This Saturday: Yoga Morning and Diwali Ball Night

Doesn’t it seem that every Seattle neighborhood has a yoga studio? At SAAM too, you can begin your Saturday with a yoga session at 8:30am, offered by 8 Limbs Yoga, before the 9:30am Saturday University talks. (Beginners welcome: pay by voluntary donation.)

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Sacred Sites of Asia series at SAAM

The Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas kicks off a second year of programs with a series of outstanding speakers on Sacred Sites of Asia! These nine sessions are a sampling of new perspectives and images, from the Angkor Wat temple of Cambodia, to an Australian aboriginal forest, Buddhist caves of the Chinese Gobi Desert, and Zen monasteries.

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Win Tickets to SAM Remix

From a crochet party to Truckasaurus – dancing under the stars to cool new art – Sam Remix is tomorrow! It’s been a year since we’ve taken the party outside, and we can’t wait for the festivities at the Olympic Sculpture Park. Take a look at the line-up.

I’ve got your tickets, too – one pair to be exact. Wanna win them? Read More

What about those wolves….

A small Native community, knit together by ancient beliefs, living in their ancestral homelands—a  remote coastal village, ringed with primordial forests and in the shadow of Mt. Olympus—seems like a fitting scenario for a supernatural story line.  Cast as shape-shifting werewolves in the Twilight saga books and films, opposite a band of sophisticated vampires, the Quileute really do have ties to wolves—but not werewolves! Quileute oral traditions trace their distinguished ancestry back to myth time when the powerful transformer, Kwa-ti, changed a pair of wolves into the first Quileute people. Thus began a long association with the wolf. I don’t know if Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight books, knew this but her mention of the mysterious Quileute tribe and an ancient treaty with vampires catapulted their small nation into notoriety.

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Special Picasso ticket offer extended to SAM’s electronic friends

As a special “thank you” to our Facebook fans and Twitter followers, we’d like to let you in on an advance opportunity, otherwise only available to museum members.

You can reserve your tickets for the Picasso exhibition NOW – one week before ticket sales open to the general public! Also, for a limited time, we will waive the $3 transaction fee when you buy Picasso tickets online.

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June 4 SAM REMIX KEXP playlist

Last Friday, June 4th, SAM Remix was held at SAM Downtown. With a sold-out crowd of over 2,000 people (many of them in wigs), art-making, music, tours and more activated every corner of the building. All night long in South Hall, a playlist curated by Kevin Cole, senior programming manager and DJ at KEXP 90.3 FM, responded to the exhibitions kurt and love fear pleasure lust pain glamour death – Andy Warhol Media Works. Cole crafted this eclectic playlist to include everything from Grace Jones to Le Tigre, while KEXP DJ El Toro gave a “My Favorite Things” tour in the galleries and DJ Riz spun beats in the Forum. Visit The KEXP blog to see the entire tracklist and to hear a sample of the music from Friday night.

The next Remix will be held on Friday, August 27th at the Olympic Sculpture Park from 8 pm–12 am. Buy your tickets online early before it sells out!

Caroline Walker, Education & Public Programs Coordinator

KEXP DJ Riz spinning beats in the SAM Forum. Photo: Robert Wade

 

SAM’s list of must-see SIFF films

When you are in Seattle and the weather changes from 65 and sunny to thunderstorms and lighting within the hour, you know it’s…SIFF time! Otherwise known as the time of year when you most want to go into a movie theatre and stop trying to figure out if summer has arrived yet (it hasn’t). If you are as overwhelmed as I am by the 250+ page book of films that SIFF has put out, you’ll want to peruse other people’s lists of “must-see” movies, like this one, focused on the theme of visual arts. As suspected, they mostly fall into the documentary category, but there’s at least one other mixed in. Enjoy! And let me know which ones I forgot – I got a little bleary-eyed by page 235.

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Like to vote? Make it count.
$1 million dollar grant available for local historic preservation sites.

Make your voice heard – there’s a local opportunity for one of 25 eligible historic locations to be granted $1 million dollars by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation through a joint initative called Partners in Preservation. The cash is distributed according to an on-line voting system – according to the PIP website, “At the end of the voting period, the site with the most votes is guaranteed funding from a total of $1 million that American Express will give away to support the preservation of historic places in the Seattle-Puget Sound area.” There are so many great projects – it’ll be hard to narrow down just one.  

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Hammering Man: Surgery is Underway

Hammering Man went into surgery without incident this morning. The docs are hard at work , performing the delicate operation to reattach his errant arm. Despite the wind, prognosis is good, and it seems he may be re-armed and back in the swing by later this afternoon. We’ll be here in the waiting room (AKA, the SAM development department windows), and will keep you all posted on the Man’s progress.

Meanwhile, we’re completely out of fresh puns for this one and could use your help. Let us know what you can come up with.

-Nicole Chism Griffin, Associate Manager of PR at SAM

Take Pictures at SAM – You Spoke, SAM Listened

Photography inside a museum’s art galleries can be a touchy touchy issue. From conservation (yes, repeated “flashing” does damage art over time) to super serious legal matters (most 20th and 21st century art is under copyright by an artist or an estate), the issues surrounding the seemingly simple act of taking a picture are complex and abundant.

