We went to the Bemis Building Art Walk today and was surprised to turn the corner and run into Richard Royal’s studio. It was gorgeous! I’m so sad I didn’t take any pics of that gallery. Richard is one of the six degrees of most of the artists in the movie. He did the blanks (I’m pretty sure) for Bob Carlson’s “The Twelve Apostles of the Modern Mind” and for Cappy’s work. I think his name was sprinkled in a few more times but maybe didn’t make the cut? I introduced myself and he was, of course, very nice like the rest of the group.
We’ve never been to that artwalk before and we were both pleasantly surprised. I’d never even heard of it. Richard said that they took a few years off and then started doing them bi-yearly for a weekend. The studios alone are stunning and well worth it. I didn’t have the guts to ask for any pics of just the studios.
Vanessa Steinhillo was very sweet and let me take a picture of her and her dreamy work at her studio.
When I was the president of Cartoonists Northwest, I was responsible for setting up the speakers every month. I wasn’t prepared for a bit of backlash about asking Starheadboy (Dave Bloomfield) to give a presentation.
To be fair, it wasn’t a strong backlash, there were just a few people who talked about being on committees that get rid of graffiti and some subtle complaints about it. I was surprised but I don’t think I really should have been. I don’t like tagging either but most people don’t know what the difference is.
Tagging is when people or gangs write their initials, signs or symbols on the wall to claim the area or to just try and get someone to notice.
Graffiti is the overall umbrella of tagging and the art of wheat pasting, stickers and painting in public areas. Most artists that paint pictures, murals, wheat paste paintings, chalk paint, etc. call themselves “Street Artists” instead of graffiti artists but I’m sure that will go in a cycle too. Not to digress too much but graffiti is ancient and has been performed in pyramids by the ancient tourists and Roman times as well.
I grew up in a gang filled area and the people I knew that did the tagging had nowhere else to turn since they were in gangs or kicked out of their home either physically or figuratively. To me tagging is representative of a community where the people are not feeling honored, not listened to or let’s face it, abused. When the murals, paintings and graphics come out from the street artists, they are trying to either get themselves known without elitist galleries, have fun with their friends or just spread their art as a gift. I know some people don’t think of the art as a gift, but you don’t have to love it and it will go away soon…just like advertising and posters.
When I went to Chicago for a visit, I missed the graffiti we usually see around Seattle. Everything looked so sterile. I’m not sure what is different from slick advertisements and artists expressing themselves on the backs of signs. My guess is we’re just so used to seeing advertisements. Even the advertisements that try and look like graffiti are in a neat rectangle so your mind can ignore it.
So maybe that’s the secret…just make everything in a neat rectangle so we can decide to look at it or not…just like at the museums? Just wondering out loud.
PS Not condoning doing any damage to homes or businesses. Most artists are respectful and besides, the next mural could be a Banksy on your ugly wall!
Also, the presentation by Starheadboy went over unbelievably well. 95% of the people who went adored him which included the original people who weren’t that excited.
What I’ve noticed with all of the artists in the film is that everyone seems to be doing things internationally. What this means to me, but may not mean to you, is that an international career might not show up on my radar. I know Charlie has a great career here in the US but slowly I’ve been hearing about all the other countries that love glass, photography, painting etc. that have been helping to support everyone.
I hadn’t really thought about finding work outside the US and I’m not sure why. It’s not snobbery since I adore other cultures, I’m pretty sure it’s just ignorance. I wouldn’t know the first thing about trying to access other art venues outside America. I haven’t asked any of the artists but I wonder if they were contacted or did the artist contact the other venues? If I get any updates from the artists I know, I’ll post it here.
Because they are one of the reasons that glass had a renaissance! Also, a lot of the people Mellissae grew up with became friends because they met through the gallery…Plus, I love their work and yay!
Mellissae (yes, our Mellissae Lucia) collaborated as a photography illustrator with Wendy Mulhern’s poetry in a beautiful book and they are having an event on Queen Anne THIS SATURDAY (February 2nd). Here are more details of the event if you want a beautiful setting, amazing people and gorgeous work.
This is an installation which means it is just fun to look at and be a part of. Come for cheap wine and an easy going time.
*oil & acrylic paintings
*sculpture, graphics & more!
It’s this Saturday, from 6pm – 9pm at Laura Frost Gallery / Blowing Sands on the corner of 14th and 58th behind St Alphonsis School. 5805 14th Ave NW, Seattle, 98107
There will be a 70s sun lamp there that you can soak in if you need a little blast of sunshine in Seattle. ha ha ha ha…we have the box which is hilarious.
It also looks like it’s going to be a fun night all around Ballard…here is a link to the Ballard Art Walk site. I hope they keep the automata show up.