SAM Art: Bovine

Seattle-based artist Whiting Tennis explores transformation in Bovine, a large hollow structure made of found plywood. Recalling a covered wagon, he has outfitted it with tools that would be necessary for survival in uncharted territories. However, masquerading as part animal and part domesticated site, Bovine is directionless, lost in the wilderness with its windows boarded and four stationary legs that were once wagon wheels. As if to conjure an image of isolation and the frontier experience, Tennis includes a soundtrack, Alone & Forsaken,

by the legendary Hank Williams, whose forlorn music is heard emanating from inside the structure. Fittingly, Tennis often refers to this sculpture as “The Oregon Trail Reversed”—decay and renewal were part of his concept when creating this work.

“Bovine,” 2006, Whiting Tennis, American, born 1959, lumber, found plywood and found objects and CD, 102 x 168 x 90 in., Gift of Greg Kucera and Larry Yocom, friends of Whiting Tennis, and the Mark Tobey Estate Fund, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum, 2006.134, image courtesy Greg Kucera Gallery, © Whiting Tennis. On view starting 30 June, in “Reclaimed: Nature and Place through Contemporary Eyes,” Special Exhibition galleries, fourth floor, SAM downtown.

Get Ready for Artistic Feats at Party in the Park

The day of Party of the Park is finally here, and we couldn’t be more excited! The weather is going to be great, and we have a full line-up of amazing entertainment and experiences.

Guests will enjoy beautiful beats from live bands Hey Marseilles, The Paperboys, Curtains For You and The Lumineers, as well as music curated by Dave Hernandez from the Shins and the DJ beats of DJ Aanshul and DJ ‘G.’ Bountiful eats will be provided by fabulous food trucks Dante’s Inferno Dogs, Maximus/Minimus, Molly Moon Ice Cream, Skillet, Street Treats and Veraci Pizza. And our hosted bar will serve Northewest beer and wine.

If that wasn’t enough, Party in the Park will feature a variety of artist-designed interactive play and experiences.

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SAM Art: Sea Change

Abstract Expressionism was a dynamic fusion of Surrealism and Abstraction, seeking to awaken in the viewer—and in the artist as well—a deeper, often physical, response to the work. Large scale, edge-to-edge compositions and rich colors fill the eyes with often unified fields that are connected by movement and the traces of the brush.

 Sea Change is from a breakthrough group of early “transitional” works that Jackson Pollock made in 1947, which led away from figuration toward a fully abstract application of his drip technique. Its title comes from Shakespeare’s play The Tempest and lends extra narrative content to the composition, suggesting an impending meteorological event.

Installation view, Modern and Contemporary art galleries, third floor, SAM downtown, 2011.

Win 2 Tickets to Party in the Park!

Party in the Park is just a little over a week away – do you have your ticket yet? If not, here’s a great chance to win a pair of tickets for this fabulous event. All you have to do is describe what you would do in this box.

Confused? Let me explain. As part of the Summer Season at the Olympic Sculpture Park’s art installations, called On-Site, artist Carolina Silva has created a work of art that is meant to be performed in called Air Below Ground, pictured here. Throughout the summer, you have the opportunity to see her perform in this space every week! The very first performance is going to be at Party in the Park, and I hear it involves a fog machine.

Back to the question – if you had the opportunity to perform in Silva’s box, what would you do? The best answer wins a pair of tickets to Party in the Park, where you can see Silva’s first performance. So in the comments section, let us know what you would do, but do it fast. We’ll be announcing a winner on the morning of Monday, June 13. And keep it clean, folks. We’re a family friendly organization.

-Calandra Childers, Associate Manager of Public Relations

Photo: Robert Wade

 

SAM Art: Dance Wand for Sango

Shango is a Yoruba deity who harnesses bolts of lightning and thunder and uses them to reward worshippers and punish deceit. Oral praise poems say he is the one “who destroys the wicked with his truth, leaves in confusion the contentious man, and dances in the courtyard of the impertinent.”

Double axes adorn this woman’s head to show her alliance with Sango’s moral fire. She kneels before his authority to present an offering. Such generosity is considered a noble gesture of morality and ensures that Sango will consider blessing her with children and wealth.

“Dance wand for Sango,” date unknown, Yoruba, Nigerian, wood, 19 7/8 x 7 9/16 x 4 5/8 in., Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection, 67.91, Photo: Susan A. Cole. Currently on view in the African Art galleries, fourth floor, SAM downtown.

SAM Art: Tiger Lily

Shaping humble clay into transcendent forms fit for the divine is a tradition as old as ceramics themselves. Drawing inspiration from the ancient vernacular of forms and techniques, contemporary artists work with clay to create sculpture that, to our eyes, is simultaneously deeply familiar and startlingly fresh.

