On the first Thursday of every month, hundreds of people head to Pioneer Square to view the latest art shows. Seattle’s oldest neighborhood is home to dozens of galleries. First Thursday showcases new exhibitions and artists from 6 to 8 p.m.
Parking is free for artwalk visitors at Frye Garage (117 3rd Ave S), Butler Garage (114 James Street), and 450 Alaskan (450 Alaskan Way - entrance on King Street).
Arts reporter Lisa Edge shares the following suggestions for what to check out during your self-guided tour.
“Sheri Bakes: Landscapes” at Foster/White gallery
In this latest body of work, Sheri Bakes is inspired by the large pond outside her studio where mallard ducks and Trumpeter swans forage. “Landscapes” is a symphonic expression. Her paintings exist between reality and the imagined.
From the gallery: “Bakes has articulated perceptions related to her impact on the natural world and its impact on her. Living and working in a remote location on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Bakes exists in close communion with the landscape that informs her work, drawing inspiration from moss-covered trees, variations in topography and foliage, and the abundance of textures and tones surrounding her.”
WHAT: “Sheri Bakes: Landscapes”
WHEN: Opens First Thurs., 6 to 8 p.m., runs until April 27
WHERE: Foster/White gallery, 220 Third Ave. S #100, Seattle
“Light Ways” at SOIL gallery
“Light Ways” is a group exhibition exploring light as a force unto itself. Participating artists include Emily Counts, Marisa Manso, Stephen Nachtigall, and Jessie Rose Vala. They’ve tied their explorations together through varied media for an illuminating show.
From the gallery: “Each artist incorporates light into their work; whether through the bright radiation of neon, illumination through stained glass, the glowing of a screen, or materials filtering and reflecting daylight. ‘Light Ways’ examines how light is used as an intangible and expansive medium, by extending the reach of sculpture beyond its boundaries with an emanating glow. This multi-person installation transforms the gallery space with works that beam, cast, emanate, and shift - intensifying the experience of color and form, and reflecting on the wonder of light itself.”
WHAT: “Light Ways”
WHEN: Opens First Thurs. 6 – 8 p.m., runs until April 27
WHERE: SOIL gallery, 112 Third Ave. S, Seattle
“Rick Bartow: From the Archive” & “Drew Michael: Solo Exhibition”
The late Rick Bartow was a multi-disciplinary artist and is considered an important leader in contemporary Native American art. “From the Archive” showcases a portion of his work that was the subject of more than 100 solo exhibitions at museums and galleries.
From the gallery: “Bartow drew deeply from both Native American mythological archetypes and a personal symbolic catalogue, surrounding his characters in a maelstrom of colors and pulsating lines. After layering charcoal, pastel, ink, graphite, colored pencil and gouache on paper, he then scratched and erased down through the strata to reveal textured gradations of color.”
Simultaneously, Drew Michael returns to Stonington for a fourth solo exhibition. His mask forms are based on his life and his Yup’ik and Inupiaq heritage.
From the gallery: “Michael is making artwork that draws on his indigenous heritage, his queer and two-spirit identity, his interests in chakra and indigenous healing, and his religious upbringing. These stunning sculptures can be seen as stand-ins for his emotions, and their solidity, serenity and spirituality are evidence of a young man yearning for a place, for security, and for love. This year brought significant upheaval for the artist, and he continues to use artmaking as a way to process grief, loss, uncertainty and growth.”
WHAT: “Rick Bartow: From the Archive” & “Drew Michael: Solo Exhibition”
WHEN: Open First Thurs. 6 – 8 p.m., runs until April 28
WHERE: Stonington gallery, 125 S. Jackson St., Seattle
“Jeffrey Gibson: Like A Hammer” at Seattle Art Museum
If you don’t mind walking a few blocks north of Pioneer Square, Jeffrey Gibson’s “Like A Hammer” at Seattle Art Museum is a dazzling delight. The newest exhibition brings more than 65 works the New York-based artist has created since 2011. The works include textile wall hangings, elaborate sculptures, geometric abstract paintings on deer hide and videos. A focal point of the show is 15 beaded punching bags that incorporate beadwork, text and other adornments. His work centers his Indigenous identity and gay culture.
Gibson said he’s been hyper aware of political events recently and it’s informed his work, particularly in a scales of justice sculpture titled, “Our Freedom is Worth More Than Our Pain.”
“I’ve felt anxiety, I’ve felt fear. I’ve felt frustration, determination, that kind of incredible instability that’s generated by our current political climate. I think it just doesn’t leave my mind when I’m thinking about an artwork,” said Gibson. “I’m always thinking about what is it that I can put out to the world that somehow maybe helps to stabilize it a bit more than it is right now or that I feel.”
Two weeks ago his work graced the cover of Real Change. Check out the write up of his show before you go.
WHAT: “Jeffrey Gibson: Like A Hammer”
WHEN: Runs until May 12, tickets half off on First Thursday
WHERE: Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., Seattle
Read the full March 27 - April 2 issue.
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