The Week Ahead @ Henry

Stop in this Thursday to experience music from performers from the UW School of Music. Enjoy these images of past events in this Luncheonette series every third Thursday at noon.

Music fills the Henry.  Photo by P. Dawn Keenen

Jazz with Haegue Yang
Photo by P. Dawn Keenen

Brass section in Katinka Bocke Photo by Chona Kassinger

Brass section in Katinka Bocke
Photo by Chona Kasinger


Our Spring Open House is next Friday — get your tickets now!


open house

Design Lab: A Critical Collaborations Retrospective

Recently, in conjunction with the presentation of Design Lab: An Open Sketchbook on Aurora, the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments hosted a series of weekly design intensives. Using Seattle’s Aurora Avenue as a point of departure, students and visitors publicly addressed issues of identity, place, and civic infrastructure through design. The sessions were offered as part of  the new course “Critical Collaboration: Tools for the Contemporary Urban Environment” and held in the Henry’s Test Site.
Brian Brooks & Holly Schwarz standing near a drawing that mysteriously appeared with no signature during the course of the exhibition.

Co- facilitators Brian Brooks & Holly Schwarz standing near a drawing that mysteriously appeared with no signature during the course of the exhibition. If you are the mystery artist, they say “Thank you.” Photo by P.D. Keenen

Bryan Brooks and Holly Schwartz, two of the four graduate students who co-facilitated Design Lab, helped design and set the tone of the new course, creating a space as Bryan said that was:

“Ready to be colonized.” – Bryan

Students colonizing the space by placing artifacts to be used during the charrette's schedule every Thursday.

Students colonizing the space by placing artifacts to be used during the charrette’s schedule every Thursday. Installation image. Henry Art Gallery.

Each week a charrette was organized around a theme and it was up to students to bring in artifacts that would engage and drive discussion at the public events.

Holly spoke about why they were so passionate about creating this space for other students.

“A piece was lacking in our education, so we created this to fill in that gap. It was our theory — to practice connecting with other disciplines, like we would for a job.” – Holly


The piece they felt needed the most practice was collaborating, not only within their own discipline but learning to work with the different voices  — from the public  and other areas of expertise and fields.

“You don’t know the voices coming to the table and how well they will collaborate.” – Holly

Students from the transportation charrette.  Installation image. Henry Art Gallery.

Students from the transportation charrette.
Image courtesy of Henry Art Gallery.

“Collaboration starts with where you begin — it’s a guide to how you interact.” – Bryan

Students from the politics charrette. Photo by Chona Kasinger

Students from the politics charrette.
Photo by Chona Kasinger

Starting from a similar beginning mindset was of key importance to the class design, and they facilitated that mindset by having everyone take the Myers-Briggs personality quiz. Holly reflected on the importance of the test to not just get them on the same page but how it would help them collaborate with others.

“Taking the test helps you self analyze. The students learn how and if they are heard. They might discover they need to change tactics to get others to hear a message.” – Holly


By all accounts the class was a successful experiment. You can read more student reflections on their blog. From their last Facebook update though it seems all ended well, especially if you like beer and cupcakes.

From their celebratory last post on Facebook: "We've got cupcakes, we've got beer. Now we're just missing you!"

From their celebratory last post on Facebook: “We’ve got cupcakes, we’ve got beer. Now we’re just missing you!”



The Week Ahead @ Henry

Spring made it to campus just in time for the new quarter to start! We hope that with this week’s focus on art and education you are inspired, too!

Photo by Delaney Cerna courtesy the University of Washington

Photo by Delaney Cerna courtesy the University of Washington

Henry Spring Educator Preview

Thursday, March 27, 4:00 – 8:00 PM

Join the Henry’s education staff on a tour of the possibilities for your classroom. From creative writing lessons to modeled tours, let us show you how we can become a part of your classroom. This event for local educators is not to be missed!

