Little Shift at Shift Studio


Here is a very short plug- I will be missing my own opening tomorrow night… if you are down in the Pioneer Square area between 5-8pm, please say hello to my gallery mates on their one year anniversary of operating Shift. It’s a nice group show consisting of all small works.

I like this photo of Elise Richman’s work- she works in oil paint, slowly building up her surfaces- as you can only imagine the drying time.


Paul Allen’s Experience Art Project


I’m so out of it, I nearly missed one of the biggest art stories to hit the Seattle Times in a long time. Last night, while picking up our take out dinner, the top of a stack of newspapers caught my eye as the the front page cover story touted: Paul Allen’s Experience Art Project.

The story goes on to announce that Paul Allen will finally reveal a portion of the art collection he has been keeping secret all of these years….to be shown at his EMP (Experience Music Project) in the upcoming April.

For those not from Seattle, the EMP is Paul Allen’s “museum of music” and in my opinion one of the most god-awful architectural blunders of modern day (Frank Gehry used a smashed guitar as the inspiration….) seen from street level, the building is like a garish piece of rubble. On principle too, I have never been to the museum as I find it offensive the place charges $20.00 a head, with never a free night or reduced admission evening in its fold. I have friends who have visited from out of town who went and loved it, but for the moment I stand my ground.

The Times reports the high admission might have had some impact on the recent belt-tightening at EMP, but here is the catcher:

Why EMP? (to showcase the art holdings that include DeKooning, Eric Fischl,Mark Rothko and many Impressionists…)

“We saw no better place to put it than a populist institution like EMP,” said the museum’s spokesman, Christian-Philippe Quilici. “We see it evolving into an all-inclusive cultural shrine.”

and then the final paragraph of the article:

Museum-studies professor Marjorie Schwarzer of John F. Kennedy University in Berkeley, Calif., sees Allen aligning himself with collectors such as William Randolph Hearst and Las Vegas developer Steve Wynn.
“It’s positioning art and culture as spectacle,” she said.
“It’s a model that more traditional, more serious museums avoid, this idea of emulating shopping malls and casinos. It goes with the idea of the experience economy, where instead of selling a service or a product, you are selling an experience,” Schwarzer said. “Like a little bit of Bellagio is coming to Seattle.”

While I agree with the sentiment in the article that “Anything that boosts arts awareness in Seattle is a good thing” , there seems something strange about all the secrecy surrounding the collection…yet of course I will be there in April , breaking out my $20.00+ as curiosity has again killed the cat.

Off to the North


Meanwhile in a few short hours I will be on my way to the North. Back in February of 2001 I made a brief visit to Iceland, really just a vacation weekend, and fell in love with the place. And I promised I would go back. Well now I get my chance. I will be stationed in northern Iceland this time, in Akureyri, a town 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle (if I have my math correct). I will be the artist in residence at their Listagil Society’s Gueststudio.

According to the weather map, the temperature is currently 24 degrees, not too bad considering that’s only 10 degrees colder than Buffalo, New York.
The clincher is sunrise today was at 10:53 AM and sunset- was at 03:08 PM. Should be interesting.

And I have no idea if I will have Internet access, but for certain I’m in for a change of pace.

Three of my favorite sites lately have been those written by Americans living in Reykjavík:
Iceland Eyes
Reykjavík Harbor Watch
and The Iceland Report, including this little gem entry.
By all accounts they look to be into the thick of winter season!

Anne Appleby @ Greg Kucera


I have never considered myself a minimalist, but maybe this is changing. Ever since I discovered Anne Appleby’s work last year, I have been in love with her calm, quiet paintings. She has such a touch with so little that I recognized her work immediately across the room when I walked into the Portland Art Museum earlier this year.

In her latest exhibit up at Greg Kucera, there is an addition to her color system of a very saturated pink which adds an odd vibrancy to the room.

I think part of all of this is I have a certain fairy tale in my head about what Applyby’s life is like. I don’t know much about her except she likes nature and lives in Montana. The thought of living in some remote area and just painting, far, far away from it all is starting to sound more and more appealing.

Eva Lake: How Did You Get On Line?


Yesterday I said I had been wanting to ask Eva a question for a long time, and so indeed I did- as follows is her response.

