Muse/News: Fall Art, By the Numbers, and Painting Obamas

SAM News

Pumpkin spice everything and fall arts previews: It’s the best time of the year! The Seattle Times and Crosscut both highlighted Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue, a touring exhibition that opens at SAM on November 17! Get excited about exploring the work and friendship of these two powerhouse photo-based artists.

“…explores their overlapping efforts to reflect the experience of Black people and issues around systems of power.”

“What connects their work, besides a friendship and a medium, is a shared timeframe and understanding of the power of photography as a way to explore — and celebrate — the experiences of Black people.”

And there’s lots on view right now! Seattle Met includes SAM exhibition Indigenous Matrix: Northwest Women Printmakers on their “things to do” list, and Crosscut’s Brangien Davis shouts-out Ryan Molenkamp’s show Ascendant, which “emphasize[s] the beauty of geologic strata and tectonic action” and is on view at SAM Gallery through October 2.

Puget Sound Business Journal is out with their “40 Under 40” list, and Chef Shubert Ho is on it! His Feedme Hospitality & Restaurant Group includes MARKET Seattle at SAM, bringing lobster rolls and other seafood offerings that can only be described as high art. Congrats, Shubert!

Local News

Grace Gorenflo and photographer Daniel Kim of the Seattle Times were there to document the recent opening of Arté Noir, a nonprofit focused on uplifting Black arts and culture founded by Vivian Phillips and directed by Jazmyn Scott.

As part of their fall arts preview, Crosscut’s Margo Vansynghel profiled “four rising Seattle artists to watch”: Moses Sun, Angelique Poteat, Ana María Campoy and Luther Hughes.

Vansynghel also conducted a survey of local arts and culture venues to find out whether attendance is recovering since the pandemic shutdowns. SAM contributed our stats and reflections on the complicated issues——and opportunities—for cultural organizations.

“We are still working to recover from the effects of the closures and attendance numbers alone don’t tell the whole story,” said Seattle Art Museum director and CEO Amada Cruz. “The bigger question we are asking is: Who is being served by, represented in and engaged with the museum and its mission? And who is not?”

Inter/National News

The New York Times recently delivered its fall arts preview, including a feature by Jason Farago on blockbusters and Will Heinrich’s list of exhibitions to see across the country.

Artnet’s Caroline Goldstein reports on the recent unveiling of the official portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama by Robert McCurdy and Sharon Sprung, respectively.

And Will Heinrich of the New York Times interviewed Sprung to learn about her experience and goals when painting Michelle Obama.

“Asked why she was chosen, Ms. Sprung replied, ‘I didn’t ask! I didn’t want to put any shred of doubt in their mind that they picked the right person.’”

And Finally

“Quick, I wanna see a Rothko before Sean poops.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Harlem Street, 1976–77, Carrie Mae Weems, American, born 1953, gelatin silver print, 5 5/16 x 8 15/16 in., Carrie Mae Weems, courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Muse/News: Layers Beyond, Art Popsicles, and Butter Heads

SAM News

“5 great reasons to see Seattle Asian Art Museum’s new exhibition”: Here’s Gemma Alexander for the Seattle Times on Beyond the Mountain: Contemporary Chinese Artists on the Classical Forms.

“The immersive, multimedia exhibition is small—a casual viewer could survey the handful of pieces in minutes—but it’s one that rewards a more thoughtful approach, revealing new layers and details the longer you look. Each artist relates classical forms with timely themes, addressing topics from street protest to quarantine.”

Crosscut’s Margo Vansynghel appeared on Kim Malcolm’s weekly KUOW spot for arts picks, highlighting Anthony White: Limited Liability, which is now on view at SAM.

“I love that there’s so many symbols in it, so many things that you can decode. You can kind of keep coming back to the work. I kind of compare it to being like a digital era archaeologist.”

Thrillist on the “Coolest Museums in Seattle,” including the Seattle Art Museum, the Seattle Asian Art Museum, and a ton of our favorite partner organizations. 

