What do you like to do in your Down Time?

 

If you want to learn how to do something, where do you go? To the internet!

Inspired by Do-It-Yourself culture and the wealth of how-to resources on the internet, our new Test Site  exploration, Down Time, is an eight-week presentation that explores free-choice learning and the pursuit of entertainment in our free time.

Most of us have gone to YouTube to watch a video on how to do [insert your favorite, tangential, and/or esoteric interest here]. Within a sea of exhibitionists, quacks, and celebrity seekers, we can also find real teachers and mentors who want to share their knowledge openly and at no cost.

And that is what we want to do for you this summer, gentle reader.

Each week,  Down Time will focus on a theme or activity in the form of video tutorials found on the web and will culminate with a  live tutorial or workshop hosted in the Test Site led by a guest local practitioner. These face-to-face learning opportunities offer an alternative to the online tutorials, allowing visitors to contrast and compare online learning with live tutorials.

The videos presented in this project were selected as a result of recommendations from specialists in each of the areas presented, suggestions from internet enthusiasts, and from Henry staff (ahem, official FYI: the video content presented in Down Time is not endorsed by Henry Art Gallery nor is it necessarily reflect the views of the institution).

Mark your calendars!

Week 1: Home Fermentation

Friday, July 5th at 4 p.m.

Kombucha demo with Chris Joyner of CommuniTea

Check out our Facebook invitation. The first 10 people to arrive on Friday, get a FREE starter kit — and if you ride your bike, you’ll get in to the museum for FREE because it’s Bike Friday!

Week 2: Extreme Makeovers  

Friday, July 12 at 5 p.m.

Make-up demos with Shannon Bisconer of Vain

Week 3: Life Hacks

Friday, August 19 at 6 p.m.

Light in a Jar Demo with Ned Konz of Jigsaw Renaissance

Week 4: Yoga

Tuesday, July  - Friday, July 27 at 12 p.m.

Yoga with Julia Greenway of Interstitial Theatre

Week 5: Throat Singing

Friday, August 2 at 4 p.m.

Throat Singing Workshop with Arrington de Dionyso

Week 6: Music Video Dance Tutorials

Friday, August 9 at 6 p.m.

Workshop with Kate Wallich

 

Critical Issues in Contemporary Art Practice

UW Art Lectures Poster

This quarter, the Henry is hosting ART 361, Critical Issues in Contemporary Art Practice, in our auditorium. The class features artist lectures every Thursday night (until March 7th) at 7 pm. With sponsorship from the New Foundation, the class “lectures” are open and free to the public. That means YOU. This series is part of the new Nebula Project. The Nebula Project is a new initiative of the UW Division of Art that will support a variety of experiences to promote and expose contemporary art to our students, staff and faculty as well as to the broader arts community.   The Nebula Project has been made possible by the generous support of The School of Art, The College of Arts and Sciences, The New Foundation Seattle and the Henry Art Gallery.

Here is what you have to look forward to (Or miss out on. Your choice):

February 21st
Sam Lewitt’s practice often examines communications systems and technologies, both obsolete and cutting edge, that are central to contemporary life. For the 2012 Biennial, his subject is ferrofluid, a mixture of magnetic particles suspended in liquid that is used in a wide variety of technological applications, including computer hard drives, audio speakers, educational tools, and military aircraft. In the presence of a magnet, ferrofluid coagulates to resemble a solid mass, its contours conforming to the magnetic field yet retaining the plasticity of a liquid.

February 28th
Tamara Henderson is a Canadian artist who lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia. She will speak about her artwork. Read more about her on this webpage, plus she has a video posted on Vimeo. Henderson is also involved in a project in the Jacob Lawrence Gallery that involves building a bar-like structure and film set in one of the gallery rooms. Working with her will be Julia Feyrer, another Vancouver, BC, artist.

March 7th
Makan, founded in 2003, is an art space, a project and a collective based in Amman, San Francisco and somewhere in between. Alongside Samah Hijawi, the three collective members include Ola El-Khalidi and Diala Khasawnih. Ola works in the arts as an organizer, curator, and collaborator; she received an MA in curatorial practice from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco in 2012. Diala is an artist and a translator who likes to bring people around a table to eat and talk, and if that could be art, she is happy.

