Tag Archives: Seattle

Meet Artsyo!

2 Nov

I have a huge soft spot in my heart for Seattle.  While Mr. Forager has lived in Seattle, I haven’t yet.  But when I do ( and when I visit! ), you can bet I’ll be utilizing the recently launched site, Artsyo to find local artists and their work.  The brainchild of Sarah Brooks and Stella Laurenzo, Artsyo is a searchable site providing users with ways to find the kinds of local artists and artwork they love, connect with those artists and ( hopefully! ) buy a work of art they adore.

Co-founder Sarah Brooks gave me a little time yesterday to chat about the how, what, why of Artsyo–

Artsy Forager | How did Artsyo get started?

Sarah Brooks |  When I moved to Seattle in 2007, I had my first apartment and my first real job, and I was really excited to buy a piece of original art for the first time. I was going to art walks and loving the art scene here, but it was harder than I’d expected to find a piece that I both loved AND could afford. I knew that somewhere out there in Seattle, maybe at a coffee shop in Ballard or a studio in Georgetown, there was a perfect piece for me that was also in my price range…but how would I ever find it? I was working a lot, and I didn’t have enough time to visit every gallery and every art walk, and I was wishing for some way to see a bigger visual of what was out there to guide my search. I finally decided last year to leave my job and start working on building this big visual map of the Seattle art scene for real.

Free Fall by Tracy Boyd, available on Artsyo

link

AF | What do you see as the biggest challenge to connecting would-be art collectors with artists and galleries?

SB | One big challenge I see is that there are a lot of people who don’t think of themselves as collectors. Because it’s historically been this thing only for the really wealthy and the people-in-the-know, the prospect of buying art is intimidating. And the way most of the avenues are set up now — you have the gallery that’s only open by appointment, for example — reinforces that very formal, art world exclusivity feeling. Which is great for some, but I think there are a lot of people who would rather be able to get familiar with pieces in a stress-free setting, like in their own home. I think more and more people are starting to realize that anyone can be an art collector, and that not every piece costs $20,000. There are a bunch of great people working on the same problem in Seattle right now: Sharon Arnold with LxWxH, Wynne Greenwood with SeaCat. It’s an exciting time, and the more people who realize that they can be appreciators and owners of art, the better for everyone!

War Horse by Rachel Denny, available through Artsyo

link

AF | What is it about Seattle that attracts so many artists?

SB | Good question! I think it has something to do with the freedom to be different over here, and that’s got to be linked with creativity. I’m from the northeast, and one thing I love about Seattle is that out here, you can be weird. And that’s cool. I think it’s also the reason that we have such a great tech community here…there’s room to be creative and weird and try new things, and the whole culture out here embraces it. Look at the Solstice Festival! I can’t imagine that happening where I grew up…

Connotation No. 29 by Shaun Kardinal, available through Artsyo

link

AF | Have you purchased any Artsyo featured work for yourself yet?  Any particular piece you’re coveting?

SB | Not yet! I knew I was putting myself in a dangerous spot with all of this amazing art right in front of me all day every day, so I made a solemn promise that I wouldn’t buy a piece until I found a way to make Artsyo financially sustainable. Right now all of my expendable cash is tied up in getting Artsyo off the ground. But there are so many pieces on the site that I would love to take home with me. Ryan Molenkamp’s Cut Bank in particular (but you might have guessed that from the Artsyo home page design).

Uptown by LR Odette

link

AF | What are the hopes and dreams you & Stella have for the future of Artsyo?  Any plans to expand to other cities?

SB | Our hope is to make Artsyo the site that we were dreaming about before it existed: a new way to discover art in Seattle that makes it easier and more fun to find art and buy art and live with art. With that in mind, we’re working on an art map (so that if you’re going for a walk in your neighborhood, you can see what’s up at every place nearby and drop in if something catches your eye). We’re about to add “last mile” services, too — the whole process of framing and installation is daunting for a lot of busy people, and so we want to take care of that and make it as easy as possible. In terms of new cities, we’d love to try Artsyo in Portland and San Francisco in the future…actually, I think there are a lot of cities that need an Artsyo. But first, we want to make sure we’re doing it right in Seattle.

