Posts Tagged ‘art’

The Art, And A Gallery, Of The Walk

March 31, 2010
Too Much Fun On The Art Walk by Melanie Masson

In the 3rd Floor 'gallery' of the Space building during the First Friday Art Walk - photo by Melanie Masson

Last fall, when Renaun Hochstein moved into the Space Building (at 600 North 36th Street), her predecessor in the office space, LaRae Lobdell told her about the Fremont First Friday Art Walk. Lobdell, who had organized the event for three years, held shows in her space and reportedly asked Hochstein, ‘Hey, I do this, would you be interested?’ When Lobdell described it as a great way to get involved and meet people in the neighborhood, Hochstein agreed.

Will Dieterle, who also recently leased an office in the building, wanted to participate as well – and agreed to help Hochstein find artists and share host duties. They collaborate on their shows, and have learned to curate art from doing it.

How to Choose Art

Dieterle selects some pieces based on message, he explained. For March, the show’s theme was “entropy” and the transition of order into chaos. He wants to avoid repetitive messages, or choices of art styles. “I tend to know a lot of photographers,” he admitted, but he works “to get representations of many styles.”

Hochstein described her approach to finding works as a social endeavor. “I’ve gotten them by paying attention to what is out there,” she explained. She attends gallery shows, graduate shows and exhibitions. When she likes the work she’ll set herself to getting contact information for the artists. “It starts to take on its own…one leads to another,” she explained.

The display space they use self-selects certain kinds of works. In the third floor hallway of the Space building viewers “can’t stand back,” Dieterle admitted, so they “can’t do large scale frescoes.” The building wasn’t built to display art and “the way pieces are lit can be important,” Dieterle acknowledged, so they “pick art that has a liveliness to itself.” With awe, Hochstein mentioned the lessons she’s learned from the artists, and “how artists choose to hang their work.”

“I’m new to it,” she admitted. Neither she nor Dieterle have practical experience as curators, or in gallery work, but they’ve successfully jumped into the Art Walk, with gusto and the strong desire to support art, artists and community.

And Then Comes The Day Job

“What I like about the Space Building,” Dieterle admitted, “is it’s surrounded by lots of businesses.” He particularly enjoys its “fantastic central location,” and the other tenants, and “the diversity of talents and people makes for an exciting community.” Dieterle has a design business, doing websites and branding, but his current passion is art inspired., a website, will host a Seattle arts calendar of events – as well as serving as an arts community building tool. The ultimate goal, Dieterle explained, is to “make it more compelling for people to go out and experience art.”

Hochstein chose to locate in the Space because of the “good energy” there. She has worked in advertising agencies, and studied graphic design at the University of Washington. Upon her return to Seattle she decided to launch her own freelance graphic design business, called Renaun Design. She enjoys the building, “the community is nice,” she said, and how it is “perfectly ideal” for art. The Art Walk helps her network and be social. “By being a host, it forces you out there,” she explained, “you interact with people you never would have otherwise.”

For their next show, on April 2, Dieterle and Hochstein will have cellists from the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra and paintings by Shano Mulhall. To come see, and hear, the art, stop by the Space building (at 600 North 36th) and if the door isn’t open – ring the intercom for either Suite 329 or Notebleu. See you there!

For their next show, on April 2, Dieterle and Hochstein will have cellists from the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra and paintings by Shano Mulhall. To come see, and hear, the art, stop by the Space building (at 600 North 36th) and if the door isn’t open – ring the intercom for either Suite 329 or Notebleu. See you there!

©2010 Kirby Lindsay.  This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws.  Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.   


Moisture Spreads Farther Afield – Thanks To Fremont!

March 20, 2010

RB strums his stuff in 2007

Ron Bailey as a performer for Moisture Fest 2007 - photo by John Cornicello

Moisture Festival

(MF) can be very difficult to describe.  In its 7th year, the Comedy/Varietè show, with vaudevillian aspects, inspires delight and excitement in those who’ve experienced it, and bewilderment in those who say, “Moisture what?” 

