New Art in Molly’s: Music is My Life


Molly’s Cafe at the Henry Art Gallery has quarterly shows of artwork from community organizations. For the Summer Quarter we will be showing Music is My Life, an Art Show of Drawings and Stories by Homeless Young People.

Music is My Life includes drawings and stories by 129 homeless young people, aged 15-25. The drawings and stories were created as part of Jill Woelfer’s PhD dissertation research. Homeless young people were asked to imagine a music device that could help someone experiencing homelessness and then draw a picture of the device and write a story about a situation where the device would be used. The goal of Music is My Life is to bring the voices of homeless young people to the community in order to increase understanding and spark further discussions.

The Music is My Life show will be on display at Molly’s Café at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington from May to August 2013. The show consists of 8 panels with reproductions of 18 drawings and stories and a website where all 129 drawings and stories can be viewed. The Music is My Life show was prepared by a community-based team. The team is led by Jill Palzkill Woelfer, a PhD candidate at the University of Washington Information School and includes: homeless young people, staff from agencies that provide services to homeless young people, University of Washington students, alumni, staff and faculty, business leaders in the University District, and other neighbors.

Come check it out!

Bocanegra and McDormand perform “Bodycast” tonight

In her artist lecture “Bodycast,” Suzanne Bocanegra (right) details her struggle with a body cast to treat scoliosis during her teenage years and how it influenced her artistic process. It will be performed indirectly with actress Frances McDormand (left) taking on Bocanegra’s persona.
Actor Frances McDormand and artist Suzanne Bocanegra

Tonight at the Henry, we welcome artist Suzanne Bocanegra who, with Academy Award-winning actor Frances McDormand, will tell a multimedia story of Titian, girls’ drill teams, rose queens, scoliosis, and the history of how artists are taught to make art, and how all of us are taught to look at it. The performance is sold out.

Based in New York, Suzanne Bocanegra’s work  involves large-scale performance and installation, frequently translating two dimensional information, images and ideas from the past into three dimensional scenarios for staging, movement, ballet, and music. Bocanegra’s work has been seen in exhibitions in the United States and abroad, in such venues as the Serpentine Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Hayward Gallery in London, the Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia. Her theatrical, video, and film work has been presented at the Bang on Can Festival, the New Haven Festival of Art and Ideas, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and as part of the Wordless Music series in New York.

Bodycast is organized by the Henry and presented in partnership with the UW School of Drama. The School of Drama investigates the art of theatre and performance — its practice, history, meaning — and fosters a spirit of inquiry by providing artists and scholars with tools for critical and inventive thinking and opportunities for practical application. Check out their 2012-2013 Season HERE.

Photo credit: Hammer Museum

SANCTUM readies for a May Opening


“In an era of status updates, tweets, and check-ins, the geography of public, shared spaces needs to be reconsidered, along with our expectations of privacy in them.”
James Coupe and Juan Pampin

Have you noticed all of the changes on the façade of the Henry? We are currently installing an interactive art piece, Sanctum, created by artists James Coupe and Juan Pampin. Coupe and Pampin were chosen in 2010 from 91 applications who answered an open international call, soliciting proposals for a site-specific project to transform the façade of the museum’s main entrance and to engage the UW population and the many visitors who pass by the Henry every day.

Sanctum, which officially opens May 4th, seeks to investigate the narrative potential of social media while raising important and provocative questions about the conflicting imperatives emerging in our culture as we promote and embrace ever-more-intrusive electronic media, while still cherishing traditional notions of privacy.

From those who choose to participate in the project, Sanctum will actively gather information via sophisticated surveillance and profiling technology and match it with data drawn from social media sites to shape original plausible and implausible fictional narratives.

To learn more about the project and to contribute with narrative content, please enter here. You can also opt in by scanning the QR codes are posted on signage outside the museum.

Continue reading

Artist Lecture: Paul Laffoley

Paul Laffoley. THE KALI-YUGA: THE END OF THE UNIVERSE AT 424826 A.D. (The Cosmos Falls in the Chaos as the Shakti Orohoros Leads to the Elimination of all Value Systems by Spectrum Analysis). 1965. Oil, acrylic, and vinyl lettering on canvas. Courtesy of Kent Fine Art, New York.