Thanks, Sarah, for taking the time to chat– now here’s a fun little announcement for you!  To commemorate its launch, Artsyo is running a Pimp My Wall contest for Seattle art lovers!  Basically show Artsyo that your wall is in major need of some art lovin’ and you could win an Artsyo work of art of your own choosing ( worth up to $500 ).  See the Artsyo blog for more details!  Sorry, the contest is only open to those lucky enough to live in Seattle. 😉

Advertisements

Droppin’ Y-Bombs: Suzanne Tidwell at Occidental Park

4 Oct

While Mr. Forager & I are on the road, making our way to California, we’re rerunning Artsy Forager’s most popular posts.  This post originally published on July 18, 2011.  Enjoy!

This being my first summer in the Pacific Northwest, I knew the climate would be much cooler than summers in Florida.  But no one told me that even the trees would be wearing scarves!

Yarn Bombing by Suzanne Tidwell, Occidental Park, Seattle, WA

G and I were in Seattle on Saturday and our first stop was Occidental Park.. I was dying to see large scale yarn bombing in person.  Suzanne Tidwell’s bright warm colors juxtaposed against the dark trees under a cloudy sky would melt the heart of the Grinch himself.

Yarn Bombing by Suzanne Tidwell, Occidental Park, Seattle, WA

Yarn Bombed Lamp Post, Occidental Park, Seattle, WA

I mean, let’s face it, here in the PNW, we have a lot of gray days.  So why not help nature along a little by adding some color and whimsy?  I think the trees approve.  They just look so much happier, don’t they?  ( Wait, did I just inadvertently quote Bob Ross?! )  And of course, those bony lamp posts HAD to have been cold, being steel and all.  Now they’re super cozy.

Yarn bombing is a type of street art, which instead of using chalk or paint, utilizes colorful installations of knitted or crocheted yarn.  Begun as an attempt to enliven and beautify cold, urban environments, it has grown into a full-on art movement.  These aren’t just grandmas and bored housewives looking for a creative outlet and a bit of mischief.  Many yarn bombers are fiber artists who connected with the whimsical style and slightly rebellious nature of yarn bombing.

In many cases, the yarn bombing is done illegally, just like traditional graffiti and often under the cover of night.  However, bombers are rarely prosecuted, if caught.  Perhaps due to the playful, non-threatening nature of the “tagging”.  It would be like arresting Tinkerbell.

Fiber artists have tagged iconic public sculpture such as the Rocky Balboa statue in Philadelphia, a traditional red London telephone booth and Wall Street’s famous Charging Bull sculpture ( But don’t call that one yarn-bombing to the responsible artist, Olek.  She takes offense and considers her own work art, while the work of others to be trite.  Not sure I see the difference, but that is her prerogative, I suppose. )  What began as a clandestine art movement is now moving into mainstream favor, with artists, like Seattle’s Suzanne Tidwell, being commissioned to produce large scale public installations and corporate projects.

Totems and Yarn Bombs, Occidental Park, Seattle, WA

There is so much darkness and despair in our world today.  I say thank you, yarn bombers, for seeking to bring a little sunshine and fanciful wonderment to our world.  Long may you knit.

If you’d like to learn more about Suzanne Tidwell, whose work is featured in Occidental Park in Seattle as part of the summer ArtSPARKS program, check out her website and Facebook page.  To learn more about yarn bombing, check out this website, run by two knitters living in Vancouver, BC who also wrote a book about the phenomenon, Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti.  

The Uncommon Familiar: Shaun Kardinal

3 Oct

While Mr. Forager & I are on the road, making our way to California, we’re rerunning Artsy Forager’s most popular posts.  This post originally published on April 23, 2012 and got a huge bump thanks to being featured on the Freshly Pressed WordPress feature.  Enjoy!

Do you have any idea how bummed I was to miss out on Shaun Kardinal’s show, Connotations, while we were in Seattle?  So very very bummed.  But time was not my friend on this trip.  Two half-days and only one full day just isn’t enough to fit in time with friends, every gallery show I wanted to see and one on one time with the hubby.  But I know I’ll be back and I have a feeling Shaun’s work is going to continue gaining ground while I’m gone.

Connotation No. 18, hand-embroidered paper collage, 9.75×6.5

Kardinal increases the complexity of his collages with this new series.  Beginning with a foundation of vintage ephemera, he embroiders each piece with a geometrically intricate design carefully placed to compliment the retro imagery.

