by Duncan Gibbs
The timing could not be more relevant for the current show at King Street Station. Political forces across the U.S. are criminalizing reproductive health care and gender-affirming support for trans youth. This year already, according to NBC News in March, state legislators around the U.S. have introduced a record 238 bills limiting the rights of LGBTQI people and 500 measures restricting abortion have been introduced in 40 states. In times like this, art can inspire the hope and community we need.
Continue reading Artists O’Leary and Vaughan at King Street Station — Feminine Power
by Ronnie Estoque
The Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery, located in White Center, is a multiuse, multicultural, accessible arts gallery grounded in the Chicano and Latino arts traditions. Its March exhibition is called “Ka-Pow: An Artistic Tribute to Comics.” Much of the art showcased includes work from local artists, while other pieces have been sent in from all over the country. All money from art sales goes directly to the artists, says Jake Prendez, owner and codirector at the Gallery.
Continue reading Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery Features Comics Art Show by Chicano Artists
by Ronnie Estoque
On March 3, renowned Seattle muralist Joe Nix had his first show in nearly six years. The exhibition, called “HOLD ON,” is located in Belltown where Nix has lived for over 15 years. At the grand opening on Friday, March 11, the venue was packed with art connoisseurs and community members, all eager to view his latest work that draws inspiration from everyday mechanical objects. The oil paintings in the exhibit infuse machinery with life through color, shape, and form.
Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Joe Nix’s ‘HOLD ON’ Show Features Machinery Art
by Susan Fried
There are hundreds of murals all over the City of Seattle, and some of the city’s most iconic reside in South Seattle. Several of those murals have become cherished parts of the neighborhood. Recently, after the Martin Luther King Jr. mural on the wall outside of Fat’s Chicken & Waffles was defaced on MLK Jr. weekend, the community, including the mayor, vowed to work together to repair the damage. Similarly, when the mural celebrating the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther Party that hangs on the fence in front of Franklin High School was vandalized in 2021, some of the members of Franklin’s Art of Resistance and Resilience Club and several local artists repaired it.
The murals of South Seattle are an eclectic group with depictions of everything from Sasquatches, dogs, and cats to expressions of solidarity, artistic renderings of the Seattle skyline, marine life, and dancers. The art is accessible to anyone driving or walking along Rainier Avenue or Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Murals — Accessible Art for Everyone
by Beverly Aarons
A faceless young woman in a white “number 3” jersey rests her unseen hand against her hip — behind her a running track fades into the distance. A large brimmed hat sits stylishly slanted on a church lady’s head, and a young girl lugs a book bag into a mysterious hallway — she’s flanked by a man wearing a white armband. These “Iconic Black Women’’ paintings by visual artist Hiawatha D., are just a few of many that greet visitors at the Wonder of Women Gallery (WOW) in Pacific Place shopping mall (600 Pine Street, 3rd Floor, Seattle, WA).
Continue reading WOW Gallery Owners’ Black Love Journey Creates Space for Healing
by Amanda Ong
On Dec. 10, 2021, the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development (OED) and then-Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the launch of Seattle Restored — a new program focused on activating vacant commercial storefronts in Downtown Seattle neighborhoods. The program has partnered with the Seattle Good Business Network and Shunpike, as well as other property owners, to provide spaces and support for local artists and entrepreneurs who can then use their designated space for 2 to 4 months, with hopes for eventual longer-term leases and expansion into different neighborhoods.
Continue reading OED’s ‘Seattle Restored’ Program Will Bring BIPOC Artists to Downtown Seattle Storefronts
by Melia LaCour
“Resistance, Resilience, Remembrance, and Liberation”: poetic words straight from the heart of multiple award winner, community scholar, ethnomuseumologist, and second-generation storyteller Delbert Richardson. His soulful words describe the theme of his upcoming installation, “American History Traveling Museum: The Unspoken Truths,” which will open at the ARTS at King Street Station Gallery on Nov. 16, 2021, and continue through Jan. 15, 2022.
“My work is primarily geared for children and young adults,” Richardson shared. “No professional development, no white teachers. It’s really around identity development and self-actualization for Black kids, right? When we think about slavery and, historically, our story starting from 1619, then that becomes the placeholder of who we are and how we see ourselves and how we allow ourselves to be seen. So, I was determined to challenge that narrative. That’s what my museum does. It challenges that narrative based on my own story.”
Continue reading The Unspoken Truths Museum to Open at ARTS at King Street Station Gallery
by Chamidae Ford
In response to the COVID-19 delta variant, The Seattle Public Library (SPL) has teamed up with an array of entertainers, community organizations, and artists to create “What the World Needs Now: A Dreamathon.” The Dreamathon is a series dedicated to encouraging community members to imagine a better pandemic life through art, music, and knowledge.
“We started COVID response projects in 2020 but intentionally decided that community-led work should be at the center of what we were doing,” SPL public engagements program manager Davida Ingram said. “So there’s a really beautiful array of culturally specific work that happened in response to COVID that has a lot of implications for racial justice and the role that arts and culture sort of plays in amplifying concerns around public health.”
Continue reading Libraries, Artists, and Community Members Host ‘What the World Needs Now: A Dreamathon’
by Nina Dubinsky
Masked visitors were greeted by warm yellow walls featuring sculptural vignettes, precisely cut paper portraits, video installations, and collages at the inauguration of Packaged Black: Derrick Adams and Barbara Earl Thomas at the Henry Art Gallery last weekend.
The exhibition brings together the brilliance of Brooklyn-based artist Derrick Adams and Seattle artist Barbara Earl Thomas. It is a perfect mesh of works and mediums born from the two artists’ shared dialogue about representation, Black identity, and practices of cultural resistance. Though the concept of a shared exhibition between two artists is not new, there is something special about the visual dialogue between these artists.
“One of the things that is so exciting about this project is its origin out of mutual respect and shared conversation between these two artists,” said Henry Art Gallery curator Nina Bozicnik.
Continue reading ‘Packaged Black’ Sparks Conversations of Representation, Black Identity, and Cultural Resistance
by Sarah Neilson
On Saturday, Oct. 16, from 3 to 6 p.m., Wa Na Wari will be holding its annual fall fundraiser event in a brand new way. Tomorrow, “Walk the Block” will be a pop-up Central District art walk of art installations, dance and musical performance, video, and food. The outdoor festival will showcase and celebrate the work of Black artists working in a multitude of mediums across a 0.8 mile stretch starting at Wa Na Wari and including neighborhood spaces like parks, gardens, and Black-owned homes and businesses. There will be food and drinks available for purchase, live DJs, and even “artbrellas” — umbrellas featuring work from artists Zahyr Lauren and Jazz Brown.
Community is at the center of Wa Na Wari’s ethos. Specifically, the vitality and presence of Black art and creativity in the historically redlined Central District which, according to Wa Na Wari’s website, has seen a reduction of its Black population from 80% in 1970 to less than 10% today due to multiple waves of gentrification. Located in a fifth-generation Black-owned home, the space itself is stewarded by one of the four founding artists, Inye Wokoma, the grandson of Frank and Goldyne Green, who purchased the house in 1951. Despite the ongoing neighborhood displacement, Wa Na Wari and the people behind it are committed to decentering the narrative of erasure that often gets tied into discussions of gentrification.
“Showing the stories of people that made this neighborhood so great, are still making this neighborhood so great, is really important,” said Elisheba Johnson, Wa Na Wari’s curator and a co-founding artist, about Saturday’s “Walk the Block” event.
Continue reading Wa Na Wari’s ‘Walk the Block’ Fundraiser Will Center Community Art Experiences