Good Arts in the Seattle Times
Check out this article about “Interesting ways space for artists is being carved out in expensive Seattle” featuring our work as the lead story!
Check out this article about “Interesting ways space for artists is being carved out in expensive Seattle” featuring our work as the lead story!
Opening Thursday, August 4 in our own humble basement, the world premiere of People in the Square, a cabaret-style musical about—what else?—our beloved neighborhood, Pioneer Square.
People in the Square is a cabaret-style musical revue which invites the audience a glimpse into the many different inhabitants, past and present, of Pioneer Square. A four member cast and three piece band bring to life this musical history lesson through time.
Based on historical people and events, the show is a collection of songs and short scenes, celebrating the diversity and fascinating stories of Seattle’s first neighborhood.
This musical ranges in time from the original inhabitants of the Duwamish and Suquamish Tribes, early pioneers and gold miners, fast-forwarding to those who frequent Pioneer Square today. Converging on the Square are the wealthy, the poor, occupants, visitors, sports fans and art dealers, most never being truly aware of the other, despite occupying the same three acres together. Join us to experience this incredible journey through time of the ever evolving melting pot in the heart of Seattle.
Rose Cano (book, director) and David Nyberg (composer) have been collaborating for three years on this original musical, before and during the pandemic.
The Skid Road Theatre produced cutting edge contemporary theatre and musical classics in the 1970’s- 80’s in the Good Arts basement. It’s the current home of Beneath the Streets tours, and the first production in the New Skid Road Theatre, a flexible performance-space-in-progress, which will utilize the space in the evenings in cooperation with Beneath the Streets. So much history, so much community spirit.
On June 10, 2022, the community-based preservation organization Historic Seattle finalized a deal to become managing partners in the Good Arts Building. Historic Seattle’s involvement will ensure the long-term preservation of the building and continue its mission as a hub for arts, culture, and creative enterprises in perpetuity. The organization will also assume building management responsibilities as part of the partnership agreement.
Co-owners Jane Richlovsky and Steve Coulter will continue to drive the building’s arts programming under the new arrangement. To ensure this home for the arts will endure as a legacy, they plan to bequeath their ownership interest to Historic Seattle. Ali Ghambari, whose flagship Cherry Street Coffee House anchors the corner of the building, will remain a member, as will Greg Smith, who is retaining a smaller share and handing over management duties from his company, Urban Visions.
“Our Good Arts Building has been a magical endeavor through the love and hard work of tremendous people. I want to express my deepest gratitude to my brother and business partner, Greg Smith, and my dearest friends and partners Jane Richlovsky, Steve Coulter, with a shout-out to Michael Aguero and Armando Garcia with Urban Visions for managing the building during the hardest time and bringing it to the level of magic it is now,” said Ghambari.
“This miracle would not have come together without their sincere love and passion in building a remarkable community. Their goodness and talent is overwhelming. I am truly privileged to be their partner. I cannot think of any organization better to pass this magic on for generations to come than Historic Seattle. Their passion and love is exemplary,” he added.
The community-based preservation organization Historic Seattle is teaming up with the owners of the Good Arts Building to preserve the building and continue its mission as a hub for arts, culture and creative enterprises in perpetuity.
Historic Seattle’s board has given preliminary approval to an agreement to purchase a majority stake in the property from Greg Smith, and form a new entity with current owners Steve Coulter, Jane Richlovsky, and Smith, who will retain a minority share.
Historically known as the Scheuerman Block, the Good Arts Building was designed by Elmer Fisher in 1889 for Christian Scheuerman and completed in 1890. Throughout the years, the building has been a hub of entrepreneurial, creative, and colorful endeavors.
In 2011, the building took on its current role, as a hub for the arts, when a dozen artists, evicted from the nearby 619 Western Building, established ’57 Biscayne studios on the second floor.
In 2015, Good Arts LLC—an unlikely collaboration of developer Greg Smith, artist Jane Richlovsky, theatre veteran Steve Coulter, and Cherry Street Coffee founder Ali Ghambari—purchased the building with the mission of preserving its artistic heritage and affordability to creative enterprises. The building now houses 27 artist studios, as well as Bad Bishop Bar, Saké Nomi, Beneath the Streets Tours and other small businesses.
