February at Gallery4Culture: Chris McMullen

Continue Reading ›

Chris McMullen, C.S.E. (Collaborative Stacking Extravaganza!), 2016

Chris McMullen
C.S.E. (Collaborative Stacking Extravaganza!)
February 2–23, 2017
Opening: First Thursday, February 2, 6:00–8:00 pm

Chris McMullen’s interactive installation, C.S.E. (Collaborative Stacking Extravaganza!), challenges viewers both mentally and physically as they work together to operate two towering wood and steel cranes—stylized versions of the ubiquitous machines that punctuate the Seattle skyline. This kinetic engagement, the stacking and arranging of materials, encourages face-to-face communication and grounding in our increasingly fractured world.

Based on the mechanics of cranes and lifting devices that were powered by humans instead of fossil fuels prior to the Industrial Revolution, the room-filling sculptures link the disciplines of art, architecture and engineering, speak to the pace of development in our region, and refute the assumption that every problem has a high-tech solution.

McMullen states, Viewers will have to use depth perception, hand-eye coordination, synchronized interaction, and shrewd communication skills to activate the cranes. The object is to overcome logistical difficulties. When multiple operators are present, alliances can be formed and competition may ensue. I’m interested to see how people interact with the work, how they perceive the challenge, and what they ultimately find as a result of their participation. Pushing the boundaries of art, which is so often static, into something that can be touched and moved provides an opportunity to directly affect human relationships.”

About the Artist:
Chris McMullen, a native of Reno, Nevada, has been working with steel in his Seattle, Washington studio since 2000. His practice is characterized by kinetic sculpture and installation that requires human involvement and is informed by his background in graphic communication. McMullen’s work is held in the collections of the City of Seattle, the City of Redmond, and the Science Museum of Oklahoma and has been featured at Bellwether, Bellevue’s Biennial Sculpture exhibition, the Redmond Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, Bumbershoot, Maker Faire, Coachella, and Winston Wächter Fine Art. Recent exhibitions include Out of Sight at King Street Station and Metalmorphosis at the Bellevue Art Museum. McMullen is a recipient of 4Culture’s Individual Artist Project Grant as well as Artist Trust’s Grants for Artists Projects (GAP).

www.chrismcmullenproductions.com

Up next: Deanne Belinoff’s Space: Inside/Out 

Welcoming the 2017 Creative Justice Mentor Artists

4Culture

The 4Culture Public Art initiative, Creative Justice, offers an arts-based alternative to detention for court-involved young people in King County, Washington.

Continue Reading ›

The 4Culture Public Art initiative, Creative Justice, offers an arts-based alternative to detention for court-involved young people in King County, Washington.

During each 16 week project session, participants engage in a variety of creative experiences and are provided opportunity to explore individual interests while developing skills in group collaboration. Creative Justice incorporates concepts of social art practice and uses a curriculum framework that considers how oppressions such as racism and classism intersect with the root causes of incarceration. The program utilizes art to amplify youth voices, as each session culminates in a community-based action or event produced and lead by the participants.

The Creative Justice sessions are facilitated by highly accomplished Mentor Artists who bring expertise in their specific disciplines as well as a wealth of community connection and cultural competence. The program is successful largely due to the talented core team of artist activists and the type of learning environment they provide. Launching year three with Aaron Counts and Nikkita Oliver again leading the program, we look forward to great things from the 2017 Mentor Artist cohort.

bradpuet-jojo-headshot
Photo courtesy of Brad Puet.

Brad Puet is a photographer whose documentary work showcases the street and its lifestyle as his subject. A successful self-taught artist, his award winning work has exhibited in Tehran, London, Berlin, Tokyo, Jalisco, New York and Los Angeles. He regularly contributes to: Huffington Post, and About.com; and has been published in the Washington Post, Photo Magazine, VICE, Slate magazine, and The Guardian-UK. Brad is a proud co-founder of Grryo, formerly We Are Juxt, an international social photography collective. A dedicated youth mentor and community builder for many years, Brad (aka JoJo) is responsible for launching two local young artist movements: Isangmahal, and Seattle Youth Speaks. He regularly conducts workshops and presentations in partnership with area youth art-based organizations; and teaches social photography at Seattle Central College.

ap-silasblak-kelly-o
Photo by Kelly O.