CZ: I have been thinking about this for awhile, and please forgive me if the answer is in your archives. What prompted you to start your website, and what has been the instigation to keep it going? Just curious, there are not that many people who have been on line, especially in Portland as yourself!

E.L.: Sometimes I wonder why. I really do.

The major reason I began a diary online is because I have done the diary thing (in notebooks) better and longer than just about any other aspect of my life. There are times I did not exhibit art but I still kept a diary. I no longer dance but I still keep a diary. In the end, it seems I really am more of a writer than an artist, for I don’t actually make art every single day but I must write every day.

Yet I don’t publish in a formal way like most writers. I don’t have any books out etc. I wanted to get it out somehow. Novels weren’t in me though, not any that I know of! Just the diary. But as Oscar Wilde says, he always has his diary with him, as he always wants something sensational to read.

Of course there are other things in the website than the diary, but it seems to be the thing that is always there. the actual gallery Lovelake no longer exists. And Artstar Radio is sometimes on vacation and besides, it doesn’t relly need much of a website (a site of nothing but transcrpts would be cool but too much work).

Anyway, I’ve looked at the numbers and by far the diary is the most popular element in the website. I figure I must be contributing something.


Eva and I have been corresponding for almost a year now, and I had the pleasure of meeting her quite a few times since our first email. As you must know, Eva Lake is a Portland based painterwriterradio show host/historiangallerist and avid bird watcher. The first entry on line from her diary archives is May 2004, but if you read carefully you will find she has been doing this all of her life.

Portland Webjump


A year ago I found myself boggled by the lack of on-line representation of the art scene in Portland, which seemed strange since the place was literally exploding with activity**. I was mainly aware of Eva’s site (which some time would be fun to ask her what instigated her on line activity) and NW Drizzle and of course Jeff Jahn’s site. Now I am talking about sites that were on my radar, not that things didn’t exist.
Flash forward 12 months and there seems to be a veritable explosion of digests. I am just aware of Portland Public Art, a journal documenting the public art aspect of the PDX scene. Of course there isPORT, the mother ship of the Portland art vortex, and UltraPDX who I thoroughly enjoy….and god forbid many others everyday, which unfortunately I seem to have lost my touch in keeping up with.
There are also tons of artists in Portland who have their own websites. For a great index, check out Eva’s list of who she has previously had on Artstar Radio (scroll down a little).

Speaking of PDX artists, one I am fond of – both she and her work is Marne Lucas. She has a new show going up of photographs she took during her travels last summer called Amusement:

Amusement is a series of color photographs from Lucas’ road trips and travels. She often brings props and lets the environment around her dictate how they will be used. At other times Lucas captures nature on the sly, as when two fir trees bulging with burls are seen being intimate in ‘When The Forest Isn’t Looking’. Humorous self portraiture, an eye for the unusual and quirky use of animal figurines express a sense of discovery and playfulness she experiences while traveling.

Lucas is an artist using photography and installation art. She is a co-founder of the artist collective Blinglab, and a recent recipient of the 2006 Caldera Artist Residency.

Find Amusement at Homestar 4747 SE Hawthorne Blvd. (in Portland of course)
the Opening Reception: Friday, Dec. 2, 2005 7pm-10pm

and one last thing, another exhibit Marne has work in (a group show) –Trippin’ Balls: A Mycological Exploration has been extended due to popular demand! If you are anywhere near V-Gun gallery in Portland in the next couple of weeks, stop in and give it a look.

** My conclusion: undoubtedly they were all making art and not tinkering around on the web….



Last week I had the good fortune of going across the waterway to the Kirkland Arts Center to view the exhibit pARTners. The secondary title of the show is Considerations Rather than Constraints,which is the underlying thread. The group show is a collection of work curated by Deborah Paine and showcases work done by artists that are also live in partners/sidekicks. Paine says in the tidy little catalogue that comes with the show that:

Through the decades, literature has painted a somewhat bleak picture of the artist; solitary, angst ridden, self-oppressed and carried along by a muse that seems less than friendly. I’ve come to consider this a myth. In the introduction of Significant Others, a book edited by Whitney Chatwick and Isabelle de Courtivron, the question is posed,”if the dominant belief about art and literature is that they are produced by solitary individuals, but the dominant social structures are concerned with familial, matrimonial, and heterosexual arrangements, how do two creative people escape or not the constraints of this framework and constuct an alternative story?”

