Art Interruptions 2017: Delridge Greenway and Connector Trail

August 3 – December 31, 2017

Temporary artwork in the Delridge Neighborhood Greenway and Connector Trail

The Office of Arts & Culture, in partnership with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), commissioned seven emerging public artists to create temporary art installations within the Delridge Neighborhood Greenway and Delridge Connector Trail for Art Interruptions 2017. The artworks inhabit city sidewalks and parks and offer passers-by a brief interruption in their day, eliciting a moment of surprise, beauty, contemplation or humor. Art Interruptions is funded by the Seattle Department of Transportation 1% for Arts Funds.

Art Interruptions Walking Tour Saturday, October 7, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Explore the West Seattle neighborhood, experience Art Interruptions and meet the participated artists. Hosted by Feet First; visit ww.feetfirst.org for detailed updates.

Black Teen Wearing Hoodie
Jasmine Brown

Jasmine Brown created a series of images portraying black teenage boys in hoodies, commemorating the fifth anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s death. She created the artworks by first taking photographs of boys doing ordinary things like petting a cat, playing an instrument, reading a book, or talking on a cell phone, and then manipulated the photos using digital techniques to make the images pop. Once completed, her paintings were transferred onto vinyl. Brown’s artworks appear on signal boxes, street furniture, and sites along the Greenway, varying in size between 2 ft x 2 ft portraits to 5 – 6 ft high life-size images.

Wild & Creative Wonders
Susan Brown

Susan Brown made a sequence of Creative Comedy Dramas – a series of theatrical historic collage characters installed on poles and walls along the Delridge Neighborhood Greenway. Two to four stationary character puppets depicting dancers and musicians are installed at each location. Most of the puppets have human bodies with faces adapted from antique illustrations or recent photographs of animals, including cats, dogs, wild mammals, and mythical creatures, and are dressed in culturally diverse historic costumes. Varying in size between 12 – 18 inches, these multi-color collage figures were created using illustrations found in antique publications and are composed using layers of canvas. Additional features, including stage props, were also made through adaption from photographs.

Hibernacula: Batcall
Ryan Burns

Ryan Burns’ drive is to understand how society can better understand our relationship with the natural world. This inspired him to create a sculptural bat house that addresses current threats to bats not only in Washington state, but also nationally. Installed next to an open lawn that bats find ideal for hunting, Burns repurposed an old public phone box cover to house a wooden bat box, which is adorned with stenciled objects that reference Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and medical imagery. Burns has experience with bats and has observed their timid nature; if threatened, bats react as mice do, by hiding or staying hidden. To ensure the safety and comfort of the bats, Burns worked with the Seattle Parks and Recreation’s ecologist, and the bat box conforms with International Bat Coalition standards. The bat box is mounted independently within the phone box so it can easily be unbolted and relocated to the Bats Northwest’s preserve in Lynnwood at the end of Art Interruptions. 

Sea Creature Scavenger Hunt
Maria Jost

Inspiring people to look more deeply at their surroundings, Maria Jost created an interactive organism scavenger hunt along the Greenway and Connector Trail. She encourages people of all ages, on foot or bicycles, to scan the surroundings for intricately patterned sea creatures placed strategically throughout the area. Using watercolor and digital collage transferred to a vinyl utility box wrap, Jost created a surreal undersea landscape that includes rocks, kelp, and aquatic plants, but is devoid of larger organisms like fish and marine invertebrates. A checklist with silhouetted images and an accompanying website encourages viewers to search for the six missing organisms, which are scattered along the Greenway and Connector Trail and may be found on the back of street signs, on other metal boxes, or in other locations.

Goats of Many Colors
Tia Matthies

With the hope of inspiring feelings of surprise, delight, and thoughts of cultures from around the world, Tia Matthies created a small herd of goats. Created from one-inch plywood and varying in size, the five two-dimensional goats resemble cut-out illustrations. The artist painted the goats with exterior house paint in bright colors and designed them to appear as though they are grazing. Matthies hopes to inspire deeper thought on what these goats mean to various populations here in our city and around the world, symbolizing our fascination with small urban farms and expanding feelings of community. 

Smelting
Akira Ohiso

Akira Ohiso’s art installation brings attention to the history of the river as a fertile fishery for the Duwamish Native tribe. The shallow banks of Longfellow Creek once supported smelt, but they slowly disappeared with the Industrial Revolution and the subsequent proliferation of chemicals and toxic waste. Ohiso created drawings of native smelt – in red, yellow, black, and blue – that were then digitally printed onto white windsocks to create fish kites. In the artist’s Japanese culture, fish kites (Koinobori) are flown on poles to celebrate an annual national Children’s Day – symbolizing hope for a healthy and prosperous future for children. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the Japanese-American internment camps, adding poignancy to the installation.