Silas Blak is a poet/emcee, a chef, and a mentor advocate by trade. He is a veteran of hip hop and a scholar of the verb. He has a strong passion for collaboration amongst the community and so has spent the excess of the last 10 plus years making music that speaks to issues we face in society and abroad. A valued and celebrated member of the region’s hip hop community since the 90s, Silas Blak has been recognized most recently for his new recording projects on Cabin Games label [#BlakFriday: The Mixtape; and Editorials: (wartunes)]. His truly original style and adept skill spitting complex bars about subjects most rappers seldom approach earned him a 2016 Stranger Genius Award nomination. Silas Blak has mentored youth at the Boys and Girls club, Alder detention facility, and Powerful Voices as an instructional coordinator and case manager; and at Evergreen High as a chef instructor.

Photo by Khadeidrah Cochran.
Photo by Khadeidrah Cochran.

Returning for a second year with Creative Justice, Olisa Enrico-Johnson (aka “Spyc-E”), shares truth and soul through performance and teaching. Rockin’ the mic for over two decades, Olisa lives her belief that artists and the arts are vital to the state of culture and society. She facilitates building connectivity, and has nurtured all-inclusive creative environments throughout the town via projects like Love-City-Love and Arts in Motion. Olisa holds a BFA in Performance and an MFA in Theater Pedagogy. Her efforts as a board member for theconciliationproject.org, promote open and honest dialogue about racism in America through active and challenging dramatic works. Whether it be as staff at Chief Leschi Schools, in the Creative Justice classroom, or through her work with any number of local partner projects, Olisa teaches students of all ages and stages always incorporating principles of community and shared responsibility.

Congratulations to Tech Specific Recipients!

Photo courtesy of the Africatown Center for Education and Innovation.

Our long-running Site Specific program went tech in 2015, and with its second round of funding taking place in late 2016, we’re more convinced than ever: King County is fascinated with the intersection of art and technology. We received applications from artists, designers, fabricators, engineers, developers, media-producers, and more, working on a huge range of projects, and we’re proud to be able to award more than $150,000 to 25 of them. See the full list below, and stay connected with us here and on social media to learn more about the projects as they take shape!

Continue Reading ›

Our long-running Site Specific program went tech in 2015, and with its second round of funding taking place in late 2016, we’re more convinced than ever: King County is fascinated with the intersection of art and technology. We received applications from artists, designers, fabricators, engineers, developers, media-producers, and more, working on a huge range of projects, and we’re proud to be able to award more than $150,000 to 25 of them. See the full list below, and stay connected with us here and on social media to learn more about the projects as they take shape!

Africatown Center for Education and Innovation, The Africatown International
An interactive online class with global tech partners in Gambia, West Africa.

ArtsWest, AutoCad: Drafting and Beyond
Purchase of AutoCad computer software program to draft models of scenic a designs.

Mollie Bryan, Lusio Series 2017
A series of light art events set in Volunteer Park, Kabuto Gardens, and Seattle Center

City of Shoreline, Augmented Nature
To develop new platforms for the display and experience of augmented reality both indoors (City Hall) and in urban forest parks.

Scott Crawford, ION2+
An interactive kinetic installation designed to engage with the environment and the public through a reflective, responsive interface.

Degenerate Art Ensemble, Red Shoes VR
Collaboration with virtual reality company Mechanical Dreams to create an immersive video/performance experience based on Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of The Red Shoes.

Kaley Lane Eaton, Lily of the Valley
A multimedia experience for string quartet, electronic body sensors, electric harp, video projection, poetry, and dance, tells one orphan girl’s story of immigrating to the Pacific NW.

Elevator Corridor, A festival of sound, light, and movement
12 musicians, 7 visual artists, and 4 dancers celebrate winter with immersive music and art.

Neely Goniodsky, The Kids – Interactive Video Installation
An interactive video installation reflecting a sense of suburban boredom and loneliness based on poem by Canon Parker “The Kids”.

Katherine Groesbeck, not a quiet place but a place in a long period of quiet
A trembling overhead paper topography moves in response to the sonified impulse responses of recent high magnitude earthquakes recorded in the NW.

Hot Bit Soup LLC, Mind At Large
Objects are embedded into a haptic feedback virtual reality art installation that includes tangible and virtual objects to interact with.

Interstitial Lattice Projection Conglomerate by MSHR
A multimedia installation by MSHR in the Georgetown gallery with musical performances and instrument building workshops facilitated by the artists.

