Last Saturday….


This is the last Saturday to see many exhibits around town before they come down for the next round starting next Thursday.

I’d like to mention if you are down in the Pioneer Square area today to stop by Shift Studio to see the last day of Joni Papp’s prints, they’ll be open until 5pm.

This September I was an unofficial interloper and had an exhibit at the space, but as of November I will be officially a member of the collaborative- come see us this Thursday when we have a group showto kick off the new members. Starting next week the space will be open both Fridays and Saturdays from 12-5pm.

Someone asked me if it would now seems like a conflict of interest to write about Shift activities as I obviously have an biased interest. However since there is already a predisposition and focus on my own artwork here, I imagine people already realize this corner of the web reflects that. Besides there are going to be some fantastic exhibits coming up that people should know about— so stay tuned!

Shift Collaborative Art Studio is pleased to introduce the work of seven new members. For the month of NovemberCrystal AndersonMichelle ForsythKevin HaasElise RichmanCarolyn ZickDonna Stack and Andrew Kaufman will exhibit representative works in various media including photographic prints, drawings, video installation and paintings.

The opening reception on 5:00-8:00 PM, Thursday,November 3rd will provide an opportunity for the participating artists and other members of Shift to meet the public and discuss their work.

68% Green Dream


I was talking the other night with two friends who had lived outside of Prague a few years ago, doing an artist residency that found them rambling about and working inside a huge castle. My interest in the topic, besides reminiscing about travel adventures is that I’ve found virtually no information out there on the day-to-day logistics for this kind of lifestyle. How does one get 50 yards of canvas and tubes of paint half way across the world? Not in your suitcase anymore, that is for certain with airline weight limitations. Maybe there doesn’t need to be information in such pat form (Residencies for Dummies?), but I just find it hard to believe that no one has meditated on this subject as topic at all. You can see from sites like a Res Artis that at this very moment if you stopped the clock, a veritable condensed bee-hive of artist activity is going on across the globe—people living in strange situations and placing them outside of their normal lives in order to be given the opportunity to focus on what they have to.

I live with someone who spent an entire year on this residency circuit. He found himself driving from Sculpture Space in Utica NY, to Villa Montalvo in California, to Bemis in Omaha, Nebraska, back to California to Djerassi and finally, when the money ran out he had to cancel a spot at Yaddo and get on with his real life. There was no shampoo, rinse, repeat in this story as the real life continued to intervene and the residencies are now a far, although nice memory. I visited him at Sculpture Space and even lived at Bemis for two weeks, so I caught a tiny glimpse of what a great opportunity it is to just have a place that allows you to make your work. Some residencies are full on glamorous and some bare-bones simple but the main thing is they are supposed to offer a distraction-free place for concentration.

My footnote to the conversation was asking if they had helped themselves to the absinthe while traveling around the Czechoslovakian landscape, and unfortunately the opportunity had not presented its self. Prague is allegedly famous for its wide availability of the substance with reports of people losing their minds in its sooty streets. I have never visited Prague so I can’t report back. However, just once in Barcelona I experienced for myself what results the green menace can have on one’s mind, accompanied by the punishing symphonic side effects you experience the next day. Lured by this article from Salon back in its salad days (so young, better designed and full of travel stories), I convinced my partner to make a treasure hunt of an evening one night in efforts to locate the promising Bar Marsella.


Yes, we found it and seeing this photo of the place only brings back a vague memory of one refreshment whose reputation remains intact as far as I am concerned.

This week, Wired put on-line this story (from their latest print issue) about Ted Breaux, an American environmental microbiologist who become obsessed with cracking the chemical secrets behind absinthe, a drink that remains technically illegal to sell in the United States. He claims absinthe poses no more harm to us than any other elixir.

Breaux went public with his findings, but not in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. “Here I am with just a bachelor’s in microbiology. I knew I could be tarred and feathered.” Instead, he posted his test results in the discussion threads at La Fee Verte, an online gathering place for absinthe geeks. Flame wars erupted, and Breaux cited his research to buttress his point about thujone concentrations. The site’s moderator eventually dubbed him “elite absinthe enforcer”.


