South Seattle – Artist Carina A. del Rosario will premiere her temporary “passport office” on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014 at the Rainier Beach Art Walk, on South Henderson between Rainier Avenue South and Seward Park South.
The interactive art installation invites people to consider ways race, nationality, gender and other categories are used to limit and divide people. “We all deal with forms that ask us to check boxes about ourselves,” says del Rosario. “A lot of times, those boxes don’t fit or, if we check them, that information may be used against us.”
Del Rosario explains that she created her Passport Series to provide people with a different experience. She re-framed typical application questions and participants use their own words to describe the most important parts of themselves. She takes their answers and their portraits and assembles them into individual booklets that resemble travel passports.
At the Rainier Beach Art Walk, people can view over 20 completed booklets, and participate in the project by having their portrait taken and completing one of del Rosario’s application forms. These will be added to the growing series, some of which will be featured at an upcoming exhibition at the Wing Luke Asian Museum.
While del Rosario has been working on the series with individual friends since 2013, this is the first time she will be doing it as a participatory public installation.
“To move forward in addressing civil rights and discrimination, we need to have opportunities where people can wrestle with ideas about identity in a broader context,” she says. “I want to provide a safe and creative space for people to reflect on their own struggles with identity, perhaps see things they have in common with someone completely different from them, and have an opportunity to present themselves in a more holistic way.”
Del Rosario’s “Passport Office,” at booth number 13, will be open from 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014 during the Rainier Beach Art Walk. Spanish, Vietnamese and Somali interpreters will be available to assist people from those communities who want to participate in the project. Funding for the Passport Series is provided, in part, by the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture.
As days go by and I get older and older my soul still straddles the fence
So I often wonder will God still have my defense
As good as i think i am, there’s always a touch of bad that’s why i ponder if heaven has a layaway plan
Where, after so much good you automatically get into the pearly gates and talk to God about those thing you’ve done that you hate
So those who ponder about whether heaven has a layaway plan, let me ease your mind
God designed us all to make a million mistakes , but he also gives some of us remorse to regret the things we’ve done that we hate
So when you walk up to the pearly gates of heaven and God allows you to cleanse your soul and hands you the keys to his lakes and valley filled of gold and he says my child all has been forgiven your burdens are now mines to carry
Remember this, even if you have a touch of bad
God will always allow you to be on his layaway plan
Nestled in 98118, a zip code known for its diversity, sits a small unassuming modular building, a structure that’s home to RHF CrossFit. RHF CrossFit is part of Rainier Health and Fitness (RHF), a non-profit gym that aims to provide affordable access to a high quality fitness center. RHF accomplishes this mission by working with members in a case-by-case basis to ensure sign up fees are affordable and offer volunteer opportunities in exchange for membership.
CrossFit is known for attracting—and primarily being accessible—to higher earning, predominantly white, fitness enthusiasts. In contrast, RHF CrossFit members represent the 98118 community. Attend any of the 20+ classes that they offer each week and you’ll see people from all over the globe represented within the gym. In keeping with Rainier Health & Fitness’s goal of providing affordable access, membership at RHF CrossFit includes full access to Rainier Health & Fitness and all its amenities (free childcare and access to group classes such as yoga, ZUMBA fitness, cycling, etc.). At a rate of $90 per month and unlimited access to attend classes 5 days a week, RHF CrossFit is one of the most affordable deals for CrossFit anywhere that doesn’t compromise on quality and offers extra perks to the community.
8 Week Paleo Challenge
Speaking of perks, in conjunction with an upcoming Paleo Challenge, RHF CrossFit is inviting both their members and community the opportunity to take part in an affordable 8 week Paleo Challenge that kicks off September 15, 2014. During the 8 weeks, participants will:
Take body measurements, weigh in and perform 3 standardized workouts (scaled for appropriate skill levels)
Conduct performance workouts
Track participants’ diets—offering new recipes and opportunities to share experiences with others in the challenge
As one of the Paleo Challenge’s co-founders Danny Putnam noted, participants experience this life-transforming 8 weeks alongside a group of teammates, which alone provides extra motivation—we’re stronger when working on goals together! Registration for the challenge is just $50 and includes a challenge t-shirt plus opportunities to win loads of prizes (go to http://www.lurongliving.com/challenge/register to register and select “RHF CrossFit as your gym).
In conjunction with the challenge, Rainier Health & Fitness is offering a once-in-a-lifetime special to anyone who is new to RHF CrossFit and signs up for the challenge: 8 weeks of RHF CrossFit for $100. That’s $30/month for the gym membership plus $20/month for CrossFit. Contact David (email@example.com) if you have additional questions.
