Summer is almost here and in Pioneer Square there’s a whiff of surrealism in the air. It's time for another First Thursday art walk.
Julie Blackmon: Undertow (New Photographs)
Thru July 13, G. Gibson Gallery
Let’s start at G. Gibson Gallery, where Missouri artist Julie Blackmon shows a new collection of irresistible photographs. What’s not to like about Technicolor fantasies that are part Edward Scissorhands, part Dutch master Jan Steen, with a dose of Salvador Dali —or is it Fellini? The show is called Undertow. Blackmon grew up in a family of nine children (she is the oldest) and now has three of her own. For her, life at home, and all its controlled chaos, is the stuff of art. She says the photographs “move beyond the documentary to explore the fantastic elements of our everyday lives, both imagined and real…” Artist reception June 6, 6–8. Blackmon will give a talk about her work at June 7 at 6:30 at Photo Center Northwest.
Rick Bartow: Origin of Song
June 6–29, Stonington Gallery
At Stonington Gallery, Rick Bartow’s new paintings, wood sculptures and monotypes come together in an exhibition called Origin of Song. His style is expressionistic (he cites Francis Bacon, Odilon Redon, and Marc Chagall as influences) and his images are often human and animal figures, sometimes combined, in otherworldly scenarios. Born in Newport, Oregon, in 1946, Bartow makes art that draws on his Native American heritage as well as his military experience in Vietnam. Bartow was commissioned recently to make two outdoor sculptures for the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. The monotypes in Origin of Song were created during his 2013 residency at Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts in Oregon.
Linda Jo Nazarenus: Beyond and Back
June 6–July 1, Lisa Harris Gallery
For Seattle artist Linda Jo Nazarenus’ show of recent oil paintings at Lisa Harris Gallery, Beyond and Back, weather is a main character—a reminder of how tenuous is life on our little planet. With references to Renaissance landscapes and plenty of foreboding, she shows a storm-tossed place with humans removed from the equation. Nazarenus has worked as a scenic painter for Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Opera, and ACT. A number of these paintings look like they could blossom into stage backdrops. Opening reception June 6, 6–8.
Barbara Robertson: Snap!
June 7–29, Davidson Gallery
Snap! A show of Seattle artist Barbara Robertson’s new mixed media prints includes the Wave Series, inspired by sound waves, particularly those of jazz recording from the 1930s and ’40s—the kind of music that makes you snap your fingers. In the early 20th century, Wassily Kandinsky based his groundbreaking abstractions on the idea of synesthesia—essentially that certain colors and sounds vibrate at the same frequency. Robertson follows in his footprints.