“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.

New acquisitions on view in the Seattle Municipal Tower Gallery

Cultural Perspectives: Recent acquisitions featuring 45 Pacific Northwest artists
in a three part exhibition at the Seattle Municipal Tower Gallery

Part 1: April 8 – June 29, 2016
Part 2: July 1 – September 30, 2016
Part 3: October 4 – December 29, 2016
Seattle Municipal Tower Gallery, 3rd Floor; Reception for Part 1, April 12, 4 to 6 p.m. 

SEATTLE (April 4, 2016) — Cultural Perspectives is a series of exhibitions featuring recent acquisitions for Seattle Public Utilities Portable Works Collection and will be on view in three separate installments beginning April 8, 2016. The three installations will encompass 66 contemporary artworks in a variety of mediums including carvings, paintings, ceramics, photography, and prints from 45 Pacific Northwest artists.

The artwork in the exhibitions portray social concerns, cultural heritage and experiences within communities of color, and immigrant and refugee communities. They also illustrate and reflect environmental, ecological, and economic issues and concerns of these marginalized communities.

Part 1, on view from April 8 to June 29, 2016, will feature artistic expressions from a range of artists including Humaira Abid, Hugo Ludena, Yuki Nakamura, Akio Takamori, and Thuy-Van Vu. A reception for Part 1 will be held on April 12, 2016 from 4 to 6 p.m.

The SPU Portable Works Collection includes paintings, photography, works on paper, textiles, sculpture and carvings and is exhibited throughout the utilities’ offices. SPU collects artwork to increase public awareness of and support for the arts by displaying a wide array of artistic and cultural expression in the working environment of public buildings. The purchase is made possible with SPU 1% for Art funds.

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is a municipal utility owned by the city of Seattle and funded entirely by the rates paid for its services. SPU provides drinking water to 1.45 million people in the Puget Sound region, including Seattle residents and the customers of other water districts and cities in King County and parts of Snohomish County. In addition SPU manages the conservation and restoration of high-quality habitat for fish and wildlife, and the conservation of cultural resources. SPU also provides drainage services within the Seattle city limits to prevent flooding, reduce contamination of surface water, and protect and restore habitat in the urban creeks that serve as part of the city’s natural drainage system.

Photo caption: Yuki Nakamura. Meanings, 2014. Clay, glaze. 28” x 26” x 2”. Photo courtesy of the artist


For a full list of all Office of Arts & Culture galleries, visit this link: http://www.seattle.gov/arts/experience/galleries



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.

Spotlight Art Tours shines a light on City of Seattle artwork

Seattle City Light, the nation’s greenest utility, has been a supporter of the city’s public art program, and its portable artwork collection since the city adopted a 1% for Art ordinance in 1973. The city’s Portable Works Collection is a rotating collection of artworks in all media including sculpture, site-specific commissions, painting, mixed media, prints, photography and textiles that are exhibited throughout city facilities. This fall the city is offering Spotlight Art Tours featuring artwork from City Light’s portable collection. Tours are led by Deborah Paine, Curator and Collections Manager at the Office of Arts & Culture, and will focus on artwork displayed at Seattle Municipal Tower.

If you are interested in attending a tour, please RSVP here, each tour is limited to 12 guests. Gather at the information/guard station inside the Seattle Municipal Tower lobby at 700 5th Avenue. All tours are ADA accessible, if you have specific accommodation requests please email arts.culture@seattle.gov or call (206) 684-7372.


Thursday, November 12th, 10 a.m.
Friday, November 20th, 2 p.m.

Thursday, December 10th, 10 a.m.
Friday, December 18th, 2 p.m.

Thursday, January 14th, 10 a.m.
Friday, January 29th, 2 p.m.

Tour Highlights:

  • Eight City Light office lobbies featuring commissioned site-specific artwork.
  • On view in the Seattle Municipal Tower Gallery is Seattle Simplified, featuring Seattle City Light’s recent artwork purchases portraying Seattle and its surrounding landscape a two part installation encompassing 56 contemporary artworks ranging from painting, multi-media, photography and prints by 36 different artists.

After the tour you can also visit these other exhibitions in the Seattle Municipal Tower and City Hall

  • On view in the Ethnic Heritage Art Gallery is Origins: An Art Show by an Iñupiat Scandinavian, featuring artist Susan Ringstad Emery’s unique perspective on contemporary Native artwork with her cave art-inspired mixed media works on panel. Ethnic Heritage Art Gallery exhibitions rotate quarterly, artists are chosen from a vetted roster of artists of color.
  • On view in the Seattle Presents Gallery is artist Joseph (Wahalatsu?) Seymour, Jr. Joe studied the Coast Salish form line art, the style of art of the people of Puget Sound. He also participated in indigenous artist gatherings in Hawaii and New Zealand. In addition to using materials such as wood, wool, glass and printmaking, Joe also makes and paints drums. During his residency at The Evergreen State College, Joe is focusing on making and designing drums and yellow cedar paddles. Seattle Presents Gallery is a pop up-like gallery. Every two months the gallery features a static exhibition of artwork in the collection, an artist-in-residence who spends up to six hours a week creating artwork in the space or a guest curator who collects and exhibits artwork based on a specific theme.
  • On view at City Hall beginning November 3, 2015 is Sound Impressions. Home to Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Sub Pop Records, Death Cab for Cutie and Macklemore, Seattle is known for its music, inspiring a thriving scene of poster designers, illustrators and screen-printers. Curated by recognized poster designer Andrew Saeger of Factory 43 Sound Impressions features the artwork of Seattle’s poster scene veterans and newcomers.