INCITE•INSIGHT: Lecture with Pablo Helguera

Thursday, March 27, 7:00 – 8:30 PM

New York-based artist Pablo Helguera (Mexico City, 1971) will discuss how his work as an educator has intersected with his artistic interests and how his work often reflects on issues of interpretation, dialogue, and the role of contemporary culture in a global reality. This is the final lecture in the INCITE*INSIGHT series partnership with the Henry and Cornish College of the Arts.

Found on the Internet: Tender Forever this Sunday at the Henry

We caught up with French-born artist Melanie Valera (AKA Tender Forever) to get her thoughts on busking, her favorite coffee, and advice for doing your art. Tender Forever will be conducting a workshop on Reenactment and Public Content Source this Sunday from noon to 4 pm to explore re-enactment, recycled narration, and other topics by using found video on the internet.

Photo courtesy of Tender Forever

Henry: First off, since this is Seattle and we love our coffee, who do you think makes the best cup from all the places you have traveled?

Tender Forever: One reason why I love America is because you’re all so nerdy about almost everything you get into. France is NOT. France is very simple. Simple food, simple cooking, simple coffee (contrarily to what most people think). The coffee isn’t that great. It’s thrown together. They don’t even know what coffee they use, where it was roasted and all that. They don’t care whether it tastes like leather or Skittles. They are just gonna make you a tiny coffee for one euro. They’re not going to ask you how you’re doing so you don’t stay too long. And NO you can’t take it to go. I like that about France, a lot. Italy has got GOOD coffee. But the best one I’ve had was in Spain for sure — only because I ordered it in Spanish. But if there was a decision to make between Portland or Seattle, hands down Olympia has the best coffee. Bar Francis it’s where it’s at.

Henry: Ah, Olympia, Love the hometown pride. How did you end up on this side of the pond?

Tender Forever: In 2004, I was busking on the streets of Bordeaux, France. I sold all my belongings and in April 2005 I bought a plane ticket with the money. I think I had $20 left after I bought the ticket. I still don’t know how I allowed myself to travel to a foreign land with $20. I played a few shows down the West coast with Khaela Maricich from The Blow and Squeeze Me I Squeak. I remember burning CD after CD after the shows. People would wait for their CD to come out of the toaster and I’d get $10 for it. That’s how I started! Our last show was in Olympia at the world’s smallest venue ever. Basically an attic. Ten people came. Calvin Johnson came. I didn’t really know who the dude was; I knew K Records, but not that Calvin was the studio. After the show he asked me if I had a CD. I didn’t.

Next night I was still in Olympia and we ended up at the same show. I guess he had gotten a CD from someone else. He asked me if I wanted to record. We pushed my departure date further and I recorded my first LP at Dub Narcotic Studios in Olympia in 2005. Then I went on my first real tour with him and played over 50 shows together. It was, of course, life-changing. I love [Calvin] dearly. Thinking back on that experience and history, it’s pretty amazing that a human can travel so far, change the course of their life, and end up in an amazing place like the Henry to talk about reenactment and representation. Anything I get to do, I always feel so privileged. You know? Everything is a step on a stairway to the next step. I think it’s important for me to remember that my capacities and skills are extremely flexible and unlimited. My mum set that role model for me. You can do anything you want if you want.

Henry: What advice would you give to someone thinking of busking?

Tender Forever: Remember when you were a tiny kid and you are playing hide and seek. You thought that because you covered your eyes with your hands no one will find you? So you’d just stand there, with your hands on your eyes thinking you’ve disappeared. Apply that to playing in the streets. It’s perfect.

Photo courtesy of Tender Forever

Henry: Why the transition from busking to music production to performing at galleries and museums?

Tender Forever:  I would really love to shift my performance work entirely to broader horizons. Being perceived solely as a musician isn’t what I’ve always envisioned. Art institutions, art galleries, less traditional venues are by far the places I would like to collaborate more with. I think we all have multiple careers, multiple mind set ups, and we can overcome the fear of perfectness, especially when tied to art. I can do anything and I can play anywhere.