“Since acquiring the building in 2015, Good Arts LLC has done an incredible job of providing affordable space for artists in Seattle’s most historic and artistic neighborhood, Pioneer Square,” said Kji Kelly, executive director at Historic Seattle. “Protecting community use of space is critical in this changing city.
“While landmarking and historic districts save places, mission-based ownership is what protects purpose. Our organization is dedicated to saving meaningful places that foster lively communities, so this partnership with Good Arts LLC is in perfect alignment with our mission,” Kelly continued.
“Too often artists’ cultural and economic contributions are rewarded with displacement from the neighborhoods they helped make interesting and vital,” Richlovsky added. “It’s rare that developers recognize that, and even rarer they step up to help.”
“Arts and culture are central to the historic fabric of Seattle and what makes Pioneer Square and our broader community unique and vibrant to this day,” said Urban Visions CEO and Good Arts partner Greg Smith. “Preserving this building and the artistic endeavors within was a personal passion of mine and I am thrilled to see Historic Seattle taking this step to ensure the building’s long-term uses will remain focused on fostering arts, culture and creativity.”
Now, Richlovsky, who has had a studio in Pioneer Square for 20 years, is looking forward to a new chapter.
“I’m really excited to take what we’ve built together and hand the reins to Historic Seattle. They get us,” she said. “I am planning to be here for at least 20 more.”
A storefront with full-height windows facing Cherry Street is available for rent November 1. This charming space opens on to retail arcade with a sitting area, furniture, and art gallery lighting. The adjoining tenants are Sew Generously Bespoke, a master tailor, and Lolo’s Hair Design. The dedicated space is 185 square feet; full use of the shared space (arcade, bathrooms, and kitchenette) is included in the rent of $700 .
The Good Arts Arcade was established in the Good Arts Building in 2017 to provide affordable space for the making, exhibiting, and selling of a range of creative goods, and foster a supportive community for the makers and sellers.
Flanked by the anchor location of Cherry Street Coffee House to the west, and the entrance to ’57 Biscayne Artist Studios to the east, Good Arts Arcade is perfectly situated for creative collaboration, fabulous combined events, and synergistic marketing opportunities. The location is well situated for foot traffic from the nearby light rail station, ferries, offices, and nearby tour groups.
We are seeking creative community builders—artists, gallerists, human-scale retailers—to work, grow, and collaborate in the Arcade. Contact Jane Richlovsky to view the space.
In 2015 an unlikely crew—artists, developer, coffee-shop owner—forged an alliance to buy a historic building in Pioneer Square. We dubbed it the Good Arts Building, in an homage to the “Good Eats Cafeteria” that once occupied it, and also as a statement of their purpose. Since its inception, Pioneer Square has historically been home to the performing and visual arts. During economic down-times, artists have snatched up cheap warehouse space, while scrappy black-box theatres claimed dilapidated storefronts, revitalizing the neighborhood in the process. Artists, theatres, art galleries and small quirky businesses have given the neighborhood its identity and “vibrancy” as they say nowadays. The Good Arts Building was founded so that these creators of cultural and economic value could stick around to reap the benefits.
Our model for sustainability harvests the synergy of the complementary businesses that occupy the building: the studio artists attract attendees to exhibitions and events; those attendees patronize the restaurants and shops. A guy who comes in for a haircut buys a vintage suit and has it tailored, all without leaving the building. Part of the coffeehouse doubles as a gallery, bringing interest to the restaurant and income to the artists.
The arts were infused into every corner, raising the foot traffic and the value of the location, while the rents of the studios remained affordable to creative small businesses, yet sustainable for the building. Over the past five years, work spaces for artists have alarmingly disappeared across the city: In the same period, Good Arts added 14 studios to ’57 Biscayne’s existing 14, plus a street-level arcade of maker and micro-retail spaces.
A boutique guest rental for overnight stays supplements our revenues. Moreover, a model of 100% occupancy, rather than the traditional 80%, along with the creative use of underutilized spaces, has allowed us to pay our bills while still maintaining affordability.
In 2017, we combined our three corner storefronts to create a new anchor location for Cherry Street Coffee House, with a stunning remodel by Atelier Drome architects. That same year, we converted a neighboring long-vacant storefront into Good Arts Arcade, consisting of four boutique-sized retail spaces that open on to a central gallery, currently occupied by a bespoke tailor, hair design studio, and a perfumerie.
