Visual Art

First Thursday: November

Free is the word at downtown galleries and museums.

By Olivia Margoshes November 4, 2010


Where will we be this First Thursday?

At the Henry Art Gallery, where Harry Shearer: The Silent Echo Chamber gives us a glimpse of talking heads and politicos in those unscripted moments before they go on air. You may know Shearer as the voices of Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns, and Smithers on The Simpsons, but after this exhibit you’ll know him as the artist who curated 15 looped DVD segments of John McCain drinking coffee or FOX’s Sean Hannity massaging his brow as though he’s watching President Obama be elected to a life term. We promise you won’t be as bored as some of them look. Thru Jan 16.

We’ll also be at the Platform Gallery in Pioneer Square to check out Kelly Mark’s current exhibit (titled, simply, [email protected]#$%^&*k) featuring over 20 Letrasets. This now-retro graphic design involves the transferring of letters and patterns from vinyl sheets onto paper, which produces a series of intricate, layered black-and-white images—some resembling a table full of poker chips, others a a complicated mathematical function on a graphing calculator. It’s the kind of exhibit you need to examine up close; luckily, it’s on display through November 27.

Woodblock artist Annie Bissett shows her latest collection, We Are Pilgrims, at the Cullom Gallery in Japantown. Bissett’s works chronicle the lives of early New England settlers and the impact they had on Native Americans. It’s not a diatribe by any means—though one darkly sardonic image shows the first two Native American students to enroll at Harvard (one died in a shipwreck, the other of tuberculosis). The prints also allude to what settlers left behind. One in particular, No Friends to Greet Them, depicts a recently arrived family of Pilgrims, lost and alone in a barren winter forest. Thru Nov 27.

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