Central to all of the cultures represented in the Ancient Mediterranean art gallery, altars and shrines find their contemporary reflection in Tiger Lily. At the height of the Feminist Movement in the 1970s, artist Patti Warashina created altars such as this, offerings of feminine archetypes and stereotypes for consideration.

Tiger Lily is part of a new installation of contemporary ceramics in the Ancient Mediterranean art gallery starting on Wednesday, June 1.

 Tiger Lily, 1976, Patti Warashina, American, born 1940, low-fire ceramic with acrylic, 24 x 15 7/8 x 13 1/4 in., Gift of the artist, 89.78, © Patti Warashina. On view in the Ancient Mediterranean art gallery, fourth floor, SAM downtown, starting Wednesday, June 1.

 

SAM Thanks Those Who Serve Our Country

SAM Downtown & the Seattle Asian Art Museum are participating with the National Endowment for the ArtsBlue Star Families and over 1,000 museums in the US by offering free admission to active military personnel and their families from Memorial Day to Labor Day. We will also offer free admission to any retired or non-active military personnel members during this time.

Since both Beauty and Bounty and Reclaimed close on Sunday, September 11, we will be extending the promotion through the end of the exhibits.

Blue Star Museum free admission dates at SAM and the Seattle Asian Art Museum are Wednesday, June 1-Sunday, September 11, 2011. Just show your military ID. The military ID holder plus up to five  immediate family members (spouse or child of ID holder) are allowed in for free per visit.

SAM is proud to be a Blue Star Museum and thanks the thousands of men and women across Washington state–and throughout the country and world–who protect and serve the United States.

SAM Art: Chinese Landscape

After traveling to China in 1913, Hirai Baisen began to incorporate traditional Chinese subject matter into his modern Japanese painting practice. The white-walled buildings and the boats of the left-hand screen identify this as a Chinese landscape setting. Baisen, more widely known for his rich use of color, explored the expressive possibilities of ink on paper in this dramatic pair of six-panel screens.

This painting was recently installed in the Asian Art gallery at SAM downtown.

Chinese Landscape (detail), ca. 1925, Hirai Baisen, Japanese, 1889-1969, ink on paper, 67 1/4 x 148 1/2 in., Gift of Griffith and Patricia Way, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum, 2010.41.52.1-2, Photo: Eduardo Calderon. Currently on view in the Asian Art gallery, third floor, SAM downtown.

Surprises and Delights

The man was in a hurry. He had his cell phone pressed to his ear and appeared to be having a very serious conversation. As he listened intently to the other person on the line, he opened the door to exit the office building.

The man came to an abrupt stop and blinked in amazement. Then a huge smile spread across his face.

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Marisa Sánchez Named Patterson Sims Fellow

Every year SAM singles out one curator for outstanding work in the previous year. The recipient is named the Patterson Sims Fellow, in honor of our former chief curator. The award comes with a $5,000 grant to spend as the recipient desires. It is a decision that is never easy, because of the consistently high level of excellence and dedication embodied by our curators.Please join us in congratulating the 2011 Patterson Sims Fellow, Marisa Sánchez.

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Volunteer Soiree Honors Generous Gifts of Time and Talent to the Seattle Art Museum

In April, during National Volunteer Week, SAM held our annual Volunteer Soiree, a very special event that celebrates all our volunteers across the museum (600-plus this year) and outstanding volunteers from various departments, committees and councils. In addition we present the Dorothy C. Malone Award to one exceptional volunteer who reflects the highest standards of dedication and service to the museum.

This year SAM honored long-time volunteer Marilyn Batali with the 2011 Dorothy C. Malone Award.

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SAM Art: The Last Days of Prince Khurram

Before he was the most powerful ruler in the world, Prince Khurram was a young man molding his image and his priorities. Son of the Emperor Jahangir, he was both protégé and upstart, a source of pride and later serious rivalry for his father. For years it was believed that this portrait depicted Jahangir himself, but recent research identifies him as Jahangir’s son and successor, an early image of the supreme Mughal leader, the man who would become Shah Jahan.

This Mughal portrait is on view through Sunday, May 30.

Portrait of Prince Khurram (Shah Jahan), first quarter 17th century, Indian, Mughal period (1526-1858), opaque watercolor and gold on paper, 17 1/2 x 12 1/8 in., Thomas D. Stimson Memorial Collection, gift of Mrs. Charles Mosely Clark, 44.650. Currently on view in the Ancient Mediterranean and Islamic art galleries, fourth floor, SAM downtown.