Lonely Planet’s “8 best beaches in Washington State” includes the pocket beach at the Olympic Sculpture Park, noting that “at low tide, you (and the kids) can explore tidepools brimming with marine life, from sea stars to chitons, all within view of the Space Needle.”

SAM Remix: The clouds didn’t keep you beautiful people away! We were thrilled to bring back the late-night art experience to the Olympic Sculpture Park last Friday–and thrilled for the shoutouts from The Stranger, The Ticket (new site alert!), Seattle Met, and Seattle Times.  

Local News

“Here’s what it’s like to walk around Lake Washington in a single day”: A recommendation for a Very Long Walk by Paul Constant for the Seattle Times. 

Patheresa Wells for South Seattle Emerald on YOLTEOTL Press, an Indigenous printmaking and traditional arts studio that will open in Ballard in early September.

“Where Art Tastes Like Himalayan Blackberries and Lemon Balm”: Jas Keimig of the Stranger on the outdoor art-tech show AUGMENT Seattle and the standout AR piece by Nina Vichayapai (whose work was also part of SAM Remix last Friday!). 

“What’s delightful about the piece is that even though the garden of PNW plants is virtual, it still grounds me in reality. Vichayapai’s personal rendition of Seattle’s summer made me think about the foliage and smells and textures I associate with the season.”

Inter/National News

Via Elaine Velie for Hyperallergic: “The Fascinating Things People Leave Behind in Library Books.”

“Why Is It So Hard to Find ‘Ethical’ Cardboard?” Janelle Zara for Artnet on the monopoly in art-world shipping. 

Christina Morales of the New York Times invites you to meet Gerry Kulzer, the new butter sculptor at the Minnesota State Fair.

“Mr. Kulzer, an art teacher at Eden Valley-Watkins High School who specializes in sculpture, spent two years shadowing Ms. Christensen in order to learn the intricacies of working with cold butter, which is harder to manipulate than the soft-water-based clay he’s accustomed to…Teaching is the second-best job in the world, he said. ‘The first is carving butter heads.’”

And Finally

Washington State’s “60 most timeless inventions.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Natali Wiseman.

Muse/News: Take Flight, Frontline Favs, and Benin Awakening

SAM News

Crosscut’s Brangien Davis spies a flock of bird-related art happenings around the city, including the “bird’s-eye view” that Alexander Calder’s The Eagle will have of SAM Remix at the Olympic Sculpture Park this Friday. Get your ticket now for this unmissable late-night art party featuring performances, tours, and interactive experiences!

Somehow there are also a number—we might even say a “colony”—of bat-related events in Seattle right now? Kari Hanson for ParentMap has the info on them all, including the tour led by Woodland Park Zoo’s Bat Program at SAM Remix.

TripAdvisor’s got “15 fun and unique things to do in Seattle,” including a visit to Volunteer Park to see the conservatory and the renovated Seattle Asian Art Museum. Our suggestion? Make a day of it with the contemporary Chinese art of Beyond the Mountain: Contemporary Chinese Artists on the Classical Forms and then walk the park to spot the Henry Art Gallery’s offsite sculpture installation by Chloë Bass.

Local News

Crosscut video producer Sarah Hall takes you inside the studio of Cactus & Clay Ceramics in Poulsbo, Washington.

Seattle Met’s Ann Karneus spotlights Vee Hua’s new short film, Reckless Spirits, which you can check out during the Northwest Film Forum’s upcoming Local Sightings Film Festival.

“A Frye Art Museum security guard takes us on a tour of his favorite pieces”: The Seattle Times launches a new series called “Art Through Their Eyes.”

“There’s no such thing as spending too much time in a museum. But as much time as you spend walking between artworks, pausing to absorb the work or read the accompanying text, you’ll never see a museum’s art quite the way those who regularly work around it do.”

Inter/National News

Ugonnaora Owoh for ARTnews on “8 Queer Artists Capturing Love and Intimacy, and Challenging Oppression.”

Via Artforum: “Michael Heizer’s The City To Open Following Half-Century Wait.”

