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.
“Robert Pruitt: The Majesty of Kings Long Dead” at Koplin Del Rio (KDR) gallery
Robert Pruitt is back in Seattle with a new set of works. It’s the second time the New York based artist has shown in the Emerald City. Large scale works on paper and a sculptural object will be on display. Pruitt often uses references to sci-fi, comic books and hip-hop in his portraits. When Pruitt presented in Seattle in 2017 the exhibition was tilted “Planetary Survey: New Drawings.”
From the artist: “The show title comes from the 1920 Science Fiction short story ‘The Comet’, by W.E.B. Du Bois. In a passage near the end of the story, his protagonist, a Black messenger and laborer, comes to accept that he is the last man on Earth and is finally free of the constraints of racial subjugation. Du Bois describes this growing awareness as thus: ‘Up from the crass and crushing and cringing of his caste leaped the lone majesty of kings long dead.’
“This idea of a nascent majestic inheritance is at the root of this series of drawings. They are attempts to reposition systems of belief and mythos around a Black American identity. The works in this show seek to suggest a concept of a mythology of Black celestial sovereignty.”
WHAT: “Robert Pruitt: The Majesty of Kings Long Dead”
WHEN: Open First Thursday, 6 – 8 p.m., runs until Sept. 28
WHERE: Prographica/KDR, 313 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle
“Casey McGlynn: 117.5 Ideas for Tattoos” at Foster/White gallery
From the gallery: “Casey McGlynn’s approach to art-making has at times been driven by his use of painting to escape, to explain his challenges with his own identity, and to inadvertently express his need for validation. Exploring issues of societal expectations, body image, self-expression, and a myriad of other topics, McGlynn’s work often reads like disparate pages from a personal journal, pieced together on the canvas. However, the terse application of the classification “Outsider Art” to his work swiftly sweeps it into a too-concise category, disregarding the evidence in each piece of the artist’s vulnerability, depth, and acuity in expression. Stories are presented with order, nuance, and elegance within chaos.
“McGlynn has created 117 and a half one foot square paintings, each depicting a brief moment. While frequently working within a grid in his larger canvases, this exhibition has given McGlynn the literal freedom of breaking up space, allowing each moment to be fully experienced.”
WHAT: “Casey McGlynn: 117.5 Ideas for Tattoos”
WHEN: Opens First Thursday, 6 to 8 p.m., runs until August 24
WHERE: Foster/White gallery, 220 Third Ave. S #100, Seattle
“Seam” at METHOD gallery
The latest installation for Method gallery comes from Second Growth, a group seven artists: Tonia Arehart, Kite Arner, Lalitha Bandaru, Lindsey Champlin, Sam Kuniholm, Matt Soma and Joe Wilkinson.
From the artists: “Value of the Earth’s natural life, and our relationship with place, are common threads throughout each of our practices, which in turn have primarily informed the material choice.”
From the gallery: “Together they explore the potential outcomes of working together. ‘Seam’ was created through a process of exploring the intersection of divergent perspectives, and it is as much about this journey as the completed installation. ‘Seam’ examines form and space through the deconstruction and reconfiguration of recycled plastics. In the installation, discarded consumer grade plastics knit together with a seemingly endless thread of steel are used to create a swaying landscape within Method’s space.”
WHEN: First Thursday 5 to 8 p.m., runs until Aug. 31; artists’ talk Aug. 15, 6 to 8 p.m.
WHERE: METHOD Gallery, 106 Third Ave. S., Seattle
Seattle Art fair at CenturyLink Field Event Center
In addition to First Thursday, Seattle Art Fair returns for the fifth year at CenturyLink Field Event Center. The annual event takes place over the course of four days. Modern and contemporary art from nearly 100 regional and international galleries will be on display. In addition to showcasing art, organizers have also planned daily talks, special projects and performance. This year’s programming will explore themes of curiosity and wonder, featuring music, tech, natural history and artificial intelligence.
Artistic Director Nato Thompson: “We were inspired by the Wunderkammers, cabinets of curiosity from the 16th century that displayed artifacts garnered and pilfered from across the seven seas. This program ideally takes the spirit of interdisciplinary, intersectionality and the post-human as touchstones for a 21st century version.”
Tickets are available for purchase online.
WHAT: Seattle Art Fair
WHEN: Aug. 1 to 4 with varied hours
WHERE: CenturyLink Field Event Center
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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