Jack Straw Cultural Center, 2017 New Media Gallery Installations and Residences
Creation and presentation of three new multidisciplinary and technology based gallery installations.

Nicole Kistler, Illuminated Ghosts
The artist and her team will project the image of an old growth forest on the grain terminal (silos) at Pier 86 for a period of 2-4 months as proof of concept for an ongoing series of illuminated projections on the terminal.

Robert Kunz, Seattle in Progress with Progressions
Five short compositions dealing with major events in Seattle’s history. An elaborate sound architecture will be designed and constructed to reinforce the performances with voices and instruments relayed through an array of large kinetic speakers.

Domonique Meeks, Soul of Seattle (Season 2)
A documentary that examines past, present and future innovation in Seattle’s Central District and South End Neighborhoods that aims to spark inter-generational conversations between entrepreneurs of color utilizing technology to push sustainability and innovation.

Northwest Art Center, Duvall Makers Society – Gadgeteers Club – Young Innovators -Maker Faire Exhibit
This project exposes youth and adults to new technology and art materials with which to innovate, challenge creative and critical thinking skills and exhibit their works in a mini-maker faire exhibit.

Now Here This, Glowing Reminders
Interactive installations exploring the social phenomenon of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

On the Boards, On the Boards Online Masterclasses
Digital masterclasses distributed through OntheBoards.tv to provide education in contemporary performance.

Emily Pothast, LISTEN: It’s a Sound Show
A one-night exhibition combining music, oral history, spoken word performance, sound-based objects and installations to activate an immersive, embodied, and politicized listening environment.

Yoo Sangjun, NIGHT CLOUD
Performance installation choreographing dance within an artificially induced cloud environment.

Third Place Technologies, The Wondering Woods (Luminous Garden II)
A collaborative installation at the Electric Sky festival in Skykomish with sensing, interactive flora and fauna that evoke an awareness of the forest as a living being with emergent consciousness.

Timea Tihanyi, Porcelain Studio: From digital design to slipcast ceramic sculpture
Ceramic LDM 3D printer, slip mixer, and test kiln for a ceramic studio and research hub specializing in slipcast porcelain. The process will expand this knowledge to other practitioners and to the general public in the Pacific NW.

VALA Eastside, Game On! Video Games Designed by Women
This exhibition will showcase the artwork created throughout the creative process of video game design with a focus on female game artists from the Seattle area.

zoe/juniper, zoe | juniper 360
A 3D dance-art video and free community viewing event.

2017 Project Grants Open: Come to a Workshop!

Fall City Hop Shed, Washington, 2007, photo by 4Culture staff.

We’re proud to open one of our biggest grant programs of the year: Projects! Every year, Projects helps fund the work being done all over King County by researchers, filmmakers, writers, sculptors, choreographers, designers, historians, musicians, and so many more. We divide this grant up into three disciplines: arts, heritage, and preservation. Read a bit more about what grant managers and panelists in each of these areas will be looking for, and find some examples of what’s been funded in the past:

Continue Reading ›
Fall City Hop Shed, Washington, 2007, photo by 4Culture staff.
Fall City Hop Shed, Washington, 2007, photo by 4Culture staff.

We’re proud to open one of our biggest grant programs of the year: Projects! Every year, Projects helps fund the work being done all over King County by researchers, filmmakers, writers, sculptors, choreographers, designers, historians, musicians, and so many more. We divide this grant up into three disciplines: arts, heritage, and preservation. Read a bit more about what grant managers and panelists in each of these areas will be looking for, and find some examples of what’s been funded in the past:

Preservation
Deadline:
Wednesday, March 8 at 5:00 pm PST
Are you working to celebrate and protect the historic sites and buildings in your neighborhood? Need funding for research, planning, or advocacy? This grant can help! In 2016, the Fall City Historical Society hired a timber consultant to assess the condition of the iconic 1888 Fall City Hop Shed, the only remaining building of its type in King County.

Heritage
Deadline:
Wednesday, March 8 at 5:00 pm PST
This grant supports your work uncovering, illuminating, and sharing the rich history that is all around us in King County. Oral histories? Research? Online exhibitions? Heritage Projects funds it all, and more. Community historian and Central District resident Jill Freidberg is putting her 2016 Heritage Projects grant to work documenting the stories of the Red Apple grocery store at 23rd and Jackson before it is torn down to make way for new development.