Elian Peltier for The New York Times reports on the impact of artworks being restituted to Benin, noting that “more than 200,000 people have come to a free exhibition of the artworks in the presidential palace.”

“The artistic awakening of our population was switched off from the end of the 19th century to 2022,” [sculptor Euloge Ahanhanzo Glèlè] said. “We are now waking up.”

And Finally

Did you know that SAM is on TikTok? 

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Jen Au.

Muse/News: Anthony’s Brain, Farmworker Families, and Restitution Poetics

SAM News

“A dizzying tapestry of our digital world”: Margo Vansynghel wrote about Anthony White: Limited Liability, the artist’s solo show at SAM as part of his 2021 Betty Bowen Award win. ICYMI: Head to SAM’s Instagram to experience Anthony’s “brain on art” as he took over our Instagram stories last week!

The Seattle Times arts team helpfully gathered all the “ways to stretch your entertainment dollars in the Seattle area” with free or discounted tickets and events. They mention the free days at SAM’s three locations—Seattle Art Museum (First Thursday!), Seattle Asian Art Museum (Last Fridays!), and the Olympic Sculpture Park (365 days a year!)—as well as other hot tips for free or discounted admission. Now, go ART!

Though the exhibition was no longer on view when Savita Krishnamoorthy’s International Examiner review of Embodied Change: South Asian Art Across Time was published, it’s still very much worth a read. And you can still see Chila Kumari Singh Burman’s neon installation Kali (I’m a Mess) in the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s park lobby. 

“We are witnessing an aspirational South Asianfuturism, dreaming of a world without war and human suffering.”

Local News

Capitol Hill Seattle Blog on Soft Services, a site-specific installation of inscribed stones by Brooklyn artist Chloë Bass that has taken up residence throughout Volunteer Park. 

Check out KNKX’s new series, Aux Cord Privileges, which puts “musicians from the Puget Sound area in charge of the stereo.” The first two editions feature vocalist Shaina Shepherd and rapper Da Qween.

The Seattle Times’ Jayce Carral on a new exhibition featuring photos and memories from the region’s farmworker families. All The Sacrifices You’ve Made / Todos los Sacrificios Que Has Hecho is on view at Tacoma’s Washington State Historical Society until October 16.

“‘You felt a sense of community in the fields because it was people talking your language, people hearing the kind of music you hear at home, people eating the foods you eat,’ [Exhibition subject Luz] Iniguez said. ‘It really felt like a community of people that were just working hard trying to make the most of a situation that was hard.’”

Inter/National News

“The highest aesthetic and technical achievement in fashion”: That’s a Met Costume Institute curator on Issey Miyake’s designs; the groundbreaking Japanese designer has died at age 84. You can see three examples of his work right now at SAM in Folding Into Shape: Japanese Design and Crafts.

Via Sarah Rose Sharpe of Hyperallergic: “Best Museum Bathrooms in the US, Ranked.”

Arthur Lubow for the New York Times on a five-screen film installation by Isaac Julien now on view at the Barnes Foundation that “looks at the place of African art in the Barnes and other Western museums.”

“‘I’m calling this the poetics of restitution, which is something I’m trying to explore in the work,’ Julien said in a telephone interview from London. ‘The debates that we’re having today that seem contemporaneous were happening 50 years ago, if not before. I think that’s really interesting.’”

And Finally

Art But Make It Sports.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Chloe Collyer.

Muse/News: Compelling at SAM, Bruce Lee’s Mind, and Guston’s Influence

SAM News

“Where we all want to go”: Kai Curry for Northwest Asian Weekly on Beyond the Mountain: Contemporary Chinese Artists on the Classical Forms, now on view at the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

“The beauty of the museum is that it allows for interesting juxtapositions of artworks against architecture from the 1930s, and the ability to move works already on view into different configurations to satisfy new goals.”

Crosscut’s Brangien Davis also featured the “compact but compelling” new exhibition, which is just one show on view now in Seattle about people’s relationship to nature. (Margo Vansynghel also blurbed the show for their August things to do list.)

