Recent University of Washington graduate Sol Hashemi is introducing visual art fans to rock that doesn’t involve headbanging, kegs or earplugs. In his new photography and sculpture exhibit Rock Show at James Harris Gallery, the Seattle artist turns fragments of the natural world (a boulder) into functional objects (a cup holder), and uses his camera to lovingly document the process. In a large wall hung print, a constellation of stars glow from within a sawed-off can of Pepsi. In reality you’re witnessing the grit and grime of Hashemi’s living quarters floating on the surface of a flat soft drink—but that shouldn’t detract from its beauty. Hashemi’s gift lies in elevating the mundane to the level of the sublime. A bottle of Budweiser Lime is held aloft by the squeeze of two hefty rocks; sparkling silver cake toppers are triumphantly planted into rocks the size of cupcakes; and a single stone is bedecked with clear Christmas lights. It’s not apparent whether or not Hashemi is celebrating nature, but it’s definitely a party you don’t want to miss.
Sol Hashemi: Rock Show is on display at James Harris Gallery from May 5–28.
UPDATED 12pm. Another fun First Thursday outing: Seattle Art Museum rolls out a March to the Center of the Earth, aka a costumed parade TONIGHT at 5:30. It starts at the Hammering Man outside SAM Downtown and heads down 1st Avenue, then back to the museum for food, drink, live performances by DJ Riz and Spectrum dancers in Nick Cave’s soundsuits, drop-in art making, and a tour of the Nick Cave exhibit. Admission is free.