creative juice / happenings

Seattle art exhibits

By guest blogger  Kaitlin Flanigan

As the days become shorter and August draws to a close, the reality that summer is about to end is setting in. But don’t worry! There are still a few great art exhibits you can catch before fall arrives.

Inspiration is something that every artist needs to fuel their own creativity. From digital to traditional paintings, sculptures, photography, and mixed media–we draw from what we see for ideas and inspiration.

Here’s a list of some of the best exhibits to check out before they’re gone:

Bellevue Arts Museum

Alex Katz: A Life in Print

Alex Katz, one of the most important artists in the world of American figurative art of the 20th century, is back on feature at the Bellevue Art Museum. Born to Russian Jewish immigrants in Brooklyn in 1927, he studied under Morris Kantor at Cooper Union. The “Selections from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation” include his matte, shadow-less portraits of New York poets and life-size depictions of bathers at the sea (until October 14th, 2018).

Femail: AMPM (2.0)

AMPM (2.0) is a collaboration between Janelle Abbott and Camilla Carper centering around fashion and the United States Postal Service. These two women, one located in Los Angeles and the other Seattle, create garments via a process called “reactive collaboration”. Each woman can add or subtract from the garment and then mail the piece back to the other. Even though Janelle and Camilla live and work in different cities, good old snail mail connects them. The garments are regularly made with found objects, gifts from family and friends, or even pieces from their personal wardrobe. This results in fashion deeply connected by emotion and personal history. (Open until September 30th, 2018)

Frye Art Museum

Juventino Aranda: Pocket Full of Posies

As a child of Mexican immigrants in rural Washington State, Juventino Aranda’s journey of self-identity enlightens his artistic process through its relation to the social, political and economic struggles of Chicanos. Drawing influence from the movements of activists Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, his most recent work reflects on his family history and aspects of his childhood which speak to broader cultural themes. The exhibition includes sculptural and wall-hung works that are created through a variety of technical processes to convey the crux of Aranda’s re-appropriated source material. (Open until September 23, 2018)

Museum of Pop Culture

Pearl Jam: Home and Away

Reacquaint yourself with the rise and popularity of one of Seattle’s most famous bands: Pearl Jam. Relive their journey to fame from 1990 to the present. This collection features items and artifacts from the band’s personal collection and their Seattle warehouse. (Open now)

Northwest African American Museum

Jessica Rycheal and Zorn B. Taylor: Everyday Black

Everyday Black features modern portraits by photographers Jessica Rycheal and Zorn B. Taylor. Jessica focuses her work on capturing the unique multigenerational community who collaborate and create a space to live and celebrate their authentic, unique identities. Zorn B. Taylor explores the changing ideas around blackness and whiteness to illuminate the idea of one’s chosen, multicultural family.

Seattle Art Museum

In This Imperfect Present Moment

In This Imperfect Present Moment is the title of a portrait by Toyin Ojih Odutola, one of the fifteen artists featured in this exhibit. Artists’ work who live in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Cotonou/Rotterdam, Luanda/Lisbon, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and New York has been brought to Seattle by collector who are intrigued by how these artists convey vibrant narrative that resonate across global boundaries. Ojih Odutola says she focuses on “. . . the understated in art: moments that can be quickly passed over but are complex and layered.” This premise continues as artists in this installation layer complex imagery to envision moments with the issues of labor, leadership, faith, and portraiture. Description via Seattle Art Museum. (Open until June 16th, 2019)

Tacoma Art Museum

To Sing of Beauty

C. Davida Ingram and Paul Stephen Benjamin’s virtual exhibit centers around two video installations celebrating Blackness. The two artists blend video imagery and music to show and examine the power and beauty of Blackness. C. Davida Ingram’s video The Deeps: Go Away from My Window features composer and vocalist Hanna Benn and actress Rachael Ferguson. It gives viewers an idea of the African American Northern Migration by railroad and the changing environment of modern day Seattle. Paul Stephen Benjamin utilizes footage from Nina Simone’s version of Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair, recorded in 1959. The subtle reworkings of this rendition shift Simon’s words into “black is a color”, centering and highlighting around the essence of Blackness.

Native Portraiture: Power and Perception

What is communicated when an outsider tries to portray a culture they know little to nothing about? How do these depictions shape and change the perception of experiences within the culture? This exhibit explores the impact images of Native Americans by non-native artists has on these communities. Modern Native artists work to deconstruct the myths and misconceptions of their culture with art. By writing their own narratives, these artists are rewriting their story and giving a voice to Native people and their community. (Open until February 10th, 2019)

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