Picasso Exhibition Generated $66 million Economic Impact in Washington State

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

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

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SAM’s Mobile Engagement Strategies for Picasso Get Positive Review

Jay Holcomb from local mobile marketing agency Knovolo discusses how SAM incorporated mobile into the Picasso exhibition experience with Microsoft Tag and a mobile website. Read his entire review at http://sh0w.me/mobile-at-SAM

Did you use your mobile phone to access information about the Picasso exhibition? If so, what did you think? Do you want SAM to create more ways to interact with the museum using your phone?

Want to Win Remix Tickets? Bring Your Social Network to SAM on May 5!

The SAM special exhibition Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth has arrived in Seattle in a very big way. Have you been dazzled by how Cave transforms ordinary objects into extraordinary art (or want to be)? Well, come to SAM Downtown on May 5 from 5:30 – 9 pm for a terrific celebration: March to the Center of the Earth: Community Night Out.

Bring your students, friends, parents, kids, neighbors, fellow artists and crafters—there will be something there for everyone! Plus, you could win these fabulous prizes:

  • 2 tickets to the June 3 SAM Remix
  • 4 tickets to the Nick Cave exhibition
  • 1 gift bag from the pop-up SoundSuitShop at SAM

How to enter:

  • Get a group of 5 (or more) people together and attend March to the Center of the Earth: Community Night Out on May 5.
  • Take a photo of your group at the event.
  • Post the photo on SAM’s Facebook wall, and be sure to tag everyone in the picture.

All photo entries are due May 9 by 5 pm.

Join SAM May 5 for March to the Center of the Earth: Community Night Out

Create it, and parade it! Get your masquerade on during SAM’s special evening celebration, March to the Center of the Earth: Community Night Out. Bring a crafty costume or come early to SAM and create your own wearable art in the Chase Open Studio.

Community Night Out kicks off with a 5:30 pm procession that starts at Hammering Man at SAM Downtown, winds down 1st Avenue and returns to the museum for a night of free live performances, drop-in art making, tours and an onsite Soundsuit performance. That night is First Thursday so admission to SAM and the Nick Cave exhibition is FREE.

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Patti Junker Receives Frost Essay Award

We are very excited to congratulate Patti Junker, the Ann M. Barwick Curator of American Art at SAM, on receiving the prestigious Frost Essay Award from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Click here to read her essay.

Here is the Smithsonian’s offical announcement about the award:

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has awarded the 2010 Patricia and Phillip Frost Essay Award to Patricia Junker, the Ann M. Barwick Curator of American Art at the Seattle Art Museum. Her article, “Childe Hassam, Marsden Hartley, and the Spirit of 1916,” appeared in the fall 2010 issue (vol. 24, no. 3). The article presents a close contextual study and comparative analysis of Hassam’s production of impressionist paintings of American flags with an exhibition of Hartley’s abstractions of German military motifs at Alfred Stieglitz’s gallery 291 in the spring of 1916 when American sentiment about World War I had reached a fever pitch.

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Hi! I’m New Here.

My name is Madeline Moy, and I just started working at SAM. I’m the digital media manager for the museum, which means I’ll be overseeing strategy and content for our website and social media.

I grew up on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Seattle was just an hour away by ferry, but it truly was another world to me. I first visited SAM many years ago when I was in high school–not because I was interested in art, but because I was interested in a boy who was interested in art.

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SAM is Back!

I am eager to welcome you back to SAM after the recent, short furlough. While this was a difficult measure to undertake, it did achieve its goal of significantly reducing expenses associated with this year’s budget. My colleagues and I returned to the museum this week after a two week break, energized and ready for the year ahead.  I thank you again for your support and understanding during our absence.

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Up Next at SAM!

We are gearing up for our next show Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth which opens March 10.  Check out this video to learn more about Nick’s work.  You are in for a fantastical treat.

PICASSO online ticketing experiencing temporary “Blue Period”

We are so thrilled with the enthusiastic response to Picasso, but unfortunately our online ticketing system is not.  Due to the unprecedented demand this week we are experiencing system delays so please bear with us as we resolve the issue as quickly as possible.  Please note: We are very busy this week due to the holidays and tickets are limited.

Though you can always buy tickets on-site at all three of our locations: SAM Downtown, Seattle Asian Art Museum and the Olympic Sculpture Park, be aware that due the high volume of ticket sales we are averaging about a 4 to 5 hour wait for the next available timeslot to see Picasso.

Our best advice is to visit in the evenings or on a weekday during the first two weeks of January. We are open unprecedented extended hours- every evening until 9 p.m. with a few exceptions.

Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime show before it closes on January 17! For more details on how best to plan your visit go to http://picassoinseattle.org/visit.html

Another ‘To Do’ List – SAM’s Top 10

It’s that time of year when most of us become obsessed with “lists”. We’ve got holiday gift lists, grocery store lists, New Year’s resolution lists, party lists… it goes on and on. Even Santa has a list!  We don’t want to add to your holiday stress, but we do want to add another list to your lists!

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Win 2 Tickets!

Geesh! Where did the time go? 2011 is right around the corner and SAM Films is preparing to kick off the New Year with an action packed film series from Viennese producer – director – actor Otto Preminger. To get you in the mood for some of this award winning director’s best work, we want to give you an opportunity to win 2 tickets to the January 6th opening night of the series; The Art of Living: Films by Otto Preminger.

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A Fire in My Belly

As the director of the Seattle Art Museum, I am concerned about the recent removal of David Wojnarowicz’s film “A Fire in My Belly” from an exhibition in Washington, DC.  Wojnarowicz, who died of complications from AIDS in 1992, made two versions of the film between 1986 and 1987.  Holland Cotter’s thorough discussion of the history of this particular work, the sources of its imagery, and Wojnarowicz’s life, which appeared in the New York Times on Dec. 10th, is worth reading.  The decision to withdraw this politically-charged, intentionally-troubling imagery from public view in Washington DC serves to remind us that controversy can ignite at almost any time, that it is almost always painful, and that those of us who are lucky enough to work in the arts need to be prepared to stand up for what we believe is right, if we are going to maintain democracy.  

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Win 2 Tickets to Remix!

Our special, Picasso edition of SAM Remix is this Saturday, November 13, and we’re giving away 2 tickets to this wildly popular event. From the “party rock” sounds of Tigerbeat  to artist trivia contests led by Geeks Who Drink  to live figure drawing in the “Blue Studio”, performances by the Harlequin Hipsters and much, much more.  You really don’t want to miss this one!

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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