David Calderon is a graduated of San Jose State University with a Bachelors of Science in Nutritional Science with a concentration in Dietetics. He’s also the CrossFit trainer at Rainier Health & Fitness.
While the advent of Bumbershoot is met with ambivalence like nowhere else more than Seattle’s south end, where the arrival of the nation’s largest annual music and arts festival is just as likely to be met with rabid exuberance as it is with dull insouciance from past festival goers, this year’s event comes peppered with some hyperlocal flare that just might be enough to make the trip to the shadow of the Space Needle worthwhile this Labor Day weekend.
The South Seattle based creative arts trio of Andy Arkley, Courtney Barnebey and Peter Lynch, better known as the artist collective LET’S, will be presenting their fully interactive art installation Finger Power at this year’s festival.
The group, who originally formed together ten years ago as a rock band under the moniker Library Science -“We obviously called it that to
attract members of the opposite sex.” Jokes Lynch- chose to move their creative camaraderie from the realm of music into “living aesthetics” three years ago when they began yearning for greater creative expression than local dive bar performances allowed them.
Their latest endeavor, which will be unveiled today at 3:00pm at the Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion and be on display for the entire labor day weekend, combines the trio’s love for music, color, and gaming, and features six different interactive consoles that transform colors into instruments, encouraging six different people at a time to form an impromptu band and simultaneously spawn music and art -think Guitar Hero fused with a large scale Jackson Pollock inspired paint by numbers kit.
The Emerald caught up with the members of LET’S prior to Finger Power’s opening at Bumbershoot.
Emerald: So how does a group make the transition from rock band to creators of art installations?
Peter Lynch: After we put out three different albums we kind of just ran out of drive. It started getting more annoying than it was exciting. After we broke up the band we didn’t quite know what we were going to do, but we were still really good friends, and us breaking up the band was kind of like saying that we didn’t want to lose our friendships. So, we thought why don’t we see if we can do something else together and after about a year we started deciding to make art constructs.
Courtney Barnebey: It seemed like when the band stopped we all kind of just went our own ways and that gave us a little bit of distance from each other that was needed. We then just naturally came back together around the time that Andy got a piece accepted at the Soil Gallery.
Andy Arkley: Yeah, around that time I remember sending Peter and Courtney an email saying that, “Hey, I’ve got this show. Here’s an idea of what we can do. Do you want to try (building art installations)?” Everyone agreed to give it a try, not knowing how big of a project it actually was going to be (laughter). They say that an artist has to hone their craft, so we were used to practicing 3 days a week as a band and just translated that to working on the art installation.
Emerald: The transition actually seems more seamless than you would imagine.
Courtney: It was really interesting how everything came together because everyone of us naturally has a creative role and tendency in our group, and we fell back into that with each other. When we came back together to build these interactive installations it was like: “Wow, this is super exciting! This is why we decided to collaborate together in the first place!” We have a history, so every project we work on, we’re not forging new relationships or new ways to work with each other. We kind of just feel back into that pattern of how we used to work together. We just had a different medium.
Peter: Yeah, I felt by the end that the band was really restricting, and Andy and Courtney are more visually oriented, while I’m more musically creative. The art installation was like, “Oh! This is how we can still cluster together and make stuff, and be exploiting what we really want to be doing.” We want to be doing great work that’s collaborative, but we no longer wanted to just restrict it to, “Okay! You make the album cover. You make the live videos, etc.” This really opened up a lot of creative boundaries.
Emerald: This is actually LET’s second year at Bumbershoot. How does Finger Power compare to last year’s entry and what are you hoping people take away from it?
Andy: Last year we made a piece called Magic Synch. It was our first piece and I would say that it was definitely an experiment in making a directly interactive art installation. The curators at Bumbershoot said that the piece was pretty successful, and people really interacted with it. I think we learned a lot of things just from watching people use it, and it gave us a ton of new ideas about what we wanted to create for this year.
This installation involves color a lot more. I’d actually say that this piece is, is a lot more focused than the last one we made, there was just a lot of things going on and all kinds of craziness, this one has some pretty focused things. There’s six colors involved in it that go along with six stations. It’s a lot more obvious than last years about how you’re interacting with it. One thing that happened last year was that people would play with our art installation but they wouldn’t exactly understand what was going on, but we wanted people to be able to do that this year. Last year’s piece was a little more chaotic, and we’ve definitely pushed it towards a little less chaotic this year… but it’s still pretty chaotic (laughter).
Emerald: So why the focus on color with this installation?
Courtney: Going back to people understanding what they’re doing, we tried to use color so that people could better correlate the buttons that push on the installation with what’s going on around them. So if someone is at the orange console, and is controlling the color orange that is a one to one correlation. They can see what they’re doing and how they’re interacting with everyone else, so it was a way to give visual order to the piece so that people would get a more meaningful interaction with other from it. If a person knows what she’s doing, she can now interact with the person next to her better. We wanted to give people the tools to be creative.
