by Amanda Ong
This Saturday, May 14, Inscape Arts will host a Spring Open House highlighting some of the impressive artists and studios in residence at the former Immigration and Naturalization Services building at 815 Seattle Blvd. S. The event was organized by Friends of Inscape, a group dedicated to preserving the historic building after it was listed for sale in 2021 and put at risk of redevelopment. The Spring Open House is another way that Friends of Inscape hopes to showcase the history of the space and its current use as an artist enclave with strong roots in the Seattle community and deep personal and historical resonance for many. Inscape has been closed to the public for the past two years, and the Spring Open House will mark the first time since the start of the pandemic that the building has opened its doors to the public.
Continue reading Inscape Hosts First Open House Since the Pandemic This Saturday
by Amanda Ong
At just 22 years old, Tamar Sunnam Manuel says someone could know him for decades and still know very few of his stories. Manuel is a practicing fine art and gallery artist who spent his formative years in the CID. While he started out in photography, he eventually found his way to mixed-media arts, meaning he does “a bit of everything.” But in his two-plus decades of life, Manuel has also been an amateur competitive tennis player, clothing designer, boxer, bowling champion, and dancer.
Continue reading Artist Tamar S. Manuel Grows Out of the CID Into Mixed Media
by Susan Fried
The fourth annual Artists of Color Expo and Symposium (ACES) took place over the weekend of April 2–3, both virtually and in person at LANGSTON (formerly Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute). The BIPOC-led and community-curated event featured the work of over 100 BIPOC artists, live performances, film screenings, artist talks, as well as workshops and opportunity tables.
Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Fourth Annual ACES Showcases the Work of Over 100 Artists of Color
by Laura LeMoon
Social worker and shame researcher Brené Brown has been quoted as saying that “shame needs three things to grow exponentially in our lives: secrecy, silence and judgment.” Sex throughout history is probably the singularly most powerful commonality between human beings. Despite this reality, sex remains one of the most taboo of all human subjects and experiences.
While sex positivity may be a very new concept in America, many cultures in other parts of the world have long held progressive ideas about gender and sexuality. The United States, being a puritanical society founded on Christian religious zeal and white patriarchal hegemony, is not the leader we were raised to believe we are, especially in terms of sexual attitudes and beliefs. In many ways, our nation is just beginning to grapple with concepts such as equality, power dynamics, and consent in sexual interactions.
The Seattle Erotic Art Festival (SEAF), being held Oct. 29 to Oct. 31 at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, will bring together those interested in sex positivity ideals as well as art enthusiasts to share in public processing of these concepts through artistic expression.
Continue reading The Upcoming Seattle Erotic Art Festival Is the Feel-Good Event We All Need
by Alexa Peters
Over the last 10 days, tensions between Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, the City Council, Seattle Arts Commission (Commission), the Office of Arts and Culture (ARTS), and local Black arts community members have mounted following the mayor’s early September appointment of Royal Alley-Barnes as interim director of ARTS. The mayor made the appointment with a little more than 100 days left in her term and without having consulted with local arts community stakeholders about her decision.
Following the resignation of permanent ARTS Director Randy Engstrom in December 2020, the mayor agreed to a plan in which then Deputy Director of ARTS Calandra Childers would step in as interim director and oversee a committee of staff members and arts community members, called the Seattle Arts Director Advisory Committee, with the objective of centering community voices in the process of selecting a new permanent ARTS director.
“The Office of Arts and Culture [asked] me to co-chair the Seattle Arts Director Search Advisory Committee in early 2021, in hopes of ensuring there would be community input in the process [of finding] the new director of the Office of Arts and Culture,” said Sharon Nyree Williams, a storyteller and executive director of the Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas. “So that process began and … the mayor, at that time, had said that she would not be searching for a new director during her term.”
Continue reading Mayor’s New ARTS Interim Director Appointment Prompts Community Unease
by Chamidae Ford
As a part of their soft reopening, ARTS at King Street Station presents “Close to Home,” an exhibit that explores how we understand the meaning of the word “home.”
Showcasing the work of 14 different BIPOC artists, the exhibit features work with a wide range of mediums, from painting and sculptures to textiles and artifacts.
The exhibit is assembled by Ricky Reyes, the ARTS at King Street Station gallery lead and public art project manager. He turned towards their collection of purchased pieces for inspiration.