Guest Blog: Molly Mac

Molly Mac  is a moving image and sound artist who lives and works in Seattle, has worked with the UW’s Center for DXARTS and has been exhibited on both coasts as well as internationally. Next month, Molly and Wynne Greenwood will be leading a workshop on Immersive Video and Public Dialogue at the Henry with Reel Grrls

Without further ado, I give you Molly Mac:

Five Alarms Greenwood Lit CrawlI’m excited.

Five Alarms Greenwood Lit Crawl curators Greg Bem, Aaron Kokorowski & Graham Isaac have created a really important platform at a really important time.

A Quintet of Quays

Continue reading

An Interview with Carrie Ahern

I had the pleasure of being able to talk to Carrie Ahern, who is an independent dance and performance artist based in New York City. Next week, she will be performing Borrowed Prey here in Seattle.

Would you tell me how you came to be a dance and performance artist?
I’m from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and I was dancing/training as a teenager at Milwaukee Ballet School. On Saturdays we had a jazz teacher who had us improvise—improvising gave my first taste of creating movement. Then I decided to move to New York City to pursue a dance career when I was 19. So I came at my career a little differently. I didn’t go to college for it. I had very little experience with modern dance before New York City.  And then by age 20—–I made my first dance at someone’s suggestion.

Where did the idea for Borrowed Prey come from?
I had this idea or this thing that was bothering me for a while. Just that you go into a grocery store, especially in an extreme urban environment such as New York and the meat there is on a Styrofoam tray with plastic wrap over it. At the same time I felt that people were talking a lot about sustainable food. I felt I didn’t really know what that meant and so I wanted to find out. I wanted do my own first hand research about food–specifically in terms of meat, in terms of animals.

  Continue reading

Holiday Popup Shop

Check out this interview with Tova, the Director of Favorite Art Projects, who is running the Henry Holiday Popup Shop. The Henry Holiday Popup Shop is held in conjunction with Like A Valentine: The Art of Jeffry Mitchell. The artists featured in the Popup have contributed work inspired by Jeffry Mitchell and his work. Tova said that the Popup shop came about organically with contributions from Northwest Artists who are inspired by the work of Jeffry Mitchell. Tova asked the artists to contribute work that is outside of their normal bailiwick and the result is an amazing amalgamation of art with a Northwest feel. Check out Tova talking about some of the art here:

The physical shop is open Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday: 12 to 4
Thursday and Fri: 12 to 8
The virtual shop is always open.

Great for last minute gifts!

The Henry receives NEA grant

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman announced today that the Henry is one of 832 non-profit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. The Henry was awarded a $20,000 grant to support the upcoming exhibition Out [o] Fashion Photography: Embracing Beauty to be presented March 2 – July 7, 2013. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Deborah Willis, Chair and Professor of Photography and Imaging at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Out [o] Fashion will present over 90 photographs that examine historic and contemporary representations of beauty. The exhibition will include works by renowned artists Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, E. J. Bellocq, Marsha Burns, Imogen Cunningham, Edward Curtis, Bruce Davidson, Fred Miller, Hope Sandrow, Cindy Sherman, Lorna Simpson, Andy Warhol, Weegee, Carrie Mae Weems, and Garry Winogrand.

“I’m proud to announce these 832 grants to the American public including the Henry Art Gallery,” said Chairman Landesman. “These projects offer extraordinary examples of creativity in our country, including the creation of new work, innovative ways of engaging audiences, and exemplary education programs.”

In March 2012, the NEA received 1,509 eligible applications for Art Works requesting more than $74 million in funding. The 832 recommended NEA grants total $22.3 million, span 13 artistic disciplines and fields, and focus primarily on the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing works for the benefit of American audiences. Applications were reviewed by panels of outside experts convened by NEA staff and each project was judged on its artistic excellence and artistic merit.

complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support may be found at the NEA website at arts.gov.

