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.
“You Should Smile More” at KDR gallery
“You Should Smile More” is Elyse Pignolet’s first solo exhibition at Koplin Del Rio (KDR) gallery. The exhibition includes ceramics and works on paper from the Los Angeles-based artist. She is inspired by and deals with themes including social issues.
From the gallery: “The ceramic sculptures, part of Pignolet’s ‘Blue & White’ series, are comprised of an array of plates, vases and tulipieres [an ornate vessel in which to grow tulips] inspired by the extensive history of ceramics, and traditional porcelain decoration from around the world. The works in Pignolet’s series contain familiar patterns and motifs, emblazoned with commentary on highly-charged issues for women — such as female transgression and empowerment, sexual harassment, cultural stereotypes, inequality, and the dialectic between feminism and misogyny. Pottery that may be read at first glance as familiarly decorative, delicate and classically influenced, upon further inspection reveals images and text containing politically confrontational, unapologetic messaging. The artist contrasts traditional techniques and patterns with unsettling, suggestive innuendos and tropes that are all too common in our language and culture.”
Pignolet completed her BFA in ceramics at California State University and she also attended the International Ceramics Biennale in Korea. Her works have been featured in several contemporary arts publications including the LA Weekly, Juxtapoz Magazine and the Los Angeles Times.
WHAT: “Elyse Pignolet: You Should Smile More”
WHEN: First Thursday and artist reception, 6 – 8 p.m., runs until June 29
WHERE: KDR, 313 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle
“Shawn Huckins: Staring at the Sun” at Foster/White Gallery
“Staring at the Sun” is the newest body of work from Shawn Huckins. His paintings further explore our times through the lens of history.
From the gallery: With stunning accuracy, Huckins renders works selected from the White House Art Collection to address the immovable way in which we often follow our beliefs — as inferred by the show’s title. Says Huckins, ‘people on both sides of the political spectrum can be blinded by their core beliefs, and oppose any common ground.’ This show is comprised of two distinct styles of paintings. The first are the erasure works, in which the artist has rendered historically significant paintings scrawled with the grey and white grid-pattern erasure marks of Adobe Photoshop.
“The second style of paintings in the show are those comprised of tweets, texts, and social media expostulations painted across landscapes and portraits. In ‘Evening Glow at Lake Louise: Hey Siri, How Do I Leave the Planet?’ the text Huckins used demonstrates an individual’s frustration with the political upheaval in our nation and a readiness to escape it altogether.”
Huckins has received numerous grants and his work has been featured in Luxe Magazine, New American Paintings and more.
WHAT: “Shawn Huckins: Staring at the Sun”
WHEN: Opens First Thursday 6 – 8 p.m., runs until June 22
WHERE: Foster/White Gallery, 220 Third Ave. S #100, Seattle
“The New Northwest Immaterial” at SOIL Gallery
Participating artists: Hongzhe Liang, Leena Joshi, Demian DinéYazhi’, Jade Novarino, Mario Lemafa, Minh Nguyen. Nat Turner Project (Melanie Stevens & maximiliano martinez) and sidony o’neal.
From the gallery: “The New Northwest Immaterial,” curated by Manuel Arturo Abreu … explores the renewed viability of ephemeral and immaterial aesthetic gestures for regional artists staking their claim that the creative act is a communal one. Rather than treat the social as raw material for art, the included artists de-prioritize making, craft, and aesthetics in favor of thinking, feeling, and healing together in ways that reject dominant social practice aesthetics.”
WHAT: “The New Northwest Immaterial”
WHEN: Opens First Thursday, 6 – 8 p.m., runs until June 29
WHERE: SOIL Gallery, 112 Third Ave. S, Seattle
Lisa Edge is a Staff Reporter covering arts, culture and equity. Have a story idea? She can be reached at lisae (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Lisa on Twitter @NewsfromtheEdge
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Unbroken by Bars: Art exhibition brings awareness to the challenges women face when they’ve been imprisoned
Artist Patricia Halsell moves her opening statement from the courtroom to the canvas
Read the full May 29 - June 4 issue.
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