Mia Yoshihara-Bradshaw Design – Gallery.Retail.Studio

Presenting… Mia Yoshihara-Bradshaw Design (MYB Design)! Located at 222 1st Avenue S., our newest creative enterprise will function as a gallery, studio and retail shop run by the artist, craftsman and Seattle native, Mia Yoshihara-Bradshaw. Her work utilizes a unique self-taught paper cutting technique combining aspects of traditional Japanese Kiri-e, silhouettes, and mixed-media collage.

MYB Design will be diverse in art and craft, including local sculpture, painting, photography, and Japanese Kiri-e. The retail portion will provide handmade jewelry, pottery, apparel, and Christmas ornaments for the holiday season.

“Storefronts Seattle was a perfect opportunity to showcase my art as well as provide me with the opportunity to support and feature other artists and their work,” says Mia, who believes that the program “will give me invaluable retail experience in organizing and managing a gallery and retail business.”

Following the launch on December 2nd, MYB Design will have regular hours of operation:

Wednesday – Sunday (November-February)
10:00 AM – 6:00PM

MYB Design will be holding a Grand Opening Sunday, November 28th from 1-7pm. The theme of the event (and a core value of the studio) is nurturing the local artist community. Join in to enjoy the activity and excitement in welcoming the new creative energies at 222 1st Avenue!

Come out to First Thursday on December 2nd to meet Mia and scope out all of the other new Storefronts!

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Like the dragons? How do you feel about dinosaurs?

Storefronts is gearing up for our Round 2 launch on December 2nd – introducing 3 new spaces and 9 new artists and arts businesses. Keep an eye out for space transformations happening over the next two weeks – you may even be able to catch artist James Barker loading in his mega-sized prehistoric landscape to 312 Occidental. Yep, we’re swapping dragons for dinos.

And while I have your attention, did you happen to catch Seattle Magazine’s excellent coverage of Storefronts?

Stay tuned for more glimpses at what’s coming this round! We’re pretty excited about it. You should be too.

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VIDEA – The Collective of Video Artists

Last First Thursday VIDEA held an open house at their 666 S. Jackson St. studio in the Chinatown-International District. Visual artists VJ Tasara, Joseph Gray and VJ Scobot (three of six members), were working on video mixing, VJing, and projection mapping, filling the space with live visuals of light rhythms and color filled shapes. They had visitors throughout the night consisting of friends, friends of friends, and people just curious as they walked by the pulsing light spilling out of the windows at 666 S. Jackson. Check out the video below for a few clips from the open house visual jam.

The VIDEA studio is a place where these live visual artists work together to create projects and events, and educate and promote the art of Live Visual Performance using the latest in real-time animation, live video mixing techniques and other new visual technologies. Combined, they have over 30 years of experience performing live visuals, creating video installations, teaching video techniques, and producing video content for corporate events. They believe that in order for Live Visual Performance to grow and evolve in Seattle, the way it has in other parts of the world, there needs to be a center of knowledge and community.

Follow VIDEA on facebook for information about future Live Visual Performance workshops and events and showings.

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There’s a Brite Light in Chinatown-International District

Brite Collective’s super-talented and super-motivated crew (Dylan, Jean, Christa, Nin), has some big plans for their time at 676 S Jackson. Their mission is to unite the Seattle community through the process of design by creating a forum and a series of spontaneous and interactive design events.

They’ve attacked this task with their usual tenacity at Brite Social Studio and around the Chinatown-International District neighborhood. In early October, Brite launched their TAKE OUT event – a food excursion in Chinatown-International District exploring the neighborhood using all senses.

Last week’s event was a Brite Fundraiser focusing on a tour of Chinatown-International District, open discussion, and the film showing of Modern Views: A conversation on Northwest Modern Architecture, at Theatre Off Jackson. The tour, given by Seattle Architecture Foundation and the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation & Development Authority, was meant to explore and discuss the changes in the built environment of the neighborhood. The first stop on the tour was The Danny Woo Community Garden, founded in 1975. You can hear the inspiring story of how the garden came to be in the video below, told by SCIDPDA’s Joyce Pisnanont.

Up next for Brite is a Vertical Farm Experiment, sponsored by Seattle Tilth and Resolute Lighting. For the next few months the Brite crew will be designing, constructing, and installing a vertical farm system in the Brite Social Studio, to inspire the community to creatively farm in challenging urban environments. In true Storefronts spirit, Brite will be using one of the common undiscovered spaces available for growing: windows!