“Sit for a spell as the black-and-white images emerge slowly from the mist. Squint and you’ll start to see jagged mountains appear—but look even closer, and you’ll notice that these monoliths are made from so many skyscrapers. A rushing waterfall proves to be a highway packed with cars. Those trees? Construction cranes. The artist created these astonishing works by combining thousands of photographs and videos from megacities, thereby painting a natural landscape from man-made ambition.”

You don’t want to miss the triumphant return of SAM Remix, the 21+ after-hours art experience, held at the Olympic Sculpture Park on Friday, August 26. Curiocity fills you in on the details.

Speaking of the sculpture park: join Will Harris of Seattle Refined on his favorite jaunts in his Belltown neighborhood.

“I like to go head back up the incline and into the SAM park that zig-zags over the train tracks and street to that big orange structure with the orange chairs – another great place to rest in the shade, adjust your playlist or take out a sketch pad for a while before heading back into Belltown and home again.”

Local News

KUOW’s Katie Campbell reports that the Seattle City Council has appointed nine Indigenous Seattle residents to serve on the city’s first Indigenous Advisory Council. Artist Asia Tail, who has worked with SAM many times, is among those who will advise the city.

“A window into Ukraine-Russia tensions”: The Seattle Times’ Jayce Carral on The Middle Seat, now on view at Ballard gallery Das Schaufenster.

Ann Karneus for Seattle Met on Be Water, My Friend, the new interactive exhibition at the Wing Luke Museum exploring the guiding principles that shaped Bruce Lee’s life

“Bruce Lee could blast a man backwards with one punch, but his identity as an intellectual and voracious reader was far less known. ‘You think of Bruce Lee as a martial artist and as an actor, but you don’t necessarily think of him as a philosopher,’ says Jessica Rubenacker, exhibit director of Wing Luke Museum.”

Inter/National News

Artnet’s Vivienne Chow highlights two exhibitions on view in two European holiday destinations that offer an opportunity to consider the work of Catalan sculptor Jaume Plensa; if tickets to Europe aren’t in the cards, head down to the Olympic Sculpture Park to see Echo.

Watch artist Coco Fusco in conversation with Artforum editor-in-chief David Velasco about her 2021 video, Your Eyes Will Be an Empty Word, featured in the 2022 Whitney Biennial 2022 and on the cover of Artforum’s summer issue.

Olivia McEwan on A Thing for the Mind, on view at London gallery Timothy Taylor, which takes a 1978 Philip Guston painting as a starting point for exploring his influence on 12 contemporary artists. Hot tip: You can see two Guston works at SAM in Frisson: The Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis Collection

“Guston makes the imagery more visually striking by sticking strictly to variations on red and blue; the bluntness and obtuseness of its iconography is compellingly mysterious, as disembodied fingers, pointing hands, and crude painter’s canvas float monumentally but awkwardly around each other in space. Its painterly surface is tinged with naiveté. What a rare pleasure to see his painting up close.”

And Finally

Have a corn-tastic day.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Chloe Collyer.

Muse/News: Studio Time, Singing Stories, and Russell’s Legacy

SAM News

Following up on their review of the “captivating” Alberto Giacometti: Toward the Ultimate Figure, the Seattle Times makes a very cool connection to the exhibition’s focus on Giacometti’s studio space by going behind-the-scenes into the creative spaces of five local artists, all of whom have connections to SAM: Marita Dingus, Romson Bustillo, Barbara Earl Thomas, Aramis O. Hamer, and Jake Prendez. Thanks to Jerald Pierce for the peek into their practices!

Just opened at the Seattle Asian Art Museum: Beyond the Mountain: Contemporary Chinese Artists on the Classical Forms. Capitol Hill Seattle Blog’s Alex Garland captured photos at the press preview of the dynamic exhibition and KNKX’s Grace Madigan reported on its connection to a University of Washington class taught by the exhibition curator, Foong Ping. 