And Paine continues, through the work she has chosen for the show to execute examples. Often two pieces are displayed side by side showing inferred influence two people might have over each other’s work. Some pieces are collaborative showing a joint working style, like the glasswork done by Sabrina Knowles and Jenny Pohlman, and the video by Ken Fandell and Patte Loper. Some pieces were possibly done together for the exhibit like the one by Jaq Chartier and Dirk Park. My favorite piece in the exhibit is the collaboration betweenClaire Cowie and Leo Saul Berk– which looks like two Monopoly © piece houses parked facing one another on of Leo Saul Berks strange cartographic work- in separate yet close proximity. Sheila Klein’s billowy work next to Ries Niemi’s embroidered silk pillow offering was also a great combo.
An entertaining aspect of the show is finding out that someone does indeed have an artistic sidekick- perhaps lesser known (both Gaylen Hansen and Gregory Grenon have painting partners).

I never regret the 20-minute drive it takes me out of my way to get to Kirkland, and again KAC has mounted another invigorating show underling work done by local artists. Unfortunately the exhibit ends tomorrow- November 16th. Keep your eye on KAC though- they continually step up to the plate in giving local artists and curators a nice space to show contemporary art.

Photo stream of exhibit.


A note about the sparseness of writing here: 
I have been feeling rebellious about time spent on the computer lately. In two weeks I will be leaving to go to Iceland for a month, and in a bizarre act to reign in all the details that are falling down on me, all I have felt like doing is cooking. I haven’t purposely cooked for years, so this is comical. Lots of soups and cold weather comfort food and time spent over a pot— just stirring. Cooking doesn’t lend its self to multi-tasking outside of additionally just listening to music, so maybe that is what it is all about.
I will be in residency in Northern Iceland in the town of Akureyri which is will soon be boasting a collective 3 hours of daily “twilight”. My sister claims I could be stuck by Seasonal Effective Disorder on day 1 and be unable to get out of bed for the entire month. All I know is this is going to remove me from the hum drum of daily life undoubtedly.

The Persistence of Painting in a Digital Age

Tonight, at the Capitol Hill Arts Center is a panel discussion on “The Persistence of Painting in a Digital Age“, part of John Boylan’s Roundtable Conversation Series. Guest panelists include Elizabeth BrownDrake DeknatelBilly HowardMargie Livingston.

According to Margie Livington’s site the theme of the night is:

A conversation about the survival of painting into the 21st century. Why does this ancient ritual of covering big stretches of cloth or wood with oily pigments still captivate both the artists and their audiences? How has painting maintained its power in this age of information overload?

More information can be found at Art Dish forum:

The event will take place at the Lower Level, adjacent to the CHAC Lounge, a nonsmoking bar in the basement of the Capitol Hill Arts Center at 1621 -12th Ave, Seattle WA just below the sign for Crave.From 7 to 9 pm. Admission is free.

Capitol Hill Arts Center
1621 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122


Down south in Portland this evening is also the kick off broadcast for a new season of Eva Lake’s Artstar Radio at 5pm. For those of us tuning in via computer, KPSU is now archiving their broadcasts for one month.

According to the Oregonian:

Radio these days isn’t the sound salvation, as Elvis Costello once sang, but it does have Artstar Radio, Eva Lake’s weekly chat show on KPSU (1450 AM). The show is returning after a summer hiatus . It’ll now air on Mondays at 5 p.m.

Lake has a fine lineup planned for September and early October: On Sept. 12 the artist and director of Chambers talks with Mark Smith, who has a fine show up at the Elizabeth Leach Gallery. That program will be followed by artists Jesse Durost (Sept. 19) and Scott Wayne Indiana (Sept. 26). A&E contributor Harvest Henderson meets with Lake Oct. 3. — D.K. Row

As a tie in to our first post today, Eva had a great radio interview with Jacqueline Ehlis last spring discussing the validity of paint in a digital world, check out the transcript here, its good stuff.

Incidentally, tomorrow is Eva’s birthday and she will be celebrating it with us fine folks here in Seattle! If anyone wants to meet up for birthday drink, shoot me an email…. for those of you who don’t know Eva, she is considered a triple threat in Portland, not only is she the creator of Artstar radio, but is an accomplished painter, runs the recently opened Chambers gallery and maintains an amazing website. I think that is actually a quadruple threat.

