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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

Coming soon: The newest Cherry Street Coffee House, Upstream Music Fest, AND the art of the album cover

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.)

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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.

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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.

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