Faculty Focus: Claire Cowie

Come to the Henry tomorrow for this month’s Focus Tour! The 30 minute tour will be led by UW School of Art faculty and artist Claire Cowie who will guide visitors through Like a Valentine: The Art of Jeffry Mitchell. The tour starts at 12 and will leave you with enough time to grab a sammy at Molly’s all within your lunch hour!

From painting to sculpture to photogravure, the work produced by Seattle-based artist Claire Cowie conjures up a bizarre menagerie, replete with composite creatures and exotic locales. Haunting disembodied figures populate her landscapes; they appear at once otherworldly and familiar as they beckon the eye and the imagination. Her collages, watercolors, and prints recall Chinese and Japanese landscape painting traditions. Using a minimum of strokes she achieves deep spaces, producing dreamlike landscapes that recede into the distance. Claire received her BFA in Drawing and Printmaking from Washington University in St. Louis in 1997, and her MFA in Printmaking from the University of Washington in 1999. She is locally represented by James Harris Gallery.

In summary:
Claire Cowie Faculty Tour of Like a Valentine: The Art of Jeffry Mitchell
wednesday (november 21) at 12:00 – 12:30
Henry Art Gallery

See you there!

The Rest is Just Noise: John Cage Programming at the Henry

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As many of you know, this year is the 100th anniversary of John Cage’s birth. Many arts and cultural institutions across the country are celebrating with John Cage programming, and the Henry is partaking in our own unique way. Within the past week we have staged a performance of Cage’s 33 1/3 Performed by the Audience on Friday. Read more about the performance HERE.

Earlier today we held a sold out workshop on mushroom cultivation at home, Fungus Among Us. You might be wondering “how this is a John Cage related program?” John Cage was an amateur mycologist during his 80 years. Don’t let the adjective “amateur” fool you though, Cage founded the New York Mycological Society with a small group of other mycologially-inclined people over 40 years ago. He also amassed a mycology collection during his lifetime which includes “correspondence, journals, newsletters, pamphlets, ephemera and realia related to mushrooms.” Cage gifted this collection to Special Collections at the University of Santa Cruz, where it can be researched and perused at the McHenry Library. Honoring the music John Cage composed during his lifetime is obviously necessary in a celebration of his life, but so is mycology. You can thank our Public Programs Coordinator, Whitney Ford-Terry, for such inspired programming honoring John Cage as the multidimensional man that he was.

Fungus Among Us was a workshop held at the Henry which was an introduction in cultivating your own edible mushrooms at home. We provided shiitake Grow-At-Home kits from Sno-Valley Mushrooms for the participants and helped them with their first step, rehousing the logs. Then Pacita Roberts with Hildegard Hendrickson from the Puget Sound Mycological Society gave a fantastic presentation on foraging for mushrooms. See pictures above.

If you are sad that you missed out on these two events, you have another chance to celebrate Cage’s multifaceted legacy in a unique way at the end of this month. On November 30th, the Henry is celebrating Cage’s vast and tremendously diverse output by hosting a performance by Stacey Mastrian and Stephen F. Lilly who will present selections that employ the voice in its many facets. These range from the simple, ethereal “Experiences No. 2” for solo voice with text by e e cummings, to readings from Cage’s prolific body of written work, such as Lecture on Nothing and Indeterminacy. Add the Henry to your calendar for November 30th, 7-9 pm, and buy your tickets here.

 

Open House TOMORROW

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.

 

PUBLIC HEALTH POEMS
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.

 

BIO:

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!

Henry Open House: Fan Club

At the Henry Open House this Friday, we are trying something a little different with the Reed Collection Study Center. We have asked friends (who are also artists) of Jeffry Mitchell to chose objects in the Henry’s Collection that Jeffry made or that remind them in some way of their friend. Hence the name, Fan Club. Artists who participated and selected work are Joey Veltkamp, Joe Park, Alfred Harris, Ken Kelly, Dan Webb, and Claude Zervas.

The Fan Club will have art they selected on display in the Study Center during the Member’s Preview of the Open House, which starts at 5 pm. Don’t forget: it’s not too late to become a member of the Henry, which includes free and early entry to the Open House plus so much more! Check out your options here!

Don’t forget to get your tickets for the Open House HERE.