In a similar vein, last summer I found myself amused by a story in literary journal Tin House by Elissa Schappell called: The Green Fairy. In the tale, Schappell recounts a segment of time that captures Schappell with her husband setting up life in a small Portuguese fishing village to write. While there, they willfully seek to partake in the inspiration Rimbaud and others recommended by finding themselves at the bottom of an absinthe glass.

Schappell writes:

Absinthe was the liquor of choice among Bohemians, artists, and writers during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Green Fairy played muse to such painters as Picasso and Manet, inspiring them to paint portraits of absinthe drinkers (Degas’s drinker is a particularly marvelous study in degradation), but more importantly, it literally influenced their vision, mixing dream state and reality.

Some art historians attribute the birth of Cubism to Picasso and Braque painting under the influence. Van Gogh’s work at Arles appears strongly affected by vision warped by regular infusions of absinthe. (One hopes the pain of severing his ear to make a gift to a prostitute was somewhat diminished by the narcotizing effects of absinthe.) Toulouse-Latrec carried a toot of the stuff in his hollow walking staff. His fondness for La Fée Verte (he painted posters glorifying her powers) rivaled his lust for cancan dancers.

Her story continues on through horrid hangovers that did not however keep the two of them away every night from returning and becoming obsessed with the local white absinthe: “Drinking white absinthe was wonderful. I cannot compare it to anything I have had since, although I imagine distilled opium might come close”. Two months pass and strangely she starts seeing rings of light during the day, and sinks into an immobile deep depression— finally concluding on the note of a nervous breakdown. However, a final passage states she would not pass up one last glass if put in front of a firing squad.
The piece ends generously with Hemingway’s own recipe for his favored “Death in the Afternoon” (iced champagne and absinthe).

Veuve Cliquot, or whatever champagne you fancy

Hemingway gave the directions as thus:
“Pour one jigger absinthe into a champagne glass. Add iced champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly”.


*The Green Fairy by Elissa Schappell, page 180, Tin House Volume 6, Number 30, {obsession} issue.


William Vollman Huffing Russian Absinthe.


THUJONE: Separating Myth from Reality

PS My friends were lucky enough while in Czechoslovakia to visit Český Krumlov’s Egon Schiele Art Center.

Speaking of…Egon Schiele currently at NYC’s Neue Galerie.

Medieval Peasants Worked Less than You Do

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First of all, it’s a good thing I didn’t get any farther yesterday in posting- I was in such a foul mood that it was Monday. I know, why even bother at all. The irony is ( as one of my siblings pinted out in the comments section) yesterday – October 24 just happened to be Take Back Your Time Day.

This year’s TAKE BACK YOUR TIME DAY marks the 65th anniversary of the day in 1940 when the 40-hour workweek became the law of the land. Trouble is, 65 years later, with productivity quadruple what it was then, most Americans are working more than 40 hours a week. But if 40 hours was enough to support a family then, it certainly should be now.

Besides the fact that I was having time squeeze issues yesterday, this is a subject near and dear to my heart. For those of us attempting to carry on in the art making world, foolish enough to have not taken the academic route (or in reality- it having not taken us) and instead finding ourselves sitting in an office day after day for years on end, suffering from a lack of trust funds, student loan payments still plaguing us decade after decade and living in a society where you are expected to magically feel blessed when you actually get to take your lunch hour….this is something I think of frequently. A daily problem I have yet to find a happy solution to in my own life. I’ve indeed had people ask me why I don’t travel to cover more things on this site, like art fairs. The reality and glamour is this is a self-funded project being run off of a secretary’s salary.

