Seeing Seattle: An Art Experience

Just back from Seattle and thereabouts, with lots of great art experiences to share. First, we did ArtWalk, which in Seattle can be quite the spectacle and as wide a range of types and quality of art as most other places who do this urban event.

Most of our tour was limited to the areal along Third Avenue South north of Yesler, around Pioneer Square. We started at 4Culture, and then made our way around, including Punch (Renee Adams' sculptural piece, left)and Platform Gallery, where I ran into Garric Simonsen, who had some pieces there and was en route to Spokane for his opening at the Saranac the following day (see previous post).

Somewhere in there we ended up inside a maze of studios called TK2 Studios in the Tashiro Kaplan Building. Lots of younger artists and group shows, some of it crap, some really trendy, and some really interesting.

The standout for me was Paul McKee, who works in installation, painting and sculpture, currently with taxidermy, figurative components and furniture to make these wry commentaries that are just exquisitely crafted.

Really liked the Greg Kucera gallery (gorgeous, huge space, well-appointed ). Not a huge fan of all the abstracts he had showing but his stable of artists (pardon the pun) includes Deborah Butterfield and John Buck from Montana, plus some artists I've written about (Susan Skilling), so that feels like a good connection, and some iconic contemporary artists like Helen Frankenthaler and Edward Ruscha.

On Friday, we bussed and hoofed it up to the Frye Museum, Seattle's first free museum, and the legacy of Emma and Charles Frye. Their German heritage in the rough-and-tumble early Northwest--including Alaska--can be seen in two of the shows currently on view. "Northern Latitudes: The Frye and Alaska" features work by Jules Dahlager, Ted Lambert, Sydney Laurence, Fred Machetanz, Theodore Richardson, Cleveland Rockwell, Jonathan Van Zyle, and Eustace Ziegler. Beautiful, poetic work documenting and sometimes memorializing early life in Alaska. There is also a series of photos of the Frye family's early days in the meatpacking industry, which stretched up from Seattle to Alaska.

And Tete-a-Tete features a salon-style exhibition of fifty of the Frye's collection, mostly portraiture and some landscape pieces. Some of it reminded of the Vienna Secessionist's style, Klimt especially, and, as I learned, quite a few pieces were from the German Secessionists. Example: Von Stuck's Sin, left, a pivotal piece that gives me ideas for a painting series! Ah, makes perfect sense. Click here for the Seattle Times piece on the exhibit.