic Moira Macdonald picks Tchaikovsky’s ‘Nutcracker’ as the soundtrack of her holiday season.”

“Ghost mall goes indie: Pacific Place gets a new lease on life”: Margo Vansynghel on how the downtown shopping center is filling its spaces with local art.

Lucas Kaplan for Seattle Met on Hockey: Faster Than Ever, now on view at the Pacific Science Center.

“It’s not all a bird’s-eye view of hockey either…PacSci’s exhibit emphasizes the importance of broadening the reach of the sport, beyond the predominantly white and male scope. The Kraken have been outspoken in this regard, and some members of its historically diverse staff, as well as its investments in youth programs, are highlighted here.”

Inter/National News

“We Are Angry, We Are Tired”: Artnet’s Kate Brown on the impact of the new travel ban on South African art dealers headed to Art Basel Miami.

ARTnews: A story about PBS, a Maltese priest/art historian, and a stolen Caravaggio.

Why Shouldn’t Housing for the Homeless Be Beautiful?” Thomas Rogers for the New York Times on an exhibition exploring architects’ ideas for solving homelessness.

“Because of climate change and pandemics and robotization, we will have more refugees in the future, more poverty,” [architect Alexander Hagner] said. Young architects realized that “we have learned a profession in which we can perhaps not save the world.” But, he added, they could “contribute to making it a better place.”

And Finally

Thank you, Stephen Sondheim. Let’s wallow in the archives.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Installation view of Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective at Seattle Art Museum, 2021, photo: Natali Wiseman.

Muse/News: Imogen’s Influence, Painting Last Meals, and Finding a Dürer

SAM News

Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective is now on view at SAM! Carrie Dedon, SAM’s Associate Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art, spoke with KUOW’s Kim Malcolm about Cunningham’s life and work. And Crosscut’s Margo Vansynghel on “how Seattle’s Imogen Cunningham changed photography forever.” She spoke with six local artists about Cunningham’s influence and legacy.

“Cunningham’s headstrong nature would come to define her long career as a fine arts photographer: She never hesitated to experiment, even if it meant sailing against the wind as a female photographer in a male-dominated industry.”

Jasmine Jamillah Mahmoud for Variable West on “the boundless light of Black children” shining in Barbara Earl Thomas: The Geography of Innocence. Also: Check out the show’s accompanying book, featuring an essay by the artist.

“I want everybody to be a little bit off their rocker, a little bit shocked, a little bit dazzled, a little bit held. That’s what I get to do.” – Barbara Earl Thomas

Local News

“Why they give.” In the spirit of holiday giving, 425 Business checks in with local philanthropists about their charity practice. The Banks family is featured; Dr. Cherry A. Banks is a SAM trustee.

For Thanksgiving, Crosscut once again highlights the bounty of Native art on view in the area, including Duane Linklater: mymothersside at the Frye Art Museum, new public art at Climate Pledge Arena, film screenings, holiday markets, and much more.

“A painterly catalog of the death penalty in America”: The Seattle Times’ David Gutman on Julie Green’s The Last Supper, now on view at the Bellevue Arts Museum.

“You think you’re looking at something that’s very blasé and very familiar and comforting and then it’s something that really jolts you once you actually understand what you’re looking at,” said Lane Eagles, associate curator at the museum. “I think the idea is to sort of lull you into this sense of comfort so that you’re sort of disarmed and that that’s when the reality that every single plate is a dead person hits you.”

Inter/National News

From NPR: “Frida Kahlo’s Diego y yo, a painting of herself with her husband’s image on her forehead, sold for $34.9 million in a Sotheby’s auction… It’s the most money ever paid at auction for a work by a Latin American artist.” Speaking of: Don’t miss Imogen Cunningham’s portrait of Kahlo on view at SAM!

The New York Times reviews The Loft Generation, a memoir by artist Edith Schloss discovered after her death; she brings to life the mid-century New York scene, including Frisson artists such as Franz Kline and Willem de Kooning.

One of Muse/News’ favorite genres: A man purchased a drawing at an estate sale for $30; it may be a Albrecht Dürer worth $50 million.

“On a lark, he bought it for $30. At the very least, it was ‘a wonderfully rendered piece of old art, which justified purchasing it,’ he recalled.

And Finally

The shaggy appeal of Kurt Vonnegut.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: L. Fried.

Muse/News: Seeing at SAM, Homes for Artists, and an Afrofuturist Room

SAM News

Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective opens at SAM this Thursday! Peter Saenger of the Wall Street Journal previews the exhibition of the endlessly innovative photographer who “championed new ways of seeing.”

