The Faded Signs Podcast by Shaun Scott, part of the Dialogues in Art: Exhibitions on Racial Injustice series

July 18 – September 10, 2016 at Seattle Presents Gallery in the Seattle Municipal Tower

This summer, the Seattle Presents Gallery will be home to filmmaker and writer Shaun Scott’s The Faded Signs Podcast. In two shows featuring conversations with brilliant luminaries and digressions into forgotten detours of American history, The Faded Signs Podcast will ponder what the present will look like to future generations who can only see what we left behind (and not our best intentions).

The Faded Signs Podcast 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.

Scott writes the column “Faded Signs” for City Arts Magazine. In bi-weekly dispatches, he covers film, music, professional sports, and the Seattle arts scene for a critical portrait that calls attention to dynamics of race, class, and gender in the popular culture of 21st century capitalism. The Faded Signs Podcast will shine the same light. Interviews, found audio from the vault of pop culture, and creative nonfiction will come together in a treat for the ears and the mind. The podcast will be available free on iTunes and SoundCloud, and on the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs’ website.

Scott is a Seattle-based writer and filmmaker whose work has appeared in Jacobin Magazine, Seattle Weekly, and the film journal Senses of Cinema. He is the author of the e-book Something Better: Millennials and Late Capitalism at the Movies. His forthcoming book Millennials and the Moments That Made Us: A Cultural History of the U.S. from 1984-present is forthcoming in 2017.

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. 

Participating artists in the Dialogues in Art: Exhibitions on Racial Injustice series  

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.

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.

What we heard: King Street Station conversations

On Tuesday, May 10, at 5 p.m. ARTS welcomed 83 engaged members of the public to the first public engagement session for King Street Station. After a brief overview of the fascinating history of the station we dove right into the question at hand: how cultural space on the third floor of King Street Station can best to serve the community.

Shaun Scott, our King Street Station Outreach Facilitator, helped lead the conversations. According to Scott, “we heard impassioned citizens talk about how to have King Street Station reflect the needs of an arts community that makes Seattle a livable city. We heard from a wide cross-section of the community, from artists, to arts administrators, to every day citizens. Overall, participants in the discussion were most committed to having arts space at King Street Station become a new ‘3rd place’ between work and home.”

If you weren’t able to make it to the first meeting mark your calendars now for the next one:

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 5:30 – 7 p.m., doors open at 5 p.m.
King Street Station
303 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104 RSVP here

To create a dynamic and vibrant space that meets the community’s needs we need to hear from you. This will be a working meeting where we’ll explore the possibilities for the space. Bring your ideas, imagination and be inspired by the possibilities.

Can’t make it to a meeting? Take a survey.


Photo credit: Jenny Crooks

Introducing: Shaun Scott!

The Office of Arts & Culture welcomes Seattle-based writer, historian and filmmaker Shaun Scott as the new King Street Station Outreach Facilitator. Scott will work closely with ARTS staff on the public engagement plan to transform King Street Station. In his role as outreach facilitator Scott will bring his versatile background to engage the community and produce a report that speaks to the creative opportunity of a cultural hub in the historic King Street Station.

The first public meeting will be held, Tuesday, May 10 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. Doors will open at 5 p.m. Bring your ideas, imagination and be inspired by the possibilities, RSVP here. For more information visit

Scott’s writing has appeared in Jacobin Magazine, Seattle Weekly, and The Monarch Review. He is the author of the e-book “Something Better: Millennials and Late Capitalism at the Movies.” Scott is a columnist for City Arts Magazine, where he writes the thread “Faded Signs,” a bi-weekly column about popular culture under capitalism.

Scott received a 2008 CityArtist grant from the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture for his film “Seat of Empire: Seattle Since 1909.” In 2010, he received support from 4Culture for his 2010 documentary “Waste of Time.” His other films include “100% OFF: A Recession-Era Romance,” and “Pacific Aggression,” which debuted at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival in 2014.

You can follow Scott on Twitter and Facebook.


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.