We also gave the exterior its first paint job in over twenty years, with a new color scheme designed by the resident artists. Customized steel flower basket hangers, featuring pictorial nods to the buildings’ colorful occupants past and present, and handmade by owners Richlovsky and Coulter, reinforce our identity and add visual interest. In 2019, Bad Bishop Bar picked up the final storefront and gave it a gorgeous makeover, opening to rave reviews.
As it turns out, making space for the arts was a really good business decision. This year, when the restaurants and retail tenants saw a precipitous drop in revenues, or had to close entirely, our rental receipts took a hit, just like those of every commercial building owner. However, the art studio tenants have paid rent in full every month of the pandemic, and helped us get through the year.
Our tenants and partners continue to creatively respond to challenges: Cherry Street Coffee, a daytime business, is making room in the mezzanine for Sake Nomi tasting room, an evening destination. They will share some seating (when we can sit inside again), and their coexistence will add to the dynamism of the whole. We invested in community when we bought this building, and community is what is helping us survive.
This year, we are looking for additional partner-owners, people who share our vision of a world where creatives reap the benefits of their work, to help write the Good Arts Building’s next chapter. It’s an opportunity to invest in the creative economy and Seattle’s future. Contact us if this sounds like you.
Here’s a story that’s not about viruses or business closing.
When the folks down the street at Coastal Environmental Systems were packing up their Seattle office back in February, preparing for a move, they had to figure out what to do with a rather large sign that had been hanging around in their basement since the 1980’s. So they sent a picture to the Alliance for Pioneer Square on the chance that they’d know of someone in the neighborhood who might want it. Chris Woodward sent the picture to Jane, who said, well…..YESSSSS we want it.
This gigantic stretched canvas, painted in latex paint, was the show poster for the Skid Road Show’s production of the musical Annie Get Your Gun right here in our basement (current home to Beneath the Streets). We’re pretty sure it was displayed under the awning above the stairs, above the very steep stairs leading to the theatre. Jane and Steve lugged the giant canvas back to its original home here, parading it through Occidental Square one sunny day this winter. (The photo is taken pre-Covid, which we now have to say whenever people look dangerously close). It’s in storage for now while renovations continue downstairs, making way for Beneath the Streets’ expansion and RE-OPENING. Beneath the Streets plans to display it in the basement when they resume their operations in October.
The company’s founder Don Munro had been a big supporter of the Skid Road Show back in the day, as well as practically inventing Seattle’s Metro transit system. Thank you Don! Rest in power.
The Salon Rue de Cerise, our swanky guest suite on the third floor, comes with its own gallery show, hung salon-style, of course. Until now, the show was exclusively for guests, and guests alone could purchase the art, through our top-secret shop page.
Our mission as a building is to support artists and other micro-businesses that contribute to our city’s vitality. The proceeds from the Salon Rue de Cerise help us keep the art studio rents below market rate. We also use it to promotes the rich culture of Seattle and Pioneer Square, encouraging guests to support the local arts scene. At the moment the Salon is sadly guest-less, and will remain so until social distancing orders are dialed back to the point that people are again visiting Seattle.
To help generate some income for Seattle’s artists, and make sure there’s a culture to come back to when all this is over, we’re opening the gallery up to the public for a limited time. We have some very affordable art by many beloved Seattle artists* that we’ll ship to your home for free. Simply visit the shop page, find something to fall in love with, and we’ll make it happen.
*Juan Alonso Rodriguez, Daniel Carrillo, Jed Dunkerley, Eric Eschenbach, Henrietta’s Eye, Elizabeth Arzani, Karey Kessler, Krisna Schumann, Dara Solliday, Jane Richlovsky, and Nathan Vass, to name a few.
Our newest Good Arts addition, on First Avenue next to Cherry Street Coffee House, Bad Bishop Bar, will open Wednesday, October 24 for cocktails and eats. We’ll keep the secret passage open that same night for ’57 Biscayne’s 100 under $100/Sweet Suite 300 Industry Night and artists’ reception, so guests can pop down for a bite of food, or up for a bite of art.
