Tag Archives: Arts and Culture

‘Interloper’ Explores (Not) Belonging With Pop-Up and Online Art Installations

by Rayna Mathis

Interloper (n) a person who becomes involved in a place or situation where they are not wanted or are considered not to belong.

—Oxford English Dictionary

Interloper is a network of art exhibitions, community engagement events, and a conversation podcast all centered around rotating themes of controversial topics. Interloper’s current show, “THIS IS(NT) FOR YOU,” which premiered on March 29 in the Ravenna neighborhood, is a pairing of two solo exhibitions, each with an artist making work for their own community — communities alienated in different ways by language, location, and class expectations. By constructing the exhibitions using language and coded signifiers of the communities the work is for, each artist creates dual viewing experiences that immediately confront the viewer with a sense of (not) belonging. 

The show asks the following questions: Who controls the narrative? Who is art for? Who is left on the outside looking in? 

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With Mochaculture, Converge Media Highlights Local Musicians

by Chamidae Ford

On April 2, Converge Media launched its new series: Mochaculture. Hosted by Shaina Shepherd — also the executive producer — the show explores the history of Black musicians while highlighting local Seattle talent along the way.

Mochaculture initially began as a live event pre-COVID-19, but it has since adapted to the current state of the world. 

“I was a musician two years ago, just kind of starting to make my way into bigger clubs. I had just got to know some of the artists that I used to just listen to and be a big fan of, and we would be in our little Columbia City bubble, and I just got the idea of ‘Let’s make a show,’” Shepherd said. “There’s no reason why a venue or a booker can book these people and I can’t, you know — so why not just try it out?” 

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4Culture 2021 Arc Artist Fellowship Recognizes Six BIPOC Youth Artists and Activists

by Mark Van Streefkerk

At the end of March, 4Culture announced this year’s Arc Artist Fellows: six BIPOC artists and activists all between the ages of 18 and 25. The annual Arc Artist Fellowship supports each artist with an unrestricted $12,000 grant. The fellows will receive marketing support through 4Culture’s website and social media platforms and come together later in the year as a cohort to publicly present and celebrate their work. This year’s Arc Artist Fellows are multimedia artist Diego Binuya, dancer, artist, and maker Mikhail Calliste, storyteller and visual artist Monyee Chau, visual artist Joyee Runninghawk, storyteller, director, and aural producer Kayla Stokes, and visual artist and clothing designer Saiyana Suzumura. 

Now in its fourth year, the Arc Artist Fellowship is unique in that it is intended to be flexible to the needs and feedback of the fellows, who also get to determine the eligibility requirements for next year’s cohort, thus creating the “arc” of the program. The 2020 fellows were five artists over 40 who identify as transgender, Two Spirit, nonbinary, genderqueer, or gender nonconforming. When it came time for their input on the next cohort, they wanted to shift the focus to youth artists and activists.

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Drawing From Life

by Samira George

(This article was originally published by Real Change and has been reprinted under an agreement.)

Hunched over the screen of a glowing tablet, Fahmida Azim, a commercial illustrator, draws cartoonish figures of Rohingya women and children, depicting life in a refugee camp. This is one of the many illustration projects Azim has accepted, and, like most of her art, it has a personal connection to her. Never losing sight of who she is and the life she has experienced has helped this talented artist succeed in a highly competitive field.

“I grew up my whole life with people telling me that going into the arts was never going to happen,” said Azim, a resident of Seattle for three years. “There’s no other narrative of success for us.”

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Friday Fiction: The New Life

by Troy Landrum Jr.

Maroon walls surround me as the cold air presses against me. The temperature is set to 63 degrees Fahrenheit. Twin sisters greet me as I walk toward the receptionist desk. “Welcome,” they say simultaneously. Their smiles are as warm as their greeting. As I stand at the desk, one of the twins tells me the deposit I need to pay. If you’re as anxious about money as I am, you may understand the feelings I had when I heard the amount, equal to a monthly student loan payment. 