Arts for Individuals and Groups 
Deadline: Wednesday, March 1 at 5:00 pm PST
We fund artists and small arts groups—from traditional to contemporary, emerging to established—who are working in all creative disciplines and genres to enhance the cultural life of King County. Last year, dancer and choreographer Veronica Lee-Baik received funding for Giselle Deconstruct, her reinterpretation of classic ballet through the lens of the experiences of marginalized young women in Southeast Asia.

The Three Yells present Giselle Deconstructed. Photo courtesy of Veronica Lee Baik.
The Three Yells present Giselle Deconstruct. Photo by Tim Summers.

Bring your questions and ideas to one of our free, drop-in workshops!
Every year, we find that applicants who attend a workshop have a much higher chance of success. Workshops will be taking place at our offices in Pioneer Square, and throughout King County:

Around King County
Bothell Library, 18215 98th Avenue NE, Bothell, WA 98011
Wednesday, January 18, 12:00—1:00 pm

Kent Library, 212 2nd Avenue North, Kent, WA 98032
Wednesday, January 25, 12:00—1:00 pm

Muckleshoot Library, Muckleshoot Reservation, 39917 Auburn Enumclaw Road SE, Auburn, WA, 98092
Wednesday, February 1, 12:00—1:00 pm

Issaquah Library, 10 West Sunset Way, Issaquah, WA, 98027
Wednesday, February 8, 12:00—1:00 pm

Nordic Heritage Museum, 3014 NW 67th St, Seattle, WA 98117
Tuesday, January 31, 1:00—2:00 pm
Note: this meeting directly follows January’s AKCHO meeting at the Nordic. 

At the 4Culture Offices, 101 Prefontaine Pl S, Seattle
Heritage Projects
Thursday, February 2, 5:00 and 6:00 pm*
Wednesday, February 15, 12:00—1:00 pm
Tuesday, February 28, 12:00—1:00 pm

Preservation Special Projects 
Tuesday, February 14, 12:00—1:00 pm
Tuesday, February 21, 12:00—1:00 pm

Art Projects: Groups 
Thursday, January 26, 12:00—1:00 pm
Thursday, February 2, 12:00—1:00 pm
Thursday, February 9, 12:00—1:00 pm
Thursday, February 16, 12:00—1:00 pm

Art Projects: Individuals 
Monday, January 30, 12:00—1:00 pm
Thursday, February 2, 6:00—7:00 pm*
Monday, February 6, 12:00—1:00 pm
Monday, February 13, 12:00—1:00 pm

*Join us for these evening workshops and then visit galleries for First Thursday Art Walk! Free parking is available at select Pioneer Square garages.

Kicking Off 2017 with Facilities Grant

Rendering of design for the Free Hold Lab Studio.

Our first grant deadline of the new year is coming up fast! Facilities makes it possible for our region’s cultural organizations to buy, build, and renovate the spaces that are their homes, and we’re excited to be able to open it this year.

Continue Reading ›
Rendering of design for the Free Hold Lab Studio.
Rendering of design for the Free Hold Lab Studio.

Our first grant deadline of the new year is coming up fast! Facilities makes it possible for our region’s cultural organizations to buy, build, and renovate the spaces that are their homes, and we’re excited to be able to open it this year.

Facilities is available for major building projects—it does not fund feasibility studies, tools, basic building maintenance, or repairs. A good rule of thumb if you’re wondering if your organization’s building project is eligible: if you can budget for it in your normal fiscal year it probably is not. If, however, you have a separate budget for the project and are actively raising money to fund it, you should consider applying.

Recipients of our 2015 Building for Culture grants are eligible, as are those who have received funding for building projects through our Emergency grant. Cities and other municipalities, as well as universities and social service organizations are also eligible, however, your application must demonstrate that a siginificant portion of your organization’s programming is dedicated to arts and heritage. Please carefully read the full guidelines before beginning your application.

Apply by Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 5:00 pm PST.

Have questions? Not sure if your organization or your project qualifies? Want to run your ideas by 4Culture staff? Come talk with us at one of these free, drop-in workshops:

At the 4Culture Offices
Thursday, January 5, 5:00—7:00 pm*
Thursday, February 2, 5:00—7:00 pm*
Wednesday, February 15, 1:00—2:00 pm

*Join us for these First Thursday workshops and take advantage of free parking in Pioneer Square!