I’ve actually never shown solely visual art before. It has always been music, media, and performance art together. I couldn’t have performed without playing and vice versa. I really liked the engagement of the crowd in the stories I tell. I like the feeling of people eating out of the giant hand of fake narrative and rewriting stories in their head. Using all the means necessary and available to me when walking in a new venue in order to engage the crowd remains the best part of creating performances. I like high energy. I like dense content. I like realness. I like janky and wonky things and I like unveiling magic tricks. That’s a lot of possibilities. So when I walk into a venue, I shake hands, but mainly I want to go in the back rooms and find “the weird things.” I’ve borrowed curtains before, couches, shoes, clothing, food, etc. Each venue is a little universe and I want to discover what it has to offer and what it will also take from me. I’m interested in that odd trade.

Henry: Speaking of finding the weird to use in your art – where have you found the pieces you will use this Sunday?

Tender Forever: I’m actually always trying to break out of the classic ways to get to new content. It’s not easy but mainly, I use people’s blog, comments, threads on odd blogs. Through that process, I’ve developed an interest in the ways that people research the content they’re after. I think the brain path and the personal stories to what pushes people to research or post certain content is the most fascinating part. No one can access another’s brain, at least not yet. Google is my go-to for general research and then I have my secret spots which I will keep secret.

Henry: We’ll let you unveil your secrets on Sunday. Thank you for catching up with us!

Join us Sunday for Workshop: Reenactment and Public Content Source with Tender Forever.


The Week Ahead @ Henry

It’s St. Patrick’s Day! Do you know where your leprechaun is?


Stretch your limbs in an immersive video experience. Join us Thursday at 12:30 for VIDEO//YOGA with Julia Greenway.

Screening: No More Road Trips?

Friday, March 21, 7:00 – 9:00 PM

Home movie time! But not your old embarrassing ones, don’t worry. Director Rick Prelinger invites you on NO MORE ROAD TRIPS? (2013, 80 min.), a dream ride through 20th-century America made from 9,000 home movies, asking whether we’ve come to the end of the open road.

Collection in Focus: The Problem with Objects

Examining a selection of sculpture from the Henry’s permanent collection, Artist and Cornish Professor Ephraim Russell will lead a conversation about contemporary sculpture, exploring how cultural expectations around utility and the function of objects define the way we value and respond to sculpture.

Space is limited. Please RSVP by March 18 to

Workshop: Reenactment and Public Content Source

French-born artist Melanie Valera (AKA Tender Forever) will discuss the importance of reenactment, referential replication, recycled narration, and simulacrum through a selective showing of found videos this coming Sunday, March 23, 12:00 – 4:00 PM. Here’s a sample of her work:

The Travels of Winslow Homer

The Henry, like many art museums, loans art to our fellow museums for their exhibitions. In addition to loans in Washington to Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, and the Washington State University Museum of  Art, our Winslow Homer painting “An Adirondack Lake” been out on loan 23 times in its history, traveling with tours and retrospectives to Chicago, Kansas City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and Vienna. Think of the multiple audiences who have visited our Homer! Artist Philip Koch saw “An Adirondack Lake’ in Indiana in the early 70s. The guest post below is how a piece from the original Horace C. Henry collection made its way around the world and into artists’ and the public’s heart.

Winslow Homer’s Gentle Push by Philip Koch

First published on Koch’s blog on February, 24, 2014

Winslow Homer, The Trapper, oil on canvas, 19 x 29 1/2″, 1870, Colby College Museum of Art. This oil likely served as a preparatory canvas for the larger oil below.