Paul Laffoley, founder of the Boston Visionary Cell and Henry exhibiting artist, offers an intense, deep, and mesmerizing conversation this Saturday from 1-4 pm at the Henry.

His discussion will traverse the conceptual overlap between art history, architecture, classical literature, natural and occult sciences, and science fiction in contemporary painting – and we are sure, more.

As the lecture is long, we invite attendees to get up and stretch as needed. There will be refreshments in the Education Studio.

If you are attending the Open House this Friday, you can gain early access to Paul Laffoley: Premonitions of the Bauharoque, his first solo exhibition on the West Coast.

Artist Lecture: Paul Laffoley
Saturday, April 6th
1:00 – 4:00 PM
Henry Auditorium

New Art in Molly’s: Shorecrest High School

Shorecrest High School Student Art
Shorecrest High School Student Art

Molly’s Cafe at the Henry Art Gallery has quarterly shows of artwork from community organizations. Path with Art, a non-profit organization which provides marginalized adults the opportunity to engage in the creative process as a unique means to improve and rebuild their lives, was up over the winter quarter. If you missed that show, Path with Art currently has an exhibit, Our Landscape, installed in Plymouth’s window space, on 3rd between Lenora & Blanchard in Belltown.

This quarter, the show is from Shorecrest High School art students organized by teacher, Laura King. Here is a letter from Laura explaining the show: Continue reading

Deborah Willis – Out [o] Fashion Photography: Embracing Beauty


Curator Lecture: Deborah Willis
March 1st
7 pm
Henry Auditorium
$5 Students, Henry Members, & UW Faculty and Staff
$10 General Audience

Deborah Willis, the curator of the upcoming exhibition at the Henry, Out [o] Fashion Photography: Embracing Beauty, will be at the Henry on Friday, March 1st, for a discussion with Erika Dalya Massaquoi moderated and introduced by the Henry’s Director, Sylvia Wolf. The discussion will revolve around the topics of transformative experience of the photograph through the themes of idealized beauty, the unfashionable body, the gendered image, and photography as memory. This discussion will also explore Willis’ work on historical perceptions of beauty and desire and the role individual photographers play in constructing ways of seeing.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Willis has authored a new book, Out [o] Fashion Photography: Embracing BeautyThrough the themes of idealized beauty, the unfashionable body, the gendered image, and photography as memory, Willis challenges and makes problematic the “reading” of photographic images in the 21st century.

Continue reading

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.

Pablo Helguera



Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist who works with a wide variety of mediums including performance, sculpture, and photography that often engages social issues and also is the director of adult and academic programs at MoMA. Helguera is an exhibiting artist in the newly opened Now Here is also Nowhere: Part II which opened on Saturday. His classical cartoons are featured regularly on NPR’s Scherzo blog. He is also behind the newly launched series of artist-led participatory programs at MoMA called Artists Experiment.

This Friday musicians will perform Endingness here at the Henry Art Gallery in conjunction with Now Here is Also Nowhere: Part II.  Endingness is a composition for chamber orchestra designed to be performed together with the last movement of Franz Joseph Haydn’s Farewell symphony. This performance is but one component of Helguera’s three-part work, on view in the exhibition, and consists of three interrelated elements: a musical composition, a reconfigurable sculpture made of framed beeswax and an essay exploring themes of mortality, memory, art, and endings.

Friday, February 1st
7 pm
Get your tickets HERE.

Guest Blog: Susan Robb & Sierra Stinson

Susan Robb is a Seattle based artist who has exhibited at the Henry with “Seedling” and as part of Gene(sis): Contemporary Art Explores Human Genomics. One of her most recent works includes The Long Walk. Siera Stinson is also a Seattle based independent curator who puts on Vignettes, which is a series of exhibitions that are up for one night in her apartment. They have been working in collaboration to produce  ONN/OF “a light festival” which is taking place this weekend, Jan 26th-27th.