Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Little Shameless Self Promotion...

I will be displaying brand new fairy tale inspired watercolours from at Tasty for the 2nd Friday Art Walk in Greenwood. Check it.

Artist reception:
Friday, 12 October, 6-10pm
Lucky 7 Salon
7513 Greenwood Ave. N

Here's a sneak preview:

Braden Duncan, "Kistune" (detail)
The art walk in Greenwood happens every second Friday in the Greenwood-Phinney Ridge neighbourhood, and features over 40 art spaces including Bherd Studios, EchoEcho Gallery, UrbanLight Studios, Chocolati Cafe, Gainsbourg Lounge, Naked City Brewery, Two Birds Tattoo, and more!

You can also check out my work at a couple other art spaces in October:

"Masks, Marionettes, and Mechanical Birds" at The Jewel Box Cafe in Northgate all month!

"Mad, Mad, Mad Monster Party: The Hiveland Meets the Seattle Alternative Art Scene" at The Piranha Shop in Downtown Seattle
***Opening Reception***
Friday, 26 October, 6pm-midnight

Support your local art scene!

~ BCDuncan

Friday, September 14, 2012

GREENWOOD: Erratic Expressions and Art By the Inch

It's that time again in the Greenwood-Phinney Ridge neighbourhood, and I have absconded with my friend Sarah for amazing art walk adventures! Sarah has never before been to an art walk, so I'm excited to introduce her to one of the most colourful art spaces in Seattle, Tasty Delectable Collectibles.

This month, Tasty is hosting "Erratic Expressions," a mixed media group show that features work by 16 local artists. A few of my favourites are Sarah Gordon's pop culture themed Scrabble collages:

Sarah Gordon, "Marilyn"
Sarah Gordon, "Alice in Wonderland"
I also very much enjoy Gretchen Fuller's mosaic creations. I first saw her work at the Capitol Hill Art Walk back in February, and it's fun to see so many new pieces! The TNT Bunny Bomb is back, and he's holding a whole host of portraits hostage!

Gretchen Fuller, "Ballistic Bunny"
Gretchen Guller, "Are You My Mummy"

The comic-inspired collages of Raw Garbage, and the mechanical avian assemblages of Jen Hardwick are also pretty amazing. I can't help but adore the tiny metal birds.
Raw Garbage, "La Verdad"
Jen Hardwick, "Crow-Bot"
Sarah loves the vibrant diversity of the Tasty shop. In addition to the "Erratic Expressions" artists, Tasty also features new and exciting consignment arts, crafts, jewellery, accessories, and decorations from many other local artists, and we keep getting distracted on our way out the door. We both decide we need to come back for some FrankenSocks.

Just a few blocks down the road from Tasty is Chocolati Cafe. We duck in for a quick look around and are instantly drawn to Ellen Hastings' colourful collages and Chocolati's creatively shaped edible chocolate confections. Who doesn't like an environmentally conscious tree and a tiny chocolate paintbrush wrapped in exciting bits of coloured foil?

Ellen Hastings, "Solar Willow"
Our next stop is Bherd Studios. Bherd is in a brand new location this month, a second storey flat above Chase Bank on the corner of 85th and Greenwood Ave. The new space is a good bit different from the maze of underground studios across the street in the Greenwood Collective that they used to call home. While it's similar in size, the new studio has large windows that let in lots of natural light, consistent air flow, and a lovely Bherd's-eye-view of Greenwood at sunset. Not only have John and Michele, owners and operators of Bherd, spent the better part of the past month packing and moving, they somehow found the time to arrange "By the Yard," an experimental and provocative inaugural art exhibition.

Bherd Studios: shiney new space!
"By the Yard" features the work of Crystal Barbre, Zachary Bohenkamp, Greg Boudreau, Jenny Dayton, Troy Gua, Tessa Hulls, Ryan Molenkamp, John Osgood, Kellie Talbot, and Dan Voelker. Each artist was challenged to create a piece of art 1 yard long by 1 foot tall that will be sold by the inch (minimum 6-inch purchase). Prices range from $7.50 to $75.00 per square inch, and buyers have the option of purchasing the entire piece or picking up a tape measure and divvying up their favourite bits.