Today (Feb 24) is Winslow Homer’s birthday (Am. 1836 – 1910). I was reminded of this by the Colby College Museum of Art‘s Facebook post wishing that old master of American Realism the best this afternoon. Accompanying their good wishes was the painting at the top, The Trapper, from their Collection that Homer painted in 1870.  It probably served as a preparation for a larger work Homer painted expanding on the subject that’s now in the Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle. (I had the good fortune to tour the impressive and recently expanded Colby Museum last summer and got to see The Trapper in the flesh).

Winslow Homer, An Adirondack Lake, oil on canvas, 24 1/4 x 36 1/4″,
1870, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle.

Way back in 1970 I graduated as a studio art major from Oberlin College in Ohio, packed my odd collection of student paintings in a van and drove over to the adjoining state to spend the next two years in Bloomington at Indiana University in their MFA Painting Program. I arrived there passionate to do some serious painting with no real direction at all. I actually did a number of canvases of what I imagined the surfaces of undiscovered planets might look like (as it turned out, I had little idea myself and the paintings were pretty unconvincing).
The Indiana University Art Museum had a small bookshop. Browsing the stacks of books my eye was caught by the figure of a tall man holding an even taller paddle. I had stumbled upon the catalogue for a show that had concluded at the Museum only months before I had arrived - The American Scene 1820 – 1900 organized by Louis Hawes, an art historian at Indiana University in honor of the school’s Sesquicentennial. Though I missed the show, the catalogue’s 144 pages of black and white photographs of Hudson River School and American Impressionist paintings drew me in and held me. This was a branch of the art world I knew almost nothing about.

Cover of exhibition catalogue for the 1970 show The American Scene featuringa detail from the Henry Art Gallery’s version of Homer’s painting.

Here were images that seemed painted by artists who had fallen in love with their subjects. Their embrace of the natural world seemed so straight from the heart and utterly lacking in any ironic stance. Most of all, so many of the paintings reminded me ever so much of the wooded hillsides of northern Lake Ontario where I had lived from four until I was eighteen. Maybe I was a little homesick, but these paintings hit home in a way my surrealist inspired imaginary planet paintings never would.
The worn cover of Hawes’ exhibition catalogue should give you a clue I didn’t let the book out of my sight for months. It gave me that last little shove needed to start me down the landscape painting path I’ve followed the last 42 years. Louis Hawes is gone now, perhaps joining Winslow Homer up in art heaven. To each of them I’d like to say a heartfelt thanks.
This article was republished with the author’s permission from his blog Philip Koch Paintings.
Philip Koch standing outside Edward Hopper’s S. Truro, MA painting studio in Oct. 2012 during his 14th residency in the studio.

Philip Koch standing outside Edward Hopper’s S. Truro, MA
painting studio in Oct. 2012 during his 14th residency in the studio.

The Week Ahead @ Henry

Finals week is here and we want to remind you of two things:

1) Yoga reduces stress

2) Molly’s has the best coffee on campus.

We have what you need to stay calm or alert (depending on your needs) so stop on by.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindful Awareness is the moment-by-moment process of actively and openly observing one’s physical, mental, and emotional experiences. Meditations begin promptly at 12:30 Thursday March 13.

Critical Collaboration Session: Design Review

This is the last session so make sure you come in to see what the College of Built Environments has done to our test space. Also, if you know who put up the mystery (no one saw who did it!), be sure to tell them thanks. The session starts Thursday at 4:30 PM.

Now Open: New Exhibitions!

Take a break from your studies and check out our two most recent exhibitions:

The Brink: Anne Fenton showcases the art of the 2014 Brink Award winner.



Parallel Practices: Joan Jonas & Gina Pane features the selections of sculpture, photography, video, drawing, installation, and performance from these two proto-feminist performance artists.

Gina Pane.

Gina Pane. Saint Sébastien, Saint Pierre, Saint Laurent – Partition pour trois portraits [St. Sebastian, St. Pierre, St. Lawrence – Partition for Three Portraits]. 1986. Glass, copper, ink on wood, lead, chalk, photograph. Collection M.F., Bassano del Grappa, Italy. Photo: Paul Hester.