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Seattle has a great art scene check it out
Seattle's preeminent downtown art museum has recently undergone a huge expansion (118,00 sq.ft. in the first stage) with a striking new building by Allied Works that integrates the adjoining Robert Venturi/Denise Scott Brown structure. In an exciting recent development SAM has also received 1000 new pieces (reportedly worth over $1 billion) from major collectors. These collections will significantly bolster SAM's strengths in modern and contemporary art and Northwest artists.
This Weiss/Manfredi designed park, free to the public, is being dubbed an instant classic. The architects transformed a series of brownfields crossed by railroad tracks and a road into a stunning uninterrupted Z-shaped green platform evoking key features of the northwest landscape: temperate evergreen forest, deciduous forest and intertidal zone. The park affords amazing views of the city and the art is pretty good too: knockout pieces by Alexander Calder, Claes Oldenburg/Coosje von Bruggen, Richard Serra, Louis Bourgeois and more.
An important and respected art institution at University of Washington, acclaimed for hard hitting and thought provoking exhibitions. The Henry is perhaps best known for modern/contemporary art. Past exhibitions have featured Maya Linn, Roy Lichtenstein, Lynn Hershman Leeson and more.
A museum endowed by Seattle industrialist Charles Frye includes his personal collection but also features widely varying (and some quite risky) exhibitions. Exhibits from the recent past have included a retrospective of the Northwest School painter William Cumming, and modern and contemporary works by Trimpin, Henry Darger, Claud Cahun and Marcel Moore, and Candida Hofer. A great space post an Olson Sundberg building expansion and renovation. Free all the time.
An impressive warehouse nonprofit space in industrial South Seattle, showcasing the collection of the Bill and Ruth True that has garnered regular and enthusiastic critical acclaim over the last few years for well curated avant garde contemporary art shows. Limited hours but a must see for contemporary art lovers. Free admission.
The off-the-radar (no website and limited hours) Wright Exhibition Space is home to one of the 20th century's most important collections of art: the collection of Virginia and Bagley Wright. Limited hours but free. As of 5/07 posted hours are Thursday and Friday 10a-2p. 407 Dexter Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109. 206-264-8200
Experimental contemporary exhibition space in the Belltown office of George Suyama Architects. 9-5 weekdays but only open when there is a current exhibition.
Seattle is a top place to acquaint yourself with works by Northwest masters (sometimes called the Northwest School or the Mystics) and contemporaries including Morris Graves, Guy Anderson, Ken Callahan, William Cumming, Mark Tobey, George Tsutakawa, John Cole, Thomas Wood, Ed Kamuda and more. Woodside Braseth Gallery, Foster White Gallery and Lisa Harris Gallery are among the best private galleries in town for seeing and picking up works by these artists.
http://www. woodsidebrasethgallery. com
Seattle has a burgeoning contemporary art scene largely centered downtown and especially in the Pioneer Square area. Their influence has been increasingly felt in recent years, especially since the launch of Aqua Art Miami. More than 40 contemporary art galleries from around the country now participate. The Seattle creators of Aqua Art Miami are:
Lawrimore Project www. lawrimoreproject.com/
Platform www. platformgallery.com
Davidson Cotemporary www. davidsongalleries.com /dc_home.html
Howard House www. howardhouse.net
Greg Kucera www. gregkucera.com
James Harris Gallery www. jamesharrisgallery.com
Winston Wachter, a gallery with branches in New York and Seattle also participated in Aqua Art in 2005 http://www. winstonwachter .com/
Seattle has a wealth of public art. Check out the above site which seems to thoroughly catalog most of the public art in the city. The site gives location information and groups the pieces by neighborhood and type. Also check out http://www. imagesofseattle.org which is also a valuable resource.
The following are some of the best known pieces downtown.
"The Hammering Man" -- Jonathan Borofsky. Seattle Art Museum, First Ave. Mechanized painted steel sculpture is maybe the one piece of public art every Seattleite thinks of first.
"Rachael the Pig" -- Georgia Gerber. Pike Place Market. Bronze pig has become a beloved symbol for the market. Rachael has inspired "Pigs on Parade" where various groups decorate pigs for a fundraiser. There are photos of some of these and a link to the official site for Pigs on Parade via imagesofseattle.org.
"Totem Pole"-- Charles & William Brown. First Ave. Pioneer Square. Tlingit style pole represents the NW Native American tradition. There are poles of various styles all over town as well as other Native American art.
"Seattle, Chief of the Suquamish", James Wehn. Fifth and Cedar. In honor of the namesake of Seattle.
"The Mitt" Gerard Tsutakawa's, Safeco Field. One of the great NW artists he has incredible pieces all over town but the whimsical bronze mitt in front of Safeco field is a well loved piece.
"Ivar Feeding the Gulls" -- Richard Beyer. Waterfront on Alaskan Way in front of Ivar's seafood restaurant. Ivars is a Seattle instituion. Note that the cast aluminum gulls are heroically sized with an almost art-deco appearance while Ivar himself is realistically cast in bronze. Beyer's work is all over Seattle. Notably he created "Waiting for the Interurban" in the Fremont neighborhood, one of the best known sculptures in Seattle.