Connotation No. 25, hand-embroidered paper collage, 9×6

Kardinal’s work feels like sophisticated folk art and I mean that in the best possible way!  It is approachable, yet thoughtful.  Highly designed using common materials.  Love.

Connotation No. 24, hand-embroidered paper collage, 11.75×11.75

Connotation No. 19, hand-embroidered paper collage, 9.25×8.25

To see more of Shaun Kardinal’s work, please visit his website.  If you’re in Seattle, do what I couldn’t– go see his Connotations show at Joe Bar Cafe.

Featured image is Connotation No. 2, hand-embroidered paper collage, 11×11.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Making Mountains: Liz Tran

2 Oct

While Mr. Forager & I are on the road, making our way to California, we’re rerunning Artsy Forager’s most popular posts.  This post originally published on February 7, 2012 and got a huge bump thanks to being featured on the Freshly Pressed WordPress feature.  Enjoy!

I love it when painters explore their 3-dimensional side.  I’m not talking about donning special sunglasses to see the latest technology driven flick.  I mean, when artists who normally work in 2-dimensions explore the world of sculpture.  The result is often magical, their paintings come to life!  Seattle artist Liz Tran ( an Artsy Forager fave ) brings her color saturated paintings to life in ceramic form.

My Rayonier, glazed ceramic, acrylic ink, acrylic paint, 19x15x9

Perhaps what draws me to Liz’s work time and time again is her obvious love for the outdoors and the way she expresses that affection in joyful color and whimsical lines.  The sculpture above, My Rainer, holds a special draw for me, as Mount Rainier is my favorite mountain.  Rainier has been the site of some wonderful memories for my husband and I, and Liz has captured its magic in such a unique way.

My Rayonier ( detail ), glazed ceramic, acrylic ink, acrylic paint

Of course, who could forget her twisting, multi-hued trees?  She mimics their shapes and winding branches in these ceramic creations.  In this form, they almost take on an alien-like quality, which I am totally digging.

Untitled

Backbone Two, glazed ceramic, wood, acrylic ink, acrylic paint, 5x5x36

Then there are her Backbone pieces, which I must confess, are my fave!  They are one part tree trunk + one part stacked tea cup + one part graphic color = total wonderfulness!  How amazing would a grouping of these be in a children’s hospital?  Or tucked away in a garden?

To see more of Liz Tran’s sculptures and paintings, please visit her website.  You can also check out my feature on Liz’s paintings here.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Friday Faves: Seattle On My Mind

13 Apr

If you’ve been reading Artsy Forager for a while, you may have noticed me mention the love my hubby & I have for Seattle.  He was living there when we began dating and although we’d known each other a long time before, it was in the Emerald City that we truly fell in love.  Exactly 2 years from this Sunday, I flew to Seattle to celebrate my birthday ( the 15th ) and George’s birthday ( the 11th ) and to truly test the waters after 12 years of friendship, 1year of online flirting and 1 month of long distance dating.  Not only did I fall madly in love with George, I fell hard for the city of Seattle.  So we’re heading there on Sunday to spend a few days soaking in the delights of our favorite city.  Needless to say, I’m pretty Seattle obsessed today.  Hope you enjoy these artists’ renditions of our city of love!

Snow White by Deborah Scott, oil and mixed media on canvas, 36×60

65th and Roosevelt by Julia Hensley, gouache collage on Bristol board, 9×12

 

Parallel Bars #1 by Michael Prince, mixed media, 40×30

From the Explorations of the Viaduct series by Marie Gagnon

Family Trio, Seattle by Robin Weiss, oil, 12×12

Deborah ScottJulia Hensley | Michael Prince | Marie Gagnon | Robin Weiss 

Have a fantastic weekend!  Posts will be going up as normal for the next few days, but I’ll only be online sporadically to answer questions and approve/respond to comments.  See you on Wednesday!

Featured image is The Original Starbucks at Pike Place Market, Seattle by Marsha Glaziere.  All images are via the artists’ websites.

Requiem for Modern Relics: Michael Todd Harrison

16 Feb

I grew up in a household where old things were relished and appreciated.  My dad and brother refurbished antique cars.  My mom had a knack for painting and reusing old furniture.  Family vacations were taken to historic sites instead of Disney World.  So it isn’t any wonder that I have a fondness for the sculptural work of Seattle artist Michael Todd Harrison.

