Seattle's Queen Anne Neighborhood News Blog


Art exhibit features birds envisioned by three different artists

March 31st, 2014 by Laura Fonda

A new art exhibit at Stacya Silverman Art & Beauty features the beauty of our fine feathered friends – “Flocks, Murders, Gaggles and Coveys: A Celebration of Birds” opens this Sunday, with an opening reception on Sunday, April 6th from 1pm to 4pm.

The exhibit features bird photography by Judith Roan, mechanical birds that move and sing by Bliss Kolb, and birds on paper with dried leaves by Fred Martell. The show runs through June at the gallery located at 614 W McGraw St, Suite 101.

Here’s the rundown on the featured artists:

Mallard, preeningJudith Roan began seriously photographing birds in the early nineties when she started making weekly tallies of the birds she observes and studies on Mercer Island where she lives. Her photos are not merely studies of the birds in the area, but images that capture their routines, nature, and habitat. The song, movement, action and drama of the birds are carefully observed and recorded. The birds in her extraordinary pictures are all photographed here in the Pacific Northwest. Roan works closely with her photographer husband, Ron Reeder, and they often share work and images with one another.

Crowsm3Bliss Kolb has long been drawn to machines and the beauty of engineering, both of which are immediately apparent in his astonishing moving bird sculptures. For over 30 years, he has been designing and building cabinetry, award-winning theatrical sets, props, lighting and furniture. In 2010 he began pursuing a lifelong interest in Automata, or mechanical moving creatures. Kolb states, “Looking over the wonderful, clever works of automata throughout its history, the thing that continues to hook me is the imitation or illusion of life: an obvious machine that moves so realistically it seems to be alive”. Kolb was born and raised in Seattle and attended The Evergreen State College and the University of Washington, with additional training in musical instrument construction and clock repair.

Martell SongbirdFred Martell has been a resident of Manhattan’s East Village for the last 50 years. He studied design and architecture at Kansas State University, where he also studied theater. Fred collected leaves wherever he went, including leaves where he was born and raised in Vermont. He pressed and cured the leaves in phone books. No inks or dyes are used in creating his works. The color and detail that make up the beauty of the bird image is provided by cutting and assembling different leaves. His frames are hand-made from found objects and discarded scrap lumber. Martell’s work reflects the spirit of the arts and crafts movement as well as American folk art traditions.

For more information on the show, you can contact contact Stacya Silverman via email or at 206.270.9465.

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New Thomas Street Pedestrian Bridge Artwork Gateway Dedication on Sunday

November 15th, 2012 by Laura Fonda

The recently completed Thomas Street Pedestrian Bridge is benefitting from SDOT’s 1% for Art, with a dedication of a new custom artwork on Sunday, November 18. The Office of Art & Cultural Affairs commissioned the work from artist and storyteller Roger Fernandes. Snoqual/Moon the Transformer illustrates a story told by local Puget Sound Salish tribes and will serve as a entry gateway to the Thomas Street Pedestrian Bridge at Thomas St and 3rd Ave W.

Fernandes is a member of the Lower Elwha Band of the Klallam Indians. He’ll be at Sunday’s dedication, discussing the piece and telling the Salish story of Snoqual that inspired it. His work relates to art, language, ceremony and story. He tells Native American stories for his tribe and other tribes of the Puget Sound area.

Snoqual/Moon the Transformer is a wooden construction that artistically conveys elements of a story told by Puget Sound Salish tribes – Snoqual came through the world and transformed it to what it is today. The gateway is composed of two carved and painted cedar panels connected by a cross beam centered by a metal cutout of Snoqual’s face.

The Seattle of Arts & Culture press release, includes the following Artist’s Statement from Fernandes:

“There are certain cultural, philosophical and historical points this artwork tries to address. One is that local Puget Salish culture accounted for dramatic change in the world as articulated by the Snoqual story. Another is that the Natives saw the powerful transformations wreaked by invading European and American cultures and would sometimes refer to them as “Snoqual.” Another is that the Native cultures and their arts are impacted and influenced by new technologies, and that Native artists are quick to respond to such developments. Culture is never static.”