Around King County
Bothell Library, 18215 98th Avenue NE, Bothell, WA 98011
Wednesday, January 18, 12:00—1:00 pm

Kent Library, 212 2nd Avenue North, Kent, WA 98032
Wednesday, January 25, 12:00—1:00 pm

Nordic Heritage Museum, 3014 NW 67th Street, Seattle, WA, 98117
Tuesday, January 31, 1:00—2:00 PM (directly following AKCHO meeting)

Muckleshoot Library [Muckleshoot Reservation, Auburn], 39917 Auburn Enumclaw Road SE, Auburn, WA, 98092
Wednesday, February 1, 12:00—1:00 pm

Issaquah Library, 10 West Sunset Way, Issaquah, WA, 98027
Wednesday, February 8, 12:00—1:00 pm

 

Celebrating Our County's Namesake

Artwork by Yeggy Michael, which will be featured in the 2017 limited edition MLK calendar.

30th Annual King County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
Thursday, January 12, 12:00– 1:00 pm
5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Avenue, Seattle

Continue Reading ›
3_yeggy
Artwork by Yeggy Michael, which will be featured in the 2017 limited edition MLK calendar.

30th Annual King County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
Thursday, January 12, 12:00– 1:00 pm
5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Avenue, Seattle

2017 marks 30 years of celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King in the county that bears his name with the annual King County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration! The Celebration recognizes the impact that Dr. King had on our community and our nation, and reminds us to keep striving toward his dream of equity and justice.

Alexs Pate, author, professor, and founder of the Innocent Classroom program for K-12 educators will present the celebration’s keynote address. Innocent Classroom focuses on ending educational disparities by closing the relationship gap between educators and students of color. Pate launched Innocent Classroom in 2012 with a vision to rebuild teacher-student relationships in school districts with some of the nation’s widest gaps in achievement. Since that time, more than 2,300 educators in 170 schools and programs have participated in Constructing the Innocent Classroom workshops.

We’re thrilled that arts and culture will be central to this year’s celebration, featuring a performance by Touring Arts Roster group the Seattle Women’s Steel Pan Project and work by artist Yeggy Michael in the annual limited edition 2017 MLK calendar distributed at the event and throughout King County.

The Seattle Women's Steel Pan Project performs at the 2014 Global Dance Party, photo by Christopher Nelson
The Seattle Women’s Steel Pan Project performs at the 2014 Global Dance Party, photo by Christopher Nelson.

The Seattle Women’s Steel Pan Project is a multi-generational, multi-ethnic women’s Caribbean steel drum band dedicated to creating a space for women and girls in music through arts education. The project, based out of the Martin Luther King Community Center in Seattle, started in 2013 and is made up of women from a variety of musical and artistic backgrounds. The calendar, featuring both Yeggy Michael’s piece and a quote by King, is a daily visual reminder of our county’s namesake and his work to advance equity and justice for all.

Call for Artists: NE 8th Street Trail Crossing

Rendering courtesy of Parametrix.

4Culture and King County Parks Division seek an artist to become part of the design team on the NE 8th Street Trail Crossing. The crossing will be a steel truss bridge where it crosses over NE 8th Street in Bellevue, WA. The bridge will provide a grade separated crossing over this busy roadway for trail users, and for those seeking to access Sound Transit’s Wilburton light rail station. Other elements of the crossing include a stair and elevator with plaza on the south side of the crossing; and a “mixing zone” on the north side of the crossing where the trail is crossed by a pedestrian path, with both trail and adjoining path providing direct access to the light rail station. This artwork opportunity is primarily focused on integration of artwork with the design of the steel truss bridge, but may include opportunities to incorporate art into the other features on both sides of the crossing. This project is open to professional artists nationally who reside in the United States and who have a background in design team projects and integrated art. The full guidelines for this call are available here.

Continue Reading ›
ne-8th-st
Rendering courtesy of Parametrix.

