Storefronts Inaugurates South Lake Union Program with Eight Local Artists

Through February 14, 2014
Art Walk: January 17, 6PM, Uptown Espresso
500 Westlake Avenue North, South Lake Union

Storefronts artist Elizabeth Gahan in front of “Graphic Plume”

Shunpike is thrilled to announce our new Storefronts project in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood!

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.

Brian Benfer Chalkboard

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).

Zachary Burns Layers

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.

Elizabeth Gahan Synthetic Growth

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.

Aaliyah Gupta Weather

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.

Clare Johnson Drawing From Literature

These drawings are all inspired by favorite pieces of writing, books I’ve read and re-read throughout different times in my life. The scenes in the art are designed to create the same overall feeling I get from each work of literature. Sometimes this includes imagery or landscapes I imagine being part of the setting; sometimes setting is only hinted at, or not addressed at all. In most instances, the drawing is not of any real concrete detail or scene from the book, but rather uses a mixture of elements to show the feelings, images, symbols or themes in my head as I read it. Each drawing is titled after a small fragment of writing from each book, a quote that particularly resonates with me. They’re usually somewhat plain and short; leaving them open to interpretation and letting the words have more space on their own than in the books. I wanted to highlight the possibilities in these quotes, uncovering them from the larger texts and letting them have an additional life and power of their own.


I am a local artist residing in Ballard and working from my studio Space, in the Greenwood Collective. I am influenced by the city and nature and this is why I love Seattle. My art is full of bold lines, lots of color, and crazy animal and bird characters. If I can make people smile, then I feel I’ve done my job as an artist.

Robert Twomey Convex Mirror

My early experience as an engineer and neuroimaging researcher has given me intimate knowledge of technical and scientific practice. This is a key element of my artistic endeavor. I approach creative work with the critical perspective of an artist—interested in particular technologies’ impact on our evolving culture, and how technologies can be use create new forms of expression, communication, and meaning. I am addressing the questions of who we are and how we see ourselves through work integrating traditional and new forms of expression. My projects are technically innovative while critically engaged with material and cultural tradition.

Sylwia Tur Templates

When working on my sculptures, I am using analogies to the processes that come together to form language. The shapes I choose to make are simply things I am missing. Thus I am filling a gap for myself between what is already present and what I want to bring into being. Thinking of language as a system keeps pointing me in the direction of exploring many other systems present around us, those created by nature, those formed by humans and machines, and those systems, which are combinations of them all.

Architecture also plays a significant role as an inspiring force behind the aesthetic of my work. I am interested in basic geometric shapes, which are often devoid of inherent identity, thus providing a clean slate for my work. I can choose their identity by the way I bring them together, creating a personal language of objects out of this chosen vocabulary.

The exhibition will be on view from November 18, 2013 – February 14, 2014. For more information:

About Shunpike:
Shunpike’s mission is to fuel innovation in the arts by building productive partnerships, cultivating leadership and providing direct services to arts groups of all kinds.
Currently serving over 180 groups across Washington state, Shunpike provides small to medium-sized arts groups with financial and administrative services so they can get on with the job of creating art. Shunpike’s Storefronts program encourages community engagement and urban renewal by placing art installations and pop-up creative enterprises in vacant retail space.

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Karen Garrett de Luna’s Ning Ning lights up the night at the Harbor Steps

Karen Garrett de Luna’s Ning Ning lights up the night at the Harbor Steps

December 21, 2013 through March 20, 2014
1230 Western Avenue, at the foot of the Harbor Steps
Free and open to the public 3PM – 9AM

Twinkling green lights will begin beckoning passersby to the Harbor Steps this Friday, a storefront full of fireflies and surprises.   In Tagalog, ‘ning ning’ is like the twinkling of stars or the sparkling of diamonds.

Ning Ning by Karen Garrett de Luna

Ning Ning by Karen Garrett de Luna

Shunpike’s Storefronts program presents Karen Garrett de Luna in our second installation on the Waterfront, an interactive LED piece that will respond to the activity and stillness of passersby via motion sensors on the façade.

Fireflies are magical. In some cultures they are thought to represent fallen stars or the souls of the deceased. As an indoor/outdoor installation, Ning Ning brings the magic of fireflies, enchanting viewers as they walk by and inspiring them to embrace slowness and sparkle.

                                                                                               - Karen Garrett de Luna

Property provided courtesy of Equity Residential, with many thanks to Connie Wing.