Andy: Ultimately, with this piece we’re trying to create that feeling that you get when you’re collaborating with another person. That’s the feeling we already have as LET’S. We want Finger Power to inspire those positive moments derived from collaborating together as a team. That elation that comes from that. We’ve attempted to create an installation that reproduces that feeling amongst random people.
Peter: The great thing about incorporating color in this piece is that you can’t mess it up very much. You can do what you can do, and your color is your instrument for you to attempt to master in a way. The shift from last years to this years is that we’re telling people to not only rely on their ears, but also their eyes so that you’re actually looking at what you’re doing. We have both visual and sound and what other two things do you need to make instantaneous collaboration?
Emerald: So with this installation you’ve intentionally empowered people to be as creative as they choose to be?
Peter: Yes! When we were figuring out what our group was about we kept coming back to this idea of allowing people to find their own creativity, so even if they haven’t been musicians before they get to create music. They get to play with other people without having to have a superior understanding in music. Hopefully that feeling of being creative with others is something that they can take from this and apply in whatever realm of life that want.
We’re aware that probably 80% of the people who walk in and play with it will be: “Yep! Okay, let’s grab a beer.” But, the hope is that you get moments like last year when this jazz musician from St. Louis discovered us, and came in everyday to play with our installation. He kept telling us: “Wow, you guys need this thing down by the river in St. Louie! I’d have my friends come down there everyday!” He kind of became the unofficial orchestrator of the installation, telling people what buttons to push and when, and he and all these strangers created some really cool stuff together!
Emerald: What would it take for you to designate Finger Power as a success?
Andy: It’s kind of hard to know exactly because last year some things happened with the installation that I didn’t know was going to happen, like 18 year olds interacting with 60 year olds. It was surreal watching them teach each other, and that too me was one of the more successful things I saw. I guess if I see people enjoying it, that will be a success. It only takes a few people for me to be like: “Yes! I totally inspired a couple of people and they’re totally getting the purpose of the installation.”
Peter: It doesn’t take lines out the door for me to deem it as a success. It’d be nice to have people come back two days in a row though. I’d love to impress a couple of people, but I just want it to be a fun experience. It it just so happens that only 5 to 8 year olds really love it, then hey, we succeeded with that!
Courtney: For me, it’s success is defined by if we can get more people to interact with each other than they do with us, and if they are actually aware of that interaction and not just off in their own zone somewhere. I want people to look at each other and say: “Yeah we’re doing this together!” That’s when a sense of community is created.
Finger Power will be at featured at Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavillion, 305 Harrison Street, Seattle 98109 as part of Bumbershoot Weekend. A display schedule is below:
Movies:Opening of A Most Wanted Man starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, showtimes 1:00 pm, 3:30pm , 7:00pm and 9:45pm @ Ark Lodge Cinemas 4816 Rainier Avenue South Seattle , WA 98118. More Info: http://www.arklodgecinemas.com
Community:VFW Meat Raffle from 4 to 7pm @ Skyway VFW Hall 7421 S. 126th St Seattle, WA 98178. More Info: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Music: Ranger and The “Re-Arrangers” (Gypsy Jazz Band) begins at 8:30pm@ The Royal Room 5000 Rainier Avenue South Seattle 98118. Cost: Free. More Info: http://www.theroyalroomseattle.com
Saturday, August 30th
Volunteering: Learning Kitchen Work Party from 10:00am to 2:00pm @ The Hillman City Collabortory 5623 Rainier Avenue South More Info: email@example.com
Community: DetectiveCookie’s Urban Chess Club with Pro Chess Instructor H.R.Pitre. From 12:00pm – 2:00pm @ Rainier Beach Community Center: 8825 Rainier Ave South Seattle. Ages 7 and Older. More Info: 206-650-3621 (Detective Cookie)
Movies:Movie Night in the Garden featuring the Jungle Book and the Terminator. Movies go from 7:30pm to Midnight @The Hillman City Collabortory 5623 Rainier Avenue South More Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, August 31st
Music:I Ain’t Working Tomorrow Pre-Labor Day Funk Party (Featuring Spice Rack) Show gets underway at 8:00pm and features Happy Hour food and drink prices all night @ The Royal Room 5000 Rainier Avenue South Seattle 98118. Cost: Free. More Info: http://www.theroyalroomseattle.com
If you have an event to post, please email email@example.com
South Seattle – An SUV crashed into the Carol Cobb Salon located on Rainier Avenue South and S. Ferdinand Street at around 1:25 pm this afternoon, injuring six people. City officials were quoted as saying that the two- story building is in serious danger of collapsing.