4Culture and King County Parks Division seek an artist to become part of the design team on the NE 8th Street Trail Crossing. The crossing will be a steel truss bridge where it crosses over NE 8th Street in Bellevue, WA. The bridge will provide a grade separated crossing over this busy roadway for trail users, and for those seeking to access Sound Transit’s Wilburton light rail station. Other elements of the crossing include a stair and elevator with plaza on the south side of the crossing; and a “mixing zone” on the north side of the crossing where the trail is crossed by a pedestrian path, with both trail and adjoining path providing direct access to the light rail station. This artwork opportunity is primarily focused on integration of artwork with the design of the steel truss bridge, but may include opportunities to incorporate art into the other features on both sides of the crossing. This project is open to professional artists nationally who reside in the United States and who have a background in design team projects and integrated art. The full guidelines for this call are available here.

Deadline: 4:00 pm PST, Monday, January 30, 2017. For those familiar with 4Culture Public Art calls, please note the earlier deadline time.

 

Guest Post: the Youth-Led Campaign to Educate, Entertain and Empower

Photo by Tim Aguero.

Jamil Suleman served as the Mentor Artist to the most recent session of Creative Justice, our program offering an arts-based alternative to incarceration for court-involved youth in King County. In this Guest Post, Jamil shares insight into what the group of participants learned and accomplished:

Continue Reading ›
Photo by Tim Aguero.
Photo by Tim Aguero.

Jamil Suleman served as the Mentor Artist to the most recent session of Creative Justice, our program offering an arts-based alternative to incarceration for court-involved youth in King County. In this Guest Post, Jamil shares insight into what the group of participants learned and accomplished:

I’ve done this before, but there was something different about this group…

The process for me as a Teaching Artist focusing on Hip Hop Culture is usually the same every time, no matter the location or age bracket. Take a group of young people, have them produce music and film, lace the classes with relevant cultural studies that influence the content to be more socially conscious, crank out a legit business plan for merchandise and performances, and build a mini-movement in a handful of months. The result is a cohesive group of artists who, after taking some risks to express themselves, if everything worked out as planned, come out with a stronger sense of self-confidence and reaping the rewards as a team.

There’s nothing like seeing all the weeks of hard work pay off when your shirts sell out after you rocked a set of music that really puts your thoughts and feelings out there. To share your story, and to see it being appreciated by people from all backgrounds, is a life changing experience that sets the tone for a young person’s dreams and pursuits from there on forward. It’s experiential proof. Now, there is no doubt, if they put their mind to it and work hard with a small group of their friends, they can do it.

It can be done.

We started with a group of youth, some who knew each other, and some who were completely new to the area. We’d come in, twice a week, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, and start with a brief activity or meal. Considering the political climate we are in, with everything from the protests at Standing Rock to the election of Donald Trump occurring during our session, you can imagine the dialogue was always lively. It was these conversations that gave a foundation for our art work.

Once we started to form a cohesive core, we looked at all of the various social and cultural issues we discussed and experienced, and decided to pick a campaign to focus our creative project on. With #BlackLivesMatter and #NoDAPL going viral, the youth chose their own movement: #FreeTheYouth. Stemming from the idea of the everyday struggle, the class picked #FreeTheYouth as a way to give voice to youth experiencing incarceration and the school to prison pipeline. That message is what fueled the music, video, shirt design, and the overall purpose of our Creative Justice session.

Photo by Tim Aguero.
Photo by Tim Aguero.

And in early December, after having wrapped up our last session of Creative Justice 2016, I look at our class of young high schoolers, who’ve gone through their own personal journeys of ups and downs in and out of the courts and foster homes…beaming. They did it. And each one of them is taking home $40 tonight after selling several of their #FreeTheYouth shirts and wristbands they designed while in class. One of our students had a breakthrough moment when she performed in front of a crowd for the second time, now without needing her lyrics. Fear conquered, mission accomplished.

Proof. It can be done.

That’s the main mission for me. To be able to be given a real opportunity, to be vulnerable with students, to be their friend, their ear, their family member…to just be there for them. After having worked several jobs in the field, I can say with confidence that Creative Justice really gets to the core of what our youth and community needs. The heart to heart relationships we build, that lay the groundwork for the foundation of educating and learning from one another, and using our creative talents to express that growth. It allows us to build the necessary trust with each other, so when we make our art, it can be true and authentic, and when we share it, it’s that much more impactful.

I was right about this group being different. I felt, this time, that I was closer to my purpose while teaching with Creative Justice, and the dynamics of the class really prove that. There are always obstacles, and you can expect that things won’t be easy some times. But the way we were able to navigate throughout the quarter allowed us to grow in ways I wasn’t expecting, which gave us a synergy that I feel lasts past the program, and resonates with our entire community.

