“Creature Feature: Animal Art” Exhibition Brings Warm Fuzzies

Creature Feature: Animal Art
April 6 – June 29, 2018
Seattle Municipal Tower Gallery, 3rd Floor

How long have artists been making art about animals? Over 40,000 years!

Detail of Jeffry Mitchell’s “Petit Nature Morte (sic)”

There’s nothing in the city’s collection that far back, but we do have a variety of artworks that include various creatures both real and imagined. Creature Feature: Animal Art includes 23 artworks by 22 artists in a range of mediums, from tiny prints to large sculptures.

Detail of Shelley Moore’s “Ramona and Otis Watch the Insects”

Many of the animals found in Creature Feature are based in reality but a few artists reference mythology or create something new. Cappy Thompson’s painting on glass, Sophia and the Animals, depicts a woman surrounded by animals, a few of which don’t exist in nature. Owl Woman by Caroline Orr references stories passed down by her Native American ancestors via her grandparents. Dean Wong captures a child’s wonder at dragon’s heads lined up on the sidewalk in his photograph from 1993, Michael #11. There are even some Martians created by Susan Nininger and documented in photographs by Sharon Beals and William Murray.

Detail from Dean Wong’s “Michael (#11)”

Back on Earth, Grace Weston creates and photographs humorous scenes, as in her Plume vs. Plume depicting birds watching an atomic blast. Clair Colquitt’s Turista Radio combines kitsch, West Coast funk, parrots and National Public Radio in a bright ceramic package. Man’s best friend, in this case Harold Hoy’s Erector Yorkshire, is made completely out of galvanized steel tape and screws.

Detail from Blair Wilson’s “Crumbs”

Speaking of dogs, they are well represented from William Johnson’s abstracted drawing, Untitled (Running Dog) to Sherry Markovitz’s more realistic painting, One Black, One White to Cheryl Comstock’s two fantastical pieces, April Fools I & II, which include not only canines but cats, birds, humans and even a few bugs.

Northwest fauna is represented in Jimmy Jet’s City Suite lithograph in the form of an Orca, Tom Askman’s charcoal drawing of a bivalve in Clam Destiny/Clam Chowder and we get slugs and salmon, loathed and loved respectively, in Patrick Anderson’s linocut, Geography of Washington State, Vol. 2.

From 16 birds to 2 turtles and all the creatures in between, please enjoy this show curated from the Portable Works collection.

Seattle Presents Gallery: No Hiding Place Down Here

No Hiding Place Down Here
August 20 – October 12, 2017
Seattle Presents Gallery

Opening reception Thursday, September 7, 5:30-7:30 p.m.


No Hiding Place Down Here is a multi-media installation by Cuban-born artist Tatiana Garmendia. Partnering with documentary photographer Scott Story, who recorded unsanctioned homeless shelters in and around Seattle, Garmendia created a sculptural tent built entirely out of screen scrim which dominates a temporary encampment situated inside the Seattle Presents Gallery. Because scrim material appears opaque when unlit from behind, the structure promises an illusion of privacy that visually dematerializes with the with the projection of documentary images through it. A soundscape intermingles Garmendia’s recollections of her experience with homelessness with street sounds and snippets of music. The dialogue pierces between layers of the tent and its surroundings – between its solid appearance and temporal disappearance, between private and public space, between personal testimony and environmental input – and parallels the complexity of the interactions between people experiencing homelessness and the city. 

No Hiding Place Down Here is part of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s (ARTS) Dialogues in Art: Exhibitions on Homelessness, a four-exhibition series in which artists and artist teams develop artistic projects on the topic of homelessness. Each two-month exhibition in the City of Seattle’s Seattle Presents Gallery will demonstrate artists thinking expansively about what shelter and stability mean to diverse populations, and examining the systemic causes of homelessness.  

Tatiana Garmendia was born in Havana, Cuba, after the Bay of Pigs incident, and remembers a period of homelessness when she left her country as a refugee. A child of revolution and failed promises, she is moved by archetypal narratives embedded in cultural legacies and private fantasies. Her interdisciplinary work is figurative, meditating on national and private histories, on the stories we tell others and whisper to ourselves. Known for creating narratives that fall between fact and fable, the artist slips in and out of identities, recounting her dedication to them in sculptural interventions, then lets them go. She has exhibited her work throughout the United States and abroad. She has exhibited at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Art in General, and Stux Gallery in New York. Among the European galleries where Garmendia has shown are the Milan Art Center in Italy, Castfield Gallery in England, and the Galeria Riesa Efau in Germany. Her works are in public collections in New York, Miami, Illinois, California, Ohio, and the Dominican Republic.