Wednesday, October 24
110 Cherry Street AND 704 First Avenue (with secret passage!)
’57 Biscayne event is from 5-7; Bad Bishop’s until 9
Congrats to Bad Bishop owner Jesse for this nice write-up in Seattle Met. And to our second-newest retail tenant, Sew Generously, joining H Bailey Boutique vintage menswear in the quest to make the men of Seattle, and anyone else, look fabulous. (108 Cherry in the Arcade)
New Airbnb spot offers unique experience – while benefitting local artists
For those who dream of a night at the museum, a little more time uninterrupted in a gallery or a completely unique stay, the Good Arts Building has you covered.
A new Airbnb room, with space for up to two guests, is opening its doors in the ’57 Biscayne studio complex located at 110 Cherry St. in Pioneer Square – just in time for Seattle Art Fair.
Named “Salon Rue de Cerise,” the space was inspired by Gertrude Stein’s living room on the Rue de Fleurus, with its walls hung floor to ceiling with paintings by as-yet-unknown artists, an inspiring space for conversation and new ideas.
By staying for the night, guests will also be lending a helping hand to the local art scene. Overnight rentals will help subsidize the building’s art studios – unlike other Airbnb units, which have drawn criticism for replacing affordable housing.
“This is about helping artists stay in the middle of the city,” founder and artist Jane Richlovsky said. “It’s supporting artists working in Pioneer Square.”
Typically (and even stereotypically), artists give a boost to a struggling area and are later priced out. Instead, at the Good Arts Building, Richlovsky is creating a new model, one that encourages creatives to stay in the neighborhood they revitalized.
“Artists are good for the economy,” she said. “I like to think we’re good for other things as well, but the economy gets peoples’ attention.”
The Good Arts building has a rich history, entrenched in the arts, to maintain, after all. There once was a world famous jazz club in its walls, a fringe theatre in its basement and a photography studio in the halls. It also housed a boxing gym and the first gay and lesbian community center in Seattle.
Richlovsky and other studio artists are hanging a secret art show in the Airbnb room. Only guests will be able to view and purchase the work, priced affordably, through an online store and have it sent to their homes.
Guests will also have a large window view of Pioneer Square. “You’re right in the middle of it all,” Richlovsky said. “There’s a lot to do in the neighborhood.”
Guests staying at the Salon Rue de Cerise will receive a binder of recommended stops and experiences in Pioneer Square – as well as a few special options in nearby artists’ studios and retail boutiques.
Richlovsky has maintained a studio in Pioneer Square since 2001. She founded ’57 Biscayne in 2011 to offer affordable workspaces for her fellow evictees of the storied 619 Western arts building and also to maintain the presence of artists in Pioneer Square. She took advantage of the neighborhood’s then low rental rates and her DOT relocation funds to secure the second-floor master- lease specifically to provide affordable art studios.
“In Seattle, as in so many cities across the country, artists and arts businesses have set the foundation for struggling neighborhoods to transform into highly desirable real estate markets, only to be priced out of them once this happens,” Richlovsky said.
In 2015, the artist-developer partnership Good Arts LLC formed to buy the entire building, to keep the artists in Pioneer Square and to provide additional affordable space for the creation, promotion, and exhibition of a broad range of artistic endeavors.
In keeping with its mission, the Good Arts Building recently repurposed its third floor – once office space for the tech industry – into more studios.
Want to stay in the Good Arts Building? Book it here.
Photo by Jeanie Lewis
In keeping with our mission of making more affordable space creative entrepreneurs of all stripes, we recently renovated our third floor into art studios. Creative work space being at a premium in this town, it took about five minutes for eleven of them to get snatched up. The largest one is still available, and we’re looking for the perfect anchor tenant for this buzzing hive of activity.
It would make a perfect printmaking, photography, or other shared workshop space. Thinking of starting or moving such a venture? Here are some of the many advantages to locating your fabulous maker space in the Good Arts Building:
Stability: ’57 Biscayne studios, which occupy the upper floors, encompass an established community of artists.The building, since 2015, has been owned by a partnership that includes artists, and which is committed to providing space to creative tenants as affordably as possible.
Location: Centrally located; convenient to buses, light rail, ferries. It’s on the route of the Pioneer Square Art Walk, the oldest one in the country. First-floor retail & restaurants in the building attract foot traffic, from tourists to techies.
Community: This is the big one. ’57 Biscayne was founded in 2011 by a group of displaced artists in a tight spot, who found that working together was the best way to survive. Today, twenty-eight studios host a mix of fine, applied, and commercial artists and artisans, young and established, who share ideas, tips, techniques, and business savvy, to their mutual benefit. Collaborative teams have been born here.