Stay tuned for more posts about their progress, inspiration and future public events. You can find Brite at 676 S Jackson in Chinatown-International District.

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Art That Makes Business Sense

“We are picky when it comes to letting groups use our properties for free.” That’s the opinion of Adam Hasson, Senior Property Manager for Samis Land Company, which owns 11 buildings in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood.

Crowd gathers in front of the property for a special performance

But when Adam learned about Storefronts Seattle, he didn’t hesitate to make his properties available for artists to use. “What’s special about Storefronts Seattle is that it’s a juried competition for the spaces,” he said. “Landlords don’t want to give away their spaces to anyone who asks. [Storefronts Seattle] is doing all the homework, and this process is very special for us.”

The main motivation for Adam’s participation in Storefronts Seattle is the potential for the program to activate the neighborhood and, consequently, help his other retailers. Adam manages the two storefronts on 2nd Ave (604 and 610), currently used by quilt artist LUKE Haynes and theater director Melanie St. Ours. After a little over two months participating in Storefronts, Adam says it’s important to “keep an active atmosphere at street level and help other retailers. People who come to the Storefronts Seattle spaces are going to the coffee shops and restaurants, they are activating the neighborhood.”

Samis Land Company manages other spaces used by art galleries and temporary art shows, and Adam knows first hand how “art enriches the neighborhood. We’re more inclined to work with groups like that when we rent our spaces,” he said. “Storefronts Seattle has been doing a great job in promoting the neighborhood.”

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Artist John Fleming Brings New Faces to the Chinatown ID

Recycle, reclaim, reuse – that’s the motto of Storefronts Seattle artist John Fleming. For his installation in Chinatown-International District, John used old traffic signs as his raw material. “There’s enough new stuff out there,” he said. “I love saving a tree or two by working with old stuff and creating new meaning for it.”

John Fleming's traffic sign art glows in the dark

For his Storefronts installation, John wanted to change the rigid messages of the traffic signs – which usually state unfriendly words like “caution,” or “yield” – with new images. Looking closely, the viewer realizes that John has transformed these everyday signs into human faces.

“I chose old traffic signs because they glow in the headlights,” he said, and this is a perfect match with the mission of Storefronts Seattle, as the artwork indeed activates this once vacant space.

The faces in John’s installation are self-portraits of the artist at 3, 29 and 52 years of age. “Although these portraits are clearly different from each other, there’s not much change between my three-year-old self and me today,” he said. “Some days I feel young; I feel like I still have a long way to go, a lot to contribute.”

In fact, John’s work will continue to enliven new spaces for many years to come. The City of Seattle recently selected a few of John’s self-portraits to be installed on the fence surrounding the future Civic Square, a 40-story mixed-use development to be completed next year. John has also been selected as a finalist for a public art project in Rhode Island where a thousand little cubes made of old traffic signs may be hung as sculptural illumination.

John applied to Storefronts Seattle because of the tremendous exposure the project provides. “I lament when I see my work packed up and nobody sees it,” he said. “Storefronts Seattle is a gift to the city.”

You can check out John’s reflecting self-portraits at 409 Maynard Ave S in Chinatown-International District, in the space above Hing Hay Park.

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AWESOME Sets Pioneer Square on Fire

If you walked by 2nd Ave in Pioneer Square at lunchtime yesterday, you probably noticed some unusual happenings. Self-described ‘band/whatever’ AWESOME used the 610 2nd Ave storefront as the stage for a noon performance.

Crowd watching AWESOME's performance

The performance – Savory Onyx Machine – was a mix of sound demonstration, dancing, singing and live theatrics. AWESOME performed inside the storefront, while the audience watched the show through the windows and followed the sound experiments through an outdoor speaker.

Telling the story of a city on fire, the band used crushed paper to imitate the sound of flames, moving as if balancing themselves on the ledge of a skyscraper to escape the blaze. AWESOME’s John Osebold tell us “the performance included several rolls of building blueprints, spoken coordinates, a very resonant mixing bowl, an old fashioned coffee grinder, a theremin, a ukulele, lots of claps, a clarinet, concert bells, and a record player.” The performance ended with a frantic Kirk Anderson rushing out of the building to escape.

“It’s a spiritual fire,” vocalist and clarinet player Robertson Witmer explained.