Belated Weekend Art Sitings


Last weekend was a great art viewing week- I just haven’t had time to digest it. Friday I went to two of my favorite venues in Seattle –Western Bridge and the Frye, never regrettful visits. Hopefully more to come about that- I think Crash. Pause. Rewind. has to be the best show up for the season here.

Saturday evening, I dragged a sibling to the Thread Shop My-T event. WTF? It was a great and a complete departure from most, well I was going to say art events, but really a great departure from what you would do anywhere on a Saturday night. Held across the street from Thread Shop’s actual store, in a kind of rec-room venue- people milled about picking out art patches while music played, people swigged beer and sewing machine’s whirred in the back ground. It was great fun. As predicted, I went for the Polly Apfelbaum patch (I learned based on some political posters she had made last election) and my sister went for a couple, including the Maki Tamura. Later I felt a little regrettful in not choosing the Jack Daws, but we’ll live.
It was a crazy rainy night and a strangely inviting way to spend the evening.

Garth Amundson in Ballard

On Sunday I toodled over to Ballard, Seattle’s fine Scandinavian neighborhood to visit the Nordic Heritage Museum.

There was a great little Marimekko exhibit too, tucked away in the Finland room and put together by one of the Museology students from the University of Washington. The N.H.M. should be capitalizing on these funny little pieces of culture they have tucked away- I literally stumbled upon it and it was a treat.

There were many displays focusing on not only the five countries of Scandinavia, but also the history of Scandinavian immigration to Seattle (and thus Ballard), impacting our logging and fishing industries.

The main reason I went was to see the exhibit by Garth Amundson, in the contemporary gallery on the third floor. Amundson, as I mentioned last week, is a photographer who manipulates and crafts his own lens contraptions out of clear plastic. It was a bright sunny day when I was visiting and the installation looked very elegant in the light. Definitely worth checking out, and if you have lived in Seattle with out ever visiting this Scandinavian outpost in Ballard, you owe it to yourself!

Afterwards I met up with my sister at the trendy Cupcake Royale . Even a few years ago people were still joking that quiet Ballard was for the “newly weds and nearly deads”, but I don’t think that is the case now at all.

My-T @ Thread Shop


Here is a part of town I certainly don’t get over to enough: Ballard.

Tonight there is a good excuse to stop by as Thread Shop, the hybrid gallery/retail store is having a tee-shirt construction event tonight from 6-10.

I was tipped me off to this event in a brief PI mention last week. The lure for me- Polly Apfelbaum is one of the featured artists being represented via a patch, along with other local and international artists.

Thread Shop is located on 5000 20th Avenue NW.

More on Ballard here.

The end of art – or just First Thursday?

Here is an odd-ball lecture competing against First Thursday activities in Seattle this evening. The Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute is presenting their 2005 Psychoanalysis in Everyday Life Lecture by art critic Donald Kuspit.

“SPSI is honored to present Donald Kuspit, Ph.D., one of America’s most distinguished art critics. In addition to his numerous publications, awards, and accomplishments, Dr. Kuspit is professor of art and philosophy at Stony Brook University in New York, a contributing editor to Artforum, and has completed the course of study at the Psychoanalytic Institute of the New York University Medical Center.”

Relish the subject matter or not, the title of Kuspit’s last book The End of Art seems a little over the top (or worst beaten to death:”the sky is falling, no never mind painting has just died again”). However, how often is there the opportunity to hear what an intellectual heavy weight like Kuspit has to say in our own back yard?

Relish the subject matter or not, the title of Kuspit’s last book The End of Art seems a little over the top (or worst beaten to death:”the sky is falling, no never mind painting has just died again”). However, how often is there the opportunity to hear what an intellectual heavy weight like Kuspit has to say in our own back yard?

The lecture takes place at 7:30 P.M. on Thursday, December 1 in Kane Hall,Room 120, on the campus of the University of Washington.The event is free and open to the public co-sponsored by the University of Washington Division of Art History. It is the fourth in the annual “Psychoanalysis in Everyday Life” lecture series, established by Felice and Pierre Loebel, M.D., focusing on the ways that psychodynamic concepts can inform, illuminate and influence everyday life.