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Derrick Cartwright Talks Football

It’s Art Museum Directors gone wild as Max Anderson, director of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and E. John Bullard, director of the New Orleans Museum of Art, break out the art historical smack talk, wagering art-against-art in the race for Super Bowl XLIV.

Tyler Green’s coverage of the heated negotiations is a must-read. But what does SAM’s own director, Derrick Cartwright, have to say about his esteemed colleagues, Super Bowl XLIV and the Seahawks? The Seattle Weekly’s Caleb Hannan asked the same question.

Nicole Chism Griffin, Associate Manager of Public Relations, SAM

Heide Hinrichs: borrowed tails

Heide Hinrichs is the fourth artist in our SAM Next series, a contemporary art exhibition program at the museum. Borrowed tails, which opened in November, is a body of work the artist developed specifically for this installation, making it the first time these drawings and sculptures are presented to the public. While she was at the museum installing her show we had the opportunity to talk to her about her work.

 

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Paul Macapia – in memoriam

Paul Macapia
1934-2009
Long-time museum photographer and a great Northwest artist, Paul will be missed by all who had the pleasure to work with him at SAM.

Untitled, From the Dungeness and Grey Wolf, 1972, Paul Macapia, American, 1934-2009, color photograph, 10 3/4 x 10 3/4 in., Gift of Neil Meitzler, 77.24, © Paul Macapia

 

Trip Report – Memphis, TN

Despite working in the arts, like most people I tend to find more time to really look at art when I’m separated from my day-to-day life. Not only that, though. Wherever I am, I always have trouble separating art history from my perceptions of the world. Spending time someplace unfamiliar, I find that I almost instinctively seek insight into the people and the culture there through what the locals like to look at.

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Online catalogue: more than a click

More often than not, museum books and catalogs feature masterpieces—and only masterpieces. But what about the questionable pieces, forgeries, objects in unfortunate condition, or, to be frank, ones that puzzle even the most experienced experts? Aren’t issues like that just as interesting as those surrounding highly acclaimed artworks? Because of the economics of publishing, ‘coffee-table books’, as museum catalogues are sometimes known, miss out on long lists of fascinating ‘second-tier’ objects and intriguing issues that consume much of a curator’s time.

SAM is about to change all that. We’re making our Chinese painting calligraphy and holdings more accessible to the public through a new online catalogue. Under the auspices of the Getty Foundation, we’re designing new ways of presenting information about this rich but little-known collection.  Just like in traditional catalogs, we’ll share relevant information about esteemed works of art. But this catalog will include much more.

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How do museums show that they are engaged with artists at a deep, supportive level?

While the public probably expects art museums to venerate famous creators from the historical past (Michelangelo and Alexander Calder jump to mind), few institutions are practically skilled at paying tribute to younger artists, and still more rare are those that are capable of committing the time necessary to really get to know creative men and women.  Outside of planning exhibitions and acquiring their works of art—professional practices typically reserved for artists who are substantially far along in their careers—how do museums show that they are engaged with artists at a deep, supportive level?  Limited time, limited resources, and basic risk aversion all weigh against engaging deeply with artists as a community.

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SAM video

Our new director Derrick Cartwright gives you an inside look into the Michelangelo Public and Private  and Alexander Calder exhibition galleries with curators Chiyo Ishikawa and Dr. Gary Radke.

All works of art by artist Alexander Calder in the video are  copyright © 2009 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

SAM comes clean about SOAP

As part of a self-stated wish to broaden the dialogue within/about the Seattle Art Museum’s new blog experiment, ideally as quickly as possible, it is worthwhile to respond to some of the questions that have been posted so far about the initial name of this blog. Why SOAP? To help respond to this, I asked Matthew Renton, who leads SAM’s communication efforts, to share some background.

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Deep in listening mode

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Before I became a museum director, I was an art history professor, and made my living by communicating ideas—and then coaxing them back out of bright undergraduates. I was truly happy as an art historian but realize in retrospect that listening carefully wasn’t necessarily a rewarded virtue, and even less a guarantor of success in the classroom. Reading, thinking, and speaking passionately about art and its complex intersection with history was stimulating in itself, but ultimately it didn’t require reciprocation from my audiences, except for asking them to write exams, papers, and fill out teaching evaluations at the end of the term. Since I usually got very good feedback from my students, I confess I didn’t spend much time worrying about what my own active listening might mean to those constituents. I feel differently today.  

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Andrew Wyeth, Rebel

<i>Overflow</i>, 1978, Andrew Wyeth, American, 1917 – 2009, watercolor (drybrush) on paper, 23 x 29 in. Private Collection

Overflow, 1978, Andrew Wyeth, American, 1917 – 2009, watercolor (drybrush) on paper, 23 x 29 in. Private Collection

On Wednesday night at SAM, my colleague Patti Junker delivered a sensational lecture that she titled “Andrew Wyeth, Rebel.”  Few people think about one of the premier realists of the 20th century in terms of rebellion, but SAM’s curator of American art made the case that received wisdom has tended to gloss over the more challenging, less seamless narrative surrounding Wyeth’s long output. 

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