Key Details:
- What: W Thomas St Pedestrian Bridge ribbon cutting & artwork dedication
- Where: Sunday, November 18, 2012 at 2pm
- When: 3rd Ave W between W Thomas and W Harrison Streets

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Photography Exhibition Opens at Stacya Silverman Art and Beauty this Sunday with Artist Reception

November 14th, 2012 by Laura Fonda

Jay DeFehr
Untitled Juliet Portrait
Silver gelatin print, 6-1/2″ x 8-1/2″

Starting Sunday, November 18, Stacya Silverman Art and Beauty will host Portraits and Landscapes, a photography exhibition with works by Thomas Schworer and Jay DeFehr. The show kicks off with an opening reception for the artists held Sunday from 11am to 5pm.

Although his work has been shown internationally, the exhibition will be local artist Jay DeFehr’s first show in Seattle. DeFehr processes his film in a conventional darkroom with his own archival chemistry formulation. The show will feature four of DeFehr’s works.

Thomas Schworer
Cove in Evening Light, Southern Oregon Coast
Encaustic over archival pigment photograph

Landscape photographer Thomas Schworer lives and works in the Pacific Northwest, but his photographs have been exhibited on both coasts. His works featured in the show will be encaustic over archival pigment prints mounted on hardwood. The show will feature ten of Schworer’s landscapes.

The exhibition opens Sunday November 18 and runs through the holidays. The gallery is located across from Macrina Bakery at 514 W McGraw St, Suite 101. For more information, contact Stacya Silverman at 206.270.9465 or

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Queen Anne Artist’s Trunk Show this Saturday

November 8th, 2012 by Laura Fonda

Are you already shopping for the holidays? Or, are you just looking to support local artisans and add to your home décor? Well, you can shop local this weekend at the Queen Anne Artist’s Trunk Show at the Queen Anne Community Center. Over 35 top local artists will show and sell their work at this annual arts and crafts show. It’s a juried event that showcases the work of local artisans, and provide additional fun to boot! It’s a family-friendly event with live entertainment, face painting, puppet shows, baked goods, and more. Plus, free admission!

Key Details:
Where: Queen Anne Community Center
When: November 10th, 11am – 4pm
Cost: FREE admission

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Affordable Art Fair Comes to Seattle this Week

November 6th, 2012 by Laura Fonda

The Affordable Art Fair is an “art for everyone” art fair that started in London in 1999 and is coming to Seattle for the first time this week, as part of the Seattle Center’s Next 50 celebration. The Fair starts Friday, November 9 with and runs through Sunday, November 11 at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall with 50 local and international participating galleries.

The Affordable Art Fair strives to create a fun and inviting atmosphere for everyone, not just art aficionados. The Fair will showcase both emerging and established artists, with hundreds of contemporary paintings, prints, sculptures and photographs priced from $100 to $10,000 – half of which will be priced under $5,000.

Photo courtesy of Seattle Center/Next 50

In a press statement, Seattle Fair Director Jennifer Jacobs said:

“We are thrilled to bring the Affordable Art Fair to Seattle for the first time and showcase local talent from throughout the Pacific Northwest, as well as introduce local art buyers to current trends in art from around the world. The 50 galleries and contemporary artists we have selected to participate are sure to offer an exciting mix of artwork, ensuring there is something for everyone, from the trendy fashionista to the tech-savvy.”

The Fair also includes workshops, lectures and demonstrations, as well as a Young Collectors Lounge for kids. If you’re looking to buy art, the process is simple: the Fair displays all prices and there are no hidden commissions. And, the Fair has a wrapping service for any purchases, so you can get them home safely.

