When Ltd. Art Gallery opened its doors in 2011, gallery operator James Monosmith couldn’t help but notice the masses filling the nearby Washington State Convention Center for PAX; Seattle’s weekend-long video gaming extravaganza. So in 2012, the contemporary pop culture art gallery hosted Press Start, an exhibition of video game art by video game artists, to correspond with the massive gaming expo. It was such a success, that Ltd. is giving it a second life this year with Press Start…To Continue.
Video game art thematically fits right in for a gallery that has featured art shows on Star Wars, Saturday morning cartoons, and comic books. This year’s exhibit features works by over thirty artists, mostly following the theme of mashing up old-school games with contemporary counterparts. Monosmith said the artists were playing around and asking what-if’s, such as, “What if Mario met up with (Halo’s) Master Chief?” The classics characters will be on display—Mario, Zelda, Pac-Man, and Donkey Kong—but there will also be flashy new works based on newer gaming franchises like Metal Gear Solid, BioShock, and Mirror’s Edge.
While Monosmith acknowledges the exhibit is targeted at video game enthusiasts, he feels that at this point the classic video game characters have fully infiltrated the public consciousness. “There’s something for everyone because we do draw on the classics that have been here since the ‘80s,” says Monosmith. And judging from how successful the exhibition was last year, there are plenty of people who want to bring out their inner child and revisit that old gaming console nostalgia.
Press Start kicks off on Friday, August 30 at 7pm with an opening night event that’ll include pinball, Xbox gaming, and a bar complimentary of Jones Soda and Jameson Whiskey. Game on.
Press Start…To Continue
Aug 30–Sept 28, Ltd. Gallery, Free