Vision: In a changing art business landscape, where galleries frequently close and cannot be counted on to support artists financially, an artist-run enterprise that puts artists first is the only way we stand a chance. The Good Arts Building has strong ties to the larger community—tech firms, developers, architects, charitable non-profits—and we’re not afraid to use them to develop new markets and come up with innovative ways for people to purchase art. The Good Arts partners have placed their money, time, and reputations toward keeping the creative class centrally located and thriving in the twenty-first century. And we’re only getting started. (Up next: a theatre in the basement!)
Perks of being artist-run: Proper utility sinks, natural (skylights!!) and gallery lighting, and other details that artists know you need. Artists’ schedules are welcome. As are dogs. A lovely hallway gallery for exhibits. A parklet is coming to the Cherry Street side of the building that is a great blank slate for art events, mini-classes, installations, urban gardening, or just hanging out. An Air B&B space is in the works on the property; special rates will be available to tenants’ clients, friends, & family.
Visibility: Because of the uniqueness of our vision, the timeliness of our mission, and the unusual nature of the collaboration between an artist and developer (natural enemies in the wild), we’ve received our share of attention in the press. Reporters who have written about us continue to follow and keep in touch, to see where this great experiment will lead.
Photos and other info about the space are on the ’57 Biscayne blog.
You Are Here, Too opens Thursday, May 3 at the Good Arts Gallery.
In a city in which the ground has literally shifted several times over the past hundred years from seismic activity and human intervention, and continues to shift through highway projects and rampant development, maps can provide a link to the shared past and a record of the layers underneath.
You Are Here Too, an exhibition of artists’ responses to maps and mapping, opens May 3, 2018, continuing through August 30, at the Good Arts Building in Pioneer Square. The show is divided between two galleries within the building: Good Arts Gallery, inside Cherry Street Coffee House at 700 First Avenue, and ’57 Biscayne Artist Studios, upstairs at 110 Cherry Street (maps provided onsite). You Are Here, Too is co-curated by artists Annie Brule and Jane Richlovsky. Brule is also a cartographer.
Incorporating actual maps, or images, typography, and constructs borrowed from maps, the artworks in the show trace the topography of the natural world, political boundaries, the built environment, slavery, motherhood, and more. Artists working in diverse media—paintings, drawings, layered collages, embroidery, digital media, and ceramics—include David Francis, Nia Michaels, Dara Solliday, Joseph Pentheroudakis, Dawn Endean, Savina Mason, Morgan Cahn, Beverly Naidus, Elizabeth Arzani, Ann Marie Schneider, Hadar Iron, Lindsay Peyton, Warren Munzel, Marie Abando, Ann Marie Schneider, and Karey Kessler.
Like visual art itself, maps are an agreed-upon, yet arbitrary representation of real things; they are abstract metaphors for real places. In a lifetime of experiencing the world through these metaphors, maps and the actual places they represent start to layer themselves on top of one another in the mind of the navigator.
The layering effect is reflected in the very location of You Are Here, Too: Beloved local institution Metsker Maps occupied the footprint of Good Arts Gallery, purveying maps there from 1986-2004. Digging deeper into the layers, the ground on which the building sits was a center of commerce for the Duwamish, and Seattle’s original coastline.
The First Thursday opening reception will be held on May 3, from 6-9 PM, along with our first building-wide open house. Artists’ studios will be open to the public at ’57 Biscayne (110 Cherry), including the new third-floor expansion, and inside the Good Arts Arcade at 108 Cherry. We’ll have live piano music by Victor Janusz in the second-floor lobby.
Image: Orientation / Sand Earth, Ann Marie Schneider; photography, digital media, custom printing technique; limited edition giclee print
. . . to Cherry Street Coffee House. He probably just wanted a cup of coffee.
Actually, that’s the name of an art show, our second one at the Good Arts Gallery, nestled in the upper level of Cherry Street Coffee House. Every two months, ’57 Biscayne proprietrix Jane Richlovsky teams up with a different guest co-curator to put together a new exhibit. This month’s co-curator, Hen Chung of RAD AND HUNGRY, brings us paintings by Mike Tidwell.
