Seasonal Changes and the Art Walk

It’s the first of November and the summer honeymoon is over. Seattleites were blessed with an extended summer and a short gloriously beautiful fall, but last week everything changed and now we’re looking at six months of drizzle with occasional drenching downpours. Suddenly we have to recalibrate and refocus. There’s a sort of climatic amnesia in Seattle that helps us keep the memory of Sunlight Affective Disorder (SAD) at bay while we spend a few months on the lake or riding our bikes on the Burke-Gilman Trail. But, every year about this time we are driven indoors and we have to develop survival strategies for the next six or seven months.

After living the last three years in Saigon I am seeing Seattle through a different lens. I miss Saigon, but when I was there I began to miss the yeasty culture of Seattle – art, theater, movies, books, restaurants, sports and even the politics. So one of the first things we did when we came home was to renew our membership in the Seattle Art Museum. and check out the first big show of the fall – Elles: Pompidou a show of women artists that ran at the Centre Pompidou in Paris for two years. The range is extraordinary and the cultural point is that these women were largely subordinate to male artists working in the same period – 1907 – 2012. The Guerilla Girls poster below says it all.

Guerrilla Girls

It’s an awareness raising experience to see the show. I’ve been three times so far and plan to visit again. SAM has added to the exhibit by running a concurrent exhibit of women artists from its own collection – Frankenthaler, Louise Nevelson, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Laurie Anderson and the like.

It feels like I am taking the first steps in the seasonal change transition. Last night we went on the First Thursday Art Walk, a monthly event where the downtown galleries stay open and the gallery association provides a map and a written guide to what’s going on in the Seattle art scene. I didn’t see much that was new or exciting except at the Greg Kucera Gallery on 3rd Avenue South. He has a great space and enough of it to show several artists without having them interfere with each other’s individual styles. First Thursday also features live music at SAM, and I plan to make it a regular stop on the winter beat. With an umbrella and a parka I ought to be able to survive for awhile.

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