art

Recap: Infinity Mirrors at SAM

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year, you probably have heard about the incredible new exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, Infinity Mirrors by Yayoi Kusama. The exhibit opened last June to quite the fanfare, and after checking it out for ourselves it is easy to see why. The colorful, fun, whimsical art exhibit is absolutely mesmorizing. We should preface by saying that we know nothing about art. We literally have zero idea what things mean and can't tell you the difference between conceptual art and contemporary art, but we do know when we like something. And we like Infinity Mirrors.

Infinity Mirrors

Yayoi Kusama is an 88 year old Japanese artist and writer. Her work has spanned many mediums including sculpture, paintings, performance art, and environmental installations. Her works focuses on bright colors and repetitive patterns, which you definitely see throughout Infinity Mirrors. She also has crazy, bright, colored hair (sometimes red, sometimes orange, sometimes blue) making her the coolest 88 year old around. 

An image of the artist, Yayoi Kusama, painted outside of the SAM

An image of the artist, Yayoi Kusama, painted outside of the SAM

The Infinity Mirrors exhibit consists of four rooms. Each room is filled with  different objects including: pumpkins, twinkle lights, polka dot tubers, and hanging pink globes. The mirrors that hang in the rooms make each feel like the objects go on forever. There is also an obliteration room, which is decorated entirely in white furniture. All guests receive a set of colorful dot stickers and are encouraged to place them anywhere they like. Over time, the room becomes filled with these colorful dots allowing the guests to help contribute to the art. There are also art sculptures, light boxes, paintings, and video displayed throughout the exhibit. We promise, you'll be plenty stimulated as you wander around.

According to the artist, she is interested in understanding the relationship between people, society, and nature. Not sure if that will translate for everyone who visits, but that is what art is all about we suppose.

In other news, selfies are allowed! Snap away and post to Instagram stat! 

Infinity Mirrors
The twinkle light room and the polka dot tubers room

The twinkle light room and the polka dot tubers room

Now for the logistics! Tickets to the event are sold out. However! The museum is letting in a certain number of people per day and you can sign up in the mornings for a time slot. We got in line at 9 AM. We had to wait an hour until the museum opened at 10am, but we were easily able to snag an open spot for any time the rest of the day. The only time slot that was filled when we got to the front of the line was the 10 AM spot. Once you get your time slot for the exhibit, you need to line up outside the exhibit 15 minutes before your start time, and you should expect to take an hour and a half to get through all the rooms in the exhibit. The lines to each room definitely look and feel a bit long, but there are lines for a reason - trust!  Once you are allowed in (they let in groups of two or three depending on the room), you get 20-30 seconds per room. It's quick, we recommend really trying to soak it all up and then snap a photo at the end if you feel you have time. You're going to wait a long time for those 30 seconds, so make sure to get the most out of them!

There is also a small Kusama gift shop located in the exhibit so you can take home a souvenir.

The Obliteration Room

The Obliteration Room

Infinity Mirrors is only open until September 10th, which leaves you three weeks to go see it! If you do go, report back. We want to know what you thought. Also, if you plan to head to Tokyo any time soon, Kusama will be opening a five story museum featuring her artwork (including Infinity Mirrors!). The museum will open on October 1, 2017. 

Rain or Shine Guides takes on Infinity Mirrors! 

Rain or Shine Guides takes on Infinity Mirrors! 

 

 

Meet the Maker: Jennifer Cullin of Paper Feather

The Paper Feather at Pike Place Market

Just off Western Ave on the backside of Pike Place Market sits a small shop bursting at the brim with creativity and charm. The Paper Feather, owned and operated by Jennifer Cullin, is an homage to all things paper.

WHAT’S YOUR BACKSTORY? WHEN DID YOU START CREATING YOUR PAPER ART? 

I was a substitute teacher for 8 years and always loved crafting with the kids. I started making cards for friends and family on the side and eventually decided I wanted a permanent change. I started my business online and was working from home in the town of Duvall, but then made the move to downtown Seattle.  I knew I wanted my own studio and was walking along Western Ave where I found a storefront/studio space for rent in Pike Place Market.  I knew immediately there was something special about the space and was so happy when I got approval to open up my own shop!

She opened up Valentines Day 2012 with only a few offerings including her handmade cards, postcards, and gift tags. That was 5 years ago and she has now filled the shop to the brim with all of her paper art, expanding to original art, calligraphy, matted prints, a variety of greeting cards, paper flowers, journals, and stationery sets.  She also does custom wedding invitations, chalkboards and party/special occasion goods.

What inspires you and your creations?

I try to always keep up with current trends. I also love birds, so they inspire a lot of my work. "The Fat Bird" greeting card was my first creation and he shows up in a few different pieces around the shop now. 

The Fat Bird!

The Fat Bird!

I also love to travel and use those experiences as inspiration. My favorite places are probably Paris, Italy, and New Zealand. Great birds in New Zealand.

What is your favorite thing to create?

Probably artwork or calligraphy pieces. I love to just go home and create art without thinking.

Who are your favorite artists in Seattle? Anyone readers should check out?

Brooke Westlund is my neighbor on Western Ave. and I love her art. Alex Achavel is another artist in Pike Place Market I really like. Ethan Jack Harrington has a gallery in Belltown that I love to visit. He creates great oil paintings. Lucca in Ballard is probably my favorite shop in town.

Where are your favorite places to get art supplies? 

Definitely Daniel Smith in South Seattle for art supplies and Paper Source in Queen Anne for everything paper. 