The newest show at Bherd addresses the cultural phenomena of art as a product and presents artists and buyers alike with some interesting questions:

"What makes a piece of art compelling — its subject, color, size, materials? What do we lose or gain when we can only see a portion of the whole? Is a specific section of a piece more precious, more mysterious when removed from its context, or does it lose its spark when it loses its frame? Is there a 'more bang for the buck' mentality to purchasing art? Does a work become more precious as it disappears? Do we relate to a piece more when we are allowed to alter it to our own tastes? And can we really bring ourselves to cut up an original work like a birthday cake?" (from

John Osgood, "Mikhail's Bondage Dream"
Tessa Hulls, "Fall"
Experiencing the exhibit from the perspective of an artist, I find myself acutely aware of the part of myself that cringes at the thought of slicing up one of my own art pieces to make a sale. Of course, the artists featured in "By the Yard" created pieces of art with the perametres of the challenge in mind, so, in theory, these pieces are intended to be parted out (although the price per inch is probably meant to discourage 'partial' buyers in a couple of cases). Visually, some of the pieces seem to lend themselves better to the 'art by the inch' idea, while others... not so much.

I find the concept of the show fascinating. Splitting up a piece of art would certainly affect its worth — to the artist, the buyer(s), and the economy of the art world. I've spoken with artists, art collectors, art appreciators, and art critics who assert that the 'worth' of art is completely subjective. I can see their point, especially considering the extremely large price tags associated with some noteable art pieces in the past (i.e. C├ęzanne, Pollock, de Kooning, Klimt, Van Gogh, Picasso, Renoir, Munch, and Warhol whose work has sold for upwards of $100 million)... But as a not-quite-so-famous artist, I set my prices to reflect the cost of materials, time spent, and a surcharge for being awesome. (The vision is mine, and you won't find it anywhere else, savvy? The awesomeness surcharge is possibly the percentage of the cost that could be considered subjective.)

12 Midnite, "Optimism"
Kellie Talbot, "White"
Many artists, myself included, create art in series - individual pieces that are thematically related, but still intended to be sold individually (unless someone wants to purchase the whole damn thing, in which case, fantastic!) I can't speak for all artists across the board, but I often become attached to my finished pieces. Not that I won't sell them — I enjoy being able to pay the rent doing something I love, and I find it incredibly gratifying to know that other people enjoy my work enough to buy it — I just can't imagine myself becoming quite as attached to a piece that one of these days is going to be cut into little pieces.

Selling art by the inch does, however, make it instantly more affordable (in most cases) than purchasing an entire painting (or drawing, or photograph, or sculpture, etc.), and I like the idea that a single original piece of art can be owned and continually enjoyed by more than one person. Different people owning different pieces of the same original work has the potential to create more of a dialogue between buyers. It also allows the art to be viewed not only as a complete (albeit static) composition, but also as a changeable artscape comprised of many possible *new* compositions. The main problem I can predict is that a piece could be divided in such a way that the left over sections simply wouldn't sell. Artists could, of course, price their work so that they would receive ample compensation regardless of whether they sold a single section or the entire composition, or they could make every inch of the art work so fantastically interesting that no section would be left behind. "No Art Left Behind" has a nice ring to it; perhaps there would be enough interest to generate some federal funding. Any takers?

So go see the show. It's up until 5 October for your viewing, measuring, and slicing pleasure. Measuring tapes have been generously provided by Bherd Studios; you can find them nestled in silken pillows atop pedestals throughout the show.

Following Bherd, Sarah and I head across the street, through the nearly hidden door, down the colourful hallway, and down the deceptively precarious staircase to the Greenwood Collective. Even without Bherd, it's still one of my favourite artist enclaves in Seattle. The crowd is a little sparse, which could be a result of Bherd's migration or the fact that it's still early in the evening, but the art is excellent, and the snacks and libations abound. EchoEcho has a few fun pieces this month. Some of my favourites are Alexandria Sandlin's deliciously tempting mushrooms and Ripley's post-apocalyptic zombie photography.

Alexandra Sandlin, "Candy Coated Mushrooms"
Ripley @ EchoEcho Gallery
Urban Light Studios is displaying the "Cityscapes and Mountainscapes" of Adrian Wyard and Kim Hood in their downstairs studio space. Curated by Zachary Sofia, the show includes a selection of interesting textures and lines preserved in elegant black and white photography.

Kim Hood @ Urban Light studios
Adrian Wyard @ Urban Light Studios

Solace at Home Suite Home has re-created the studio space as a sitting room, complete with TV, a standing lamp, a comfortable sofa, and framed art on the walls.

Home Suite Home
At the end of the hallway, Full Circle Gallery is host to artists Tnglr, Narboo, Starheadboy, Andy Miller (Mantisart), and 13fngrs. Combining elements of pop culture, comics, graffiti, collage, silk screen, print art, and straight up fun, the Full Circle artists have created a unique, inviting, and constantly evolving art space.

