Party Pics: Chase Jarvis and the Seattle 100

Here’s what happens when you get a lot of talented artists, musicians, restaurateurs, designers, and techies in one room.

By Laura Dannen October 22, 2010


Imagine you’re Emmett Montgomery, cofounder of the People’s Republic of Komedy. (Go ahead and imagine, he won’t mind). And you’re standing in a lofty, brightly lit warehouse in front of an equally brightly lit wall, where a blown-up photo of you and your lustrous mustache hangs for all to examine. How does that make you feel?

"It’s intimidating," says the real Montgomery. "I’m up there with Sherman Alexie, and he’s a hero of mine."

He’s also up there with Dan Savage, Linda Derschang, filmmaker Lynn Shelton, Seattle hip-hop royalty Blue Scholars: 100 Seattleites whom photographer Chase Jarvis calls the "cultural leaders of our city." And they were out to party last night in celebration of the release of Jarvis’s book, Portrait of a City: Seattle 100, and his exhibit, on display through October 23 at 727 Thomas Street in South Lake Union.

The great thing about this party (and afterparty) was that the guest list cut across disciplines: scientists mingled with artists, restaurateurs with musicians. No one really knew anyone—maybe a handful of people, or just the friend or spouse they brought—so wallflowering wasn’t an option. "I’m usually hanging out with political activists and environmentalists," says Alan Durning, founder of nonprofit think tank Sightline Institute.

But there was a guaranteed icebreaker (besides the booze):

"Are you on that wall?"

"I was No. 101," says Chris Mefford with a smile. He’s doing a study to quantify the contribution the Seattle 100 have made to the city—in other words, he’s putting a dollar amount on all that creating. And who knows how many new projects came from the mass mingling last night. Will they count?

Check out our slideshow (above) for some scenes from last night’s party. For more info on Chase Jarvis and his Seattle 100 project, read our new feature in our November issue.

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