30th Anniversary of Contemporary QuiltArt Association exhibition at City Hall

May 4 – July 5, 2017; City Hall Gallery
Reception on Thursday, May 4, 4-6 p.m.

An exhibition celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Contemporary QuiltArt Association, Coming of Age II, is coming to Seattle’s City Hall on May 4.  The exhibition is a celebration of the many ways that fiber can be used in today’s art quilts. The artworks demonstrate the growth members have made over the last three decades. The exhibit features 38 pieces of fiber art from 25 different artists that live in Washington State.

The Contemporary Quilt Art Association, a non-profit arts organization run entirely by volunteers, is a Washington state group formed in the fall of 1986. This diverse group of artists, teachers, writers, and collectors lives throughout Washington, and view quilts as an exciting medium of expression and a viable contemporary art form. They are proud of the years of CQA exhibitions around the state, the nation, and the hemisphere. CQA includes national and internationally celebrated quilt artists among its members and are equally proud of aspiring and emerging quilt artists, and those who have worked only in traditional quilt-making and are now curious to explore other possibilities.

Artist Statement:

The tanks containing radioactive waste on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation continue to have problems with leakage.  The article printed in this piece is referenced here: Macfarlane, A. (2016, May 4). Nuclear Waste Leak Continues at ‘America’s Fukushima’; 33 Left Ill by Radioactive Fumes. Retrieved July 8, 2016, from www.weather.com

Image caption:
Ginnie Hebert
Tank Farm, 2016
Fabrics created by artist with the following techniques:  Painted, stenciled, printed, screen printed with dye
Materials used:  Cotton fabric, Procion dyes, acrylic paint, foil, cotton and polyester threads, glow-in-the-dark thread and paint, wool batting


Seattle Office of Arts & Culture presents The Nightmare Quilt (Revival), 1988-2017 by artist Beverly Naidus in Seattle Presents Gallery

February 20 – April 14, 2017 at Seattle Presents Gallery in the Seattle Municipal Tower


The Seattle Presents Gallery will showcase a new installation The Nightmare Quilt (Revival) 1988-2017 by Beverly Naidus this spring.

In 1988 Naidus created a dual sided large scale quilt of 54 panels from canvas scraps and twine. Originally displayed on a bed in a gallery, one side of the quilt depicted her fears for the future and concern for the present. When visitors lifted up sections of the quilt to see the other side, they discovered her dreams. Too unweildy to move individually, visitors needed to ask for help to uncover the entire quilt of dreams, physically manifesting the artists’ intent to convey that we can’t achieve our collective dreams for the future unless we work together collaboratively.

In the Seattle Presents Gallery, Naidus created 27 new panels of nightmares and dreams, updating the quilt to speak to our community’s current fears, hopes and dreams. She also enhanced the installation to create a stronger atmosphere for the quilt, adding in a mixed media wall of tattered clothing and textiles.

Beverly Naidus, associate professor at the University of Washington Tacoma and an interdisciplinary artist, writer and facilitator of an innovative studio arts curriculum, has been creating interactive installations, digital projects, artist books and narrative drawings for over three decades. Much of her work is audience-participatory, inviting people to tell their own stories in response to the theme being explored. Inspired by lived experience, topics in her art focus on environmental and social issues, including how we are individually and collectively affected by racism, climate change and multiple forms of systemic oppression. Her work has been exhibited internationally, in mainstream museums, university galleries, alternative spaces and city streets. She is the author of Arts for Change: Teaching Outside the Frame, numerous essays on socially engaged art and pedagogy and some recent pieces of speculative fiction. She has taught at several NYC museums, Carleton College, Cal State Long Beach, Hampshire College, Goddard College and the Institute for Social Ecology.