Key Details:
Where: Seattle Center Exhibition Hall
When: Friday, November 9 – Sunday, November 11, 2012
Hours: Friday noon-5pm, Saturday 11am-8pm, Sunday 11am-6pm
Cost: $12 GA / $10 Students & Seniors with ID / Free for kids under 12

Special events:
Private Preview Party: Thursday, Nov 8, 6pm-10pm
Tickets: $65 each, 2 for $125

Art Loves Seattle Benefit Cocktail Reception: Friday, Nov 9, 5pm-9pm
Tickets: $25 each, 2 for $40 (100% of proceeds will be donated to Artist Trust)

Purchase tickets (both general admission and Special Event tickets) in advance online.

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Queen Anne artists has stolen work returned

August 23rd, 2011 by Thea

Last week we reported on Queen Anne artists Jennifer Phillips, who had 170 pieces of hand-painted jewelry–$11,000 and over two months worth of work–stolen out of her car outside the Goodwill flagship store on Dearborn, setting her back months in her work and leaving her without any inventory to sell at a number of upcoming shows. We’re happy to report that this week Jennifer was reunited with her work.

A box containing her hand-crafted jewelry, all oil paintings done on the back of pieces of wood and Scrabble tiles, was found at a bus stop outside MIH (“make it happen”) Studios in Rainier Valley. The folks at the studio heard about Jennifer’s missing work on the news, and contacted her to return the items. KOMO4 recorded the meeting:

Jennifer also had a number of personal items stolen in the incident, including a Macbook computer, iPhone and purse, but she was most concerned about finding her lost art.

“All my personal items can be replaced… but all the time and effort and creativity that went into making my art, will never be recovered,” she wrote Queen Anne View.

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Twirl Cafe becomes home to a Henry original

June 6th, 2011 by Thea

Popular local muralist Ryan Henry Ward is busy putting the finishing touches on his latest work – a wrap-around mural in the kids play space at Queen Anne’s Twirl Cafe – this afternoon.

True to the unique flavor that can be seen in all of Henry’s works around town, the Twirl mural features a big red bird, some colorful frogs, and a whole bunch of lemurs – a perfect fit for the jungle-gym apparatus the mural surrounds.

Henry first started painting murals in Seattle in the summer of 2008 after he was injured and could no longer work at his landscaping construction business. Since then the popularity of his paintings have soared. When he first started, Henry had a goal: He wanted to paint 50 murals around town. Now, three years later, that milestone has come and gone. This Twirl mural is Henry’s 119th in Seattle alone. He also has works in Olympia, Tacoma, Bellevue, Bellingham, and the Dominican Republic.

“I never planned on being a professional artist – it’s just something that happened,” he said. “It’s the best! I don’t have to have a real job.”

Drop by to see Henry’s brand new mural at Twirl, or catch his work along walls and in storefronts around town. If you haven’t caught one yet, you’ll have plenty of chances – Henry says he plans to keep painting his whimsical characters wherever he can until he either can’t paint anymore, or he runs out of free wall space.

Henry will be having a show of his canvas work later this week, on Saturday, June 11 from 6 to 10 p.m., at Kristos in Eastlake (during the art walk).

If you’d like to catch more of Henry’s work around town this summer, visit his studio at Short Stop Coffee in Fremont (336 NW 40th Street), swing by one of his upcoming shows, and keep on the lookout for his latest project, “The Little Cupcake Gallery,” a mobile gallery featuring works from other local artists (as well as Henry) located in a refurbished blue school bus that parks around town.

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Muralist Henry paints live at Twirl Cafe today

June 6th, 2011 by Thea

Local painter and muralist Ryan Henry Ward will be painting a brand new work live at Queen Anne’s own Twirl Cafe from noon until 5 p.m. today, Monday, June 6.

Henry’s murals can be seen in and around business all over Seattle, as well as on a number of concrete walls and homesteads, like the house on Nickerson that was transformed into a three dimensional work of art last year. His whimsical style will be a perfect addition to the kid-centric Twirl Cafe, which focuses on providing a family focused space for relaxation (for parents) and child play (for kids) in the Queen Anne community.