“In a 1952 portrait, the sculptor Ruth Asawa holds one of her celebrated wire sculptures in front of her head, forming a rough square. The Seattle show will include a video of a Graham performance and a number of Asawa sculptures. Cunningham formed a close friendship with Asawa that lasted decades, and Carrie Dedon, who curated the exhibition for Seattle’s presentation, notes her ability to connect with fellow artists.”

Frisson: The Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis Collection is also on view at SAM. Seattle Magazine highlights it in their arts scene overview in their October edition. And Crosscut’s Margo Vansynghel wrote about the show in their “things to do in Seattle in November” round-up.

“It’s no exaggeration to say the Langs assembled a world-class collection with a keen eye, particularly for artists who have only recently been getting their due, including Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell and Philip Guston.”

Local News

“An arts critic and a hockey fan go to a Kraken game.” The Seattle Times’ Moira Macdonald and Trevor Lenzmeier, along with the Kraken, make for a journalistic hat trick.

Crosscut Talks podcast talks with the owners of Seattle fine dining institution Canlis about the creative ways they rethought their business during the first year of the pandemic. Also in Crosscut Land: They have a new executive editor! Welcome, M. David Lee III!

Sarah Anne Lloyd for Seattle Met speaks with musician/realtor Pearl Nelson, who wants to help artists find nice places to live.

“Artists move where it’s affordable. So finding places that are affordable so you can live in Seattle eventually again, whether it’s through programs where it’s a multigenerational household or friendships that can acquire property and hopefully build equity, it might be the way…. I really want to see the artists and musicians and creatives find places here. That’s it. I hope we can have places to be.

Inter/National News

The American South is the theme of Art in America’s November/December issue; explore essays and interviews on “trauma, joy, and the arc of America’s national story.”

Nicolas Rapold on a new documentary about another American photographer: Gordon Parks. A Choice of Weapons traces his journey from a Kansas family farm to his photo essays on Black life to making history as the first Black artist to produce and direct a major Hollywood film.

Darla Migan for Artnet on Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room, now open at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“To root the exhibition in the reality of specific historical erasure, the curators created a space that embraces the memory of Seneca Village, a thriving 19th-century New York City community of predominantly Black property owners and tenants. It was situated not too far from the Met, on what is now the western perimeter of Central Park, or what remains the unseated lands of indigenous Lenape peoples, potentially representing multiple displacements and migrations.”

And Finally

“I like the vulgarity of it.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Magnolia Blossom, negative 1925; print 1930, Imogen Cunningham, American, 1883–1976, gelatin silver print, 9 5/16 × 11 5/8 in., Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, 54042, Photo: Randy Dodson, © 2021 The Imogen Cunningham Trust.

Muse/News: Conserving Art, Au Revoir Kucera, and She Was Victory

SAM News

Frisson: The Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis Collection is now on view at SAM. Take a peek behind the scenes into the conservation done to these works before installation! ArtZone features Nicholas Dorman, SAM’s Jane Lang Davis Chief Conservator, and other members of SAM’s conservation team, as they work across SAM’s three sites to protect and preserve art.

Local News

Sophie Grossman for Seattle Met, along with haunting photos by Chona Kasinger, on “Seattle’s most storied headstones.”

Marcie Silllman for Crosscut, speaking with Pacific Northwest Ballet dancers about returning to the stage while nearing the end of their careers.

“Greg Kucera, leading force in Seattle art world, leaves for his castle in France”: Here’s the Seattle Times’ Brendan Kiley with a farewell to the beloved gallerist.

“I’ve always felt, whether he was praising me or offering advice or criticism, that he believed in my art and that part of what drove him was the desire to advance it, and to protect it from obstacles,” said photographer Chris Engman, who makes confounding, disorienting illusions. “This is what a collaboration between an artist and a gallerist should look like.”

Inter/National News

Artnet’s Taylor Defoe asks why so many recent horror flicks are set in the art world (hint: it’s a metaphor!).

Chantal Da Silva for NBC News on the possibilities—and ethical and legal challenges—of the use of artificial intelligence in uncovering “lost” art.

“The woman who was victory”: Eve M. Kahn for The Magazine ANTIQUES on Hettie Anderson, an early 20th-century Black model for artists.

“I visit Victory in midtown Manhattan often. I eavesdrop as people take selfies below her sandaled feet. Almost no one reads the nearby plaque, explaining the symbolism of Union triumph and identifying Anderson. How fierce she looks, with anti-pigeon spikes atop her head, wings, and fingertips. How few other models of her time maintained their privacy and independence, and how fewer still had the sand to protect their own image by copyright.”

And Finally

“Just watching people in a kitchen move around is really quite beautiful.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Courtesy of Seattle Channel.

Muse/News: Tapete Wonder, Really Immersive, and a Hidden Gorky

SAM News

Frisson: The Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis Collection is now on view at SAM! Before you head to the galleries, check out the tapete (sand painting) by local Oaxacan artist Fulgencio Lazo in the Brotman Forum. ParentMap includes it on their list of Día de los Muertos happenings around the region.

