Sunday, July 12, 2015

Inaugural Seattle Art Fair at CenturyLink Center & Out of Sight: A Survey of Contemporary Art in the Pacific Northwest at King Street Station: Jul 30 - Aug 2

There's been a lot of speculation as to what form the inaugural Seattle Art Fair will take, with no small supply of skepticism expressed in local circles concerning it being another of Paul Allen's pet cultural projects, both for the good and the bad. Amidst all the regional dialog, there's a confounding dearth of national or international reportage to be found outside pieces like Brian Boucher's "Why Are Gagosian, Pace, and Zwirner Signing On for the Seattle Art Fair?" and The Observer's "Paul Kasmin and Pace Gallery Join the Inaugural Seattle Art Fair". Both of which are more discussions of the art market and the inclusion of some of the gallery world's international power players, than insight into the fair's content and curatorial mission. Sponsored by Paul Allen's Vulcan with Max Fishko of Art Market Productions as programming director, the fair's press release makes it out to be half-commercial gallery, half-curated exhibition, featuring some 60 galleries representing local to international dealers with an emphasis on the West Coast and Pacific Rim. The fair has also drawn several Asian galleries, including Kaikai Kiki and Koki Arts from Tokyo, along with Gana Art of Seoul and Osage Gallery from Hong Kong. In addition to the participating galleries of stature and the artists they represent, the "Thinking Currents" wing is to be a signature exhibition of video, film and sound work exploring themes related to the cultural, political, and geographical parameters of The Pacific Rim, curated by Leeza Ahmady, director of Asia Contemporary Art Week. The Fair's other facet will be a series of lectures and temporary exhibitions by individual artists at locations across the city at indoor and outdoor venues. The inclusion of citywide off-site projects and events inspired in-part by Allen's experiences visiting biennales around the world, particularly as he claims, that of Venice.

Concurrently running across town, the collateral event at King Street Station "Out of Sight: A Survey of Contemporary Art in the Pacific Northwest" curated by the quartet of Kirsten Anderson and Sharon Arnold of Roq La Rue and Length x Width x Height along with Seattle artist Greg Lundgren and Sierra Stinson, founder of Vignettes for Vital 5 Productions, is a 24,000 square-foot survey of contemporary art that reads like a who's-who of the best work seen about the city in the past decade. That near-comprehensive list of Northwest talent includes; Julie Alexander, Julie Alpert, Megumi Shauna Arai, Rick Araluce, JD Banke, Baso, Crystal Barbre, Joey Bates, Jared Bender, Gretchen Bennett, Gala Bent, Zack Bent, Colleen Bratton, John Brophy, Jazz Brown, Bette Burgoyne, Tim Cross, Casey Curran, Sue Danielsen, Jack Daws, Jed Dunkerley, Warren Dykeman, Debbie Faas, Leiv Fagereng, Julia Freeman, Erin Frost, Neal Fryett, Scott Foldesi, Klara Glosova, Mandy Greer, Colleen Hayward, Laura Hamje, Robert Hardgrave, Julia Hensley, Jesse Higman, Jeff Jacobsen, Claire Johnson, Ken Kelly, Patrick Kelly, Izzie Klingles, Kirk Lang, Michael Leavitt, Rich Lehl, Margie Livingston, Francesca Lohmann, Amanda Manitach, Chris McMullen, Jennifer McNeely, Katie Metz, Steven Miller, Ryan Molenkamp, Scott Musgrove, Matthew Offenbacher, Joe Park, Mary Ann Peters, Jason Puccinelli, Cheyenne Randall, Tivon Rice, Ashleigh Rose Robb, Serrah Russell, Sail, Joe Schlicta, Rafael Soldi, Kellie Talbot, Polina Tereshina, Barbara Earl Thomas, Chris Thompson, Kimberly Trowbridge, Joey Veltkamp, Redd Walitzki, Tariqa Waters, Casey Weldon, Chandler Woodfin, Robert Yoder, Claude Zervas and Jennifer Zwick.