13, assemblage

Architectural fragments and wood are stacked together as building blocks of these humble monuments to the past.  Some of Harrison’s pieces, like the one above have a charming, vintagey-homey feel, as if they were plucked directly from the wreckage of a derelict Queen Anne home.  Others, such as Burst, are more abstract in feel and organic in shape, carefully hap-hazard.  In the artist’s hands, what could have simply been a pile of scrap wood becomes an explosion of line and shape.

Burst

Spiral

Harrison’s latest series, Skyscrapers, takes inspiration from walks through the city, with it’s tall monuments built long ago by men who have since been all but forgotten.  There is a poetic loveliness in these folksy, wooden sculptures paying homage to albatrosses of glass and steel.  A reminder, perhaps of architecture’s humble beginnings, as well as our own.

Skyscrapers

Small Church

To see more of Michael Todd Harrison’s work, please visit his website.  He is currently the Artist-In-Residence for the James W. Washington Foundation in Seattle during the month of February.  You can keep up with his residency work here!

Featured image is Horizon by Michael Todd Harrison.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Material Matters: Margie Livingston

28 Dec

If you are an artist, you know the joy and delight your materials bring.  The smell of fresh paint, the glow of molten glass, the feel of earthen clay.  Seattle artist Margie Livingston is one artist who obviously enchanted with her unique properties of her chosen medium– paint.

198 Angles, Mostly Yellow, acrylic, 33.5x29

Her paintings are not only explorations into the characteristics of the paint– color, texture, sheen, etc., but also studies in shape, form, line and space.

263 Angles, Neutral Over Red, acrylic, 33x24.5

She’s also taken this investigation of medium a step further– creating actual sculptures from paint, genius!

Paint Strip Tied In a Knot With the Ends Tucked In, acrylic, 4x13x10 ( via Greg Kucera Gallery )

Study for Spiral Block #3, acrylic, 6" cube

To see more of Margie Livingston’s adventures in paint, check out her website.  If you’re in Seattle, you can see her work in person at Greg Kucera Gallery.

Featured image is 414 Angles, Mostly Red and Yellow, acrylic, 32×24.  All images are via the artist’s website, unless otherwise stated.

Sleeping With Peas And Toads: Deborah Scott

8 Sep

Sometimes a princess has to do what a princess has to do.  Like kiss a frog, get a horrible night’s sleep with a pea stuffed under the mattress or maybe just open her eyes and wake up.  Seattle artist Deborah Scott has created an intriguing new series, Waiting For Prince Charming, which explores how traditional fairy tale themes would be translated in our modern world.

Snow White, oil and mixed media on canvas

For instance, how would Snow White’s modis operandi of relying on her beauty and reputation as “the fairest in the land” work to secure her prince in today’s world?  Mass media advertising, of course.  Scott depicts her, perhaps this most vapid of the fairy tale princesses, as a purely passive participant in her own fairy tale.  Her happy ending isn’t a result of anything she does or who she is, but merely because of her famous looks.  Sound familiar?

The Girl Would Believe Anything, oil and mixed media on canvas

And then there’s the chick from The Princess & The Frog.  How many women have been deceived into thinking that warty, nasty toad would one day magically turn into a prince?  He may seem debonair and sophisticated, but he is a frog all the same.  And once we realize how duped we were.. we are horrified at our own stupidity.

A Social Climber's Romance, oil and mixed media on canvas

In A Social Climber’s Romance, we see a well rested young woman and a pea peeking out from under the mattresses– she obviously hasn’t passed the real princess test, but is oblivious to the meaning of her sweet slumber.  In this series, Deborah continues to hone her classical, figure-focused narrative style, which works tremendously well to carry out the themes in each work.

Waiting For Prince Charming opens at All City Coffee in Seattle September 10th and will be on exhibit there until November 5th.  If you’re in the Seattle area, please check it out!  Better still, there will be an artist’s reception on October 21st, Deborah is a delight in person and meeting her will give you such deeper appreciation for her work.

In the meantime, stop by Deborah’s website to see more of her work and check out her introduction on Artsy Forager here.

Featured image is Princess And The Pea.  All images are courtesy of Deborah Scott.

Special thanks to Deborah for giving me a studio tour and a sneak peek at this new work when George & I were in Seattle last week!  Look for features on some of her talented studio mates on the blog soon!

Are Chickens the New Black?

