by Ellis Simani
You may remember hearing of the Seattle Realist Artists in February when we reported on their first exhibition at the Hillman City Collaboratory. The inaugural exhibit featured a group of students, emerging and professional artists, all of whom showcased a range of work on sale to the public.
This month, the group has returned to the Collaboratory in what promises to be an equally intriguing display of both up-and-coming and solidified talent within Seattle’s Realist community. Once again, the event has been organized and curated by Amanda Teicher, who founded Seattle Realist Artists in 2015 to bring a new energy into the Realist community here in Seattle.
Teicher describes Realist art as universal, explaining that “it can be appreciated by anyone, and is much more acceptable to a wider range of individuals than many other forms of art.”
The exhibit has not only opened doors to new artists with limited opportunities to showcase and sell their work, it’s also given them an online platform through the Seattle Realist Artists website, where the exhibit is displayed in full, along with intimate videos documenting several aspects of each artist’s inspiration and path to their current work.
Though many fine art communities in Seattle can err on the side of highbrow, Teicher has sought to demystify the notion that amazing artwork requires an exclusive taste the average viewer might not have. She insists that nearly anyone can appreciate at least some elements within the pieces regardless of their artistic background.
Teicher appears to be correct, as a number of individuals walking along the sidewalk often interrupt their outings to pause outside the large windows of the Hillman City Collaboratory and glance at the paintings before continuing on with their day. Most are likely moved by the stunning visual interpretations of reality.
While the pieces might be more accessible, the art certainly isn’t any less exquisite or breathtaking than pieces found in other galleries across Seattle. Many of the artists, like Teicher, have been trained at some of the most well known institutions in the city, and by some of the most respected instructors in the field.
Seattle Realist Artists seeks to bring a larger audience to artists in all stages of their careers. Madeline Owen, for example, is a 20-year-old art student, while P.D. Jensen, an untrained painter, has been practicing for over 50 years. Kevin Scott Miller, the final artist featured in the exhibit, completed four years of classical realism training and is now in the beginning stages of his career as an artist.
The exhibits aim to pair talented students with emerging and seasoned artists in order to provide a professional elevator of sorts, which can transport knowledge and experience between artists at all stages of their careers.
Teicher founded the Seattle Realists in hopes of developing community amongst Realist artists in Seattle, and with two shows now under her belt, it appears that she’s well on her way to accomplishing her goal. With plans of upcoming exhibitions already underway, stay tuned for more from this emerging community of artists in the future.
Ellis Simani is an Emerald reporting intern. He was born and raised in South Seattle, and will be a senior at Claremont McKenna College this fall. Follow him on Twitter @emsimani.
Featured image: “Rainier Avenue” by Amanda Teicher