Monday, March 26, 2012

NCECA at First Thursday Galleries!

Here are the special NCECA receptions at First Thursday galleries this week. If you missed them on our Facebook and Twitter feed, make sure you like and/or follow us!

Weather or Not is a collaboration piece that is truly affected by the environment. The installation will appear on Piers 62 and 63 in Seattle.

(Residing) (Displaced) (Movement): Brian Benfer fabricates his own chalk with materials that are specific to ceramics and creates a 36-foot chalk rubbing on Gallery4Culture's gallery wall. The rubbing exposes the remnants, marks and scars of exhibitions past. Special NCECA hours on Tuesday, March 27 6-9 p.m.

Beyond Borders, a group exhibit by 20 international artists displaying a wide range of innovative practices in ceramics. ArtXchange Gallery will be open for NCECA attendees from 11am to 9pm, Tues March 27, Thurs March 29 and Fri March 30.

Clay & Prints: 8 Artists in 2 Mediums. Davidson Galleries presents a major exhibition of eight important ceramic artists who also make original prints. This exhibition illustrates how versatility in both mediums can help produce stronger, richer imagery and how each discipline adds strength and sureness to the other. Special NCECA hours 3/26 through 3/31. Opening Reception March 27, 6-9 pm.

Prey/Capture at Foster/White Gallery features Archie Bray Foundation affiliated artists that transform the gallery into a world of creatures and machines. A larger than life sea wall, animal/human hybrids, a military drone and fighter planes all converge to demonstrate the limitlessness of clay. NCECA reception March 29, 6-9 PM.

The Edge of Here / The Salish Sea: ‎34 artists from Potters Guild of British Columbia present interpretations of the natural environment, urban landscape, psychological and personal states. 11 artists from Fired Up! Contemporary Works in Clay, a collective from British Columbia, honors the history and ecosystem of the Pacific Northwest watershed. NCECA reception at Fraker/Scott: Thursday March 29th, 5-9pm.

Folly: Ceramic monkeys and other strange creatures compose Saya Moriyasu's Folly at G. Gibson Gallery. NCECA reception on Tuesday, March 27 from 6-9pm.

ReConfigured: A collaboration that explores beauty and aging in ceramic sculpture, painting and assembly instructions. Jane Kelsey-Mapel and Becky Frehse's ReConfigured at Gallery 110. Open every day during the NCECA conference, artists' reception on March 27.

Midnight Lullaby: New objects, questions, and occasional answers from an aesthetically well-traveled artist. Midnight Lullaby by Ben Waterman at Greg Kucera Gallery. Reception Mar 27, 6-8pm.

Figurative Works in Clay, by three Northwest leaders in ceramics at Grover/Thurston Gallery. Reception March 27.

Essay in Objects: Alwyn O'Brien's sinewy vessels at James Harris Gallery. Reception March 27.

Piper Snow: Featuring deep, saturated colors and high gloss glazes, Piper Snow's sculpture ranges from maquette sized pairs and threesomes to life-sized heads and free standing individuals over three feet tall. At Linda Hodges Gallery.

Just Because I'm a Girl: "Who am I expected to be?" Sarah Haven's ceramic houses at PUNCH Gallery.

Open for Construction is a participatory clay installation at SOIL. Join in #NCECAfever! In the Backspace is (S)PACE OF MIND: New work from Kohler Arts/Industry Residency, NCECA reception on March 27th.

Earth & Fire is a group exhibition of clay and glass, materials comprised of earth and transformed through fire. Special NCECA reception (open to the public) at Pratt Gallery at the TK Studios on March 27th.

Memory: Yun Hong Chang uses porcelain and strands of her own hair in a series of delicate porcelain sculptures to visualize the fragility of memories and emotions. Special hours during the NCECA conference, March 27-29 at Shift Collaborative Studio.

Sphincter: Platform Gallery is pleased to present new sculpture by Lauren Grossman. In this show, Grossman continues her wrestling match with the ever-shifting meanings of Judeo/Christian imagery in contemporary culture. NCECA reception Tuesday, March 27, 6-9pm.

Did we miss something? If you're a First Thursday gallery with special NCECA hours, reception, or event, drop us a line!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's Spring! 1T Bunnies Take Over Pioneer Square

SPRING IS HERE! And the 1T bunnies are here to celebrate!

First Thursday bunnies have invaded Pioneer Square and they want to come home with you! If you find a 1T bunny, break out your Instagrams, your DSLRs, and other photographic implements and take pictures of the wily rabbits in their natural environment or in their new homes!

Share your photos with us on Facebook or tweet your pictures to @1Tseattle. If we like your picture, you'll win a Tat's Deli gift certificate - just in case you get hungry during the first art walk of spring (April 5th)!

Share your photos with us by Monday March 26th to be considered for the photo contest :)


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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lessons from the Mushroom Farm

We recently visited the Mushroom Farm during the Mushroom Harvest + Meet the Farmer event on First Thursday in Pioneer Square. The Mushroom Farm is the latest installation in the Olson Kundig Architects [storefront] experimental space. It has been getting tons of press on its impressive concept: coffee grounds from three local coffee shops in Pioneer Square are composted to farm gourmet oyster mushrooms inside a downtown building. CityLab7 collaborated with Olson Kundig and Schuchart/Dow to bring its Fertile Grounds pop-up concept to life.

Now, as quickly as those mushrooms popped out of 225 bags of coffee grounds and sawdust, the Mushroom Farm will be drawing to a close soon this week. The Mushroom Harvest + Donation event, set for Thursday March 8th (see CityLab7's website for updates), may be the last time you can participate in this local, homegrown concept.

Which makes now a good time to reflect on the lessons the Mushroom Farm has put on the table. While everything in the installation was local-centric (coffee grounds from Caffe Umbria, Starbucks, and Zeitgeist), re-purposed (plywood in the Mothership construction), or salvaged (communal dining table), much focus has been on individual moving parts and we thought we should take some time to examine the bigger picture.

We asked CityLab7's Stephen M. Antupit if he could help us clarify the big takeaway from this nearly ephemeral installation: "CityLab7's work is focused on using individual food choice, urban food production, and sharing the table as the media for strengthening community connections, designing new arrangements to serve our true needs, and to support healthy urbanism."

The Mushroom Farm has successfully integrated all of these principles into a whole, closed-loop system.

"Yes we have diverted high quality feedstock from the waste stream. And we have cultivated a valuable crop whose production adds a new dimension to the neighborhood's economy. More, we have engaged the curiosity of cafe patrons and passers-by alike. Many have come to share a meal at the communal table, others have tweeted their coffee buying habits to secure invitations to a shared mushroom-themed dinner."

In an age where society is now waking up to the effects of transnational corporate, industrial, mega-farming (cough, climate change, cough), could we use the Mushroom Farm as a model for urban agriculture in the future? Can we learn from marrying the economics of small-scale farming with communities? With such beautiful oyster mushrooms growing in one of the most unlikely of places, it smells promising to me.