A Capitol Hill Art Gallery Opens with a Question

Jess Van Nostrand opened The Project Room to invite the public to engage with artists.

By Seattle Mag August 9, 2011


This article originally appeared in the September 2011 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Why do we make things that aren’t considered necessary? It’s a mystery of the human condition and one that a new nonprofit arts space on Capitol Hill is actively exploring.

The Project Room, which independent curator Jess Van Nostrand opened in July, is an experimental, blank-slate space that local artists can temporarily make use of for works in progress.

Last month, Spotlight award winner Mandy Greer (see page 145) utilized the space as an open studio for her new installation endeavor. This month, local sculptor John Grade will use it to co-host (with Van Nostrand) a weekly event series (9/15–10/31) based on The Wawona Project, the installation he’s constructing for the Museum of History & Industry using wood from the historic (now dismantled) Northwest schooner.

Each Project Room program is centered on engaging the public in conversation about creativity—and in some cases, the public is invited to take part in the art making. As for the question of why we make things? So far, Van Nostrand says, “People keep answering, ‘I can’t not.’”

Free. Times vary. The Project Room, 1315 E Pine St.; projectroomseattle.org.


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