Thursday, October 1, 2015

PIONEER SQUARE: Rebels, Libations & Illuminations

The Pioneer Square Art Walk is hopping tonight! Awesome things are going down; there's no way I'll be able to catch them all, but I've got to start somewhere...

"The Drawnk Show" at the Pioneer Square Saloon is my first stop. The Drawnk is a migratory evening of drinking & drawing, established in early March and growing ever since. The location & participants change, but the spirit remains the same. The Saloon hosts the group more often than not, and we figured it was time to turn our sketches into a show. Dozens of works by the Drawnk artists are on display, 8" x 8" each, and only $40 a piece! It's a rare opportunity to pick up exceptionally affordable art by some of Seattle's most prolific artists; I have to come home with at least a few... ;)

My next stop is "Face Me" at AXIS Pioneer Square, a collection of portraits featuring Tom Deslongchamp, Erin Pollack & Joe Mac Kechnie curated by Vera Paskevich. Deslongchamp's portraits are created with an unconventional process using Crayola markers & paper cutouts for masking. Pollack's paintings are traditional oils filled with a unique convergence of texture & light. Mac Kechnie's images are a fun mix of representational, expressionistic & abstract. The artists' styles differ dramatically, but the rich colours create a dynamic dialogue between the subjects.

Just down the street from AXIS is Flatcolor Gallery showing artists EGO and Grady Gordon. "The Time is Never" marks EGO's 3rd exhibit at Flatcolor, and his trademark oil and acrylic creations are miniature windows into a detailed world of whimsical horror. In the upstairs gallery, Grady Gordon's series of singularly intricate monoprints "Been Seeing You Around Lately" creates a stark mythological balance to EGO's dark symbolism.

I continue down the road to ArtXchange Gallery which is hosting "Rebels of the Floating World" by Jonathan Wakuda Fischer & Louie Gong. Fischer combines traditions of Japanese folklore, woodblock print, and graffiti while Gong melds the traditional Coast Salish art style with pop culture iconography. The show is a fascinating fusion of cultural heritage and urban street art style.

My next stop is Roq La Rue Gallery for an exhibit unified by light (and its absence). Jeff Jacobson's "Aphotic Ilk" references the strange phosphorescence of deep dark waters where curious life forms abound and light exists as a fleeting, dangerous beauty. Casey Weldon's newest acrylic series "Hastemaker" glows from within; neon vignettes captured in hyper saturated pigments could be fragments of a vivid surreal narrative. "Let Your Eyes Adjust to the Dark" by Samantha Wall is a portrait series in sumi ink, charcoal & pigment featuring women of many ethnicities in monochrome. Wall has created "a place where emotions call out and perceived racial boundaries dissolve."

Next door to Roq la Rue is Surface Theory, host to "Paths Taken," John Osgood's newest body of work, and my last gallery stop of the evening. Osgood has created over 30 paintings in acrylic & aerosol, true to his style, and stream-of-consciousness in nature, the "Paths Taken" series is exactly that: an exploration of textures and layers, images unknown and puzzled together, the final compositions dictated by the process itself.

After leaving Surface Theory, I head back toward the Pioneer Square Saloon to pick up my new art acquisitions from the Drawnk show. On the way, I peek into Artifact Gallery, closed for the night, but well lit and lovely with John Sarkis' "It's Been a Long Summer" show. I also pass a series of large-scale paintings chillin' on a street corner. I have no idea whose they are or from whence they came, but it's Pioneer Square on art walk night, so why not?

Support your local art scene!

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