Orange you glad for green? Yes, I pink so
Shawn Parks

Shawn Parks’ inspiration is the surreal horizontal stripes of spring tulip bloom colors in the Skagit Valley. The artist’s concept interrupts the viewer’s experience throughout the Greenway with shocks of brightly colored artwork in shapes and textures resembling pine tree needles, bamboo stalks, grass, and ivy ground covers. Parks created the artworks using materials originally designed for construction and sport use in outdoor environments, including marking whiskers, marking flags, and flagger tapes. The artist ’ worked with a Seattle Department of Transportation arborist to identify the best trees and sites along the Greenway for the installations. These varied sections of bright color appear at multiple heights for viewers to notice – whether traveling on foot, bicycle, or by car – and to bring joy and happiness to passersby.

Seattle Office of Arts & Culture presents Remembrance by Jasmine Brown, part of the Dialogues in Art: Exhibitions on Racial Injustice series

March 14 – May 13, 2016 at Seattle Presents Gallery in the Seattle Municipal Tower; Reception April 7 from 5:30 – 7 p.m.; artist talk May 12 at noon. 

 

SEATTLE (March 8, 2016) —This spring the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) will feature Remembrance, a residency with artist Jasmine Brown in the Seattle Presents Gallery. The residency will showcase Brown working on egg tempera portraits of murdered youth of color painted in the Byzantine icon style. Brown will include portraits of Tamir Rice and Michael Brown in her installation. Brown will be in the gallery on Thursdays beginning March 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through May 13.

Rememberance is part of the Seattle Presents Gallery series Dialogues in Art: Exhibitions on Racial Injustice, a yearlong exploration of artists’ and curators’ interpretations of racial injustice and systemic racism impacting Black and African-American people throughout America. The series will feature residencies, installations and curatorial projects by Jasmine Brown, Mark Mitchell, Shaun Scott, Elizabeth Spavento and Xenobia Bailey. Artist Barry Johnson opened the series with Sign of the Times, January 18 – March 11, 2016.

Brown lives in Tacoma, WA and earned her B.F.A. from Howard University and M.A. from UCLA. Her artwork is in the collections of the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience and the Trayvon Martin Foundation. Brown is influenced by the sacred art of several world religions and artworks. From African masks, Voodoo textiles, Buddhist thangkas to Russian and Ethiopian icons, they all have ceremonial significance and spiritual potency that she strives to embody in her work.

For Brown the media coverage of murdered youth has a voyeuristic curiosity and quality, as if dead children were merely fictional characters in an episode of a popular crime drama. On the other hand, the artist views purely journalistic coverage of these deaths as too detached to fully acknowledge the humanity of the victims or the depth of their relatives’ grief.

“I paint icons in a painstaking technique practiced by the Orthodox Church to create timeless spiritual images that invite contemplation,” says Brown. “They portray subjects with a dignity that is traditionally reserved for angels, saints, prophets and martyrs. My work depicts these tragedies in a way that honors the personhood of the victims by calling attention to these tragic killings while encouraging the viewers to grieve and find solutions to urban violence.”

On Thursday, April 7, ARTS will host an artist reception for Jasmine Brown in Seattle Presents Gallery from 5:30 – 7 p.m. with refreshments, and music by Larry Mizell, Jr. There will also be a lunchtime lecture on May 12, at noon with Negarra Kudumu, Adult Programs educator, Frye Art Museum and artist Jasmine Brown. Kudumu and Brown will talk about the power of portraiture in the gallery. 

The Office of Arts & Culture, in partnership with the Office for Civil Rights, is committed to addressing, and increasing community-wide awareness about, existing inequities so that we, along with our cultural and community partners, can most effectively work together toward a vision of racial equity. Seattle Presents Gallery features a variety of immersive installations, curated exhibitions pulled from the city’s Portable Works Collection, resident artists, and original artworks. The gallery presents both emerging and established artists and curators, and provides all who pass by the opportunity to engage in diverse arts and cultural experiences. 

About the artists

Xenobia Bailey studied ethnomusicology at the University of Washington, and received her BA in industrial design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Her pieces are often connected to her ongoing project “Paradise Under Reconstruction in the Aesthetic of Funk”. Her designs draw influences from Africa, China, and Native American and Eastern philosophies, with undertones of the 1970’s funk aesthetic. Bailey has been artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh, and the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation in New York City. Bailey co-organized a Black Cultural Workshop with the African-American inmates at McNeil Island Federal Penitentiary and Monroe State Reformatory in the 1970’s. Her work has been exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Jersey City Museum, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and NAAM. Her work is in the permanent collections at Harlem’s Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Allentown Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Arts, and the Museum of Arts and Design. 

Jasmine Iona Brown was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and traveled to five continents before settling in West Seattle. She earned her B.F.A. at Howard University and her M.A. from UCLA. Her graduate study in ancient history and cultures led her to incorporate antique artistic mediums, such as egg tempera, into her artwork. She is fascinated with the human face and the tragic narratives of marginalized people. Brown is the recipient of a 2011 Puffin Foundation Grant to paint a series of Byzantine style egg-tempera icons memorializing a few of the many children of color that are lost to violence. 

