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Annie Get Your Gun!

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 Art Wall is now public. What a great time to buy art.

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.

One lovely large studio is available at ’57 Biscayne

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.

Coming May 3: “You Are Here, Too” and a big fat Open House

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

Original Hits by Original Artists & Upstream Music in a Good Arts Pop-up

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.

Naughtiness at the Good Arts Building

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.

fleshavenueweb

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.

ghosts2ghostsday2

The Artist and the Developer

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.

Getting ready for our new look!

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.

southelevationwebRendering of the Cherry Street elevation of the building.

westelevationwebRendering of the First Avenue elevation.