by Beverly Aarons
What happens when physical distancing, gallery closures, and solitude leave an artist alone in his studio for weeks during one of the world’s most frightening pandemics? In the case of visual artist Juan Alonso-Rodríguez you get introspection, reflection, wisdom born from a deep well of life experience, and a brand new body of colorful and lively work. If you didn’t watch the news and somehow ended up in social media “jail,” peeking through the door of his studio you wouldn’t know there was a pandemic. You would find a solitary man intensely focused on his craft — prepping canvases, applying paint, and contemplating the work at hand. You would also find the tools of a visual artist’s trade filling tables and shelves, finished work expertly hung on walls, and the buzz of Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood just beyond the windows. When I spoke with Juan about his experience during this COVID-19 crisis, he was calm and even upbeat as he mentioned being more focused on making this time one of creativity and not just anxiety and fear.
Continue reading Visual Artist Juan Alonso-Rodríguez Finds Wellspring of Creativity in Pandemic Chaos
by Gus Marshall
South Seattle-based interdisciplinary visual artist Carol Rashawwna Williams explores the often-overlooked intersection of racial injustice and climate change. Her somber, monolithic prints slowly sway from the ceiling of Seattle University’s Hedreen Gallery, evoking a grave feeling of interconnected grief and pain. Williams’ current exhibit, “For the Record”, showing through Oct. 11, examines the stark similarities and disparities of two seemingly different issues: global warming and the lasting impacts of slavery.
Williams also serves as the Co-Executive Director of Community Arts Create (CAC), a nonprofit. CAC works to combat gentrification and the displacement of communities of color in the Hillman City area by building and strengthening relationships through community art programs and neighborhood engagement. The South Seattle Emerald spoke with Williams about her upcoming annual fundraiser for Community Arts Create, which will take place on Oct. 25 at the Hillman City Collaboratory.
Continue reading Local artist draws connection between race and climate change
(This article was originally published in Real Change and has been reprinted with permission)
by Lisa Edge
When Osa Elaiho enters his studio in the early morning hours of the day, he begins with a routine before making a brush stroke on the canvas. First, he starts with a prayer. Next up is music to set the tone. His taste ranges from composer Antonio Vivaldi to Burna Boy, an Afro Fusion singer and songwriter who has two songs on the new “Lion King” soundtrack. Each chord fuels his ingenuity. His passion for music is as strong as his love for creativity.
Continue reading Framed in Harmony: Osa Elaiho mixes Faith, Family and Culture into Columbia City Gallery Exhibit
by Georgia S. McDade
photos by Susan Fried
Do you remember Jordan’s Drug Store? Have you heard of Bluma’s Deli? Accent on Travel? Liberty Bank? Kirk’s Laundry? Black Arts West? Joy Unlimited? Thompson’s Point of View, Black and Tan, Miss Helen’s Diner? Tiki’s Tavern,? Mardi Gras? Red Apple? The list could be longer, but if you recognize these names, you know they are businesses gone from Seattle’s Central District or CD. Though reasons for their disappearances differ, the word “gentrification” enters conversations often. New buildings, several stories high, often in bright colors, dot the neighborhood. By the time this is printed, a few more landmarks may be gone or going. This is today’s CD.
Continue reading Central Area Home Reimagined as Haven for Black Art, Historic Preservation
by Becs Richards
Simone Pin Productions is much more than a dance company; they are dreaming of a new world. They are in the work of visioning for a more inclusive, sexy, editorial, and equitable creative space. Their upcoming performance, Queens, is a technical burlesque-based showcase of POC dancers, singers, and entrepreneurs premiering at Northwest Film Forum June 20.
Continue reading Simone Pin Productions Celebrates Diversity, Talent, and Thought-Provoking Artistry in ‘Queens’
by Katie Pyontek
Columbia City Gallery smells, unsurprisingly, like oil paint. There’s a slight breeze in the gallery, and it’s quiet except for the air conditioner’s hum. An artist, one of the gallery’s current members, is working a shift in the gift shop and says hello. There’s an ease to being in the space.
Continue reading Columbia City Gallery Celebrates 20 Years
by Jessie McKenna
Angelina Villalobos, who goes by the moniker “179,” uses art to affect social change. Through drawing and painting, she explores her past and Latinx identity, dissecting elements of a traditional Mexican-Catholic education. She is consciously unlearning aspects of it, such as gender norms — issues, she said, “would do me harm and will ultimately hold me back.”
Continue reading Artist Angelina Villalobos, aka 179, Infuses Her Art with Art, Culture, and Family
by Emerald Staff
Murals are infused with meaning. More than decorations on a building’s exterior, murals represent and reflect the community. That’s why the Emerald asked readers this month: What are your favorite murals in the South End?
Continue reading Emerald Asks: What Are Your Favorite Murals in the South End?
by Georgia S. McDade
When I saw Edgar Arceneaux’s installation — a large, wooden structure on display at Henry Art Gallery on University of Washington campus through June 2 — Abraham Lincoln’s log cabin came to mind immediately. Before I could digest, wonder, or analyze that thought, Donald Trump’s slatted fence came to mind.
Continue reading Enter the Cabin and Peruse this Library of Black Lies at Henry Art Gallery
by Susan Fried
El Centro de la Raza to unveiled and dedicated a bust of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Plaza Roberto Maestas on Feb. 1, the first day of Black History Month. The bust was a gift from the sculpture Jeff Day.
Continue reading El Centro Unveils Bronze Bust of Martin Luther King Jr.