A few months ago I spent some time digitizing my old slides. I was kind of caught off guard when it became apparent that my most productive years were the ones where I some how had finagled my way into a lessthan 40-hour week job situation. The glory years were my late 20s when I survived working a 20-hour a week job. Rent was a lot less then. A decade later the years that killed me the most occurred when I worked what they call 4-10s. That’s a 40-hour week in 4 days. The problem was I spent almost every day 5 of that week a despondent mess. The following few years after that- my last few in New York, I worked a job requiring much more than a 40 hour week- lots of overtime. This is when I found myself not making any art work at all. I swore on a stack of timesheets this would never happen again.

I shouldn’t be complaining. I usually try not to. Peter Schjeldahl is famous for telling artists to quit whining. I imagine we’ve all made our own beds on this one- no one wants to hear about it. In reality this year I have been very blessed. After not taking a vacation for three years I was allowed time off earlier this year to work in North Carolina and in a December I am being allowed to leave again for an artist residency- most employers wouldn’t be so generous. And those are the carrots that keep you plodding along. However some weeks, when you know the only way you can get everything done that you’d like to (and you never do) is to get up a 4:00am- you pretty much question your sanity. Choices like that which seem doable at the age of 20, pretty much leave you a rung out puddle by the time you are 4o. Unfortuntely as someone said to me recently- this is why we call them choices




Time appears to be running out. Or so that is my thought for the morning. More on this later.

Saya Moriyasu :: New Projects


Here is an interesting way to get a new project off the ground, brought to you by Seattle artist Saya Moriyasu.


I am creating an editioned boxed set of prints and sculpture inspired
by Japanese products that come in wooden boxes. In preparation for the
boxed set I am making monoprints published by Dirk Park of Olivianna
Press and printed by Sheila Coppola of Sidereal Press. The retail price
for the monoprints will be $800 with an escalation as the monoprints
sell. The price for the editioned boxed set has yet to be determined.

To raise some capital for the initial press time, I am offering two
monoprints at $300. These will be on 36″x28″ paper, professionally
printed by the same team. If you want
a configuration more like the final boxed edition, you can add the 11″
porcelain “Man Servant” sculpture for an additional $200.

This is an exciting project for me and a great new opportunity to work
with professional printers. If you are interested in supporting my
project by buying a monoprint at this reduced price, contact me as soon
as possible. If you have questions e-mail me at



Saya MoriyasuNew Edition Work – show at Richard Hugo House (1634 11th
Ave., Seattle, WA 206-322-7030). Showing her newest work –
monoprints and sumi drawings. All new work that is
published by Olivianna Press and printed by Sidereal Press.
Show runs October 20th – November 30th.


S*Storm Round Two


Tonight will find the masterminds behind Sh!tstorm presenting their second case to the public at the Rendezvous in Belltown, Jewelbox Theater, 7pm.

What do they have on the docket for the evening? Your interpretation is as good as mine:

The last year has seen a sea change in artistic leadership in Seattle,
with the Rep, ConWorks, PNB, Empty Space, Town Hall and other Seattle
arts institutions importing new talent to captain their respective
ships. SH!TSTORM has invited the new blood to hear all about the bad
blood and the bloody good that they will encounter by accepting a
leadership position in our fair yet drizzly city. The bravest of the
brave new recruits have accepted.

Those players brave enough and bold enough to attend will be given a
chance to introduce themselves and their vision for their respective
organization. And then the BONE will be thrown out. On the side of
“Welcome to Hooterville – A Great Place to Live and Work” will be
Jonathan Moore (still not confirmed but leaning in) , co-founder and
chief executive of Jasiri Media Group and winner of the 2003 Mayor’s
Award for Hip-Hop Excellence. The rebuttal, “Welcome to Hooterville –
Run Away, Run Very Far Away” 
will be presented by Tamara Paris, writer,
actor and all-around lovably venom-tongued harpy. Then the floor is
opened, and the SH!TSTORM begins.

The night’s proceedings will be guided by the firm yet gentle hand of
Parliamentarian Bret Fetzer, writer, actor, theatrical entrepreneur and
all round good guy in his own right.