Your work spread across a lot of different mediums, did you start in one area and expand or have you always loved to work with different supplies?

Well everything in my shop is handmade. I hand pick all the paper, sketch out and create all the ideas, hand print all the designs once I know what I want. 

I am entirely self taught and have slowly expanded what I work with. I love experimenting with different things. I started with simple methods and have since expanded into more mediums and techniques. Now you can find pieces made with water colors, oils, chalk, and pen. I'm working with resin now with my paintings and love foiling and calligraphy.

Anything coming up in the future we should look out for?

Yes! I am going to start doing calligraphy and card making classes. Look out for more information on this, but essentially I would set out tables and supplies and have wine and snacks and invite people in to learn to create their own paper goods! 

I also want to expand my card business into larger markets. I currently have cards at a few places around Seattle (Once Upon a Time, Sassafras, and Bella Umbrella), but would love to sell them to a broader audience.

Hopefully we will see Paper Feather creations across the U.S. soon! We for one cannot get enough of Fat Bird and think the rest of the world should be able to enjoy him too! 

Paper Feather is located at 1520 Western Ave and is open Tuesday - Friday from 12 - 3 PM. If you are interested in Jennifer's wedding services you can email her for an appointment at thepaperfeather@hotmail.com. 

You can also find her at the Pioneer Square First Thursday Art Walk in a tent in Occidental Park. 

Bettie Page House (now with a friend!)

For the last decade, Seattle commuters have been able to admire the beautiful Bettie Page as they make their way to and from Seattle's downtown and now, we can thank the owners of this Ravenna home for a new addition: Divine. 

Bettie Page (what a hottie, right?!) has been eyeing us for so long she seems like she must have always been painted two stories high on the side of I-5. But, alas, her story only began in 2006 when home owner Chris Brugos asked a friend, John Green, to add a little color to his home, even if it was in black and white. Bettie Page emerged after a lot of hours of work and is now a signature of Seattle, representing the openness of Seattle and the openness Bettie Page represented, far before her time. 

Sadly, in June Bettie was vandalized. The vandals stating feminism as their cause (yes...because that makes sense...vandalize a beautiful woman expressing herself openly...great logic. <---that was sarcasm). But the homeowners were not deterred; they brought Bettie back to her original spender and have given her a friend whose image is equally powerful: Divine. Divine was given the title "Drag Queen of the Century" and has been a powerful figure in the LGBT community. 

These ladies are killing it up there and that is saying something. We're not sure we could pull off the siding look. 

All joking aside, we love this house and hope that the community continues to support this art. It makes our city a better place! 

Seattle Art From The Center of the Universe

Seattle neighborhoods are similar to the tables in the cafeteria in high school. Everyone has a place they fit in. Belltown is for the Yuppies, Capitol Hill is for the music junkies, and Fremont is for the free spirits. These free spirits/artists/hippies call themselves Fremonsters and they reside in "The Center of the Universe." 

Fremont is one of our favorite neighborhoods in Seattle. It packs an insane amount of culture, food, and activities into a tiny space and as you walk around you will be delighted to stumble upon all the wacky, weird, and incredible art Fremont has placed around its neighborhood. We give you the highlights here:

The Fremont Troll

The most famous piece of art in Fremont, featured in the film 10 Things I Hate About You, is a giant troll who lives under the Aurora Bridge. It is inspired by the nursery rhyme we all know and love, Three Billy Goats Gruff, luckily our troll seems to only eat VW Beetles, not billy goats. 

Photo by  Xurxo Martínez    

Photo by Xurxo Martínez

 

Waiting for the Interurban

This statue has been an interactive work of art in Fremont since 1979. The five people and the dog waiting for the bus has always been a place where people add to the art for holidays, wedding proposals, and demonstrations. 

Fun Fact: The dog is rumored to represent the unofficial Mayor of Fremont, Arma Napoleon Stepanian, who pioneered the recycling program we now have in Seattle and was then replicated across the nation! 

Rapunzel

In the northwest tower of the colorful Fremont Bridge, Rapunzel stands trapped in her tower. Made of neon lights, this piece of art was created by a Fremonster, Rodman Miller, and is a permanent piece in Fremont to inspire your imagination as you cross the bridge.

Topiary Dinosaurs

A while back the Pacific Science Center had a couple topiary dinosaurs it no longer wanted so Fremont bought them for $1 and placed them at the corner of Phinney Ave and 34th (because why not??). They are 66 feet long, weigh 5 tons, and have over 7,000 ivy plants helping them keep their dino form! 

Lenin Statue

Love him or hate him, this statue of Vladimir Lenin is sitting outside Grinders for people to contemplate. It was built in Slovakia and torn down during The Revolution where it eventually made its way to Fremont, Seattle to encourage healthy debates and conversation. In our opinion we doubt there is any place more free than Fremont. Plus locals occasionally dress him in drag.

Late for the Interurban

This statue pays homage to "Patches Pals," a fun-loving kids show that aired for over 20 years on KIRO-TV. Patches and his girlfriend, Gertrude, run in different directions, arms interlocked in this charming piece of art. You can also find a donation box for Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center to give to the children these clowns brought joy to everyday. If that doesn't pull at your heartstrings, we don't know what will, you grinch.

We compiled a walking tour for you to check out all our favorite pieces of art around Fremont, Seattle!

We compiled a walking tour for you to check out all our favorite pieces of art around Fremont, Seattle!