SAM Art: Adrian Paci’s “Home to Go”

Adrian Paci was forced to flee his homeland of Albania in 1997 because of the political and social unrest, emigrating to Italy with his wife and children to secure their safety and personal freedoms. This unsettled history informs his larger body of work to date, including paintings, films, installations, and sculptures such as Home to Go. Here, the figure is a cast of the artist’s own body, hunched over by the weight of a tiled roof segment he carries on his back. The viewer is drawn in to the emotional, physical, and psychological burden of his exodus from his country, and the memory of it that Paci has never left behind.

Members Art History Lecture Series: Curator’s Choice
Marisa C. Sánchez: Adrian Paci’s “Home to Go”
May 18, 2011
7–8:30 pm
Plestcheeff Auditorium

Home to Go, 2001, Adrian Paci, Albanian, born 1969, plaster, marble dust, wood, tiles and rope, 65 x 35 3/8 x 47 1/4 in., Gift of the Contemporary Collectors Forum, 2008.12, Image courtesy Peter Blum Gallery, New York, © Adrian Paci. Currently on view in the Modern and Contemporary art galleries, third floor, SAM downtown.

 

Party in the Park on June 17

On June 17 from 8 pm to midnight, join us for Party in the Park: a benefit for the Seattle Art Museum!

Celebrate the kick-off of summer with friends knowing you are supporting artistic and outreach programs at the Olympic Sculpture Park and SAM.

Click here now to buy tickets! Cost is $75 and includes food, drink, and exclusive, after-hours access to the Olympic Sculpture Park. Since this is a benefit event, both SAM members and non-members are welcome at the same ticket price. Age 21+ only.

Beautiful Beats

Bountiful Eats

Artistic Feats

  • Artist-designed interactive play and experiences.

Thanks for supporting SAM and the Olympic Sculpture Park!

Photo credit: Robert Wade

Free Admission on International Museum Day

On Wednesday, May 18, we will participate in International Museum Day, an incredible world-wide day of free admission to museums sponsored by the International Council of Museums. This day is an occasion to raise awareness on how important museums are in the development of society. From America to Oceania; including Africa, Europe and Asia; this international event has grown in popularity. In recent years, International Museum Day has experienced its highest involvement with almost 30,000 museums participating in more than 100 countries.

Admission will be free all day Wednesday at the Seattle Art Museum and the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Both museums will be open from 10 am – 5pm. This is a great opportunity to see Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth or Modern Elegance: The Art of Meiji Japan.

Click here for more visitor information, including directions and parking details.

Art Attack! A Night Out for Teens, by Teens

Check out an epic ART ATTACK: Teen Night Out! Enjoy live music and tours led by our Teen Advisory Group  and local artists in the galleries. This event is FREE for all high school-aged students. Please bring state or high school ID.

LIVE PEFORMANCES

6–9 pm
DJ Hollywood
from KUBE heats up the turntables all night long.
Brotman Forum

6:30 pm & 7 pm
Garfield Drumline
kicks off Teen Night Out at Hammering Man (6:30 pm) and South Hall (7 pm).
Hammering Man (1st Ave. and University St) and South Hall

7:45 pm & 9 pm
Vicious Puppies
performs two breakdancing sets in South Hall (7:45 pm) and the Forum (9 pm)!
South Hall and Brotman Forum

8 pm & 9 pm
Spectrum Dance Academy
 gives Soundsuit performances in South Hall (8 pm) and the Forum (9 pm)!
South Hall and Brotman Forum

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SAM Art: Portrait of Alexander J. Cassatt

As Jessica Penn in Black with White Plumes, The Buffalo Hunt and other paintings from Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art return to their home in Arkansas, SAM’s American Art Gallery turns to look at American artists actively expanding their practice beyond paintings in oil.

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Seattle as Collector Opens at SAM

I had the pleasure of attending the opening for the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs Seattle as Collector exhibition here at SAM last night. The exhibition is part of the celebration of the Office’s 40th Anniversary, and the show includes over 110 pieces from the city’s 2,800 piece collection. The city’s collection, garnered through the 1% for art program, is really pretty extraordinary. I had been looking forward to seeing the installation, but when I actually walked through it, I was really struck by the artists included. We’re talking Chuck Close, Jacob Lawrence, Gwendolyn Knight, Alden Mason…big names. And there were a bunch of artists that I recognized because of exhibitions and projects I’ve worked on at SAM over the last few years.  Read More

Important News about SAM

I am writing to inform you of my decision to resign as Director of the Seattle Art Museum effective June 30th. This was a difficult decision for me but with SAM today in a much stronger position than when I arrived, I believe the time is right for a change in leadership.

