Thursday, May 1, 2014

PIONEER SQUARE: Starscapes, Whale Bones, and Technicolour Battery Acid

Tonight is the Pioneer Square Art Walk, and it is going to be an evening of epic events! I'm accompanied by friends and fellow artists Corey Skillman and Cody Hunemuller, and our first stop is Trabant Coffee & Chai/Laika Lounge, where Corey has an exhibit. She and artist Thomas Drake Steffens (Trabant/Laika's general manager) are presenting "Nebulae" a series of intricate starscapes - Corey in acrylic, and Tom in oil. It's a show that invites you to look closer and fall into layer upon layer of luminescent universe. See if you can spot the TARDIS...

"Nebulae" @ Laika Lounge
Corey Skillman & Thomas Drake Steffens @ Laika Lounge
Cody Hunemuller & Corey Skillman @ Laika Lounge
"Nebulae" @ Laika Lounge
After Laika, we head to AXIS, the art & event space commandeered not too long ago by the folks from Urban Light Studios as a sister venue to their existing space in Greenwood. This eve, they're featuring "Flora & Fauna," brand new bodies of work by Ariel Wickham, Joe Vollan, and Michelle Anderst. These artists bring together their talents for detail and realism to explore elements of morbid beauty and natural decay in the plant and animal realms. 

Michelle Anderst @ AXIS
Ariel Wickham @ AXIS
Joe Vollan @ AXIS
AXIS is also hosting an opera performance by Roxanna Walitzki and Sarah Fletcher, and the haunting melodies are an apt accompaniment to the visual themes of life and mortality. Following the performance is the premier of "Erlk├Ânig," an eerily lovely collaboration between Roxanna, artist & filmmaker Adric Hicks, and the whimsical Steampunk musicians Toy Box Trio.

Roxanna Walitzki & Sarah Fletcher
Adric Hicks & Roxanna Walitzki
Maj Askew, Roxanna Walitzki & Redd Walitzki
The opening at AXIS is a marvel for the senses, and we'd love to stay all night, but there's one last exhibit we have time to visit. Roq la Rue is showcasing "De Anima" the second collaborative effort between artists Martin Whitfooth and Jean Labourdette (their first joint-project was in 2013 for a show at La Halle St-Pierre Museum in Paris). 

"De Anima" @ Roq la Rue
I don't know if you've ever stepped into a room full of art work and and wished harder than pretty much anything you'd ever wished before that the paintings would come to life just so you make friends with them and bring them home with you; perhaps ride them into a glorious candy-coated, sepia-tinted battle where acid drooling hares fight side by side with flower encrusted elephants and monkeys laced with nicotine and booze... No? Well, it might just be me, but the first and only word I can think of to describe this body of work is 'delicious'. 

Martin Wittfooth & Jean Labourdette triptych @ Roq la Rue
"De Anima" @ Roq la Rue
As an exhibit, "De Anima" is a beautifully rendered conversation about the imbalance between technology and nature and the increasing separation of humanity from the intrinsically sacred. I promised Kirsten Anderson (Roq la Rue's lovely curatorial overlord) that I wouldn't lick any of the pieces. I am both relieved and a little saddened to say that by the end of the evening I'd kept my promise.

Jean Labourdette @ Roq la Rue
"De Anima" @ Roq la Rue
Support your local art scene!

~ BCDuncan

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