SH!TSTORM II: Welcome to Hooterville
The SH!TSTORM Welcome Wagon
Tuesday October 18th at 7pm
The Rendezvous Jewelbox Theater
2322 Second Ave – Seattle

Seattle/Events/Weekend Stuff

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Bits and Pieces of stuff going on around town:

This weekend, on Saturday night the Stranger hands out their Genius Awards at the Seattle Art Museum (at 9pm), and its free to the public. Winners and runners up are profiled in this week’s cover story, and Artpatch has stepped in to fill the shoes where now extinct big tobacco left off in the funding arena.

Western Bridge has an opening tonight of their Fall exhibit: Crash. Pause. Rewind.
Seattle gets a look at two of my favorites: E.V. Day and Robert Lazzarini amongst others of course- this sounds like a great show. (Opening 7-10 pm). I almost forgot that E.V. is single-handedly credited with taking down the Bellevue Art Museum’s previous operations with her power of G-Force (I’m sure Western Bridge can withstand it).

But wait, tonight is also the opening (6 pm–10 pm) of Roq La Rue’sbrand new spanking huge ass space, right next door to their previous Belltown quarters, their October show is a group show, appropriately themed and called “Bad Moon Rising“. If that isn’t enought to entice you, there is also for the opening “hearses from Rain City Hearse Club, monster film clips courtesy Something Weird Video, refreshing liquids and hideous candy, and live goth swamp-garage rock by ROT13!”


I’m also pleased to hear the Richard Hugo House, located on Capitol Hill is branching out with their own gallery space in Belltown, very close to Roq La Rue. Info from their site:


The first show is called “The de Chirico Overlap” and is a series of five paintings by Mohammed Daoudi and five poems by Frances McCue. Daoudi’s paintings are made of moveable panels that create unique narratives. McCue’s poems will accompany the paintings. The panels will shift every two weeks throughout the show.

Where: 2721 First Avenue, around the corner on Clay Street, Seattle
When: October 7 – December 31

I have a huge fondness for the Hugo House, not only for the fact that they gave me my first exhibit when I moved back to Seattle a few years ago, but I love that all of their visual arts shows must have a literary component somehow (their main focus being as a writer’s residence and workshop). The space sounds interesting too.

If you are in Belltown during the work week you can hit Suyama Space too. I need to do this.

Tomorrow night is also Open House evening at the Tashiro Kaplanbuilding in Pioneer Square (4 pm–10 pm), where you can see what is going on in the bee hive complex that has new galleries opening everyday. The new 4Culture space is pretty interesting and theDavidson Contemporary Gallery digs are huge. At any rate, I think this night is more dedicated to the artists who live and work there, but I could be wrong about that.
companion auction is going on too to raise money for building improvements.


Opps for Artists

Artists, here are the applications to exhibit at the new Hugo House gallery.

And here’s another little tidbit for you, a curious thing:

Please forward to any artists who may benefit from this free resource.
thank you.

Call to artists
Northwest Artist Registry is now accepting submissions for its
regional online registry. This curated registry will feature the work
of artists within the visual, interdisciplinary, video, and
design/architecture fields. Artists residing within Washington,
Oregon, and Idaho are eligible to apply. Submit 3 jpegs (72dpi) with
artist name, date, and medium, to
Deadline January 1st.
More information can be found at

They are rather mysterious, if you get a chance to look at their news site:

The Northwest Artist Registry is a new endeavor. It was founded and is maintained by a board of artists from across the country working in a wide range of disciplines. Our board and our three guest curators from the Northwest region will be reviewing applications after the first of January. Anyone interested in submitting work to the registry should click on the “submissions” option below. Data entry should be completed, and the site fully available, by the beginning of February 2006.


Last Words of the Day:

Finally, in case you have forgotten, the Michael Brophy exhibit has opened at the Tacoma Art Museum. You can read about my painter’s crush and first encounter of Brophy’s work here.


Minor pop culture footnote: Brophy graces the cover of Sleater-Kinney’s latest Sup Pop release “Into the Woods“.

