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Michelle de la Vega

SUCCESSION: The Exchange Project

In SUCCESSION: The Exchange Project, Seattle-based multidisciplinary artist and activist, Michelle de la Vega explores the complex dynamics of the neighborhood in which Gallery4Culture is located, a community largely segregated along socio-economic lines.

Michelle de la Vega, Us Them We: Hannah and Keith (video still), single-channel video. © 2015. Image: Courtesy of the Artist.
Michelle de la Vega, Us Them We: Hannah and Keith (video still), single-channel video. © 2015. Image: Courtesy of the Artist.
  • January 7 - 28, 2016
  • Opening: Thursday, January 7

Through meaningful exchange with the arts and homeless communities and a month-long residency in Gallery4Culture, de la Vega has developed a collection of conceptual project that illuminate the human stories of Pioneer Square and encourages new connections and a shared sense of place. The exhibition includes:

Family tree drawings collected from de la Vega’s family, friends and colleagues are rendered in red electrical tape on the walls and floor of the gallery. This immersive installation references the conductivity of bloodlines, history, and the artist’s own sense of place within her community.

Us Them We
A single-channel video depicts the paired exchange between 33 homeless and arts community members who share the Pioneer Square neighborhood. Simple choreographed gestures encourage contact and serve as an exercise in seeing, shifting contexts, and humanizing polarities.

Place Bowls
Wall mounted sculptural vessels created in workshops at the Recovery Cafe and Union Gospel Mission speak to the makers’ sense of place in the world.

Small Ground
A metaphoric tent dwelling features stories written by Union Gospel Mission guests, Recovery Café members, and local artists. The sculpture was constructed in consult with Nickelsville community members.

From One Place to Another
Inspired by the story of Patricia Ledesma who uprooted her entire garden of plants for the Tashiro Kaplan Artist Lofts rooftop garden when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, this kinetic sculpture moves and reverberates with shimmering sound when touched.

SUCCESSION: The Exchange Project is supported, in part, by awards from 4Culture and Seattle’s Office of Arts &

About the Artist

Michelle de la Vega’s social practice connects communities, elevates unheard voices, and explores concepts that are personally and collectively relevant to the human experience. Architecture, design, and a foundational career in dance and performance informs her visual work, which includes installation, sculpture and mixed media. Michelle received her education and training from Otis-Parsons in Los Angeles, CA, Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA, and the South Seattle Community College Welding and Metal Fabrication Program.