Storefronts Waterfront Logo

Storefronts on the Waterfront is a new partnership with Seattle Department of Transportation, the Office of Arts & CultureWaterfront Seattle, and Shunpike.

About Shunpike:
Shunpike’s mission is to fuel innovation in the arts by building productive partnerships, cultivating leadership and providing direct services to arts groups of all kinds.
Currently serving over 200 groups across Washington state, Shunpike provides small to medium-sized arts groups with financial and administrative services so they can get on with the job of creating art.  Additionally, Shunpike runs workshops and consultation clinics in a range of business areas such as fundraising and strategic planning to build capacity amongst Washington’s diverse arts groups.  Shunpike’s Storefronts program encourages community engagement and urban renewal by placing art installations and pop-up creative enterprises in vacant retail space.
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Catwave, by Ling Chun

Ling Chun

Everyone is familiar with the charming Japanese maneki neko cats – gold, white, and black, seen in entrances and windows all over the International District, bringing fortune to their owners with their beckoning paws.  Catwave, Ling Chun’s playful new motion-sensitive installation, literally triggers a “wave of fortune” for those fortunate pedestrians that walk by the brilliant gold cats.

Sited in the peeling lobby of the soon-to-be-remodeled Publix hotel, and likely the last Storefront installation at this popular site, we chose to site Chun’s installation in the hotel to honor the former (and future) tenants of the Publix; the Uwajimaya family, who have been long-term property sponsors; as well those waiting outside the hotel for the buses picking up neighborhood residents headed to the casinos.

Chun realized the project with the guidance of Michael Park of Jigsaw Renaissance, and the project is supported in part by a generous grant from the Snoqualmie Tribe Fund.

Through March 2014
Fifth and Weller, Chinatown, Seattle

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Robert Twomey’s Convex Mirror begins drawing in South Lake Union

Convex Mirror by Robert Towmey

Convex Mirror by Robert Twomey

Using a CNC plotter, 180º circular fisheye, and computer vision software to record a layered image of place, Robert Twomey’s Convex Mirror explores the progression of time via an automated drawing machine and window-mounted camera.

Part of the ongoing Storefronts project featuring eight artists in the South Lake Union neighborhood, this project will document the Harrison and Boren intersection over time during the next three months, including the changing of the seasons and a building being erected on the corner, completing variations on the image about once a week. Completed drawings will be featured in the space, providing a graphical, digitally generated record of this particular place at this particular point in time.

Convex Mirror
Robert Twomey
Through February 14, 2014
Harrison Street, just west of Boren Avenue North

Storefront window courtesy of Amazon.

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Storefronts comes to the Seattle Waterfront!

Shunpike is thrilled to announce an exciting new partnership on the Seattle Waterfront with the Seattle Department of Transportation, the Office of Arts and Culture, and Waterfront Seattle. As key program of Shunpike, the Storefronts program will activate up to 7 concurrent vacant spaces with art installations and creative pop-up projects along the Western Avenue corridor between Columbia and Pike in the center of downtown.

These spaces offer vital opportunities for large-scale installations, pop-up galleries, and community projects by Storefronts roster artists.  In turn, these installations and pop-up projects will draw audiences to the downtown core, supporting local businesses and property owners invested in a dynamic and engaging neighborhood, and adding walkability and color to a transitional urban streetscape.

“Storefronts is an extremely effective tool to support transitional neighborhoods,” says Randy Engstrom, Director of the Office of Arts and Culture. “It drives economic development in neighborhoods in need of retail activity, it injects art into people’s everyday walking experience, and it supports property owners and neighboring businesses while available spaces are between tenants.”

Storefronts kicks off on the Waterfront with Maxime Bilet’s Art as Food, a pop-up storefront gallery and test kitchen at Waterfront Place, which will act as a research center for advancing food arts and sciences and become home to a series of food related fine arts, design, scientific research, performances, classes, guest talks and special events.

Waterfront Place
1011 Western Avenue, Suite 103, Seattle (at Madison)

Upcoming Store and Gallery Hours, 11AM – 7PM

November      25, 26, and 27
December       14-15, and 19-22

“We live in a time where our relationship with food and the food system itself is broken,” Bilet says. “My intention is to examine modern food culture, and the powerful and far-reaching roles food can play in our lives and in society, by presenting a series of sensory and inter-disciplinary based experiences to local communities nationwide. To bring those roles to light, we will explore the relationships between food and technology, education, environmental sustainability, biology, physics, art and design, socio-political advocacy, and cultural history. Food is one of the most dynamic methods of communication we have and the potential of redefining our relationship with food is limitless.”