“What’s up with all these rabbits everywhere?” asks Brendan Kiley for the Seattle Times’ Pacific NW Magazine. For the story, he met up with Bobby McCullough, Facilities and Landscape Manager at the Olympic Sculpture Park, to go in search of King Bunny, a resident bunny who may be responsible for a good number of the 500+ rabbits who make the sculpture park their home. P.S. Check out our video series Botany with Bobby for more stories from the park.

Dhyana Levey for Tinybeans with “The Ultimate Guide to Seattle’s Free (& Cheap) Museum Days,” including the downtown museum and the Asian Art Museum, both of which welcome children 14 and under for free—all the time!—and the Olympic Sculpture Park, which is just plain free to everyone. 

Local News

“Nick Garrison, a theatrical force in Seattle and beyond, dies at 47”: For the Seattle Times, David Schmader writes a fitting tribute for a beloved star gone too soon.

The Stranger’s Charles Mudede wrote a visual arts story! Everyone gather round! Here’s his take on the Romare Bearden exhibition now on view at the Frye Art Museum. 

Crosscut’s Black Arts Legacies project, which launched in June, is still delivering. Here, project editor Jasmine Mahmoud writes about singer Ernestine Anderson, who had a voice like “honey at dusk.”

“Ernestine was jazz and blues personified — she musically participated in both worlds,” daughter [Shelley] Young says of her mother’s musical impact. “Singing the blues involves storytelling,” she continues, “and she loved telling a story.”

Inter/National News

Speaking of studio visits: it’s a recurring series at Artnet.

Beat the heat with this listicle: “ARTnews’ 10 Best Art Books for Summer Reading.”

The world lost several important artist-activists last week: actors Mary Alice and Nichelle Nichols and N.B.A. legend Bill Russell. Explore Russell’s legacy in several articles from the New York Times, including this one on his pioneering activism.

“[Former Seattle SuperSonic Spencer] Haywood said in an interview on Sunday that he and Russell would often dine at a Seattle restaurant called 13 Coins after road trips, and Russell would regale him with stories about the civil rights movement.”

And Finally

Michelangelo Matos on the sources of Beyoncé’s “Renaissance.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Alberto Giacometti working on the plaster of the Walking Man, 1959, Photo: Ernst Scheidegger, Archives, Fondation Giacometti, © 2022 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ProLiterris, Zurich.

Muse/News: Captivating at SAM, Art vs. Tech, and Poignant Flags

SAM News

“Why you should see Seattle Art Museum’s new Giacometti show”: Gayle Clemans for the Seattle Times on the “captivating” Alberto Giacometti: Toward the Ultimate Figure, now on view at SAM.

“…Giacometti’s subject matter was actually the matter of subjectivity: How each one of us, as an individual, relates to the world around us and acts within it. For decades, Giacometti focused on rendering the human body in order to reveal—or discover—something about the human condition, very often his own.”

Robert Rutherford, Manager of Public Engagement, was interviewed on KING5 morning TV about Summer at SAM at the Olympic Sculpture Park. And our neighbors at South Sound Magazine also recommend the free, family-friendly series.

Hey, have you explored Visit Seattle’s most recent Official Visitors Guide? You can “flip” through (or request an actual physical copy) of this fantastic resource for both visitors and locals. SAM happenings across our three locations are well represented. 

Local News

That’s a wrap! This past weekend saw the return of the Seattle Art Fair. SAM director Amada Cruz is quoted in this Cultured preview and Crosscut’s Brangien Davis and Margo Vansynghel reported on the “sights and sounds” of the first day. Jas Keimig of The Stranger and Gayle Clemans for the Seattle Times both reported on the fair’s satellite event, Forest for the Trees. 

The Seattle Times’ Erik Lacitis on “the turbulent, poignant legacy of Peter Bevis”; the sculptor most associated with his doomed quest to save the Kalakala ferry has died at the age of 69.

In addition to the whirlwind tour of the Seattle Art Fair and winning a Rabkin Foundation Award, Crosscut’s Margo Vansynghel also reported on the controversy surrounding a curatorial proposal put forward—and later taken back—by the Museum of Museums for a show featuring art solely by employees of Amazon or Microsoft. 

