ARTRUMPS show at BonFire Gallery

Animated Cheetos People - (Stay tuned for artist credit)

Animated Cheetos People – (Stay tuned for artist credit)

Seattles relatively new Bonfire Gallery hosted the opening of their new show. ‘ARTRUMPS – Resistence and Action’, this past Saturday evening. The modest sliver of space was packed with work by 35 different artist from all over the place, although predominantly Seattle. A particular favorite is shown above, a series of 6 articulated Cheetos figures which   stride in a floaty fashion when the little handle is cranked. I apologize for not making note of the artists name, I guess I make a poor blogista, but all the more reason to return this week.

ARTRUMPS - gallery window

ARTRUMPS – gallery window

Same with the author of this ornate flocked orange sculpture. Some artists whose names I do have though, reading off the press release, include Buster Simpson, Ann Gardner, Roz Chast, Ellen Sollod, and Liza Von Rosenstiel. The gallery owner, Bill Gaylord, was one of the principals for GGLO, a prominent local architecture firm. Think of him as the first ‘G’. I was cheered upon hearing that a new gallery was making an appearance whose owner is obviously passionate about bringing artists together to make social statements.

A detail from the piece by Gene Gentry McMahon

A detail from the piece by Gene Gentry McMahon

The show was a wonderful outpouring of resistance-type statements, but one feeling that it left me with was just how hard it is to distill the moment that we’re in after the election of Trump. The show just scratches the surface and it’s hard for the modest scale of the pieces to capture the enormity of the peril. But perhaps that goes without saying. I recommend that people make time to see the show and support what Bonfire has done here.

A sculpture piece by Rik Adams, chained to the light pole outside.

A sculpture piece by Rik Adams, chained to the light pole outside.

The show is running from now through June 2, 2017. Open noon to five, Wednesday through Saturday. Location is in Seattles Japantown blocks, in the same building as the historic Panama Hotel: 603 S Main Street, Seattle, WA 98104



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NEA Funding – a CEO Reaches Out

Excepted from the emailed letter by Blick CEO

Excepted from the emailed letter by Blick CEO

As with all recipients of email promotions from Blick Art Materials, I received a rather different message 3 days ago. This time it was from the companys CEO, Bob Buchsbaum (not Dick Blick, as you might have assumed). After his disclaimer that the company doesn’t comment on political matters, Mr Buchsbaum proceeds to make a fairly impassioned argument in favor of continued, uninterrupted funding of the National Endowment for the Arts. Citing the entirely small potatoes nature of the funding and the very real but impossible to measure role that the arts play in all types of problem solving and the economy as a whole, he worried about all the non-profit education based arts groups that could get ‘caught in the crossfire’.

I’m heartened to see a CEO make a case like this in such a public way and join him in urging people to write their representatives in Washington, DC in support of continued government support of the arts at all levels, and including the NEA and PBS. The amount of money allocated to these groups is truly a pittance within the total national expenditure, a rounding error in the amount that the military spends on parades and marching bands. The arts help illuminate what it is to be a human in society, here and now, and must be accessible to all our countries citizens.

To quote from the letter, here are a few ways to make your voice heard:

< • Help #SavetheNEA and send a message to your elected representatives through the Americans for the Arts Action Fund arts mobilization Center.

• Join the Arts Action Fund today and receive a variety of benefits from the free annual membership, including the ability to vote on legislative policy platforms. >

Truth be told, I haven’t quite done those actions yet myself, since I ususally prefer to write my reps directly by going through their websites, but either way, make your voice heard. This should be a very nonpartisan issue; NEA funding benefits everyone but especially young people.

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Camille Paglia at Seattle Public Library

Camille Paglia 3;3-17 (sml)

I caught Camille Paglia‘s brief appearance at Seattles Downtown Public Library yesterday evening and enjoyed watching her ping pong around at hyperspeed bouncing between spearing the dismal failure of university administrators to defend college affordability to the singing of a multigenerational community of Italian village women pounding their laundry at the local ‘sorge’ (spring) to her favorite feminist of the 30’s era, Katherine Hepburn > Love <, to Madonna > Love then but not now <, and repeatedly raining disdain down on the ghost of Michael Foucault and his ilk. Not always easy to make sense of; a scatter shot provocateur who quickly moves along.

The one obvious thing that seemed missing was any discussion of how to interpret the rise of the hugely misogynistic president we now have to deal with. The orange elephant in the room who perhaps is a third rail or kryptonite for the speaker. Still, she’s a fervent believer in the power of art. I managed to pick up a copy of ‘Glittering Images‘, a collection of essays and reflections from a few years back on various artworks from ancient Egypt tombs to Star Wars.

Such a pleasure to attend auditorium events at Seattle Public Library, nestled right in the middle of the building, broadly open to two floors, in an inspired design by REM Koolhaas. SPL is doing a great job of bringing that space to life, in this case working in tandem with Elliot Bay Bookstore.

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Girl with iPhone (random sketch)

Girl with her iPhone - sketched circa 2013

Girl with her iPhone – sketched circa 2013

Scanned from one of my paper sketchbooks from sometime around 2013 … people are so still when they are reading on their smartphone.



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Emerging from the Lake

Emerging from the Lake - R. Williamson; 2/17

Emerging from the Lake – R. Williamson; 2/17

The only new sculpture piece in my new show in North Seattle is this partial figure, ‘Emerging from the Lake’. The other pieces are all paintings. I have another figure still on the wall in the studio that may or may not be finished before the show comes down. One thing I love about showing at a casual place such as this is that I am free to rearrange, add, or swap out pieces during the duration of the show. ‘Bodies in Water’ continues at Lighthouse Roasters until the end of the month.(March, 2017)

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