Tag Archives: Black Artists

‘Packaged Black’ Sparks Conversations of Representation, Black Identity, and Cultural Resistance

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. 

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PHOTO ESSAY: Central District’s ‘The Liink Project’ Features Local Black Businesses and Artists

by Ronnie Estoque


On Saturday, Sept. 18, The Liink Project, a co-op retail space in the Central District, hosted a pop-up market featuring local Black entrepreneurs and artists. The event featured lively music, Black art, and goods for purchase. 

The venue, on Union Street and 20th Avenue, opened this past summer and features retail space Mondays through Thursdays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The space will continue to be used for markets, gallery shows, and other events at other times. Stephanie Morales, one of the co-founders of The Liink Project, hopes the space will be a place where local Black businesses can grow and find community in a neighborhood that has rapidly gentrified. Formed by community grassroot efforts, The Liink Project is continuing to accept donations.

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Specs Wizard and Friends Celebrate Black Comic Book Hero ‘Achiever ’

by M. Anthony Davis


Michael Hall, better known in Seattle as Specs Wizard, has been involved in hip hop culture since the 80’s. Specs grew up in a family that was into music and that early exposure set him on course to becoming an artist himself. 

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PHOTO ESSAY: Black-Led Saturday Events Celebrate Culture and Demand Justice

by Ronnie Estoque and Susan Fried


Malcolm X Hip Hop Soul Rally

Africatown-Central District hosted the Malcolm X Hip Hop Soul Rally at Jimi Hendrix Park on the afternoon of Saturday, May 22, to honor the life and legacy of the late Black activist. The event was open to the public and featured live performances from local Black artists as well as vendor opportunities for Black business owners all gathered in community. Throughout the event, emcees emphasized the importance of investing in local Black businesses and celebrating local youth and their passions.

Organizations involved with putting the event together included King County Equity Now, Africatown community organizers, Black Dot, The African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, Black Action Coalition, and many others.

Angela shows a customer handmade jewelry from the Maasai people of Kenya. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
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LANGSTON Builds Funding and Support Program for Seattle Black Artists

by Beverly Aarons


Seattle Black artists will be funded and supported, and LANGSTON, a nonprofit committed to “cultivating Black brilliance,” is building a framework to do just that. But first, they have a question: “What is it that Black artists need to thrive and make meaningful impacts on the city and the world?” And they’re asking Black artists in the Seattle metro area to provide the answers in an online survey by May 24, 2021. But this survey doesn’t narrowly focus on the needs of the artist’s craft — LANGSTON wants to consider the “whole artist.” 

“Artists are humans, they’re workers, they have whole lives,” Tim Lennon, the executive director of LANGSTON, said during our video conference interview. “And their art, whatever their art is, is an integral part of that, but it’s not the totality of their existence.” 

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NEWS GLEAMS: Vaccines, South King Co. Link Station Survey, Internship for Black Youth

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle! 


COVID-19 Vaccination Locations & Access Options

King County Fire District #20 Vaccine Pop-Up in Skyway — King County Fire District #20 is hosting weekly walk-up vaccine clinics in Skyway from May 19 to June 23. Beginning today, Wednesday, May 19, at 9 a.m. at the KC Fire District #20 Administration Office, individuals ages 12 and up can receive doses of the Pfizer vaccine!

The second pop-up has been rescheduled from Wednesday, May 26 to Tuesday, May 25.

For more information, check out the flyer above!

Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS: Vaccines, South King Co. Link Station Survey, Internship for Black Youth

Lisa Myers Bulmash: the DNA and Soul of Black Art in Seattle

by Lisa Edge


In Lisa Myers Bulmash’s home, a new item commemorates her contest winner status — a cerulean pageant sash. The phrase “Miss Thang 2021” is written across it, and a rhinestone-encrusted safety pin ensures it stays in place. Bulmash can’t help but laugh when she talks about her husband’s playful gift. 

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WEEKLY NEWS GLEAMS: Toys for Tots, OLEO Seeks Community Advisors, Wa Na Wari Residency, & More

A weekly round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!

curated by Emerald Staff


(Photo: Wa Na Wari)

Wa Na Wari Announces 2021 Artist Residencies

From Wa Na Wari: Wa Na Wari, based in Seattle’s Central District, is offering three one-month-long residencies in the Wa Na Wari house where a visual artist can work and create new visual artwork. The new work will then be on view at Wa Na Wari for a two-month period after the residency. The call is open to artists over 18 years of age that identify as part of the African diaspora living in King County, Washington. Each selected artist will receive a stipend of $2,000. The application deadline is on Monday, January 11, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

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Black and Tan Hall Finds New Ways to Continue Community Holiday Party During Pandemic

by M. Anthony Davis 


The Black and Tan Hall in Rainier Valley is more than a restaurant, bar, and performing art venue. It’s a staple in the community with a rich history of providing networking opportunities, social connections, and communal support to artists and residents from marginalized communities.

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‘Black Futures’: A Timeless Capture of What It Means to Be Black and Alive

by M. Anthony Davis


Last night, Seattle Arts & Lectures in partnership with the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas hosted a virtual lecture with Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham to promote their co-edited new book Black Futures

The lecture itself was a robust conversation about the writers’ journey curating this eclectic anthology and their experiences stepping into the realm of being editors for the first time. As a writer myself, it was especially interesting to hear about the dynamics of being on the opposite side of pressing due dates and having to tackle tasks like heavy cuts to pieces submitted by contributors.

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