In November 2009, Festival organizers published a book of Moisture (available at Fremont Place Books) with a sample of the ump-teen-illion incredible images taken by their three official photographers – Michelle Bates, John Cornicello and Mark Gardiner.  At a January Fremont Chamber of Commerce meeting, Ron Bailey, MF Development Director and Founder, explained that the book works well to explain the show to the uninitiated.

Still, the best way to find out why fans get gleeful as Moisture nears is to attend a show.  In 2010 Moisture has moved into more venues, with over 100 dancers, jugglers, musicians, magicians, strippers, singers, comics, clowns, contortionists, aerialists, bubble blowers, and general miscellaneous performers.  Haven’t gotten tickets to Moisture yet?  What could you possibly be waiting for?

A Venue Near You

For the first time, Moisture Festival will travel to Open Space for Arts & Community (18870 103rd Ave SW) on Vashon Island and the Georgetown Ballroom (5623 Airport Way S).  “Both of those places have large artists’ communities,” Bailey explained, and in Georgetown, “the neighborhood business district found enough sponsors to support the event.”  Bailey also stated, at the January Fremont Chamber Board meeting, that the model set by members of the Fremont business district is one that other communities have followed.

On March 26 & 27 Moisture will stage three Varietè shows on Vashon, with tickets available to purchase on-line, and through Vashon’s Books By The Way.  On April 2 & 3, the last weekend of the Festival, Moisture moves to Georgetown for three Varietè shows.

Fremont remains home for a majority of Moisture.  From March 18 – April 4, Hale’s Palladium (4301 Leary Way NW) will convert into a boisterous Big Top.  Since 2005, Mike Hale has generously made his one-time keg storehouse available – and Moisture organizers have repaid this generosity by steadily improving the space.

According to Bailey, the Festival offers “the best of both worlds – the funky Hale’s Palladium and the classy ACT.”  For, in addition to the old-world circus charm of the Palladium, since 2007 ACT – A Contemporary Theatre (7th & Union), in Downtown Seattle, has welcomed Moisture Festival’s Liberty Burlesque.  “It’s kind of cool for the artists to be in a real theater,” Bailey commented.

The Festival kicked-off their 2010 season at the Falls Theater at ACT on March 11, with Varietè and Burlesque shows.  Liberty Burlesque returns there on April 1, 2 & 3 (tickets available through the ACT box office.)

When a Show Becomes More 

Additionally, Moisture Festival has collaborated with the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) for three select screenings.  At the SIFF Cinema (321 Mercer Street) at Seattle Center, Moisture Festival will host the West Coast premiere of the documentary “Dirty Martini & The New Burlesque” on March 29.  Director, Gary Beeber, and his subject, Miss Dirty Martini, will be on hand for the show.  They will also offer the ventriloquists’ documentary, “I’m No Dummy” on March 30 and “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” on March 31, each with a special live Festival performance.  Tickets can be purchased through the SIFF Box Office.

Also, every year the Festival schedules special fundraising shows.  This year they will raise money, on March 19 at 10:30p.m., for recording the fantastic final CD from now-disbanded Circus Contraption, (expect a few special Circus guests!)  On March 20, at 3 p.m. at Hale’s, proceeds go to a scholarship fund for SANCA (School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts), Seattle’s own non-profit circus school.  The annual “Aerlift” aerial fundraiser, presented by The Aerial Army of Love takes flight Wednesday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m.  Finally, 15% of proceeds from the 3 p.m. show on March 27 at Open Space goes to Vashon Youth & Family Services.

For those new to Moisture, never before have there been so many great opportunities to get the habit.  For those who already familiar with this marvelous mayhem, do not delay!  Tickets go quickly, and then the chance for Moisture is gone for another year…

©2010 Kirby Lindsay.  This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws.  Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.