Photo by Tim Aguero.
Photo by Tim Aguero.

#FreeTheYouth is a movement, and it’s not going anywhere until our youth are free. Free from the shackles of judgement from systems that have been created to silence us. In the time and age we live in, it’s going to be up to our youth to make sure we make it through, for them and their children. After having gone through this session with a dozen very strong and confident young people, who are now seeing their own potential to inspire, I have faith.

It can be done.

#FreeTheYouth

January at Gallery4Culture: David Jaewon Oh

David Jaewon Oh. Stefani, 2014. Digital C-print. 25 x 38 inches.

David Jaewon Oh
Combatants
Gallery4Culture
January 5—26, 2017
Opening: January 5, 6:00—8:00 pm

Continue Reading ›
David Jaewon Oh. Stefani, 2014. Digital C-print. 25 x 38 inches.
David Jaewon Oh. Stefani, 2014. Digital C-print. 25 x 38 inches.

David Jaewon Oh
Combatants
Gallery4Culture
January 5—26, 2017
Opening: January 5, 6:00—8:00 pm

David Jaewon Oh’s Combatants captures the strength, honesty, and endurance of women in combat sports. The sights and sounds of the often male-dominated gyms where they train come to life in this series of intimate photographic portraits that explore personal identity and gender roles.

Although there has been an increase in the number of women participating in boxing and ultimate fighting over the past two decades, they continue to be underrepresented in the media, seen as novelty acts, and confined by the paradox of accepted norms. Since 2012, Oh has traveled to Washington, Oregon, California, New York, and British Columbia, capturing the changing face of the field and helping to break stereotypes related to athleticism and physical ability.

Oh states, “I’ve photographed a world champion boxer who had to wait tables at a pancake spot a few days after winning her title, a single mom who lost everything after a natural disaster and needed a way to cope, a woman who was drawn to the sport as a way to build her sense of self, and a teenager who just “likes to fight.” I’m working with fighters who are participating in, arguably, one of the more historically male-dominated sports and yet, it serves as an opportunity for them to find their identity and strength as women.”

About the Artist: David Jaewon Oh was born is Seoul, South Korea and now resides in Seattle, Washington. He received a BFA in Photomedia from the University of Washington, where he was honored with the Harold and Sylvia Tacker Award in Photography. His work is focused on the subjects of culture and gender in sports. Recent projects include the documentation of an LGBTQ running club and the Rat City Rollergirls. Combatants is his first solo exhibition in Seattle, but images from the series have been shown at Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon, Gallery CLU in Los Angeles, California, and featured in online and print publications such as VSCO, Float Photo Magazine, Vice Fightland, and Good Sport Magazine. Oh was awarded a 2016 GAP Grant from Artist Trust.

Website: upsetspecialistphoto.com

Up next: Chris McMullen’s C.S.E. (Collaborative Stacking Extravaganza!)

We Love the Junction: Preservation Grants at Work

The Campbell and Hamm buildings – in West Seattle’s primary business district, The Junction © 2016 Southwest Seattle Historical Society

As our region rides its biggest boom cycle since the 19th century Gold Rush and construction cranes fill our skies, many communities are coming together to figure out ways to grow and change while also preserving the historic character of our neighborhoods. What does that work actually look like in action?

Continue Reading ›
The Campbell and Hamm buildings – in West Seattle’s primary business district, The Junction © 2016 Southwest Seattle Historical Society
The Campbell and Hamm buildings – in West Seattle’s primary business district, The Junction © 2016 Southwest Seattle Historical Society

As our region rides its biggest boom cycle since the 19th century Gold Rush and construction cranes fill our skies, many communities are coming together to figure out ways to grow and change while also preserving the historic character of our neighborhoods. What does that work actually look like in action?

Often, preserving a historically significant building or space starts with something critical, yet unglamorous: surveys and studies! Funded by our Preservation Special Project grant in 2014, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society partnered with four other West Seattle organizations to conduct the West Seattle Junction Historical Survey. A professional architectural historian assessed more than 50 buildings lining California Avenue, identifying two that are strong candidates for landmark status.