Full Circle Gallery (photo courtesy of Full Circle on Facebook)
Sarah and I decide to end our evening upstairs at the Green Bean Coffeehouse, where we are joined for a drink by the ever-illustrious Noah Beasley and serenaded by the lone piano player in the corner, a determined late-night open mic aficionado. We toast to the ridiculousness of politics, the deliciousness of quiche, fun art, and fantastic friends.

Support your local art scene!

~ BCDuncan

Saturday, September 1, 2012

SEPTEMBER Art Fix: Upcoming Events

If you need your art fix for the month of September (and I know I do!), here are some shows that you won't want to miss. It's the last official art walk of summer, so have a blast, enjoy the art, and soak up those last few rays of Seattle sunshine!

The 1st Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square, Thursday, 6 September from 5-8pm. Don't miss Jonathan Wakuda Fischer's brand new epic stencil/print/collage series: "Digital Superstitions" at Art Xchange! Fischer will be hosting a live demo early in the evening, so get there early to see the method behind the magic!

Linda Hodges Gallery is showcasing the large-scale bird themed collages of Patrick LoCicero. Here's a sneak peak:
Patrick LoCicero @ Linda Hodges Gallery
Also check out the "Poetry NW Extravaganza Extraordinaire" in Nord Alley, and new and exciting work at the Gallery 110, Underground Artist Collective, 4Culture, Platform, Punch, SOIL, and over 50 other studios, galleries, and art spaces!

The 1st Friday Art Walk in Fremont, Friday, 7 September from 6-9pm. There will be fundraiser at the Lenin statue (proceeds benefit the reconstruction efforts in Haiti), with live music by Alex Rasmussen and Brendan Shea! Don't miss the special Fremont Art Walk curated show at a super-secret 'ghost' location, featuring the work of Tiffany Smith, David Bloomfield (a.k.a. Starheadboy), Andrew Miller, Gretchen Fuller, and more!

Gretchen Fuller

Check out the Haiti-inspired photography of Alex Garland at West of Lenin, the paintings of Sophie Thomas at 509 Wines, Liz Neuman's block prints at Frame Up Studios, Emily Alice Peck's encaustic paintings at Hub & Bespoke, and many, many more!

The 2nd Saturday Art Walk in Ballard, Saturday, 8 September from 6-9pm. See the paintings of Jay Wescott for an encore opening at BalMar! Don't miss new work at Annie's Art & Frame, Art & Soul, Blowing Sands Glass Studio, Cupcake Royal, Filthy Rich, Kiss Cafe, Monster Art & Clothing, Nightingale Gallery, Savour, the Sunset Tavern and more!

The 2nd Saturday Art Walk in the Central District, Saturday, 8 September from 1-5pm. Check out the Neptune Gallery Sculpture Garden and new work at Atelier Autumnthing, Hi-Spot Cafe, Pratt Fine Art Centre, Twilight Exit and more!

The 2nd Saturday Art Walk in Georgetown, Saturday 8 September from 6-9pm. See new work at American Pie, Artcore Tattoo, Belle & Whissel, Fantagraphics Bookstore, Georgetown Arts & Cultural Centre, Smarty Pants, Totally Blown Glassworks, Two Tartes Cafe and more!

The 2nd Thursday Art Walk in Capitol Hill, Thursday, 13 September from 5-8pm. This month Zipcar is providing free shuttle services for art walkers! Pickups and drop-offs are offered at three locations: the Seattle Asian Art Museum, at 11th Ave and E Pike, and at E Melrose and E Pine. Look for specially-marked sedans 5pm – 8pm. You won't want to miss "A Pirate Themed Group Show!" at the Online Cafe,  featuring Levi Hastings, Xavier Lopez Jr, Paul McKercher, Javier S. Ortega, Joe Vollan, Kassandra Davis and Yvette Endrijautzki!

Ltd has put together a one of a kind art show to celebrate the modern era of video games! VALVe artists and guest curators, Andrew Wilson and Eric Kirchmer, rounded up over 30 of today's top video game artists to create a special collection of original and limited edition artwork. Hailing from Rockstar, Harmonix, VALVe, Double Fine, and more, these artists will depart from their everyday jobs to create new artwork inspired by their favorite video games of the modern era. 6-9pm

"Halo" by Scott Campbell @ Ltd Gallery
Also check out "The Korpsey Show" by Ken Li at Bauhaus, "For Work and Play" at True Love Gallery, Sheena Lee's pin-up photography at Babeland, and brand new work at Blindfold Gallery, Cakespy, Cupcake Royale, Ghost Gallery, Joe Bar, Retrofit Home, Vermillion, and over 20 other art spaces this month!