Seattle Presents Gallery will be open to the public on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12 – 2 p.m. and by appointment at 206.684-0182 or email arts.culture@seattle.gov. The Office of Arts & Culture, in partnership with the Office for Civil Rights, is committed to providing equitable support for arts and cultural organizations. The Seattle Presents Gallery features both emerging and established artists and curators and encourages public engagement in arts and cultural experiences that explore ideas surrounding equity and social justice.

Installation photo courtesy the Office of Arts & Culture.

Celebrating Black History Month in Seattle 2017

February marks the beginning of Black History Month, but residents of Seattle are able to celebrate and learn about the rich cultural history of Blacks and African-Americans all year long. In honor of Black History Month we have compiled a few events to mark on your calendar in February. 

ONYX Fine Art 12th annual exhibit
Thru February 18, 2017 King Street Station, 3rd Floor
303 S. Jackson St.
Seattle, WA 98104

Truth B Told, exhibiting visual artistic expressions by artists of African descent in the Pacific Northwest.

Northwest African American Museum
What the Griot Said: Black History Month Storytelling at NAAM with Eva Abram
Thursday, February 2, 12 – 1:00 p.m.
2300 S Massachusetts Street
Seattle, 98144

Gifted griots—or storytellers—will enchant young and old with tales recounted following oral traditions. Children of all ages are invited to experience the ancient art of storytelling with stories from around the world or just around the corner. This is our first program for Black History Month to kick off February at the Northwest African American Museum! The storytelling will be accompanied by a public docent-led tour for adults, introducing our new exhibit, An Elegant Utility. Open to all ages.

Rosenwald film screening
Presented by Atlantic Street Center
Thursday, February 2, 6 p.m.
104 17th Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98144

Rosenwald is the incredible story of Julius Rosenwald, who never finished high school, but rose to become the President of Seers. Influenced by the writings of Booker T. Washington, Jewish philanthropist Rosenwald joined forces with African American communities in the Jim Crow South to build 5,300 schools during the early part of the 20th century.  There will be a Q and A session with Philip Rome, Julius Rosenwald’s great-grandson. To RSVP contact Marcella Taylor at (206) 454-3923 or marcellat@atlanticstreet.org 

Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series
Seattle Art Museum
Thru April 23, 2017
1300 First Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of this city’s most beloved artists, Jacob Lawrence, the Seattle Art Museum presents Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series. Acclaimed as Lawrence’s masterwork, this epic series chronicles in words and pictures the exodus of African Americans from the rural South to the industrial North in the decades after the First World War. Tickets and program information can be found at www.seattleartmuseum.org 

I Am Not Your Negro
SIFF Cinema Egyptian
Opens February 3, 2017
USA | 2016 | 95 Minutes | Raoul Peck
Oscar® nominee for Best Documentary.

Panelists are scheduled to be in attendance for a discussion following the 7pm screening on Feb 3. Director Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished – “Remember This House,”  a radical narration about race in America, through the lives and assassinations of three of his friends: Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers and Malcolm X. using only the writer’s original words.

Black History Month Cultural Xpressions
Sundiata African American Cultural Association
Friday, February 10, 6 – 9 p.m.
Art Show and Reception

Saturday and Sunday, February 11 – 12, opening at noon
Live performances
104 17th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98144

Dialogues in Art: Exhibitions on Racial Injustice
Xenobia Bailey artist talk
Paradise Under Reconstruction in the Aesthetic of Funk: A Quantum Leap, Starting From The Top…!!!
Seattle Presents Gallery
Friday, February 10, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Xenobia Bailey has created an immersive installation featuring African-American homemakers and caregivers that honors and celebrates their innovative, soulful lifestyle. The installation references connections to the African-American community and Seattle’s history. These life-sized figures play an important role in cultivating and rebuilding homes and communities, while providing nurturing and guidance for African-American youth.

Dialogues in Art: Exhibitions on Racial Injustice is a yearlong series of exhibitions that explore artists’ and curators’ interpretations of racial injustice and systemic racism impacting Black and African-American people throughout America.

Resonance a celebration of Black American composers
Two performances presented by North Corner Chamber Orchestra
Saturday, February 18, 2 p.m.
New Holly Gathering Hall
7054 32nd Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98144

Sunday, February 19, 7:30 p.m.
104 17th Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98144

Tickets are available at www.nocco.org and at the door. Group pricing available. $25 general; $15 seniors and ages 19-30. Free for ages 18 and under and music students.