“I looked through pieces we had purchased last year as part of the Seattle Together Initiative, which was a multi-departmental initiative really looking at how we support communities [during] COVID,” Reyes said. “We had purchased, last year, a bunch of artwork and I just looked through those [pieces] and tried to find a common theme throughout all of them so that we can exhibit these works and they don’t just stay in our storage when ideally they’d be shown, since they’re all just really beautiful pieces.”
Continue reading ARTS at King Street Station Presents the BIPOC-Focused Exhibit ‘Close to Home’
by Nia Tero
(This article originally appeared on Real Change and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
We are in a critical moment. In the midst of an ongoing global pandemic that is leaving no family untouched, compounded by increasingly extreme weather events linked to climate change, a unique global art project is shining a light on voices essential to the ecological solutions and collective healing we seek: Indigenous women.
“Thriving Peoples, Thriving Places” is a collaboration between two Seattle-based not-for-profit organizations — Indigenous-focused Nia Tero and design lab Amplifier — launching on International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, which is Aug. 9. The global exhibit includes six original portraits commissioned from Washington, D.C.-based artist and illustrator Tracie Ching. The art will be available digitally as well as at public art events in cities, including Seattle, Washington, D.C., New York City, São Paulo, and London. The project celebrates Indigenous women who have acted as stewards of biodiversity across Earth and prompts action amongst an engaged global audience.
The nine Indigenous women at the center of this project are robust examples of real action we can take to strive for the health and future of the planet. They are from communities spanning the globe, from the Philippines and New Zealand, to the Brazilian Amazon to Scandinavia, to the global north, embodying Indigenous experience while carrying generational knowledge and inherited dedication:
Continue reading ‘Thriving Peoples, Thriving Places’: Pop Art Campaign Honors the Contributions of Indigenous Women to Global Biodiversity
by Chamidae Ford
4Culture recently announced Nina Yarbrough will be their next arts program director. Yarbrough will begin her new role this September after she finishes her duties as the business development manager for the Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas.
According to a press release from 4Culture, the position is a senior leadership role that “oversee[s] the development, implementation, and evaluation of our arts funding programs and serves as a liaison to the King County arts community.”
Continue reading Nina Yarbrough Will Be 4Culture’s New Arts Program Director
by Kamna Shastri
There is a Coast Salish story about a number of neighboring villages, each speaking a different language but sharing the same land. While they did not understand one another, they had a shared challenge: When the Creator had made the world, he had left the sky a little too low. The village communities realized that though they spoke different languages, they had a shared word that could help them change the situation.
yəhaw̓ — a Lushootseed word meaning “to proceed” or “move forward.” Together they called out synchronously. Each time the word escaped their lips, a collective sound powerful and potent, the sky moved up just a little more.
This is the story behind yəhaw̓ Indigenous Creatives Collective, a newly birthed nonprofit which became a larger movement after beginning as a one-time art show at King Street Station in 2019.
“We felt like that was a really beautiful story in terms of art and the power of art and culture to unite communities and become a source of shared empowerment,” said Asia Tail, one of the collective’s three founders.
Continue reading yəhaw̓ Indigenous Creatives Collective is Here to Lift the Sky and Make a Space for Indigenous Art
by Kathya Alexander
When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020, Tyrone Brown was in Lesotho, an independent country of 2 million people completely surrounded by South Africa. As a volunteer for the Peace Corps, he was teaching English, life skills, and HIV/AIDS prevention to Lesotho elementary school students. But the Peace Corps decided to withdraw all their volunteers worldwide and send them home.
Born and raised in Seattle, Tyrone Brown, the founder and artistic director of Brownbox Theatre, credits his mother for introducing him to the arts when he was very young. Brown feels Seattle gave him more freedom and exposure to the arts that he wouldn’t have received, especially as a young Black male, had he grown up somewhere else. Still, being involved in the arts in a single-parent family had its challenges.
“I remember I was in the Northwest Boys Choir for a short period of time. I don’t remember a lot about the experience except for one thing. We had a big concert that was happening in downtown Seattle. And my mom couldn’t get me there. She said, ‘I don’t have money for bus fare. So you’re going to have to call somebody.’ It was a predominately white institution, a group of white boys basically. And I didn’t know those kids, who came from two-parent homes and had money. I was just so embarrassed.”
Continue reading Tyrone Brown: Where Art and Activism Meet