Eight local artists will be profiled in South Lake Union through February 14, 2014, with an informal art walk on Friday, January 17. Meet us at Uptown Espresso at 6PM for a casual tour around the neighborhood with participating artists on hand!
From an electronic drawing machine creating a drawing every week, cartoon owls, a gigantic chalkboard, and layered photographs of South Lake Union architecture over time, each artist brings their distinct vision to windows throughout the area. Featuring Brian Benfer, Zachary Burns, Elizabeth Gahan, Aaliyah Gupta, Clare Johnson, narboo, Robert Twomey, and Sylwia Tur.
This project will involve installing one, or a series of impermanent “chalkboard/s” on the wall/s of the space. Essentially, the wall/s will be covered in black chalkboard paint, upon which I will rub a ceramic composite. The intention is that the rubbings will reveal markings that signify the history of the residual left behind from prior occupation. The premise of the project explores the ideas of history, education, and residue within the constructs of a space—the concept of “chalkboard” being a metaphor for conveying information (i.e. education).
South Lake Union is an interesting example of the changes and preservation that happen as a city evolves. The intersection of Mercer and Aurora has undergone many changes. Some of the buildings around it have been there for over 100 years while other are built and torn down every year. I have selected 3 buildings surrounding that intersection. The first is the Copier’s Northwest building. Built in 1919 this building has remained mostly unchanged both visually and in use despite the changes around it. The second is the J.T. Hardeman Hat Co. building, which is now home of the School of visual concepts. This building is interesting because while it is visually unchanged from when it was built in 1920, it has been completely re-purposed. The third building is the former Hostess Cake bakery. Recently purchased out of bankruptcy by Franz Bakery, its fate is unclear. Set within the frame of the change around them, these three buildings, and others like them, question the choices we make to preserve the past while moving into the future.
In “Graphic Plume,” Elizabeth Gahan uses magazine ads and common synthetic materials, such as corrugated plastic, vinyl and spray paint, to create an installation informed by nature and pattern. The advertising content is fractured and obscured allowing the beauty of color and graphic design to remain like a plume of hexagons sweeping across the wall in the window space. The repetition of forms, vibrant colors and a prolific amount of reused materials in this work also suggests the potential for these forms to multiply and expand further.
Weather has been a focus for me recently, because of its significant impact on my life here in the Northwest. Fall and winter bring storms and gusting wind, surging rivers and enormous waves, horizontal rain and hail. The swirls of wind and water enclose me at their epicenter, sometimes in a comfortable rhythm, other times in a frenzy of activity that echoes the chaos of the world. In the spring, the blanket of drizzling grayness is punctuated with moments of sparkling light. My body responds viscerally, craving the sun and its warmth. As the clouds give way to sparkling skies, I celebrate every moment of light and warmth, transcendent sunsets, cloud patterns, and the occasional sunburst.
My paintings are about nature and about life. The storms that rage around us. The shifting skies that periodically erupt in a blaze of color. The vortexes that we find ourselves in. The upheavals, natural and political, which impact our day-to-day existence.