The theme of Storefronts XIV is “Cultural growth and decay: the shifting perceptions of
self and the other.” In this series of installations we explore the the growth and decay of culture and identity within an evolving urban landscape. Whether it be by collecting Lunaria seeds through the passing seasons or listening to the life experiences of immigrant elders, we collect and discard as we build up our personal narrative. These works explore what it means to build and disassemble our understanding of self and the relationships we create in our built environments.
All SLU Storefronts Locations are at the corner of Terry or Boren on given cross streets:
ARTIST: Christopher Hartshorne
WORK: Fusion Field Landscape
LOCATION: Mercer East Storefront
I create woodblock prints that depict a dramatic movement of form and textural organic elements. I use my extensive library of woodblocks as a visual language, repeating components in new configurations throughout my body of work. I create new compositions by repurposing and recombining woodblocks from older work. To me, forcing the combination of contrasting compositional elements to exist with one another on the printed surface serves as an analogy for how we exist in our own constructed worlds. I remix textures and pattern from a variety of sources including: my interpretation of imperceptible reactions in science, patterns found in nature, mechanical elements found in architecture and social spaces, and the weathered decay of urban environments. After carving these patterns and textures out of birchwood, I then reassemble them into one printed composition. Combining sculpted polyhedra and large-scale banners, my current work assembles the layers and dynamic juxtapositioning of my printed work into a three-dimensional space.
ARTIST: Markel Uriu
LOCATION: Mercer West Storefront
Made of Lunaria leaves and gold thread, Veil, is both a tapestry and a physical manifestation of labor and time.
Veil is an ongoing piece, composed of leaves and gold thread. For three years, Markel Uriu has gathered Lunaria plants from around the city of Seattle when they mature in fall, which then sews into a tapestry over the course of the year. Through this ritual, Uriu contemplates patterns of life and death, both as a literal marker of time, and through metaphorical reflections. The repetitive arrangement and action of the piece create a visual rhythm, which evokes the cyclical nature of life. Mimicking those actions essential to living—breath, heartbeat, blood flow—the tapestry mirrors these actions through its form and process. Variation in climate and time are seen in the different layers, as the Lunaria darken or lighten to mark the difference in years. The ever-changing nature of both past and present beautifies it’s impermanence and highlight the beauty that comes when there are some things left beyond your control. Drawing from Buddhist ideals, Veil encourages the viewer to more fully observe the present, as the piece will constantly change, either through it’s growth and decay, or by the artist’s own hand. In addition the fragility and strength of impermanence, the piece expands Uriu’s ongoing themes of femininity, meticulous labor, assiduousness, and endurance. Quiet, nearly passive, action becomes something impressive through dedication and time.
ARTIST: Lida Mahabadi
WORK: Duality in Inferno
LOCATION: Republican Storefront
In Dante, inferno tells the journey of Dante through Hell. The presented work is an emotional expression of the urban journey of transformation the city of Seattle has gone through over the years. In today’s world, we are faced with an ever changing fast paced society. As a result, our society is faced with a big challenge to consciously adapt and hold onto memories of various dying elements. Accordingly, Seattle has become denser to accommodate for growing population and consequently the natural environment has been affected. The earliest Buddhist texts explain the four primary material elements as the sensory qualities of solidity, fluidity, temperature, and mobility; their characterization of earth, water, fire, and air, respectively. The series are abstraction of four elements of air, fire, water, and earth within the context of city of Seattle. The artwork aims to demonstrate how life extends beyond its own subjective limits to tells a story about the effects of global cultural interaction over the natural environment. This work’s mellifluous visual effect is highlighted by the changing color pallette at night and day and challenges the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other. Art is a powerful tool that often softens emotions and creates an opportunity for a meaningful dialogue. Our perceptional malleability is key to processing today’s distorted world and integrating local and global information in our daily dynamic environments. There is a great urgency to reflect on the past and plan for a better future.
ARTIST: Ellen Hochberg
LOCATION: Harrison East Storefront
This project was created as a way for us to think about the quick, easy terms we use to “label”
each other. Words like Conservative, Feminist, Pro-life have a subtext of meaning that goes beyond the word itself. We have come to rely on these words as a simple shorthand when describing people, especially people different than ourselves. But are these the words someone would have chosen for themselves? Do they give us a true measure of a person?
ARTIST: Cameron Anne Mason
LOCATION: Harrison West Storefront
Panels of translucent silk organza, dyed in shades from ivory to deep brown and stitched with red thread, are a visual metaphor for our diverse communities. We are all the same and yet, look closer and each of us is a unique combination of DNA and life-experience. Dyeing fabric is fundamental to my work. It is an intimate part of our lives. It protects us from the elements, and gives us comfort and a means to express ourselves. It is sensual and essential. I am drawn to fabric because of its changeability and its constancy. Fabric is the skin that clothes my work.
ARTIST: Tessa Hulls
WORK: This Is My Home: Stories of First Generation Immigrants
LOCATION: Thomas East Storefront
This Is My Home is a series of visual interviews highlighting the strength, tenacity, diversity and grace of female first generation immigrants in the Seattle area.
ARTIST: Fred Lisaius
WORK: World Tree (Gold)
LOCATION: Thomas West Storefront
The deeper I go into the forest the closer I feel to the truth. Off of the trail, there is a quiet calm where ideas can be contemplated and refined. Everything is connected- in my paintings, I utilize the forum of nature to explore our relationship to the natural world, the universe and to each other. When it’s foggy I see everything more clearly. Shapes are simplified, colors subdued and a veil of mystery is cast. I like to incorporate transitions in my paintings- events such as change of season, day into night and awake to sleep are realms where the imagination and reality coexist. Perhaps they are also windows into better understanding our existence. I think best in paint. When I begin a painting, I begin a journey. Nothing makes me happier.
ARTIST: Katrina Sather
WORK: Hope 2
LOCATION: John Storefront
The arts can provide powerful inspiration and motivation for change. Thus, my facilitated artwork is as much about the process as the final product. Each production evolves over numerous sessions, often spanning several weeks or months. Collaborative paintings offer participants an opportunity for self expression, social inclusion, release of tension, increased confidence, and an invitation to negotiate personal boundaries as we gather around a canvas: shoulder to shoulder. The finished pieces are colorful, dynamic and vibrant. When the final artwork is witnessed by others, everyone who committed themselves to the piece is validated. Their voices and individual stories are honored. Creativity, like people, shouldn’t exist in isolation. I am fulfilled when bringing individuals together to experience self-discovery through creativity. Often I witness strength and resilience in the stories told. People from diverse backgrounds are able to find a common language that never ceases to amaze me. This process equalizes the playing field for all, resulting in a reduction of limitations and barriers. It furthers my belief that we are all capable of being changed through participation in the arts.