Want to see some of Henry’s prior work? Check out this time-lapsed video of Henry creating a mural at Lowell Elementary:

While Twirl’s play area will be closed while Henry paints today, the cafe will remain open for coffee and lunch service, and Twirl owner Rebecca Pelletier invites neighbors to swing by and watch the artist in action.

A little background information on Henry, courtesy of Twirl Cafe:

Ryan graduated with a degree in Art, Writing and Storytelling for Children from Fairhaven College in Western Washington. It was at Fairhaven that he began to focus on his writing, theatre crafts and painting. He has written and illustrated several books for loved ones, as well as illustrated children’s books authored and published by others.

Since June of 2008, Ryan has completed over 110 murals, and it is this body of work that he has become most famous for. Previous to becoming a public muralist, he had painted dozens of murals in private residences around the Pacific Northwest. He has created works in India and Thailand, as well as four murals in the Dominican Republic. Selling over 400 original canvases in Seattle over the past couple of years, Ryan’s vision of creating primitive images with a dream like surreal quality has come to fruition… He wants the natural rawness of the painting process to show through his balanced, bright, and whimsical work.

You can check out more of Henry’s work at his website and on his Flickr page. I’ll be swinging by Twirl later today to catch the artist at work, and will be posting updates as he goes.

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Watch Easy Street muralist Glenn Case recreate Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy on time lapse video

March 29th, 2011 by Thea

Glenn Case has been the official Easy Street Records muralist for the past seven years, painting building-height replicas of album covers along the record shop’s outer wall, only to do it all over again ever six to nine weeks as new albums dropped.

His most recent creation–two panels for the release of Pearl Jam’s VS and Vitalogy Deluxe Expanded Edition today–took him the better part of a week to perfect. You may have spotted Case high on a ladder, chipping away at the murals outside Easy Street (and trying to beat the rain) a couple of weeks back.

If you missed Case in action, you can catch the project from start to finish (encompassing some 30 hours of work) condensed down into a one minute and 36 second time lapse video.

Case, 39, moved to Seattle after graduating from the University of North Carolina in 1996. One of the first jobs he had after arriving was working as a set designer with the Seattle Repertory Theatre, something he still does for various venues on occasion, when his schedule allows.

Though Case will be covering up his own work in a couple months’ time, he says he doesn’t mind the long hours he puts in, even for such short-term exhibitions.

“I never think in those terms, because I’m just out here until it’s done,” Case said. “It’s been a long process of doing what I do and getting recognized as an artists. This has been a great stage for me.”

Nowadays Case splits his time between churning out impeccably detailed murals for Easy Street, as well as custom-made signs and works commissioned for commercial businesses, homes, children’s murals, airplane hangers–you name it. One of his most interesting projects involved painting a bathtub to depict a lounging woman holding a martini, in the nude, in, of course, waterproof paint.

According to Case, all of his Easy Street murals are best viewed from across the street, in front of the entrance to Met Market. So if you happen to be walking by and want to check out his work, the corner of Mercer Street and 1st Ave N is the prime viewing location.

“I basically paint in a real impressionistic style,” he said. “It’s best for people at the market to see it… as you get a block away, all the dots and lines blend into something else.”

As you can imagine, between seven years of musical murals, alongside his other commissioned projects and his own work, Case has developed quite a backlog of pieces. Though doesn’t have a website, you can check out more of his work on his Facebook Page, Seattle Murals. Case also has a show of his own art at the Crepe Cafe in Ravenna, showing through the end of the month.

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Folklife to have Bulgarian theme for 2011 festival

February 24th, 2011 by Thea

The 40th annual Northwest Folklife Festival, taking place at Seattle Center over Memorial Day weekend from May 27 to 30, will have a special Bulgarian theme this year.

The organization chose Bulgaria for its cultural focus due to the large and growing Bulgarian community here in the Pacific Northwest. From Folklife:

The Bulgarian community is a growing part of the Balkan community in the Pacific Northwest, numbering around five thousand in the Seattle area alone.