Listed as one of Forbes Magazine’s “30 under 30” in food and wine, co-author of Modernist Cuisine, and an inventor and advocate of food aesthetics, Maxime Bilet is an innovator in the realm of food arts and a public figure in the international food world, having spoken about his books and current projects to audiences in Seattle, San Francisco, New York, London, Paris and Madrid.

The Waterfront Place storefront is provided courtesy of NP Waterfront Place, LLC, and Jeremy Moller of JSH Properties, Inc.

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Storefronts Auburn is proud to present Jim Pridgeon at One Main!


Jim Pridgeon installed at One Main as part of our Auburn program!

Originally posted on Storefronts Auburn:

Jim Pridgeon at One Main, Auburn

Jim Pridgeon at One Main, Auburn

Storefronts Auburn installation at One Main echoes Auburn’s aviation history

Public artist Jim Pridgeon worked with frequent collaborators  Benton Shaw and Richard Beckerman, as well as volunteers from Evergreen Soaring to install a Czechoslovakian designed and built Blanik L-13 glider into a raw ground level space at One Main Street Professional Plaza, a nod to Auburn’s history as an aviation town.  Originally designed in 1956, more L-13′s were produced than any other glider in the world and were used primarily as trainers, although the type held several world records. All L-13s have been grounded by the FAA pending resolution of wing spar failures.

A National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist Fellow, State of Washington Visual Arts Fellow and recipient of multiple Seattle Arts Commission awards, Pridgeon is a long-time Seattle artist whose large-scale installations reference, and are made from, materials sourced at the site.  Concerned with memory, and the mixing of familiar…

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Exquisite corpse installation #2 coming to Chutney’s: Jennifer Zwick!

Lamps Meninas
by Jennifer Zwick

La(mp)s Meninas by Diego Velasquez (Creative Commons)

La(mp)s Meninas by Diego Velasquez (original image courtesy Creative Commons)

SHUNPIKE is proud to announce Jennifer Zwick as the next contributor to the “Exquisite Corpse” Storefront at the Stream 15 development on Capitol Hill. 

Continuing the great tradition of re-envisioning Diego Velazquez’ canonical painting Las Meninas, Jennifer Zwick presents Lamps Meninas.  This simple, striking installation will recreate the composition of the famous painting, with the key players represented by various types of lighting fixtures.

A funny, aesthetically lovely way to shepherd in our darker months, Zwick’s installation will inhabit the interior of the former Chutney’s restaurant, incorporating some visual elements of the old bar, as well as adding depth and illumination to Greg Lewis’ exterior installation Boxed Up.

Painted by Diego Velazquez in 1656, Las Meninas seems made to be recreated.  Not just a painting within a painting (though it does feature other works within), it is instead the painting of a painting.  The artifice of this work is its behind-the-scenes nature, depicting Velazquez standing at a large canvas, working on a portrait of the King and Queen (seen reflected in a mirror in the background).  Meanwhile, the Royal court are gathered to watch him work, including La Infanta Margarita and her attendants.  As the viewer is inevitably situated exactly where the King and Queen would be located to pose for Velazquez, to the viewer’s perspective, these backstage figures and the production of the “painting” are the main subjects; but from the perspective of the figures in the painting, the viewer (in the role of the Royal couple) becomes the subject.

Property courtesy of sustainable development company Stream Real Estate LLC.

Please join us for the opening of Lamps Meninas during October’s Blitz Capitol Hill Art walk:

605 15th Avenue East, Capitol Hill, Seattle
Thursday, October 10, 2013
5 – 8 PM

Lamps Meninas will be on display through December 2013

About Shunpike:

Our mission is to fuel innovation in the arts by building productive partnerships, cultivating leadership and providing direct services to arts groups of all kinds.

Shunpike provides assistance in areas like fundraising and strategic planning when many arts groups need that support more than ever before. We provide groups with back-office services that strengthen their day-to-day operations, while also offering strategic guidance that leads them toward their long-term goals.

About Stream Real Estate LLC:

Stream Real Estate LLC creates sophisticated, contemporary apartments in the most sought-after Seattle Metro neighborhoods using energy-efficient, earth-friendly products and business practices. Their apartments are teeming with amenities while focused on carbon neutral status from construction. For more go to

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