“The Devil Showed Up Early” opens January 4 with a First Thursday reception from 5-7:30 and continues through February.
If God and the Devil met on Earth to battle against one another, I’ve always imagined it would take place in the American Deep South. With probably more churches than schools, one could argue the South is setting the stage for a confrontation of “good vs. evil”.
Growing up in small town Alabama, The Devil Showed Up Early is a series inspired by places from my childhood. It’s always felt like there was something sinister happening below the surface – a supernatural eeriness. Dig deep into the soil, and there’s beauty born from the Deep South’s past despite its twisted history. And of course, the Devil would show up early.
This month marks a new milestone in the transformation of the Good Arts Building, and we’re celebrating with art events all over the building. The long-awaited new Cherry Street Coffee House is finally, gorgeously open on the corner and will stay open into the evening, serving wine and beer. Up the block at 108 Cherry, the Good Arts Arcade sports new studios and retail space.
Upstairs, ’57 Biscayne will present the fourth annual 100 under $100 show, which is just like it sounds, 100 works of art priced under $100 each. Tiny paintings, exquisite ink drawings, collages, tin constructions, photographs, and more, all ready to take home by the lucky buyers. You can also tour the open studios and sip a glass of wine while the excellent and suave Victor Janusz serenades you with standards on the piano.
Inside Cherry Street Coffee House, on the mezzanine level, the Good Arts Gallery will debut with C.Y.: Selected Work by ’57 Biscayne Artists. The venue will feature rotating exhibitions organized by ’57 Biscayne proprietrix Jane Richlovsky and a cast of guest curators.
In the newly renovated Arcade, at 108 Cherry Street, guest artist Fernando Sancho will present selections from his series of photographs African Dream Academy (featured above), as a pop-up in the large gallery space (we’re currently reviewing art/retail concept proposals for a permanent tenant). The new studio tenants of the Arcade, Gina Grey & Ieva Ansaberga are also cooking up a show in the back!
Thursday, September 7
110 Cherry Street, 108 Cherry Street, 700 1st Ave.
In keeping with its mission to support artists and other creative entrepreneurs, Good Arts is in the process of remodeling a street-level storefront into two retail spaces and two artists’ studios, all of which open onto a shared central gallery.
The Arcade will provide affordable space for the making, exhibiting, and selling of a range of creative goods, and foster a supportive community for the makers and sellers.
Flanked by the new Cherry Street Coffee House to the west, and the entrance to ’57 Biscayne Artist Studios to the east, Good Arts Arcade is perfectly situated for creative collaboration, fabulous combined events, and synergistic marketing opportunities. The location is well situated for foot traffic from the nearby light rail station, ferries, Pioneer Square park, and a planned streetcar stop at First and Cherry. A parklet will be installed on the street in front of the entrance, providing additional outdoor community space and a potential pop-up show venue.
We are seeking creative community builders–artists, gallerists, and human-scale retailers–to work, grow, and collaborate in the Arcade.
The spaces will be available September 1 and are still under construction: interior photos will be coming soon. This PDF has a floor plan, square footages, and prices: GoodArtsArcade. Please contact Jane to see the spaces in progress. On First Thursday, August 3, you can get a sneak peek at one of them, when we host Neon Dreamer, an art-meets-video-game pop-up.
The Good Arts Building welcomes Czech artist Edita Pattova, presenting Neon Dreamer, an interactive painting and video installation, on the first stop of its West Coast tour. Neon Dreamer will be up for one night only, Thursday, August 3, from 5-9 PM in the under-construction Good Arts Arcade at 108 Cherry Street.
Inspired by the neon lights of Times Square on a visit to New York, Edita created a grid of nine oil paintings depicting an imaginary American city. On it, she projects an original video game, inspired by Pac-man, which visitors can play singly or competitively, becoming the dreamers chasing their dreams, beer, money, and each other through the neon-lit painted city streets, while dodging the authorities and other hazards.
R.I.P. the album cover, sort of. We said our goodbyes to that roomy square-foot of substantial cardstock, with its fantastic artwork — maybe by Warhol or Dali or Mapplethorpe —to name just a few. We also said our goodbyes to the hours of contemplation of the cover-art while the music spun on a nearby turntable, a unique synthesis of the aural with the visual with the tactile — a feast for the soul. Then the album cover was demoted in both size and importance, a mere afterthought of a booklet cover, encased in brittle plastic. Now stripped of its physicality entirely, it’s relegated to the ether where its low-rez pixelated remains live out their diminished existence barely visible on tiny hand-held screens. Until now! With LP sales now at a twenty-eight-year high, the album cover (both genuine and fake) is back!