"Transmission" at the Mercury, Thursday, 13 September from 9.30pm til late. Features art by Porcelain Poet Photography and belly dancing by Copperclock Bellydance! You do not have to be a member for this night, and you do not need a member to sign you in. It is open to the public. No dress code. Free for members before 9.30pm. Starts at 9pm and goes til 2am. The performer will go on around 10.30 and again at 11.30, and the artist will be there all night. Come buy art, drinks, hear music and watch a sexy lady dance. "Transmission" happens the 2nd Thursday of every month.

The 2nd Thursday Art Walk in West Seattle, Thursday, 13 September from 6-9pm. Don't miss "Cryogenic Nude America", a collage collaboration, presented by the Collagemonauts:  Marty Gordon, Tim Manthey and Craig van den Bosch. Also check out new work at The Heartland Cafe, Hotwire Coffee, Shoofly Pie, and more!

The 2nd Friday Art Walk in the Greenwood-Phinney neighbourhood, Friday, 14 September from 6-9pm. Bherd Studios is celebrating it's shiney new location above the Chase Bank building on 85th St. with its inaugural exhibition "By the Yard." There is a fine line between art and retail in the gallery business and this exhibition pushes it right over the edge. Each artist was challenged to create a piece of work that is 1 yard long by 1 foot high and will be sold by the inch.  Gallery attendees will be encouraged to use tape measures and rulers to divvy up their favorite parts of the artwork, daring both artist and art buyer to discover how they truly feel about the production of art for sale. Carve out your favorite piece of Troy Gua, Ryan Molenkamp, Crystal Barbre, Kellie Talbot, Tessa Hulls, 12 Midnite, Zach Bohnenkamp, Greg Boudreau, Jenny Dayton, Dan Voelker and John Osgood. Exhibition showing through Friday, October 5th.

"Devo in Colorbrandz" by Troy Gua @ Bherd Studios

Tasty Delectable Collectibles is featuring "Erratic Expressions," a mixed media group show featuring Gretchen Fuller, Sarah Gordon, Starheadboy, and over a dozen other artists!

UrbanLight Studios will be featuring "Cityscapes and Mountainscapes", photography by Adrian Wyaerd and Kim Hood.

Also check out exciting shows at Chocolati Cafe, Gainsbourg, EchoEcho, Naked City Brewery, Two Birds Tattoo, and more!

The 2nd Friday Art Walk in Belltown, Friday, 14 September from 6-9pm. Check out "Lush Life Four" at Roq la Rue, a group show showcasing contemporary work that exhibits a sense of opulence, decadence, or lushness, executed with a technically refined hand. Features Laurie Lee Brom, Jessica Joslin, Eric Fortune, Madeline von Foerster, and over a dozen other artists! Art/Not Terminal Gallery is having a late-month opening on Saturday, 30 September from 6-9pm, featuring "Secret Signs and Rebel Angels", mixed media and digital collage by Kree Arvanitas. There will be live music, cupcakes, and booze!

The 3rd Friday Art Walk in the University District, Friday, 21 September from 6-9pm. You won't want to miss "Daydreamers" at BC Surf & Sport, featuring Redd Walitzki, 179, Ksera, and more!

Also check out "Autumn Blessings: The Art of Lis Wright Ivec" at Gargoyles Statuary, "Whimsical Dreamscapes" at the University Business Center, and brand new work at Artist & Craftsman,Cafe Allegro, Chaco Canyon Cafe, Daisy Sky Studio, Solstice Cafe, Starbucks, Tully's and more! Don't forget to stop by Boulevard Grocery for a bag of fresh-roasted coffee hand-painted by a local Seattle artist!

57 Biscayne in Pioneer Square is having a 1 DAY ONLY gallery opening, Sunday, 23 September starting at 2pm. Margaret Killjoy (SteamPunk Magazine, Mythmakers & Lawbreakers) and Libby Bulloff (The Steampunk Bible, Exoskeleton Cabaret) will be presenting a gallery show of unique portraits and adventure photography. We will also be offering one-time-only affordable tintype portrait sessions during the art show in which we will be shooting and developing metal photos using an antique camera. Sittings are free--successful tintypes are $50 and can be taken home 30 minutes after the sitting. Tintype sessions are first-come, first-serve and materials are limited! Don't miss out!

With this much going on, you couldn't possibly complain that there's nothing to do in Seattle!

Support your local art scene! Cheers.

~ BCDuncan