AWESOME’s Storefronts Seattle performance was a part of Arts Crush, a month-long festival to encourage the public to connect with artists in unique and unexpected ways.

Photo by Emily Testa

Escaping the blaze

Photo by Emily Testa

A crowd member, reflected in the window, watches John Osebold jam.

Photo by Emily Testa

Basil Harris skillfully makes a mixing bowl sing.

(Thanks to Emily Testa for the photos of the band)

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Tues, Oct 19 = Art + Power Lunch

Take your Tuesday lunch to-go and stop by the storefront at 610 2nd Avenue to see and hear band/whatever “Awesome” perform Savory Onyx Machine, a theatrical and sonic demonstration created for Arts Crush Special Events.

From 12:30pm to 1:30pm, the group will perform in the amplified space and the sound will be pumped out onto the street.

Here’s a little snippet from the Arts Crush site :

The city is on fire. You just can’t see it. There is an acute method for its eradication, but it requires tooling around in the spirit world. Septet/band/whatever “Awesome” performs a theatrical and sonic demonstration inside the vacant storefront at 610 2nd Avenue downtown (the alleged source of the problem). Walking the splashy area between boardroom meeting and seance, “Awesome” invites you to visit the amplified fishtank during your lunchbreak to check in on their progress.

See you there!

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First Thursday & ID Excursions

There are a few Storefronts you should include in your First Thursday Art Walk tonight. Now that the artists have had more time in their spaces they have more to share! In Pioneer Square you can stop into Melanie St. Ours and LUKE Haynes at 610 and 604 2nd ave, respectively. Melanie St. Our’s theater project One Forbidden Thing will be holding an open rehearsal and LUKE will be having his Gallery LUKE opening, both from 6-9pm. If you go to Soil or Platform Gallery, you’ll pass by Ingrid Lahti’s neon sign installation. Now that the sun is setting earlier, you can see how her lit art brings life to the formerly dark windows in the evening.

If you are planning to check out the ArtSparks DXARTS event in Occidental Park, you’ll find Dan Reeder’s Gourmet Paper Mache dragons on display at 312 Occidental.

A significant portion of Storefronts activity will also be happening in the ID. If you walk up Jackson you’ll run into Videa’s latest visual media installation at 666, and Brite Collective’s Social Club at 676 – pictured left. Brite will have games to play and will be discussing their upcoming event TAKE OUT – a food excursion in the ID this Saturday at 2pm.

Architecture 101 (601 S King St) has been busy holding workshops for kids. These workshops foster creative and analytical thinking through the experience of architectural design. Kim Krech will be in the transformed studio (pictured right), to show off the classroom to the neighborhood.

While you move between the creative spaces, you’ll notice a variety of Storefronts installations. John Fleming has made changes to his large window space above Hing Hay Park, right around the corner is Chauney Peck’s take on functional aesthetics, and Chris Engman’s large wood installation is right next door to the Pinball Museum at 510 Maynard.

To top off the evening, stop in at the popular Seattle Pinball Museum. They will be open for play from 6-9pm, so if you still haven’t gotten your game on with these pinball enthusiasts, tonight’s your chance!

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Dragons in Occidental Park

Artist Dan Reeder’s storefront at 312 Occidental houses a variety of vibrantly colored dragons, bringing a mystical playfulness to Occidental Park in the Pioneer Square neighborhood. Also known as The Monster Man, Dan has been working with papier mache for over 35 years, and sharing his expertise with kids and adults since 1972. He is a 6th grade math teacher, has published three how-to-books, and frequently makes videos like the one below. His books and additional videos can be found on his website.

Dan recently had this to say of the reactions to his storefront:

The best part has been sitting at Cafe Umbria at 320 Occidental and seeing the reactions of people who walk past the storefront, without anyone knowing I’m watching. I’ve never been able to do that before. I see kids squealing as soon as they see the dragons. I’ve seen adults skipping, even running, after seeing the storefront from across the courtyard. Everyone takes photos, and not just of one piece. They methodically take a photo of each individual dragon on display. There are people smiling and pointing – no one just walks by. To me, this is artistic success.

Dragon Pair Photo by Dan Reeder

You can see Dan’s dragons at 312 Occidental this Thursday as a part of your Art Walk, or anytime through November. He also has a commission at 5 Spot Café in Queen Anne if you want to see more of his latest Gourmet Paper Mache!

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