46th Mural Needs Your Input

March 9, 2010
Artists and their Canvas Mar 10

Susan Brown, Todd Lown and Kristin Ramirez listen beneath a photo of their potential "canvas" at the 46th Street Community Meeting - photo by K. Lindsay

On Tuesday, March 2nd, a group of concerned community members gathered at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center to discuss the 46th Street Mural – and met the artists who will submit final mural designs.   Artists Kristen Ramirez, Susan Brown and Todd Lown will submit designs for  north wall (and pillars) of North 46th Street where it passes underneath Aurora Avenue/Hwy 99.

At the end of a lively discussion about what attendees did and did not want in the mural – and what they see when use the underpass (on foot, bicycle or cars) – the 46th Street Mural organizers asked for everyone to go to the on-line survey they’ve created.

Designs by each of the chosen artists will be made public soon, and be subject to a vote by the community to choose the most popular one.  The plan currently is to paint the mural – using volunteers from the community and members of Urban Artworks – in July/August of 2010.  For more information check out their page on Facebook, or contact them at

– by Kirby Lindsay, of

Painting A Picture Of Community

February 26, 2010
Members of the 46th Street Mural Project

Some organizers of the 46th Street Mural Project - l to r - Deborah Bell, Craig van den Bosch, Matt Gasparich, Gerald Diamond, Ruby Eister-Hargrave, Linda Clifton, Wyatt Eister-Hargrave and Leah Eister-Hargrave

When is a mural more than just a painting on a wall?  When it unites, and enhances, a community.  According to Matt Gasparich, one of the organizers, the 46th Street Mural project, a cooperative and community based effort to paint a mural on the walls of the Aurora Avenue underpass along 46th Street North, is “all about community building.”

A Community To Be Engaged

On March 2, 2010, at 6:30 p.m., mural organizers invite all community members to the Fremont Abbey Arts Center (4272 Fremont Avenue North) to meet three potential artists.  This will, they hope, be a night of dialogue where the community feed the artists ideas about what the neighborhood around the mural location stands for, represents and contains.  The artists will each bring their own personal interpretation, but their final design is meant to reflect the community in which their mural will stand.

When the artists submit their final designs, the organizers intend to post them on a website and ask neighbors to vote on their favorite.  This summer, hopefully, the winning design will be painted on the wall, again, by community volunteers.  A non-profit and experienced mural painting organization, ArtWorks, will help paint, and provide maintenance for a year.

By An Engaged Community

Organizers hope to draw in a community through the mural, and they already have.  Since they began to work on this, in February/March of 2009, the organizers themselves, a group from disparate backgrounds, have formed into a community of their own.

For instance, the members don’t share a timeline.  Craig van den Bosch has resided in Fremont, near Lighthouse Roasters, for two years, while Gerald Diamond moved to his residence in Wallingford in 2007.  Gasparich has lived in Fremont five years while Deborah Bell has lived and worked here, as an artist, going on 25.  Linda Clifton moved to Fremont in 1984.

They don’t share a common background in community activism, either, although Clifton reportedly met Diamond and Leah Eister-Hargrave involved through FAWN and the Block Watch program.  van den Bosch got involved on the project through the Fremont Abbey, where he volunteers as Art Curator.

Gasparich has past work experience with King County government, and yet this work, as a volunteer, “has given me more energy than when it was my job.”  Gasparich has enjoyed the unexpected social aspects of the project, as has van den Bosch.  “It’s been a good experience,” van den Bosch explained, “When you are in your 30s, it is hard to meet people.  It was a way to engage in the community.”

“Knowing the neighbors has been very difficult,” Clifton echoed, but “this way of getting to know people has been wonderful!”  For Bell, “I wanted something beautiful there,” at 46th, “because I walk by every day.”  Diamond also wants to see “more appreciation of art as a daily part of life.”  In this case, though, community may trump art.  “It always comes down to – it is about a group of people,” Bell explained.

Art can beautify.  Gasparich has previously, with grant funds, “planted an acre of trees in the area,” of the mural, in his attempts to “make riding the bus a more pleasant experience.”  Yet, art can also engage.  The cooperative effort of the organizers illustrates this, and their determination to do even more.  As Gasparich stated, he wants to install a mural, “so the neighborhood takes an interest.”

©2010 Kirby Lindsay.  This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws.  Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.