Three Empathics have moved into Seattle Art Museum and are a central feature to the latest installation imagined in our African art galleries. The popular and immersive ChimaTEK: Virtual Chimeric Space by contemporary artist Saya Woolfalk was first shown in Disguise: Masks and Global African Art (2015). Now part of SAM’s permanent collection and installed in Lessons from the Institute of Empathy, the Empathics have surrounded themselves with works from our African art collection as a way to help visitors awaken their own empathy.
Pratt Fine Arts Center stands today as a beacon of Edwin Pratt’s vision of cultural access, educational excellence and a vibrant community. As Pratt knew, well-supported arts and culture facilities and programs are one of the main indicators of a thriving and healthy society.
Pratt Fine Arts Center continues to attract artists, arts educators and students whose work helps maintain the Central District as a hub of creativity and creative expression for the entire city of Seattle. The Edwin T. Pratt Scholarship program provides opportunities for underrepresented artists of color to hone their craft and advance their careers.
Edwin T. Pratt: A Living Legacy showcases the work of long-time Pratt artist Jite Agbro alongside Pratt Scholarship recipients from the last 4 years.
Somnyama Ngonyama, Zulu for Hail the Dark Lioness, is a photographic series by the South African visual activist Zanele Muholi (b. 1972). In the artist’s words, the series invites the viewer on “a discomforting self-defining journey, rethinking the culture of self-representation and self-expression.”
Koplin Del Rio is pleased to present The Majesty of Kings Long Dead from New York based artist Robert Pruitt. The exhibition, which includes a selection of large scale works on paper and one sculptural object, marks Pruitt’s fifth solo exhibition with the gallery, and second in Seattle since our relocation in 2015.
This body of work reflects an ongoing focus of subject matter from recent projects by Pruitt that utilize religion and spirituality as a means of exploring an African-American conception of transcendence and mythology. The Majesty of Kings Long Dead probes similar notions while expanding the artists own system of signs and symbols. Ideas of grandeur, holiness and divinity are introduced through depictions of makeshift crowns which dually indicate ennoblement and make reference to Egyptian burial traditions, gold chains and celestial systems.
Carol Rashawnna Williams is a Seattle-based, interdisciplinary artist who makes work that engages audiences in conversations about social, environmental, and racial justice. While in residence at Seattle University, Williams will create two art installations that include prints, paintings, and sculptures made of primarily recycled or reused materials. These participatory exhibitions are free and open to the public.
At Hedreen Gallery Williams presents a new exhibition that combines and contextualizes Williams' installation works from recent years with a new body of work in monoprint, painting, and sculpture. This exhibition will be accompanied by new writing from Seattle-based writer Beverly Aarons.
Syms’s work extracts an image from a publication and designates it for placement in conventional advertising space. As it changes location, from the storefront of a commercial art gallery, to a billboard in a redeveloping neighborhood, the graphic picks up new meaning based on what is to be consumed in its surroundings. Its original print enlarged many times over, the image loses resolution and specificity, relating in a physical way to its open-ended literal question: Want some?
Melodrama is a point of departure for Ligia Lewis’s latest choreographic work, Water Will (in Melody). A gothic tale set in a cavernous landscape morphs into a dystopian fantasy, enacted by four performers. Creative (im)possibility becomes the engine by which a state of hopelessness, darkness, and unexamined emotions are explored. This is the last part of Lewis’s triptych, which began with Sorrow Swag in blue, succeeded by minor matter in red.
Throughout her collaborative interdisciplinary practice, Carol Rashawnna Williams contends that the only way to shift race relations and understand climate change is through collective imaginings and re-imaginings of equitable relationships to the land, animals and resources. Williams’ aesthetic forms fall, swim, fly, drip and grow through various layers of reality, spirituality and data analysis. Her narrative installations reject the tidy, toxic logic of scarcity models, suggesting powerful alternatives in collective storytelling, collective ownership, collective re-valuing of biospecies and collective commitments to sustainable environmental practices over time.
Williams extends the inquiry of the Hedreen exhibition to build a second, participatory installation that engages the public and Seattle University community in dialogue around the connections between race and climate justice. Williams asks:
What experiences have you experienced with racial tension and climate justice?
What equitable solutions do you see to these challenges?