In addition to the festival’s regular events (check out the full schedule here), the special programming this year will include a Bulgarian Community Celebration with a number of exhibits, talks and activities surrounding the region, peoples and culture. From Folklife:

The Bulgarian Community Celebration will include an exhibit of photographs taken in Bulgaria in the 1960s and 1970s; an afternoon concert by renowned traditional Bulgarian performers; a participatory dance featuring local Balkan and Bulgarian dance bands; as well as workshops, panel discussions, lectures, and children’s activities.

The photographs, Voices & Images from Bulgaria, 1966-1979, were taken by Martin Koenig, who first went to Bulgaria over forty years ago with a letter of introduction from Margaret Mead. He was initiated into the world of Bulgarian dance, began traveling to festivals and villages, and quickly realized that he was documenting a traditional agrarian culture that was undergoing radical industrial change. His images, and the text describing them, reveal a life that no longer exists. An exhibit catalog will be available for sale, and Koenig will give scheduled gallery talks during the Festival as well as participate in discussions of his fieldwork on the Narrative Stage.

Find more information on the events, exhibits and activities planned during the Bulgarian Community Celebration here.

For more details about the 2011 festival, check out Folklife’s new website. If you’re a teen or young adult artists interested in submitting your work to be featured in a collaborative show at the Ver(A)rt Gallery during the Folklife Festival this year, you can find details on how to apply (deadline is March 20) here.

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Jody Cain’s artwork showcased at Nucleus

December 13th, 2010 by Thea

In her day job, Jody Cain encourages middle schoolers to explore art, and think outside the box when approaching their own creations. But on nights and weekends, Jody is an artist herself—one who frequently experiences the pleasure of seeing her work on local establishments, including Lower Queen Anne hair salon Nucleus.

“As far as my art work goes, I love to work in a variety of media!  Mixed media is the best description- utilizing as many discarded materials as possible.  I generally work on wood, anything from scrap lumber, plywood, and anything friends and family pass my way,” Jody says. “I use papers layered on the wood to create my background initially.  On top of this I create my illustration, layering paints, pencils, and charcoals.  Many times I include personal memorabilia such as poems, images, and journal pages, embedding texture and meaning into my work.  I currently have gotten my hands on a handwritten ledger for an antique store, written by a lovely 80-year-old relative of mine.  The handwriting from her era is impressive, beautiful in it’s own right…These are the things that add texture at first glance and then make you want to take a second closer look.”

Jody says she first started doing art when her grandmother, the matriarch of the family, got sick.

“It sent me for a tailspin.  She was a spunky retired teacher herself who stood by me during everything,” she said. “She was the kind of Grandma who always had a special something to send home with you when you stopped by, yet also wasn’t afraid to call you on the floor when she thought you needed it.

The upcoming loss, she says, sent her “looking for something to make sense.”

“She didn’t want anyone seeing her “not together”  so the best thing I could do was create…showing her all the little things that went into the big picture,” Jody said. “How all of her thoughts, intentions, support, kindness… how all her little pieces created this thing for me- a giant collage of moments.  This life, her force, her support that would be missed.”

Jody’s exhibit kicked off at Nucleus on Sunday. Swing by at 621 Queen Anne Ave N to take a look at some of her work. Also check out her website and Etsy shop.

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Queen Anne Artist’s Trunk Show this Saturday

November 17th, 2010 by Thea

It’s that time of year again—the Queen Anne Artist’s Trunk Show is happening this Saturday, November 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Queen Anne Community Center.

The free event will showcase handmade original work from more than 35 local artists. There will also be a bake sale, art gallery showcasing work by Sweet Pea Cottage preschool students, and creative art projects and activities for kids (can you say face painting?).

Ten percent of all proceeds from the event will go to support the non-profit preschool, while the rest of the money will go to the artists participating in the show.

See the full list of artists who will be showing their work at the Trunk Show here.

Get updates on the Trunk Show on its Facebook page.

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