Original Hits by Original Artists, opening May 4 at the Good Arts Building, will pay proper homage to the art of the album cover, both past and present—without the album. The exhibit features covers for dozens of fabricated albums cut by bands that exist only in the artists’ imaginations. The show will be on view May 4 – May 31, 2017 in our 108 Cherry Street storefront, downstairs from ’57 Biscayne & next door to the future home of Cherry Street Coffee House.
A Release Party and reception for the artists will be held First Thursday, May 4, 6:00 -10:00 p.m. followed by the Upstream Music Fest, May 11-13, when there will be actual live (if unrelated) music on site, programmed by Upstream during the run of the festival. One of a handful of free venues in the neighborhood, it will be open from 4-8PM on May 11 & 12; and 1PM-8PM (music 4-8PM only) on May 13. Beer and snacks will be available for purchase during the festival courtesy of co-owner Cherry Street Coffee House. The exhibit will also be open on the last two Fridays and Saturdays in May, from 1-6PM and by appointment.
Original Hits is co-curated by artists Jane Richlovsky and Dara Solliday of ’57 Biscayne studios which, incidentally, were named for a Joni Mitchell song lyric. For this show Richlovsky and Solliday invited approximately thirty-three and one third artists to unearth those long-forgotten catch phrases that had once sparked a reply of “That would make a great band name!” and then create a full-size old-school 12-inch LP album cover for this hypothetical hitmaker. Artists include Romson Bustillo, Kelly Lyles, Nia Michaels, Jed Dunkerley, Gabriel Campanario, Richlovsky, and Solliday, showing fake album covers in paint, collage, repurposed tin, textiles, wood, and who knows what else.
Watch this space! Construction began this week for the new Cherry Street Coffee House in the southwest corner of the Good Arts Building. Three spaces are being combined, the former Cafe Bengodi plus two adjacent storefronts that once housed Metzger Maps and, in more recent memory, a bar featuring naked sushi.
Good Arts denizens ’57 Biscayne Studios will present Original Hits by Original Artists as the inaugural exhibit in the new space: Opening May 4, the show will pay proper homage to the art of the album cover, both past and present—without the album. The exhibit features covers for approximately 33-1/3 fabricated albums cut by bands that exist only in the artists’ imaginations. On view May 4 – May 31, 2017 in the future home of Cherry Street Coffee House, 700 1st Avenue.
A Release Party and reception for the artists will be held First Thursday, May 4, 6:00 -10:00 p.m. followed by the Upstream Music Fest, May 11-13, when there will be actual live (if unrelated) music on site, programmed by Upstream during the run of the festival. (One of a handful of free venues in the neighborhood.)
There’s a peepshow at the Good Arts Building. If you should happen to glance over at the window as you walk by 108 Cherry Street, you might catch a glimpse of a gyrating silhouette through the cutouts in the blacked-out windows. Step right up and take a closer look, and leave your noseprint with all the others on the window.
Amanda James Parker’s Ghosts II is an iteration of an earlier site-specific video installation, Ghosts of Flesh Avenue. Inspired by the artist’s experience as a dancer at an iconic, now extinct Seattle peep show, Ghosts II pays homage to downtown Seattle’s checkered history as a skid row and red light district, the evidence of which is rapidly being washed away to make way for a shinier, cleaned-up downtown. Artist, art model, longtime associate of ’57 Biscayne, Parker created the original video to project at the former site of the defunct Lusty Lady strip club, just down the road from us on First Avenue. She needed a place to shoot a video of naked people dancing, and Good Arts had an open space to lend her. She hung a translucent scrim from the ceiling and invited a bunch of her former stripper pals to dance together once again, filming their ghostly silhouettes through the fabric.
Parker first projected the video onto the walls of the old Lusty Lady last September, setting up a dance floor for patrons to join them. The more voyeuristically-inclined could watch through holes in a nearby wall. Jen Graves wrote about the piece in the Stranger.