How can you shift the paradigm for the common good?
Interdisciplinary artist Autumn Knight presents the West Coast premiere of her latest performance project, M _ _ _ ER. Her work employs visual mapping, character improvisation, social engagement, visual art, and takes on a broad range of subjects including interiority, dissonance, ritual, and humor.
Autumn Knight: M_ _ _ ER is a National Performance Network/Visual Artist Network (NPN/VAN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by DiverseWorks, On the Boards; Seattle, and Women & Their Work; Austin. M _ _ _ ER premiered at DiverseWorks in October 2018 and will be presented at Abroms Art Center in May 2020.
For four decades, choreographer Donald Byrd has created innovative and startling productions that explore the capacities of dancers’ bodies, the complexities of Africanist aesthetics, and the ways theatrical dance can open audiences to social change. Presenting selected works from across his career, the exhibition reflects Americans’ ongoing struggles to care for our complex diversity.
This group exhibition engages artists whose work addresses narratives, communities, and histories that are typically hidden or invisible in our public space (both conceptually and literally defined). The presenting artists approach the exhibition’s theme from a range of directions, varying across all media as well as aesthetic and conceptual contexts. Works encompass deliberately activist endeavors and direct documentation; the unpacking of individual histories excluded due to race, ethnicity, or class; explorations of coded language for protection, secrecy, or both; the illumination of invisible or covert systems of labor, exploitation, and capitalist control; and translation through surreal, oblique, or fantastical frameworks.
SUSAN is an intimate performance about Oluo’s mother. Oluo utilizes theatrical techniques from standup to storytelling, and the work includes a large-scale composition for an orchestra. This darkly comedic stage musical explores two intertwining narratives: Oluo’s mother’s life as the white, Midwestern wife of a Nigerian chief and, later, a single mother; and his journey to Nigeria, as an adult, to visit his late father’s village and immerse himself in his heritage for the first time. This multimedia work is an examination of love, loss, race, bodies, resilience, failure, and the limitless, sometimes contradictory, facets of one human being.
Group show opening reception is August 3rd, 7pm - 9pm
Working (Undecided Title) or W(UT) is a lyric poem that takes place inside a dance party, a series of happenings based on the themes of resistance and resilience. It asks all involved to make decisions and be in the present moment. W(UT) will create an abstract community that closes the gap between thinker and doer, giver and receiver, producer and consumer, Me and You and You and You, audience and artist, revealing how we are all performers.
With works in all media by nearly eighty artists, Black Refractions celebrates The Studio Museum in Harlem’s role as a site for the dynamic exchange of ideas about art and society. Organized by the American Federation of Arts and The Studio Museum in Harlem, this landmark exhibition proposes a plurality of narratives of black artistic production and multiple approaches to understanding the Studio Museum’s powerful collection.
In Birmingham, a suite of three prints representing the artist’s brother, Ojih Odutola creates a sense of shifting perspective relative to her subject, moving around him in space to capture the familiar contours of his face and to suggest the multidimensionality of his being. The prints are based on photographs the artist took in Birmingham, Alabama, and were produced through a method known as lithography, a water- resist process by which images are drawn onto stone or metal plates in oil-based crayon, then inked and transferred to paper. The addition of gold-leaf detailing elevates the subject’s ordinary white tank top, bringing a regal dignity to the portrayal.
In “Altar Call,” Southern Multidisciplinary Storyteller Jessica Ry'cheal explores themes of grief, mental illness, and generational trauma. Embracing the influence of her vivid Pentecostal upbringing, the artist uses self-portraiture to usher the viewer into a sanctuary of healing and self-reconciliation. For Ry'cheal, the departure from organized religion was the genesis of the artist’s journey home to self. However, the tension between traditional faith practices and the shift from holiness to wholeness creates an emotional dialogue about forgiveness and self-discovery. In this body of work, we are invited to hold the complexities of past and present influences in harmony as we experience a stained-glass mosaic of vulnerability, resilience and freedom.
Current artists on view
Hosted at Columbia City Branch of the Seattle Public Library: https://www.spl.org/hours-and-locations/columbia-branch
Hosted by: The Elliott Bay Book Company - https://www.elliottbaybook.com/
Shows at Erickson Theater: https://theatres.seattlecentral.edu/erickson-theatre