I think my to-do list is complete- time to get out and see some art.


Wake Up Seattle?


Oh no, local critic Regina Hackett publishes an article in this morning’s Seattle P.I. announcing that Portland is gaining on Seattle’s art world. This feeds right into the mouth of Portland’s avid art scene supporters, most notably curator/writer/artist Jeff Jahn. Touting Portland as gaining on Seattle in the sense of the art scene of course is a not news and laughable to anyone down there. Unfortunately she is right on the money in what she is stating- yesPortland has a new museum, yes Seattle drags behind in garnering enthusiasm, and of course the worst offence- Seattle blew it in city development. I live and work by the U-District and find this paragraph completely true:

Portland has a nice street of small businesses and shops along Southeast Belmont, bustling without being San Francisco-style boutique. The University District or Capitol Hill each might have had a Belmont if Seattle encouraged innovative urban planning and enlightened landlords.
What do we have instead along the Ave and Broadway? Big chains and panhandlers.

After a line-by-line comparison of PAM (Portland Art Museum) vs SAM (Seattle Art Museum), Regina concludes Seattle should stop looking down on its neighbor and hook up and include Vancouver into the mix. Yet, again, and I will include myself here- instead of laundry lists of failures, I’d love to hear/find a solution to this problem. Indeed, well grounded coverage of the Pacific Northwest would be great- so who wants to pay for the gas money?

On a more is more note, tonight at 5:00pm (PST) on Eva Lake interview’s Jeff Jahn on her Artstar Radio show, broadcast and archived for your listening pleasure out here. Tune in and get an earful of what Jeff has to say about Portland and the art world in general. I’ve been following the machinations of Mr. Jahn for a year now and while of course I can’t concur with everything he says, I was pretty impressed by his recently curated Fresh Trouble show and endless enthusiasm for what is going on down there.

Here is Eva’s blurb on what you might here tonight:

I will have Jeff Jahn on the radio. While he just curated two shows in town (Fresh Trouble and Inertia at Gallery 500), I plan on focusing a bit (if he’ll let me!) on the big picture. I’d like to talk about how his whole scheme as a curator has changed and grown since he’s lived here, what evolutions he’s witnessed amongst the artists and the town in a general sense and where is it all going. Knowing Jeff, the ultimate optimist, it’s all going to some good, grand, overwhelmingly better-than-New York place.I can’t say I agree, thought God knows it’s not like Chelsea is some joy ride.

Tune in….or save it for Sh!tstorm next week.

Seattle Updates and First Thursday

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Check out the new and improved ARTDISH interface, with more new stuff coming down the pike.

Speaking of more…Sh!tstorm swings back into action Tuesday, October 18th for another round of (!) . The next version is the mysteriously named “Welcome to Hooterville“, once again at theRendezvous’s Jewel Box Theater.

Betty Bowen Award: Portland artist Marie Watt is this year’s winner of the $11,000 prize. According to the Seattle Times today:

In addition to the Bowen prize, two Seattle artists will receive special recognition awards of $1,500 each: ceramic artist Evan S. Blackwell and filmmaker David Russo. Blackwell works with found objects and has been an emerging artist in residence at the Pilchuck School. Russo has recently completed the 35mm film “I Am (Not) van Gogh.”

Tonight is First Thursday’s gallery openings around town.
Critic Regina Hackett is recommending the William Traver Gallery,Foster/White GalleryGreg Kucera GalleryHoward House and SOIL’s 10 year retrospective show.