The other twin directs me toward a man engulfed in the preparation of the ancient ritual he is to perform. He tells me to take off my jacket. He takes a look at my arm admiring the work that was previously done on my skin.

“This is very detailed,” he says as he touches my forearm. He rubs it and lifts it up to the light, like a banker might inspect a hundred-dollar bill, checking its authenticity. 

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The Art of Moses Sun Reflects Seattle’s Diaspora, Cultures, and Jazz

by Mark Van Streefkerk

It’s been almost three months since Moses Sun finished his mural “Flourish Together” on the south-facing exterior wall of The Columbia City Theater. The ground-to-roof-sized mural is made up of floral designs in gold, green, and light blue, set against an indigo background, with two abstract hands clasped together in the middle. It wasn’t easy working on an outside mural during the rainy months. The process officially started on Dec. 16, with Sun and his team patiently on call, showing up to paint as the weather permitted. Finished in early January, “Flourish Together” pays homage to a space where cross-cultural connections thrive. Since then, Sun has been hard at work, completing another mural for Starbucks in January and sharing dynamic artworks fused with jazz and hip hop on Instagram, and he’ll be part of a Vivid Matter Collective show debuting this week at Vermillion Art Gallery & Bar. Though his next projects are under wraps, expect to see much more from Sun in the coming months. 

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The Black Tones and Payge Turner Play Seattle’s First Large Concert in a Year

by Dan Ray

(This article was originally published on Dan’s Tunes and has been reprinted under an agreement.)

Sunday night, March 28, was cold. The wind was whipping at 40–50 mph, and the rainstorm from earlier in the day had given the air that true kind of PNW-Seattle cold that nips right down to your bones. By 8 p.m., even though I was wrapped in a wool coat and a wool blanket, my toes had gone completely numb. But it didn’t matter because — for the first time in just over a year — I was at a real-life concert.

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Xavier Raymond Kelley Debuts ‘Going Thru thEMOTIONS’ at Columbia City Gallery

by Mark Van Streefkerk

Xavier Raymond Kelley’s Instagram bio reads “Jumping and Art,” two concepts he says are more interrelated than you’d think. The 19-year-old sophomore competes on Seattle University’s (SU) track and field team in the Long Jump, Triple Jump, and High Jump events, and is also an artist rising to citywide recognition, poised for his first gallery debut “Going Thru thEMOTIONS” at Columbia City Gallery from March 21 to May 9. 

An alumni of Franklin High School, Kelley’s athletic and artistic expressions only keep on growing. His first love was basketball, but Kelley picked up track his senior year where he excelled, eventually leading to a spot on SU’s team. Always an artist, Kelley explored drawing with markers and pastels long before moving to acrylic paint on canvas within the last year and a half. His latest work features Black athletes, basketball, ancient Egyptian imagery, and symbols that point to the complexities of racism. 

“My background is definitely in athletics — that really informs my art and the concepts and motifs that show up in my art,” Kelley said. “Art and sports are very intersectional, and they’re both very acute forms of self-expression. Just like dance is a form of art, I believe sports is also a form of art and self-expression.”

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Friday Fiction: Adela Reflected

by Donna Miscolta

Adela adjusted the brightness on her TV screen, dimming the picture until the whites turned to gray and the blues ran to black. Then she turned her head sideways, as if to provide the couple some privacy — a needless but civil concession. Still, Adela looked, stealing glances at their faces, their flared nostrils and wild eyebrows, their mouths pulled back like stretched rubber bands releasing again and again a noisy rush of complaints. Infidelity. Hopelessness. Abandonment. Psoriasis, hair loss, bunions. Adela shook her head, clucked softly in commiseration. Soon though, the shouts and insults, which grew in decibel but not variety, began to bore even Adela, who monitored the TV talk shows out of a sense of obligation, believing that the beam from her antenna that registered her channel choice with the Nielsen ratings somehow offered support to the aggrieved, the distraught, the fearful, the angry, the clandestinely lonely who aired their troubles to smooth-toned, large-gesturing talk show hosts and their audiences of ordinary people. 

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