Ghosts of Flesh Avenue was slated to run at the Lusty Lady for just a month but, our building being no slacker in the sleazy-past department, we invited her to remount the video piece at the Good Arts Building in the same storefront where she’d shot the original footage. Ghosts II had its Cherry Street debut in December 2016, and is now running 24/7 for several months, until construction begins for the Good Arts Arcade gallery and studios. Best time to see it is after dark, but come take a peep any time. C’mon, you know you want to.
Last spring, UW Professor Jeff Schulman interviewed some of the Good Arts partners for his Seattle Growth Podcast. He hadn’t used much of our material in the original series, (we got pre-empted by the mayor, whatever), but then a couple of days ago Jeff wrote us:
“With all the divisiveness in country, I felt like now was a good time to share the powerful story of the good that can come from approaching challenges and community members with an open mind.”
The story of the Good Arts Building is, literally, A Very Special Episode of the Seattle Growth Podcast:The Artist and the Developer, available on iTunes. It’s a half-hour and very uplifting, even if we do say so ourselves.
The Good Arts Building is being wrapped in scaffolding this week, in preparation for a major exterior refurbishment. The new colors, designed by Jane Richlovsky with input from other artists of ’57 Biscayne, and approved by the Pioneer Square Preservation Board this past summer, will highlight the unique Victorian decoration on the building’s trim and complement the brick and sandstone facade.
Rendering of the Cherry Street elevation of the building.
KPLU reporter Monica Spain visited the Good Arts Building last week to chat with Jane Richlovsky and guest artist Gabriel Campanario about Placiness, the exhibit now on view at ’57 Biscayne on the second floor of Good Arts. Hear or read the story here.
Placiness features artwork inspired by the buildings, history, landscape, and humanscape of Seattle. Paintings, drawings, and photographs directly confronting the cityscape, constructions incorporating materials endemic to the region and more. Through August 28.
Photo of Juan Alonso‘s Town Hall digital prints by Jane Richlovsky
Seattle Art Fair has ended, but the party at the Good Arts Building is just getting started. The pop-up galleries we’re hosting in the building, as well as the upstairs art studios, will continue programming cultural wonders through August.
The exhibition Placiness at ’57 Biscayne, upstairs at 110 Cherry, will be on view through August 28, open Fridays & Saturdays 1-6 (and most weekdays but an appointment is recommended). Hours and details here.
La Sala, around the corner at 702 First Avenue, has a full line-up of poetry and music events on the weekends in August, while their visual arts exhibit will be open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 12-5 through August 30. Full schedule at lasalapresentslacocina.com.
Meanwhile, at the Center on Contemporary Art, 106 Cherry, What You See is What You Sweat flips cultural appropriation around and builds relationships between communities of color where whiteness is not the center, through a diverse array of media from video and textiles to paintings and photographs. Through August, Thursdays through Saturdays 1-7.
(photo courtesy La Sala)
Good Arts will be home to three pop-up galleries this weekend, in addition to a freshly-spruced-up ’57 Biscayne.
Above, ’57 Biscayne artists transform the upstairs lobby and install Placiness.
The Good Arts Building is dedicated to preserving space for artists to create in the middle of the city. Most people we talk to agree that it’s a great thing to make sure artists stay in the city. But what about the art they make there? Why do the artists themselves want to stay and make their work in Seattle?
Placiness, an exhibit curated by Good Arts partner Jane Richlovsky, opens August 4 at ‘57 Biscayne on the second floor of the Good Arts Building. The show gathers visual evidence of what it actually means–from the artists’ points of view–to live and work in Seattle, to move about the city and to look at things and people. Featured guest artists include Seattle Sketcher Gabriel Campanario, Juan Alonso, Molly Magai, the late Drake Deknatel and more.
The show will run concurrent with the Seattle Art Fair, August 4-7, at 110 Cherry Street in Pioneer Square. An Artists’ Reception will be held Saturday, August 6 from 5-8 PM. Hours during the fair are First Thursday August 4, 5-8 PM; Fri/Sat. 12-8 PM; Sun. 1-6 PM
In keeping with its mission, Good Arts has signed on as an Event Partner to the Seattle Art Fair, and is hosting a Fair venue downstairs from the studios. In addition, the Good Arts Building is providing storefront space to La Sala Latino/a Artists Network and the Center on Contemporary Art; these groups are independently organizing concurrent events.