I would also recommend stopping by the Tashiro-Kaplan building tonight. Both Davidson Contemporary and Gallery4Culture are opening new spaces there tonight.
And don’t miss the second floor of the TK building for the Artpatchand SHIFT gallery openings (306 S. Washington) . SHIFT has new works by Joni Papp, who is a printmaker. Her new work is titledOrbit and features images culled from a process she has been working on for the past decade. Here is a photo of Joni (on the left) at a previous SHIFT opening:


I stopped by the Henry yesterday and viewed their 150 Works of Art exhibit, which is a curious (but after a small amount of time of acclimating to the strange installation)- engaging way of exhibiting their permanent collection which like most museums does not see the light of day. Lots of good information written about this exhibit VroomJournal this week and coverage in the Weekly as well. I loved seeing the piece by the McCoy’s who were my next-door studio mates in the salad days of Brooklyn a decade ago. I still have early CD of theirs titled Small Appliances, which sadly I cannot play on my PC (it is MAC only). This project is from 1997, and it is funny to think that at that time their work seemed very exotic to someone just new to email. It really wasn’t that long ago.



What can I say, the Affair at the Jupiter was once again a blast. We got a nice 24 hour immersion of all things art including going to some of the galleries around Portland and especially viewing Jeff Jahn’sFresh Trouble, which if you are still in the vicinity, I would highly recommend (it’s up for another weekend).

The Affair this year attracted more gallery participation from outlying areas and I was especially surprised by the amount of galleries from San Francisco. Perhaps the best part of the whole event was not one specific gallery or artist but the fact that the event was being held in an old school hotel, meaning each gallery was given the challenge of showing work in a postage stamp size space. This meant lots and lots of small works, especially drawings, which was a real treat to see. My personal favorite design challenge was to see how people dealt with the bathroom. The savviest spaces utilized the commode to their advantage, some even mounting artwork on the mirror. The worst were those who probably had no idea what they were getting into and used the tiny ship size room as an afterthought or even worse- unorganized storage area! The artist preview on Friday night was a hilarious event that most of the galleries ended up closing down their spaces for fear of keg cups being lodged on art.

Before hitting the Jupiter on Friday night we took a taxi over to Fresh Trouble, a huge sprawling but well utilized warehouse show. Where the Jupiter worked best emphasizing work on a small scale, the advantage of Fresh Trouble is its hugeness of scale and ability to house work of jumbo proportions. Walking through the door you grab a map and then amble on – the entire project (including thoughts of who got to install it) was impressive.

Saturday after giving the Jupiter our undivided attention saw us hitting some of the gallery spaces downtown. We were lucky in locating new space Gallery Homeland by the waterfront (620 SE 3rd Ave) and speaking to Co Director Paul Middendorf. I forgot to ask Middendorf about looking at the flatfiles they have gathered; being a flatfile fan and wishing more spaces utilized such an item (again, favoring more small work). Keep your eye on Homeland, it sounds like they have lots of exciting ideas in store.

Outside of Homeland, hitting the downtown galleries was anti-climatic after all the compressed energy of what was happing over at theJupiter. It was nice to see the large new immense space of PDX but I think most of the spaces put their effort elsewhere for the weekend.

Another exception though, as a bonus, we stopped by Froelick Gallery to see Robert Yoder’s new show which looks great. Also in the same area on Friday afternoon, after getting into town and being completely soaked in a rain storm we stopped by to say hi to Eva Lakeat Chambers Gallery. This was a beauty of a show with a rarity for the weekend- two painters. Always good to chat with Eva and it was wonderful to see the new space.

We started and ended our journey at Veganopolis. Good food, but better art at V-Gun gallery with the Bruce Conkle/Marne Lucascurated Trippin’ Balls: A Mycological Exploration with all its mushroomy goodness in full bloom.

After sitting out an insane hail storm and noting how schizophrenic the weather had been the entire visit, we hit the road again.

It appears there is no shortage of coverage of the Jupiter this year! That’s a good thing as after my own camera for documentation purposes pooped out (Yvette and I realized it was time to go home when both our camera batteries had bit it).

From what I hear, most art fairs don’t bring to mind a completely great time. I think other art fair organizers should look to the intimate scale and unpretentiousness that the Affair offers and take a note or two.

Check out more Jupiter:

 non-stop coverage, especially Isaac Peterson’s Affair Photoblog.
Eva documented some of the gallerists.
Portland Mercury’s preview.
Portland Tribune.

The Oregonian covers Fresh Trouble.