Muse/News: Ikat Adventures, Building News, and Wiley’s Chapel

SAM News

Every week, KUOW reporter Mike Davis shares his “adventures in art.” Last week, he spoke with Kim Malcolm about some recommendations, including Ikat: A World of Compelling Cloth, SAM’s exhibition of textiles now on view. 

“…whisks you away from the world of fast-fashion into a global tour of fabric art and textiles.”

Spring fever is here! Seattle’s Child shares the “best Seattle parks for playgrounds, beaches, views or nature,” including the Olympic Sculpture Park. 

“Wander the zig-zagging pathways and contemplate monumental sculptures while the life of the city and the harbor goes on around you.”

Local News

Ikat was also recommended in The Stranger’s Art + Performance (A+P) magazine, which makes its triumphant return to glorious print! Catch up with its stories and listings online or find it near you and get some newsprint on ya. 

Nimra Ahmad for Crosscut profiles “six Seattle programs for young performing artists.”

In her second story for the Seattle Times, Margo Vansynghel gets the story on the recent purchase of the Seven Seas building (AKA the Lusty Lady building) right across the street from SAM. What will its future be?

“[Entrepreneur Andrew] Conru said his purchase of the building, which sits across from the Seattle Art Museum, was informed by his love for the city, the building and its history. ‘I go to SAM,’ he said, ‘and then you look across the street, and that building just cries out for help … I’m like, ‘Well, how can I help?’”

Inter/National News

Via Artdaily: “Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and adidas Basketball announce CAMH COURT, the first-ever playable basketball court in an art museum, commissioned and designed by Houston-based artist Trenton Doyle Hancock.” 

Artnet’s Katie White deep dives on Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun’s famed portrait of Marie Antoinette. Good prep for the new PBS series!

Via Dionne Searcey for the New York Times: “Kehinde Wiley’s New Exhibition Is a Chapel for Mourning.”

“The exhibition by Wiley…embraces a solemn vibe: dark and almost chapel-like with bright lights on individual pieces. Viewers can fill out response cards to write about the exhibit, which also will have multiple exits for anyone who needs a break.”

And Finally

RIP, Lance Reddick.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Chloe Collyer.

Woven With Purpose: The Story of “Ikat” at SAM

IKAT, not IKEA, is now on view at the Seattle Art Museum. The surprising similarity in appearance of these two words came up a few months ago when fonts for the exhibition’s marketing campaign creative were reviewed. But how different they actually are is why it’s worth seeing this exhibition.

Walking through IKEA is the ultimate contemporary shopping experience. It provides everything you need for an entire home to be outfitted—except the clothes—and it is all made by machines in a swift industrial manufacturing practice that strives to be as affordable as possible. Its aesthetic does rely on designers who add individual creativity to the company, but the handmade is missing.

Walking into galleries of Ikat: A World of Compelling Cloth is a chance to take a break from a world of manufactured reality and be surrounded by the intimate sense of cloth exquisitely made for very distinct purposes. The exhibition was curated by Pam McClusky, SAM Oliver E. and Pamela F. Cobb Curator of African Art, and can only be seen at SAM.

However, as a first step, you need to understand what ikat is. Given how few people weave themselves, ikat might be considered a strange term from the past that is hard to connect with. To help recognize the thought and dedication that ikat requires, the exhibition features an entire gallery designed as a loom to walk through by contemporary artists Roland and Chimani Ricketts. From this immersive moment, you’ll embark on a world tour of ikat cloths, sometimes being greeted by garments, although most are of minimal tailoring, honoring the integrity of the fabric as it comes off the loom.

Textiles from Japan include futonji (bed coverings) and kimonos for adults and children as well as the Noh theatre. The Japanese cloths have a similar palette to those from Africa, indigo being prevalent, but the designs from numerous regions of Africa on view are distinct, with variegated stripes and medallions featured on cloths and dramatic robes. Indian and Southeast Asian ikats introduce cloths that are relied upon for ritual observations. Cloths from Uzbekistan are filled with flowing arabesques and exuberant designs in brilliant colors, including a robe of silk velvet which seems to come from a textile paradise. European ikats from 17th- and 18th-century France serve as a reminder that hand woven traditions faded away with the coming Industrial Revolution. And American ikats will include ponchos from the south and recent works from Santa Fe.

As we expect the urge to touch and feel cloth to emerge, we’ve created a cart just outside of the galleries’ entrance with threads and samples of ikats available for handling. And SAM Shop has set up adjacent to the galleries to showcase cloth made by artists who use natural dyes and woven processes that have a sustainable impact on our world. This spring, be immersed in the global reach and powerful beauty of this exceptional art form.

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

Photos: Chloe Collyer.

Muse/News: Textile Tour, Mason Frenzy, and Hokusai Reads

SAM News

“A world tour in textiles”: Photojournalist Ken Lambert of the Seattle Times captured the splendor of Ikat: A World of Compelling Cloth, SAM’s exhibition that opened last week. His photos also appeared on the front page of the paper’s Friday edition. 