When the fiscal year ends on June 30th, we will post what might well be the most successful year in SAM’s 78-year history:

  • More visitors than ever to Downtown SAM (projected to be nearly 600,000)
  • Membership at an all time high (more than 48,000 household members)
  • Increased levels of community engagement
  • Picasso exhibition which had region-wide impact
  • Stabilization of our financial situation and real estate dilemma

I am proud that SAM has achieved so much and I am confident that the institution will continue to build on this success.

I am eager for a break and for the chance to undertake my own projects. First, I aim to spend more time with my family and refresh my professional perspective.  My passion for art history has been on hold while I focused on the most urgent administrative and financial challenges here.  Now, I want to re-establish my personal connection with the artists, objects, and ideas that got me into museum work in the first place.  My family and I have fallen in love with Seattle and we expect to remain here, so I hope to see you often.

Please know that I am grateful for having had this opportunity to serve the Seattle Art Museum and this community.

Sincerely,

Derrick R. Cartwright

Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director

Free Admission and Activities at SAM Downtown and Seattle Asian Art Museum

The Seattle Art Museum is a new partner of Museums On Us, Bank of America’s nationwide program that provides greater access to museums, zoos, science centers and other cultural institutions. SAM is one of 153 participants who offer free admission to Bank of America cardholders on the first full weekend of every month. Get free admission to SAM Downtown May 7 and May 8 just by presenting your Bank of America debit or credit card.

Speaking of banks, Wells Fargo is presenting Free First Saturday at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Bring your family and try your hand at making drawings with bamboo and ink 11 am-2 pm. There will also be a free showing of the Japanese animated film “Pom Poko” at 1:30 pm.

On Sunday, bring your mom, grandma, nana, bubbe, abuela, stepmom, mother-in-law, baby’s mama, etc. to SAM and the Seattle Asian Art Museum on Sunday. Moms get in free!

For more details, visit our calendar or Events on our Facebook page.

There Goes the Neighborhood

The businesses on First Avenue that we’re happy to call our neighbors are getting in the spirit for March to the Center of the Earth: Community Night Out on May 5. Be sure to visit them and thank them for their support!

  • BOKA at Hotel 1000 will be handing out bags of gourmet, house-made salted caramel kettle corn.
  • Mary Elizabeth and Cindi at Goldmine Design are decorating their windows Nick Cave-style and are hosting an open studio event.
  • JoJo at Pala Pala Dress Boutique will be handing out coupons during the parade and is generously donating items for the Community Night Out scavenger hunt.
  • At sandylew, they will be handing out maracas made of upcycled plastic water bottles.
  • Watson Kennedy will be extending their hours and will also be donating items for the Community Night Out scavenger hunt.
  • Fran’s Chocolates is donating three $15 gift cards to use as scavenger hunt prizes.
  • Ancient Grounds and The Alexis Hotel are spreading the word about Community Night Out to their customers.
Photo courtesy of Goldmine Design

Make Your Own Flag for March to the Center of the Earth: Community Night Out

I can’t wait to see the wearable art that people are creating for March to the Center of the Earth: Community Night Out on May 5. The evening will kick off with a fantastic parade that starts at the Hammering Man at 5:30 p.m.

If you want a quick and easy way to make something special for Community Night Out, click here now to download instructions and pattern for a DIY flag.

Or come to SAM’s Chase Open Studio at 4:30 p.m. (an hour before the parade begins) to whip up some wearable art of your own. It’s free!

Make Wearable Art at SAM’s Chase Open Studio

Of course you’re coming to March to the Center of the Earth: Community Night Out on May 5.

The question is: Are you prepared to look FABULOUS?

This evening stop by the Chase Open Studio 5:45-8:45 pm to create your wearable art for Community Night Out. We have TONS of things that would give your look some F-L-A-R-E including fabric, sequins, feathers and more.

If you can’t make it tonight, the Open Studio will be available at 4:30 pm on May 5 an hour before the March to the Center of the Earth parade begins.

For inspiration, check out these photos from a recent SAM Creates workshop with artist Mandy Greer.

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Picasso Exhibition Generated $66 million Economic Impact in Washington State

The recent exhibition, Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris, generated an estimated $66 million in economic impact for Washington State, of which $58 million was generated in King County, according to an economic impact study commissioned by SAM.

The study, prepared by University of Washington professor William B. Beyers, clearly demonstrates that a major arts event can stimulate the economy in multiple ways. The critically acclaimed exhibition was on view October 8, 2010 -January 17, 2011, and ranks as the most highly attended show in the history of SAM Downtown, attracting 405,000 visitors including nearly 20,000 school children and boosting the museum’s membership to an all time high of more than 48,000 households.

Get more details:

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