the project room

Photo courtesy Jess Van Nostrand.

Paul Kikuchi is a musician by training; next week, he’ll be a craftsman, creating an instrument from bamboo.

Instead of being a clean, white cube like so many art centers, the Project Room gets messy. Fungus-infested law books clutter the shelves. Spools of yarn dangle during knitting classes. And perhaps messiest of all, the public is invited to interact with artists at work. The loft space on Capitol Hill (two doors down from new bar Artusi) houses a communal table, perfect for hands-on projects, meals, and debate. You’ll be privy to both discussions and experiments integral to the creative process.

The Project Room is the brainchild of curator Jess Van Nostrand, who, after curating great art at the coffee shop Joe Bar, revamped the Cornish College of the Arts exhibitions program. Her Project Room invites artists to create on-site, with open studio hours for community participation, and it serves as a locus for discussion.

Starting this month, new program Authorship asks sculptors, choreographers, and poets alike to address the idea of a "maker" and how that concept operates in an age of easy appropriation. The first event, "Accidental Manufacture," features jazz trombonist/composer Stuart Dempster and percussionist/composer Paul Kikuchi building improv instruments on September 23 from 4-6pm, with a performance to follow. Iceland’s Design Collaborative Vík Prjónsdóttir leads the next event—a talk entitled Culture and Collaboration in Clothing Design—on September 28 at 6. Art is always in progress at Project Room; this sort of free-ranging, seat-of-the pants creativity is what the new space is all about.

Find the series calendar at projectroomseattle.org.

The Project Room 1315 E Pine St. Hours are determined by programming. All events are free and open to the public.