Local News

Erica Browne Grivas for the Seattle Times with photos and an itinerary for a mural walk starting at Pike Place Market and winding to Belltown.

Crosscut’s Margo Vansynghel on supply chain issues and their impacts on the local art world. Yep, it’s impacting SAM: we are waiting on the arrival of beautiful catalogues for Barbara Earl Thomas: The Geography of Innocence. Stay tuned for updates!

Also in Crosscut and also about Barbara Earl Thomas: Vansynghel wrote about great alternatives to certain heavily promoted “immersive” experiences, such as Thomas’s work, which is also on view at the Henry Art Gallery alongside the work of Derrick Adams.

“As music by Dionne Warwick, Prince and Anita Baker plays overhead, a rotating lantern in the heart of the gallery casts cut-paper images across the room’s bare, white walls. The technique recalls the earlier magic-lantern work of artists Auguste Edouart and Kara Walker. But here, there are no silhouetted people, only abstracted monochrome shapes of cut fabric patterns (Adams) and stained-glass-like cutouts of an Afro pick and a cinderella shoe surrounded by roses (Thomas).”

Inter/National News

Shanti Escalante-De Mattei for ARTnews on the National Gallery of Art’s first acquisition of a work by Faith Ringgold, a 1967 painting entitled The American People Series #18: The Flag is Bleeding.

Sarah Rose Sharp for Hyperallergic on the Ford Foundation’s announcement of a $50 million dollar investment in their Global Fellows program; among the 48 new fellows are seven artists and storytellers.

Gorkys on Gorkys: Ted Loos for the New York Times on the incredible discovery of a new Arshile Gorky painting hidden beneath one of the artist’s famous paintings.

“Slowly we were able to see the edges of ‘Virginia Summer,’” Mr. Masson said. “After numerous discussions with the owners, we started to go further and we realized that there was oil paint covering the whole canvas. It’s the first time we realized it’s not a sketch, it’s more.”

And Finally

A Muse/News Halloween tradition: The immortal Pumpkin Dance.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM’s Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Natali Wiseman.

Muse/News: Choose Your Adventure, Indigenous Presence, and Delaney’s Glow

SAM News

Frisson: The Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis Collection is now on view at SAM! With 19 examples of dramatic, large-scale Abstract Expressionist and post-war works of art, the show has Brendan Kiley of the Seattle Times saying, “…choose your own adventure. There are no wrong answers here.”

“It’s a chance to peek at the midcentury art movement not through the eyes of scholars, but the eyes of people who looked carefully and only bought what they loved.”

The Stranger’s Jas Keimig recommends Frisson, joining KUOW to talk about this “beautiful, and historic for this region, presentation of modern art.” Graydon Carter’s digital weekly Air Mail included a mention of the show.

And Puget Sound Business Journal’s Patti Payne interviewed Lyn Grinstein, the daughter of the late Jane Lang Davis, about what their collection means to SAM and Seattle, and the power of art.

“It has a universal nonspecific vocabulary, and if you give it the time and sit with it quietly, it is as nourishing to heart and soul as any meditation, because it speaks this universal language of emotion. This is what art is supposed to do and this is what cultural collections do for us.”

Local News

After three years of inclusive leadership, Vivian Hua plans to step down as the executive director of Northwest Film Forum in 2022, reports the Stranger’s Jas Keimig.

Vonnai Phair of the Seattle Times on the 50th anniversary of saving the Pike Place Market from possible demolition.

“New works by local Native artists let everyone know: You are on Indigenous land,” reports Crosscut’s Margo Vansynghel.

“‘In a cultural and spiritual sense, having the Indigenous histories of the land — and the current Indigenous presence on the land — recognized in physical formats is hugely meaningful,’ says local artist and curator Asia Tail.”

Inter/National News

Artnet’s Katie White on “three things you may not know” about Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night (is that possible? We’re intrigued!).

“What Quilts Mean Now.” Kayleigh Perkov for Art in America on Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

The New York Times’ Roberta Smith on Be Your Wonderful Self: The Portraits of Beauford Delaney at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery.

“Delaney’s multiphased achievement fits in all over the map of 20th-century American art: the Harlem Renaissance, the Stieglitz circle, American Scene painting and Abstract Expressionism, but it is still waiting to be written into these histories.”

And Finally

“Laurie Anderson Has a Message for Us Humans.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM’s Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Dawn Shapes, 1967, Helen Frankenthaler, American, 1928–2011, acrylic on canvas, 77 x 933/4 in.Seattle Art Museum, Gift of the Friday Foundation in honor of Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis, 2020.14.5© Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. Photo: Spike Mafford /Zocalo Studios. Courtesy of the Friday Foundation.

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