Kuspit has also produced a large coffee table book in 1998 on Chihuly. Large grains of salt will be offered at lecture door.


In other parts of town, galleries across town (whose real competition will actually be the rain) will be open late tonight for First Thursday parties. One of everyone’s favorite- Fay Jones has an opening at at Grover/Thurston Gallery.

Jim Demetre asks on artdish’s forums:

Is there any artist in Seattle more admired and critically acclaimed than painter Faye Jones? None come to mind.
Head down to Occidental Square to see what she is up to at present. If any of you readers care to let the rest of us in on what these paintings are about, I can guarantee that an interesting debate will ensue. I have some ideas of my own, as you might suspect.

also in the area:

Art Patch Gallery presents:Tea Room: Far And Distant Places

An illuminated installation of works on paper and other mixed media work by Singapore-born Seattle-based mixed media artist Heinrich Toh. Inspired by memories of culture and tradition, Toh examines identity, displacement and assimilation that comes from relocation and travel.

Tashiro Kaplan Building
306 South Washington St, Suite 102

and many other exhibits opening up including Jeffrey Mitchell at James Harris that I am curious about.

if you are in the Tashiro Kaplan Building tonight, come up to the second floor to say hi to everyone at the Shift Studio as we kick off our New Members opening- right across the way from Art Patch.

William Eggleston in The Real World

Seattle you have a real treat coming to you. Starting November 10th and running through Nov 16th, Northwest Film Forum is presenting the local premiere of the documentary William Eggleston in the Real World.

William Eggleston’s color saturated, sublimely aimed photographs of common subjects should make for a mesmerizing visual film and it will be interesting to see what is in Eggleston’s head.

It is rare for an artist of such stature to allow himself to be shown as unguardedly as Eggleston does in this intimate portrait. Almereyda tracks the photographer on trips to Kentucky, Los Angeles and New York, but gives particular attention to downtime in Memphis, Eggleston’s home base. –Palm Pictures.


Last fall when I was visited the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art I happened upon Eggleston’s Los Alamos project, which was basically a retrospective of his photos taken between 1965 and 1974, as he traveled around parts of America. Much like Arbus (who immediately came to mind for me) there is much more at work in his prints than simple nostalgia and documentation of a certain time. Eggleston gets at a certain psychology in his subjects, which he culls from using his “democratic camera”. I spent a long time examining and reexamining the photos and for some reason that is one exhibit that has reverberated long after seeing it.

I was hoping this movie would be released soon, and now it is coming to our own fair town.

For more on William Eggleston, here is the official site representing his work.


pARTners: Considerations Rather Than Constraints
at the Kirkland Arts Center.

Here is another exhibit at the Kirkland Arts Center that looks promising- curated by Deborah Paine who is an art consultant and worked as the Microsoft Art Collection Coordinator from 1993-2003. As an example of pairing live-in partners who both make art, Paine sets out to prove the impact and subtle influence two people’s work might have on each other over the long haul. At the very it is an interesting survey of local work- representational of some of the area’s established art makers.

Artist couples on display in pARTners incude: Gwen Knight & Jacob Lawrence, Robert C. Jones & Fay Jones, Michael Spafford & Elizabeth Sandvig, Robert Hanson & Judy Cooke,
Michael Burns & Marsha Burns, John Buck & Deborah Butterfield, Valeriy Gerlovin & Rimma Gerlovina, Albert Paley & Frances Paley, Lee Kelly & Bonnie Bronson, Sheila Klein & Ries Niemi, Flora Mace & Joey Kirkpatrick, Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo, Gaylen Hansen & Heidi Oberheide, Robert Sperry & Patti Warashina, Sherry Markovitz & Peter Millett, Gregory Grenon & Mary Josephson, Jerry Uelsmann & Maggie Taylor, Aaron Parazette & Sharon Engelstein, Jenny Pohlman & Sabrina Knowles, Leo Saul Berk & Claire Cowie, Nancy Callan & Julia Ricketts, Demi Raven & Rebecca Raven, Dirk Park & Jaq Chartier, Patte Loper & Ken Fandell.

The Kirkland Arts Center is open Monday- Friday 11am-6pm and Saturday 11am-5pm.