The Campbell Building, located at 4218 SW Alaska St, built in 1918, now occupied by Cupcake Royale, and the Hamm Building, located at 4302 SW Alaska St, built in 1926, currently occupied by Easy Street Records, help define the character—old and new—of the West Seattle Junction. They house local, small-business tenants and provide rental housing at lower rates than the new buildings that seem to pop up overnight in and near the Junction. Long-time West Seattleites support the preservation of these cornerstone buildings, but, SWSHS argues, so do newer residents—their surveys found that historic buildings like the Campbell and Hamm were a big draw for those who had moved to the neighborhood recently.

At the beginning of this year, the SWSHS received another grant through the same program, this time to research and write a Landmark nomination for each of the two buildings. Written by recently retired 4Culture staff member Flo Lentz, the nominations were submitted to the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board in September—stay tuned to the SWSHS to find out the future of the Junction!

Guest Post: Providing Access in South King County

Jean McFee Raichle, Summer Flowers. Image courtesy of The Art of Alzheimer’s.

Led by Barbara McMichael, SoCoCulture provides South King County, arts, heritage, and botanical organizations with networking opportunities, advocacy support, and professional development. Here, Barbara provides an update on a recent meeting designed to help the group’s members improve their services and engagement with the public:

Continue Reading ›
Jean McFee Raichle -- Summer Flowers -- Elderwise ® creative outreach class
Jean McFee Raichle, Summer Flowers. Image courtesy of The Art of Alzheimer’s.

Led by Barbara McMichael, SoCoCulture provides South King County, arts, heritage, and botanical organizations with networking opportunities, advocacy support, and professional development. Here, Barbara provides an update on a recent meeting designed to help the group’s members improve their services and engagement with the public:

At a recent meeting, our topic was access—we put together a panel of terrific folks who are working to provide meaningful cultural access to both artists and audiences with special needs.

Marilyn Raichle, founder of The Art of Alzheimer’s, talked about discovering how her mother, who had dementia, found a way to express herself even after she became nonverbal. With a paintbrush in her hand, Raichle’s mom created beautiful art with interesting content and vibrant colors. With this newfound evidence that her mother still had a creative spark and stories to share, Raichle has been working to spread the word about this way to connect. Earlier this year at Seattle City Hall, she presented The Artist Within, an exhibit that featured the art of dozens of individuals living with dementia. The disease affects about 100,000 people in Washington State alone.

The Jack Straw Cultural Center has developed several different audio production programs for blind and visually impaired individuals of all ages. Joan Rabinowitz, executive director at Jack Straw, noted that some of these programs have been running for more than 20 years. The Blind Youth Audio Project is an extracurricular workshop series that runs in conjunction with a University of Washington-based summer youth employment program for blind and visually impaired high school students. Students can get involved in radio theater production, interviewing, music recording and mixing, or soundscaping projects. Another program involves visually impaired high school students interviewing visually impaired adults about their careers, and how they achieved their goals. These and other initiatives have been collaborations with organizations including Humanities Washington, the Washington State School for the Blind, Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences, and the Washington State Department of Services for the Blind. And Jack Straw would love to find groups to partner with in South King County.

Our other two panelists focused on programming for special needs youth. Sammamish Arts Commissioner Lin Garretson has developed Special Arts 2Go, which partners special needs kids with high school student mentors to work together on hands-on art projects facilitated by professional instructors. Students are encouraged to express their creativity in a variety of mediums. Garretson said that the events are geared for youngsters on the autism spectrum, but that students with other special needs are welcome. Both they and their teen mentors have been enthusiastic about the program, and both sets of young people have benefited from the teamwork. The program has become immensely popular and has grown significantly in just a short period of time.

And South King County’s own Elisa Lewis, founder of the Maple Valley Youth Symphony, shared the story of how her organization formed a Jam Club when she learned that a couple of musicians in the Youth Symphony had special needs siblings. When the Jam Club started out it served just a couple of children. But as word spread about this Music Therapy based music education program, Jam Club has expanded over the last couple of years to include musicians from second grade through high school. Jam Club participants work toward musical and social goals, and perform with the Maple Valley Youth Symphony on specially selected pieces at every concert.

This program has had the additional advantage of connecting the parents of these kids and giving them a chance to share experiences and resources.

Marilyn, Joan, Lin and Elisa all provided inspiring and concrete examples of how to reach out to under-served populations in our communities. In South King County and elsewhere, let’s dedicate ourselves to doing more to dismantle barriers to participation!