Emergency responders arrived to discover the entire SUV inside the hair salon, with stray debris all around it.
Komo News is reporting that four family members were inside the SUV and some of them ended up trapped by the debris. Firefighters quickly removed piles of debris outside the building to pull them free.
Everyone in the SUV sustained injuries, along with two others who were working inside the hair salon. The extent of their injuries has not yet been determined.
Officials have confirmed that the woman driving the vehicle had a stroke while operating it and that was what led to the accident.
All lanes of Rainier Avenue South and S. Ferdinand Street are currently closed in the surrounding area while a structural examination of the building is being conducted.
As Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s “Find It, Fix It” walks continue across the city, so to does the commotion amongst South Seattle residents surrounding their effectiveness at addressing crime in the city’s south end after an uptick of violence in recent weeks, including a drive-by shooting and multiple armed robberies, has flared community anxieties once again.
The walk series- announced in June as a part of the mayor’s effort to address public safety concerns and improve collaboration between communities and Seattle area law enforcement by direct engagement between city officials and local residents- have been concentrated in areas around the city designated as high frequency crime zones, or “hot spots” and got underway last month.
Three of the walks have been held in South Seattle neighborhoods- two in the Rainier Beach Area and one in the Othello neighborhood- and appear to have made good on the mayor’s insistence that they would act as a platform for residents to actively express community needs to the city, as they have been punctuated by frequent stops, so that urban blight- including graffiti, safety hazards and derelict buildings- could be brought to official’s attention.
“These walks are really important. We can’t sit behind a desk in headquarters and get a sense of what’s happening in the community. It’s important to get out and see it first hand and it’s important to meet people and hear their perspectives.” Said Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, who along with City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, and City Attorney Pete Holmes has been a consistent presence at the majority of South Seattle walks.
“People really take pride in their neighborhoods in this city, and South Seattle is no exception.” She added. “We want a plan in place for this community that comes from the bottom up, instead of dictating to the various neighborhoods here what their priorities should be. There’s a lot of work to be done, but we feel that this approach will help get us there.”
It is one that seems appreciated, and long overdue, by many south end inhabitants who have become accustomed to what they feel has been habitual inattention to their concerns from the city.
“These events are very good. They’re really once in a lifetime as far as I’m concerned.” Said Mohammed Keemo, owner of a local clothing store in the Rainier Beach area. “(City officials) being here in South Seattle means that they can now know the reality of our street. They can finally see what’s really going on. I love to finally have them here and I hope they continue to come.”
“This are the types of events we need more of, were the community comes together and takes a stand. It’s like I tell people, don’t just complain about the violence and the crime, come up with a solution. This is a solution.” Echoed Rev. Don Davis, who participated in a walk held at the Rainier Beach Link Light Rail Station.
Though the south end area walks have been fairly well attended as dozens of curious residents have flocked to them in order to gain an audience with local officials – despite the 7:00pm weekday start time for most of the walks -not every participant has held such favorable impressions as they have questioned the city’s actual intentions behind them.
“While I think it’s important that the media is out here, I think a lot of (the walks) are being done so that (city officials) can look like they’re doing something in this area, even though I don’t know if they actually are. Having media out here keeps them accountable. I hope.” Said Jacob Stuiksma, who is blind and who took part in a Rainier Beach neighborhood walk.
“I don’t understand why it takes walking around pointing out graffiti, even though it’s been here forever, to finally get it taken care of. When someone who is blind can tell you what’s going on with graffiti and trash because they’re tripping over it, and have been tripping over it for a long time while the city has done nothing, there remains an awful lot that needs to be addressed.”He added.
City officials say they are mindful of much of the criticism that residents of South Seattle have had in regards to the walks and are doing their best to address it.
“Most of the people who have come out to these walks in this area are very positive, but to be honest, yes we’ve run into people who are skeptical because, let’s face it, Mayor Murray has only been in office for a few months, so there’s still a feeling out period. But, I think people will begin to see that these walks are taking the community in the right direction.” Said Mayoral Aide Jacob Chin.
Though skepticism over the walks from South Seattle residents seems a long way from dissipating – unsurprising for an area that has seen its fair share of deflated expectations as a result of limited follow-through after promises of community improvement from past mayoral regimes- there remains many who are willing to be optimistic as to their impact.
“I know that some people are bagging on the mayor for the walks, but the guy isn’t out here kissing babies for a couple of seconds and then hopping into his Rolls Royce to hob knob in Magnolia. The officials out here are really listening to what the community has to say.” Said Karl De Jong who has gone on two of the South Seattle walks.
Reportage, Culture & Commentary From The Most Eclectic Place on Earth