“The call for art and its cancellation have spawned so many responses and comments elsewhere on the social media app—both in support of and against—that it can be dizzying to track. The comments reveal the pain of a struggling art community, as well as deep fissures in how artists and art advocates think the sector should engage with criticism, tech and philanthropy.”

Inter/National News

“Turned the mundane into the monumental”: Pop artist Claes Oldenburg has died at the age of 93. SAM is proud to have many of his works in the collection

Tiffany Midge for the New Yorker on the “Indigenous gaze” of Apsáalooke artist Wendy Red Star. SAM will soon debut a new work by the artist in October as part of its reinstalled American art galleries, American Art: The Stories We Carry

Tlingit and Unangax̂ artist Nicholas Galanin is also creating a new work for American Art: The Stories We Carry that will debut in 2023 at SAM; here’s his recent New York gallery show reviewed by the New York Times

“‘I would stand up for that flag,’ an artist commented on a social media post featuring a photo of Nicholas Galanin’s ‘White Flag’ (2022), a sculpture with a polar bear rug mounted on a rough wooden staff. At a time when flags representing nations and political causes feel particularly fraught, ‘White Flag,’ in Galanin’s exhibition ‘It Flows Through’ at Peter Blum, feels poignant.”

And Finally

From the farm to the Tonight Show.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Chloe Collyer.

Muse/News: Park Life, All’s Fair, and Brave Change

SAM News

Seattle Met’s “Things to Do in Seattle” includes a recommendation for Summer at SAM at the Olympic Sculpture Park, noting that “live music, hands-on arts and crafts, and food truck meals define summer nights at the waterfront park.” Join us every Thursday night and Saturday morning for all the free fun

More news for the sculpture park: USA Today 10Best is out with their annual readers’ choice awards for the 2022 arts scene; we are happy to report we made the cut for their top ten best sculpture parks! To our fellow winners: our travel plans are set to check out the competition.

And don’t forget to make your way from the sculpture park to the Seattle Art Museum: Alberto Giacometti: Toward the Ultimate Figure is now on view! Artdaily shared the news about the exhibition that features the iconic explorations of the human form by the modern sculptor. 

Local News

Crosscut’s Brangien Davis is inspired by the James Webb Telescope images, Alfredo Arreguín’s paintings on view in La Conner, and even more cosmic art to see in town. 

The Stranger may no longer have their legendary print covers, but art director Corianton Hale is back thanks to their new web design, which includes an “artist of the week” to explore. Here’s his chat with Janet Politte, whose work is included in the Photographic Center Northwest’s thesis exhibition.

The (other) big Seattle art world news this week: The Seattle Art Fair takes place July 21–24 at the Lumen Field Event Center. The Seattle Times’ Jerald Pierce gives you a peek into the fair’s triumphant return under its new organizer, Art Market Productions. SAM is thrilled to be the fair’s beneficiary partner—drop by our booth to learn about the latest SAM and SAM Gallery happenings!

“Gallery owner Judith Rinehart knows that attending an art fair may fall outside of some people’s comfort zones, but she encourages folks to take that leap. ‘I think there’s this myth that you have to have a robust arts education to engage with artwork,’ Rinehart said. ‘You don’t.’”

Inter/National News

“Black Napoleon and smooching sailors”: Kabir Jhala for the Art Newspaper on American painter Amy Sherald’s first European solo show, now on view at Hauser & Wirth. 

“A Hidden Self-Portrait Has Been Discovered Beneath Van Gogh Painting”: Francesca Aton for ARTnews with another story showing how X-ray and other technologies continue to reveal art lessons. 

Christina Olsen, director of the University of Michigan Museum of Art, offers up this op-ed for Artnet on “five ways campus museums model a more courageous future” for the field as a whole.

“All museums need to look honestly at their own practices of exclusion and what enabled them, from governance structure, to hiring practices, to opaque decision making, and be up front about them so the entire field can begin to act as true cultural stewards and meet the broad call for change.”

And Finally

Graphic design is my passion.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Robert Wade.

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: 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: 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: 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: 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.

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