Justin and I started out a little later than planned, missing the photo opportunity with Hello Kitty at the Wing Luke Museum. I do plan on going to have my picture taken with before the month is over, so do stay tuned.
The bus conveniently let us off on 3rd Ave, where most of the galleries I wanted to see were located. Our first stop was to the Foster/White Gallery which I mistook for the Grover/Thurston Gallery. It was a big space; watercolors, birds sculpted out of metals and stones, an exhibit called George in which the artist drew a portrait of sculptures he had made of famous George’s. Upstairs had the most interesting work including my favorite piece- the bottom half of a woman in sparkly ballet flats, her rolls spilling over each other.
Next door at the Greg Kucera Gallery we found the giant collage by Katy Stone. She had many smaller collages made out of transparencies. Justin enjoyed her wall sized metal pieces painted with oil. In the back gallery there were more collage pieces! I found this piece particularly inspiring in its simplicity.
Continuing up the block we came to Platform Gallery. I have been to Platform a few times now, and always am impressed with the exhibitions. Molly Landreth’s portraits of queers in America were beautiful, though our favorites were paintings by Cobi Moules. Moules studied at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston; his paintings were so realistic that later as we were remembering our favorites Justin kept referring to them as photographs. We both instantly recognized the playground in one of his paintings as the place we stopped for ice cream on a road trip in California. We confirmed the whereabouts by seeing that Moules in fact lives in the town depicted in the painting.
Painter Steve Locke brought up an interesting point about his work. In his artist statement he explains that his work is not about being gay, it is about being male. The sexuality of the men in his paintings is not important, rather the experience of being a man is what he is exploring.
On to the real Grover/Thurston Gallery to see Fay Jones‘ work. The first pieces we looked at were sardine cans she used as canvases. Each of the 5 painted cans had sold for $2000; we decided we needed to get to work as soon as we got home finishing my tuna so we could make our small fortune. Nearly all of her larger colorful paintings had sold for $18,000. “She must be in demand,” we mused, silently hoping someday my photographs would bring in a similar income.
Having seen enough of 3rd Ave, we headed down to 1st in search of ArtXChange and the Vietnamese exhibit. On our way there we walked through Occidental Park, where a brass band was playing 70s disco music and the craft vendors were selling their wares.
ArtXChange definitely had a different vibe than the galleries on 3rd. It was set up more like a shop than a gallery, with different media displayed together on the same shelves. It was also the only gallery offering food and drink, banh mi sandwiches and a bowl of candy enticed you in further.
Our favorite work was by artist Miya Ando. One of the women working at the gallery explained Ando had been commissioned by New York City to commomrated the 9/11 attacks; she created steel panels which study the gray scale. We also enjoyed her aluminum prints; photographs printed on large pieces of aluminum. I connected with them because they reminded me of Seattle’s gray winter sky, how there are so many shades of gray we experience, that rarely is the weather monotone. I love the sky here more than anywhere else.
Having seen all of our Pioneer Square destinations we headed for Belltown to visit our final gallery, the science meets art exhibit. Unfortunately, Belltown was not celebrating first Thursday and the gallery had closed before we even left my apartment. Luckily, we were only a block away from our friend Daniel’s work, Bisato. We headed in from the cold, and grabbed a seat at the beautiful wooden bar. Daniel was recently promoted to bartender, and this was our first time visiting him. To my delight he had created a cocktail called The Aurora! I had to get it, and am so glad I did; the sparkling cocktail was delicious.
Bisto specializes in Venetian tapas. Justin ordered polenta with ragu, and I got my favorite sardine with oyster mousse. Within a few bites we were finished with the beautifully presently, and tasty food. Daniel was in the mood to make a vieux carre, so we indulged him and ordered two. Strong and sweet, they made the perfect end to our late night snack.
Biding our farewells, we headed back up to our home on Capitol Hill. Along the way we paid a visit to the Pink Elephant in all his neon glory.
Thank you to the Seattle artists, Pioneer Square galleries, and our favorite bartender Daniel DeHaas, for the wonderful evening! We look forward to next month when we will be visiting you again.