Barry Johnson is a Washington-based visual artist and filmmaker from Kansas who’s had a range of works in visual art and film shown across the U.S. and the world. Waking up at 2 am every morning to paint in his studio, Johnson works tirelessly to create pieces that challenge views on gender, race, sex, and sound. His work is a result of events taking place around the world and in everyday life.

Mark Mitchell is an artist who speaks to social issues through textiles. His contributions to Seattle’s cultural community bridge a number of disciplines, including art, music, theater, fashion, activism, and education. He is the subject of the award-winning documentary film Burial, and presented a performance and exhibition of the same title at the Frye Art Museum in 2013. Mitchell was recently artist-in-residence at The New Foundation Seattle where he continued to develop his new group of sculptures concerning racism and mass incarceration called Burial 2. He was a finalist for the 2015 Neddy Award at Cornish in the open medium category. In addition to his fine art practice, Mark has worked extensively as a costume designer, maker of custom clothing, tattoo artist, and teacher.  His in-studio workshops are a popular introduction to his personal techniques used for hand-sewing, embroidery, and silk flower making. He lives with his partner of fourteen years, Kurt B. Reighley.

Shaun Scott is a Seattle-based independent filmmaker whose first feature film was “Seat of Empire” (2009), a 3-hour long documentary tour of the city of Seattle using archival footage. In 2010 he directed and wrote “Waste of Time”, a historical mash-up of original footage, archival images, and contemporary music meant as a portrait of consumer capitalism.

Elizabeth Spavento is interested in identity politics (particularly as they relate to race and gender), the untapped potential of space, altered states of consciousness and unstructured time. Her practice seeks the fringe as a way to push back against hegemony, and her work tends to favor alternative spaces and community-driven practices. She has curated exhibitions for Disjecta Contemporary Art Center in Portland, OR and Open Source Gallery in New York, NY in addition to exhibiting her own work in Buffalo, NY. Spavento’s most recent project, ALL RISE, was a two year series of temporary public artworks punctuated by performance, video and music on a 90,000 sq. ft. gravel lot in downtown Seattle. She is the 2016 visiting curator for Interstitial, Seattle’s premiere exhibition space for artists working in new media. Elizabeth Spavento currently lives nowhere in particular and works everywhere she is.

ARTS Galleries Exhibition Schedule Spring 2016

Upcoming exhibitions at the Seattle Municipal Tower Gallery, City Hall Gallery, and Seattle Presents Gallery

Real Change Agents Portrait Project
City Hall Lobby and Anne Focke Gallery
March 2 – May 2, 2016

  The Real Change Agents Portrait Project is a series of portraits of Seattle newspaper vendors, many of whom are either homeless, living in shelters or living in low-income housing. Real Change has been around since 1994, and the vendors have become as much a part of Seattle’s landscape as the city’s restaurants, buildings and shops. These are portraits of the familiar faces that commuters and Seattle residents see daily. The portrait project was organized by Real Change Art Director Jon Williams. He asked several Puget Sound artists, professionals and students, to create portraits of vendors using any kind of media they wanted. Each portrait includes a bio of the vendor. Image: David Prunell by Laura Stokes.

 

 

Cultural Perspectives, Part 1
Seattle Municipal Tower Gallery
March 5 – June 29, 2016

Cultural Perspectives, Part 2
Seattle Municipal Tower Gallery
July 1 – September 30, 2016

Kabuki Rehearsal

Cultural Perspectives, Part 1 and Part 2 will feature 66 recently purchased artworks from 45 artists by Seattle Public Utilities. Image: Kabuki Rehearsal by Roger Shimomura.

Dialogues in Art: Exhibitions on Racial Injustice
Jasmine Brown
Seattle Presents Gallery
March 14 – May 13, 2016

Jasmine Brown’s residency will feature her working on egg tempera portraits of murdered youth of color painted in the Byzantine icon style. Brown will include but is not limited to portraits of Tamir Rice and Michael Brown.

Dialogues in Art: Exhibitions on Racial Injustice
Mark Mitchell/ Casket Pall Residency
Seattle Presents Gallery
May 16 – July 15, 2016

Mark Mitchell’s residency will feature work on a hand sewn casket pall that subverts the flag placed on the caskets of American heroes, and honors the lives lost because of our shared history of slavery and racism.

Dialogues in Art: Exhibitions on Racial Injustice
Shaun Scott
Seattle Presents Gallery
July 18 – September 9, 2016

Shaun Scott will invite various thought-leaders to participate in curated conversations in the Seattle Presents gallery that he will audio record and then turn into podcasts. The podcasts will be made accessible on the Office of Arts & Culture’s website.