The exhibition was also included in South Seattle Emerald’s round-up of arts events happening in March

And Taylor Bruce for the UW Daily reviewed the exhibition that explores “the art of ‘slow fashion.’”

“The exhibit is not just about traveling the world, it also serves as a glimpse into how much textiles can mean, how they help people form bonds, and how they can create alternatives to buying from clothing stores.”

Local News

“Clyde Petersen’s Queer Devotions”: Corianton Hale interviews The Stranger’s “Artist of the Week.”

Did you know that Seattle-based Eighth Generation created blankets for Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever? Crosscut’s Brangien Davis gets all the details from Kim Kroeker, the company’s director of product development. (P.S.: Brava to now two-time Oscar winner Ruth E. Carter!)

“A Seattle artist and the auction frenzy that sparked an FBI tip”: Margo Vansynghel’s final story for Crosscut before her move to the Seattle Times is a deep dive into the art market shenanigans surrounding Seattle artist Alden Mason (1919–2013). 

“The winter sky outside the castle had already turned dark when the art dealer got the message.

‘Check out the auction house ABC …. The Alden Mason painting,’ the text message read. Soon another gray bubble popped up on the iPhone screen. ‘FAKE Mason !’”

Inter/National News

Via Tessa Solomon for ARTnews: “5 Shows to See That Explore the Complexities of Womanhood” in honor of Women’s History Month.

Solomon also shared this exciting news: “Carrie Mae Weems Makes History as First Black Woman to Win Prestigious Hasselblad Photography Prize.”

The Art Newspaper’s Book Club gets recommendations of “four must-read books” on Hokusai from Sarah E. Thompson, the MFA Boston curator of Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence, which travels to SAM this fall.

“Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) is famed for his print Under the Wave off Kanagawa, commonly known as The Great Wave, an image reproduced innumerable times around the world in all sorts of contexts. But the Japanese artist’s work was so much more interesting than his much copied and parodied wave might suggest; anyone who has seen his prints in the flesh will be blown away by the intricate detail and skilled craftsmanship.”

And Finally

ICYMI: The Seattle Times’ Moira Macdonald recaps the Oscars.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: L. Fried.

Muse/News: Staff Stories, Operatic Resilience, and Artist Curates

SAM News

“How one Seattle Art Museum staffer adds a personal touch to museum-going”: Don’t miss this story that appeared in the paper’s Sunday print edition featuring Chelsea Leingang, Visitor Experience Manager at SAM. Chelsea took reporter Jerald Pierce around their favorite places in the museum and shared their infectious enthusiasm for connecting over art. 

“‘Every single piece of art within this place has its own story,’ Leingang said. ‘And the best part about my team is they are the gateway to those stories. They are taking their own personal experiences of what resonates with them within this museum and sharing that with every person that walks in.’”

Say hi to Chelsea and the rest of the SAM crew at Ikat: A World of Compelling Cloth, an exhibition exploring over 100 dazzling textiles opening to the public this Thursday, March 9.

In their latest print edition, Seattle Met shouts out all three SAM locations in a graphic “tourist trap matrix.” Online, they share “Where to Take Tourists in Seattle” according to their editors, including a day at Volunteer Park and the Asian Art Museum. 

Local News

Gather, readers, AWP is here! Via Annie Midori Atherton for Seattle Magazine: “Your Favorite Authors Might Very Well Be In Seattle This Weekend—Here’s How To Catch Them.” 

Jerald Pierce of the Seattle Times had more good news to report recently: “PNW basket maker Ed Eugene Carriere named NEA National Heritage Fellow.” You can see one of his extraordinary baskets on view at SAM in American Art: The Stories We Carry.

Danielle Hayden for South Seattle Emerald on Seattle Opera’s A Thousand Splendid Suns, based on the Khaled Hosseini novel. Go see it!

“[Director Roya] Sadat also recognizes, however, that inequality and deprivation of fundamental human rights are not unique to Afghanistan, but are issues that reverberate across the globe. ‘I want this opera to stand as a reminder of their strength in the face of violence. This opera is a narrative of women’s resilience.’”

Inter/National News

AP reports: “Notre Dame Cathedral set to reopen in December 2024.” Catch up on the reconstruction efforts.

Artnet’s Melissa Smith asks artists Alisha Wormsley, Mequitta Ahuja, and Cauleen Smith what it means to be an Afrofuturist now.

Via Benjamin Sutton of the Art Newspaper: “Native American painter Jaune Quick-to-See Smith will be the first artist to curate a show at the US National Gallery of Art.”

“Smith’s curatorial turn comes at a moment of long-overdue institutional recognition for the artist, whose incisive and wide-ranging practice rooted in painting and collage is the subject of a major retrospective opening at the Whitney Museum of American Art next month, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Memory Map.”

And Finally

Meet Sonny and Uno.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Chloe Collyer.

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