Fall Arts Preview 2016: Visual Arts

Welcoming a variety of mediums to kick off the season

By Jim Demetre


August 8, 2016

This article originally appeared in the September 2016 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Family Tree – Gail Grinnell, Samuel Wildman and Eric John Olson

Since 2014, MadArt Studio has operated a storefront in South Lake Union where selected local artists are given a residency of several months to create large-scale, site-specific sculpture and installation work. Visitors can witness art in the making and in its completed form.

The occupants at the MadArt Studio from September 19 to January 28 are a pair of collaborating artists with different styles—Gail Grinnell and Samuel Wildman—who also happen to be mother and son. Grinnell’s work has evolved from studio paintings to large environments made of drawings on cut dress pattern material and other ephemera, while her son’s work has a more conceptual bent. Wildman, of Portland, contributed a piece to last summer’s Seattle Art Fair called “Park.” It was an apple tree growing inside the soil-filled and turfed bed of a pickup truck, a temporary situation-specific installation that served as a mobile green space for daily commuters traveling the Interstate 5 corridor.  

For MadArt, Grinnell and Wildman—who previously worked together on Grinnell’s elaborate, densely layered 2012 Suyama Space installation—plan to weave together an expansive installation with hanging components made from hundreds of yards of spun polyester that has been drawn upon, dyed, cut and incorporated into the architecture of the building. Collaborating with Seattle artist Eric John Olson, they will also create a series of public programs, including meals, performances, lectures, screenings and re-enactments that will investigate the complexities of information sharing and other themes posed by the surrounding artwork. The public opening of the completed installation, titled We Are a Crowd of Others, is December 4. Times vary. Free. MadArt Studio, 325 Westlake Ave. N, No. 101; 206.623.1180; madartseattle.com 

The best in visual arts

(Sculpture) BAM Biennial 2016: Metalmorphosis
9/2–2/5/2017 The selected medium for this year’s Bellevue Arts Museum biennial is metal. Inviting Northwest artists of all types to create work in a specific material (previous biennials have focused on clay, fabric and wood) inevitably leads to some surprising and unpredictable results. Among the 49 artists featured this year are Jana Brevick, Ries Niemi, Casey Curran, Marita Dingus, Kirk Lang, Kristin Tollefson and Chris McMullen. Times and prices vary. Bellevue Arts Museum, downtown Bellevue, 510 Bellevue Way NE; 425.519.0770; bellevuearts.org

(Installation) Fernanda D’agostino
9/23–12/16 “Generativity,” a new media installation by Portland artist Fernanda D’Agostino, is the last exhibition that will appear in the Suyama Space before it closes after 16 years. Combining architecture, electroacoustic sound space, video projections and live performance, the project investigates the underlying and often invisible structures through which the natural world sculpts and regenerates itself. Free. Times vary. Suyama Space, Belltown, 2324 Second Ave.; 206.256.0809; suyamaspace.org

(Installation) Dakota Gearhart
10/6–10/31 Photo media and installation artist Gearhart takes such undistinguished matter as wood, Tyvek, Mylar and yams, and integrates them with video feeds and audio tracks to create work that expresses a poignant sense of both emotional and environmental vulnerability. On the evening of October 6’s First Thursday Gallery Walk6, she will debut a new work produced as part of the artists-in-residence (AIR) program sponsored by Recology CleanScapes, one of the largest operators of material recovery and organics-processing facilities in the western United States. Times vary. Free. Pioneer Square, 220 Second Ave. S; cleanscapes.com

(Fashion) Yves Saint Laurent
10/11–1/8/2017 In what promises to be a blockbuster exhibition, the Seattle Art Museum presents Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style, showcasing highlights from the legendary designer’s 44-year career. Drawn from the collection of the Fondation Pierre Bergé—Yves Saint Laurent, the exhibition features new acquisitions by the foundation that have never been shown publicly before. With a selection of more than 100 haute couture garments, Saint Laurent Rive Gauche clothing and accessories, photographs, drawings, films and other media from the foundation’s vast archive, the exhibition chronicles the development of Saint Laurent’s style and recurring themes throughout his career. Times and prices vary. Seattle Art Museum, downtown, 1300 First Ave.; 206.654.3100; seattleartmuseum.org

(Painting) Warren Dykeman
10/21–12/3 One of Seattle’s most original and distinctive painters, Dykeman juxtaposes his schematic cowboys and working men with abstract forms, bold blocks of color and cryptic text to create a vibrant visual language that suggests faded road signs, ancient European cave paintings and even Northwest native art. Times vary. Free. Studio E (in conjunction with Davidson Galleries), Georgetown, 609 S Brandon St.; 206.762.3322; studioegallery.org 

(Photography) Chuck Close Photographs
10/29–2/5/2017 Painter and photographer Chuck Close always begins his process with the photograph, but what has been less explored are the ways in which he has used the medium of photography not just as a means but as an end. This survey, the first to focus on his photographic works, will include images from the early 1960s to the present. Times and prices vary. Henry Art Gallery, University District, 15th Avenue NE and NE 41st Street; 206.543.2280; henryart.org 

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