1 Aug

I admit, I’m not always up on the very latest trends, I am in my 30’s after all.  I knew all about the “Put a Bird On It” trend, but had no idea that art featuring chickens had become such a big deal.  Chicken art makes me think back to my grandma’s house and her Americana farm scene prints featuring chickens.  And her ceramic chicken collection.  Needless to say, chickens aren’t the first subject that jumps to mind when I think of the latest in the art world.  But for whatever reason, these birds are fowls are ruling the roost.

Roost by Brian McGuffey

Seattle area artist, Brian McGuffey draws from childhood experiences in his creative process.  In “Roost”, pictured above, he elevates the rooster from lowly barnyard animal to a dignified, full-plumed specimen.  Just look at that profile.  You know all the hens would be clucking all over him.

King of the Hill by Sydney McKenna

Why did the chicken cross the road?  To attend a chicken-only art show, apparently!  St. Augustine, Florida artist, Sydney McKenna painted “King of the Hill”  specifically for a show at the W.B. Tatter Studio & Gallery celebrating not just chickens, but also the gallery’s sixth year anniversary.  I hope they served a vegetarian menu for the opening. 🙂

But the Tatter who is by no means the only chicken show I’ve covered in recent months.  Remember Yvonne Lozano’s What Happened to the Chickens show?  Yvonne created an entire series of painting centered around a family trip to Colombia and a few friendly chickens she met there as a child.

Here, Chicky Chicky by Yvonne Lozano

Out and About by Hilary Williams

But chickens in art aren’t just reserved for the barnyard.. In “Out and About”, San Francisco based artist Hilary Williams  depicts a little hen who seems to have escaped and is enjoying a lovely day on the town.  This chick is ready for a ladies lunch and some retail therapy.

Speaking of plucky adventurers ( pun intended ), Dolan Geiman’s Blue Highway also shows how chickens in art aren’t just for grandma’s kitchen anymore.  Geiman’s graphic, mixed media approach results in work that is more contemporary than kitsch.

Blue Highway by Dolan Geiman

Where is this upsurge in chicken art leading?  Only the chickens know for sure.  The banty in Jim Draper’s Cross Creek seems ready to take the road less traveled.  And maybe that’s what the chicken art movement is all about.

Cross Creek by Jim Draper

The featured images is Laughing About This Life by Hilary Williams.  All images are courtesy of the individual artist’s websites.

PS– I restrained myself from finding a Road Crossing Chicken joke to go with each piece of artwork.  You’re welcome.

Hello? This is Art calling.

25 Jul

Do you remember the days when we didn’t carry our phones around with us, but had to actually seek out that communication tool known as a phone booth?  That small, 37″x37″ box where you could look up a number, dial and have a conversation all for just a 25 cents?  OK, a dime if you’re really old experienced.

Seattle photographer Todd Jannausch saw in an old phone booth, not a relic of the past, but the blank walls of a would-be gallery.

Gallery ( 206 ), Occidental Park, Seattle, WA

Gallery ( 206 ) in Seattle’s Occidental Park, contains artwork by over 206 Seattle area artists, 18 artists are represented on the “walls” of the booth by original works on plexiglass.  This littlest gallery is part public art installation, part exposure vehicle for artists not represented in area galleries.  ( 206  is the area code for the Greater Seattle area ).  It provides not just an artwork display but an entire experience for anyone willing to step inside for a more private conversation.

Inside Gallery ( 206 )

Inside, lighting is provided by a solar-powered installation overhead and yes, there is still a telephone inside. If you pick up the receiver, you won’t be able to make a call, but you will be rewarded by the music of Dave Abramson.

When is the last time you actually used a phonebook?

Taking a peek inside the Gallery ( 206 ) “phonebook” and you’ll find more 206-area artists, showing examples of their work and contact information.  Not since the days of Superman has entering & exiting a phone booth been so much fun.

Addendum to the original post!  Thank you to artist Troy Gua for sending me a photo of his ceiling installation in Gallery ( 206 ).  The overcast weather that day ( in Seattle, imagine that! ) didn’t allow me to get a decent shot myself.  So here it be!  Truly cool.  Check out Troy’s website and Facebook page for more of his work.

Troy Gua installation

To find out more information, visit the Gallery ( 206 ) website.  If you’re in the Seattle area, stop by Occidental Park and see it for yourself!

%d bloggers like this: