The Henry Open House is teeming with fun, excitement, and art! Not only are we opening two new exhibitions, Like a Valentine: The Art of Jeffry Mitchell and Now Here is also Nowhere: Part I, but we are also throwing a museum-wide party! Come dressed in your conceptual best for the Student Henry Advisory Group’s Conceptual Costume Contest. Enjoy the sweet music of the UW Mariachi Band, Fainting Goats, and FBDC ~ ФБДЦ; Check out the FAN CLUB in the Study Center; eat some delicious babycakes courtesy of Cupcake Royale and enjoy libations from Pyramid Breweries. All of that PLUS installations of Public Health Poems by Rachel Kessler!

Rachel Kessler will premier her new poem cycle on public health posters installed in The Henry’s restrooms by sinks and in bathroom stalls.  Kessler will lead groups in hand-washing poetry usage, demonstrate hand washing technique, recite bathroom stall limericks, and sing sea shantys.  Each poem lasts approximately 30 seconds, the amount of time the department of health recommends lathering hands for.


About the project:

Remember how your preschool teacher instructed you to rub your soapy hands together for the entirety of the Happy Birthday song?  Now there is a poem for that.  While scrubbing in like surgeons, our minds and mouths deserve something more than that same old dreary song.

Rachel Kessler, a poet of the everyday, has composed a new poem cycle that will appear on bathroom stall doors, above urinals, and next to sinks in public restrooms. Posing as Employees Must Wash Hands Before Returning to Work signs and stall door advertisements, these poster poems will provide entertainment while imparting a useful earworm of knowledge.

She began writing her first anonymous protest poems on the bathroom stall walls in seventh grade, and has long been fascinated by graffiti art. Inspired by a collaboration several years ago with poet Pete Miller and their collective LOCCAL: League of Citizens Concerned About Literature, her work with homeless adults, and as a preschool teacher and parent, began trying her hand at School House Rock style poems for her kids to recite while scrubbing their hands at the sink.

Determined to put poetry in unlikely and non-traditional venues, her work explores the function and origin of poetry, not only as a mnemonic device, but as a way to reflect on the mundane, daily activities that comprise the majority of our hours. After a short residency in Rome researching ancient public health works, she collaborated with graffiti, nursery rhyme, fairy tales, health department propaganda to compose poems for hand-washing, poems for toilet use, poems for dental hygiene, poems for bathroom stall decisions.  Like the “Talking Fountains” of Rome, defaced statues where poets post anonymous political commentary, bathroom stalls are the original online comments.  Public restrooms, like phone booths, are one of the few public-private spaces where a citizen can find respite in a public place.

This project was funded by a City Artists award from the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs.


About the Henry event:
Several Public Health Poems will be installed in the Henry restrooms by sinks and in bathroom stalls. Rachel Kessler will lead individuals and groups in handwashing-poetry usage in the restrooms via demonstrations, in impromptu bathroom stall limerick recitations, and in other public health poetic concerns.  Sea shantys will be sung in bathroom stalls.



Rachel Kessler, co-founder of poetry-performance collaborations Typing Explosion and the Vis-à-Vis Society, is a writer and performer from Seattle.  Passionate about presenting poetry in non-traditional venues, she has performed interactive poetry in parks, on buses, in phonebooths, hair salons, and abandoned motels. She is visiting faculty and writer-in-residence at Centrum, a Whiteley Center Fellow with the University of Washington, a Jack Straw Writer, and senior writer-in-residence with Seattle Arts & Lectures.  She has performed at multiple times at the Seattle Art Museum, Bumbershoot, Night School at the Sorrento, Galapagos Art Space and Bowery Poetry Club in New York City.  Her poems have appeared in Tin House and the Monarch Review, and her text-based visual art is featured in The Open Daybook and Sea-Cat.

In summary, she’s a pretty rad lady. Make sure to spend some time in the loo at the Open House!

UW Students: Call for Artwork

The UW Hall Health Center has released a call for artwork from UW students to be displayed in in the building during the 2012-2013 school year. The exhibition’s intent is to promote the theme of physical and mental wellbeing.

Any size and media of work will be considered. Please provide the composition and dimensions of the work when submitting it. Each artist is limited to 2 digital submissions. The top 3 juried works will receive a $100 prize!

All work is due Friday, June 9th, 5pm. Submit work to:

GiveBIG Today!

When you make an online donation via GiveBIG today (May 2), your gift will give the Henry a pro-rated portion of the matching funds (or “stretch”) pool. For instance if the Henry receives 5% of the contributions on GiveBIG Day (generously donated by you), then GiveBIG will give the Henry a matching donation of 5% of the stretch pool.

As a further incentive to give, GiveBIG will be choosing donors randomly throughout the day and will have an additional $1,000 given to the charity that received their donation. The selected donor will also be eligible to win a Starbucks gift card worth $100!

Donate to the Henry on GiveBIG here.

For more information about GiveBIG, click here.

For more information about supporting the Henry, click here.

Call for Arts performers at City Arts Fest 2012

Deadline: Friday, May 18, 2012, 6:00 pm

Submit to:

The 2012 CAF Arts Program seeks proposals from individuals and groups to perform or present art experiences of all kinds in secret and unexpected locations in the vicinity of downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill and SoDo during the City Arts Festival October 17 – 20, 2012.

CAF seeks proposals/partnerships that align with the festival’s goal to encourage residents to see/experience their city in new way over the course of the festival. We envision providing audiences a series of creative, arts-based, interdisciplinary/multi-sensory, experiential events in unexpected and/or secret locations, outside of traditional arts/music venues. CAF will accept 5-10 proposals to co-produce and present during the week/weekend of the festival. These experiences will be ticketed and available and packaged under a new City Arts Festival Art Festival pass. Passholders will be eligible to experience up to 5 of these experiences as part of their pass, and receive other festival benefits.

All ideas are welcome, but some examples include:

  • A 30 minute micro-drama, that caters to only 15 people at a time, in an empty apartment in Captiol Hill, where the location is disclosed the morning of the event via text/email to the patrons.
  • A progressive performance/scavenger hunt, for 6 people at a time, who meet at a starting point, then follow clues and coordinates to find different live art experiences/secret installations around Capitol Hill.
  • A music/theater/dance show or installation, performed site-specific, in an unexpected location like a grocery store, parking lot, roof top or bar.

Interested? Read more here.

Cairo! Second annual t-shirt design contest

Cairo, our beloved neighborhood music space/finely curated vintage shop/silk-screening studio/arts space (phew!) just announced their second annual t-shirt design contest! The deadline is fast approaching (April 10th) and the prize is 100 big ones. I think you should apply- they make beautiful things for all of us to enjoy.


While you’re at it check out those upcoming shows, art openings, classes/workshops and general goings on…

Thank you for existing, Cairo.


Sprout V

Sprout is a locally sourced community dinner that funds emerging Seattle artists with a vote. Participants pay a sliding-scale entrance fee for which they receive a homemade dinner and a ballot. Diners watch presentations and vote on a variety of proposed artist projects. At the end of the dinner, the artist whose proposal receives the most votes is awarded funds collected at the door. The completed work is then presented during the next Sprout dinner. Sprout V will be on November 5th, 2011, 6:00pm at All Pilgrims Christian Church on Capitol Hill.

Purchase Tickets

Over the course of four sold-out dinners in the past year, Sprout has granted $5,000 to emerging Seattle artists through micro-grants. Launa Steinsdoerfer, who previously received a $750 grant at Sprout IV, will offer updates on her project The Commoner’s Cookbook at this upcoming feast.
Additionally, we are pleased to announce the newest line-up! Below is a list of the Sprout V’s featured artists and the projects they will present.

  •  2 New Choreographic Works by Kate Wallich & Allie Hankins
  •  OpportunityCosts: The Brief Life of Shanta D. by Amy Benson & Scott Squire
  •  Taxi! by Adrienne Lopez, Line Sandsmark, Loryn Hatten, and Ryan Barnes
  •  Profanity Hill IV by Alexa K. Koenings, Jason T. Miles, and Sophie Yanow
  •  LICK! Presents: #1 Must Have by Adrien Leavitt & A. Slaven
  •  Gold Moon, Sharp Arrow by Max Maitrice & Malic Amalya



About Sprout

Photo Center NW City Panorama Call for Entries

As a way to incorporate art into everyday life, to beautify the city, and to make new perspectives and ideas available to all, the City Panorama class seeks photographic artwork that will accomplish these objectives while increasing the visibility of the photographic arts in King County.

SUBMIT YOUR WORK to the City Panorama project. Photographs will be printed on 8’ x 2’ wooden panels and will remain installed in Metro shelters for up to 10 years. Submissions will be reviewed and discussed by students in the fall 2011 course City Panorama, and submitted to a panel of jurors from Metro and Photo Center NW. From the submissions, 100 images will be chosen for installation. 

HOW TO ENTER: Follow the instructions outlined on the form: INFO & ENTRY FORM – CITY PANORAMA 2011. Send the completed entry form with your labeled CD and payment (if submitting more than 2 images) to Photo Center NW, 900 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122.

DEADLINE: Must be received by Wednesday November 23, 5 pm.

The City Panorama Project started when Dale Cummings, a representative of King County Metro approached Photo Center NW in the spring of 2010 looking for a way to expand on past mural projects in Metro bus shelters through photography. A grant from 4Culture was awarded for this project in summer 2010. Over 100 photo murals were installed in in the first half of 2010, and the project was a resounding success. The project enters its second year with another grant from 4Culture during the 2011-12 academic year. As a way to incorporate art into everyday life, to beautify the city, and to make new perspectives and ideas available to all, the City Panorama class seeks photographic artwork that will accomplish these objectives while increasing the visibility of the photographic arts in King County.

Winning Mural from City Panorama 2010 by Christopher Bachmann