Artscape

Artscape
4:18 am
Mon March 14, 2011

The Official Bad Art Museum of Art, aka The OBAMA

Baby

We all know where to go to see “great” art. But what about really “bad” art? Where do you see that collection?Well, you are in luck because Seattle has its very own Official Bad Art Museum of Art. It’s The “OBAMA.” The collection’s curators are the Seattle couple Marlow Harris and Jo David.

Club House for the Creative

The museum is housed inside Cafe Racer, a blue, nondescript coffee house and bar right at the edge of the University District in Seattle.

The people who hang out here are burlesque artists, cartoonists, musicians and the occasional sword swallower. It’s a club house for the creative. To get into the “OBAMA” isn’t easy. Joe David says the artwork has to meet a certain standard."

“It’s a piece that started out with the right intentions and then something horribly went wrong along the way.”

Yes, the pieces are bad, but they are still interesting to view. The collection goes well beyond "Dogs Playing Poker." 

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Artscape
9:27 am
Sun March 6, 2011

A horse, a donkey and Seattle Opera's "Don Quixote"

Millie as Dapple and her human co-star Richard Bernstein in Seattle Opera's production of "Don Quixote."
Photo by Rozarii Lynch

Seattle Opera’s latest production is “Don Quixote.” The show is a spectacle, featuring sets that look like humongous books; computer-animated windmills; and flamenco dancers.

The cast also features a memorable pair from Bothell who is making its operatic debut: Millie, a donkey, and Desperado, a horse.

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Artscape
6:09 am
Mon February 28, 2011

A look at "The New, New, News: A Living Newspaper"

The tweets from the Maurice Clemmon's manhunt come to life when actors dressed in bird suits shout out tweets in rapid fire.
Chris Bennion

We know that how information is being communicated and paid for is quickly changing and that because of this the field of journalism is in a state of flux. But what does this exactly mean for today’s reporters and a public that wants to be informed?

A new play in the Seattle area explores how “instant information” through texting and tweeting is affecting the way news is covered and consumed here in the Northwest. It’s called “The New, New News…a Living Newspaper."

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ARTSCAPE
5:09 pm
Sun February 20, 2011

"Next to Normal" tackles tough subject of mental health with lighthearted song and dance

Alice Ripley and Jeremy Kushnier in the national tour of "Next to Normal." The show is written by Brian Yorkey, who together with composer Tom Kitt pulled off a surprizing win last year of the Pulitzer Prize for drama.
Photo by Craig Schwartz. Courtesy 5th Avenue Theatre.

Bipolar disorder has been the inspiration for many artists and many works of art…from the movie A Beautiful Mind to Sylvia Plath's autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar

Now it's showing up in a musical, called "Next to Normal." 

Ten years ago, the production had its genesis at The Village Theater in Issaquah.  Now, after numerous revisions, it's back in the Seattle area at the 5th Avenue Theatre.  For the latest in our series ARTSCAPE, KPLU's Bellamy Pailthorp caught up with Bryan Yorkey, the writer of the show, who together with the composer, Tom Kitt, was the surprise winner of last year's Pulitzer Prize for drama.

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Artscape
12:26 am
Mon February 14, 2011

Lakewood Playhouse is young actor's theatrical break

Actor Jeffrey Alan Smith is the lead in "My Name is Asher Lev" at the Lakewood Playhouse.
Courtesy of Jeffrey Alan Smith

Right from the beginning, the Lakewood Playhouse made an impression on Minnesota-transplant Jeffrey Alan Smith.

"When I auditioned for the show, I was kind of taken aback because I’d never seen a theater in a mall."

Yes, a mall, with an Old Navy and a Bed, Bath and Beyond.  But the Lakewood Towne Center also has a 160-seat theater called the Lakewood Playhouse.  And this is where 23-year-old Smith has gotten his theatrical break.

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Artscape
6:55 am
Sun February 6, 2011

A snapshot of local history: the Seattle Camera Club

Sea of Clouds
Dr. Kyo Koike, c. 1922. Gelatin silver print. University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, UW29042z

They were a dedicated group of mostly Japanese photographers from the 1920s whose work at the time was known all over the world.

But until now, there hasn't been much attention here on the Seattle Camera Club and its style of photography that some academics have dismissed.

A new exhibit opening at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington --  “Shadows of a Fleeting World: Pictorial Photography and the Seattle Camera Club” -- showcases 200 black-and-white and sepia-toned images. Photos of awesome Mount Rainier and delicate ballerinas, such as Anna Pavlova who was visiting from Russia.

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Artscape
7:28 am
Mon January 31, 2011

The Highland bagpipe: "voice" of the local Scottish community

Alexander Schiele leads the Northwest Junior Pipe Band at the Pacific NW Highland Games in 2009
Photo by Weatherly Schiele

Go ahead and joke about the bagpipe: It sounds like a dying cat!

Just don't joke in front of 15-year-old Alexander Schiele. The Snohomish resident plays in two Northwest Highland pipe bands and commutes twice a week to Vancouver, B.C. just to learn from some of the world's best.

Nothing compares to playing the pipes, he says, while rehearsing with the Northwest Junior White Spot United Pipe Band in Shoreline on a recent Sunday night.

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Artscape
10:40 am
Mon January 17, 2011

At Seattle Rep: One chameleon actor, 17 roles

Renata Friedman plays 17 different characters in "The K of D, an urban legend," at Seattle Repertory Theatre
Photo by Chris Bennion

Actor Renata Friedman has a distinct look that sometimes cost her roles when she was in college.

"I wasn’t the traditional cute, beautiful blond girl who would be Juliet or Ophelia. I got cast as Hamlet. And did Richard II. I was always playing men. There were times that I resented that and would have loved to have played a little love story and have a stage kiss," she says.

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Artscape
9:23 am
Sun January 9, 2011

Whim W'him means new, gritty dance

Whim W'him dancers Andrew Bartee and Lucien Postlewaite rehearsing "Monsters."
La Vie Photography

On this morning, Olivier Wevers is playing the role of costume manager, digging into a plastic bag and pulling out a pair of casual tank tops to give to his dancers.

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Artscape
6:56 am
Mon January 3, 2011

Boogie Woogie with a heart

Eric “Two Scoops” Moore is a big, gregarious man who's released seven critically-acclaimed CDs. The Washington Blues Society has honored him with numerous awards. Perhaps more than those accomplishments, the blues musician is better known for his musical spontaneity and his big heart. 

Despite life's challenges and some true hardships, he retains a keen sense of optimism. Flesh eating disease? No problem. His wife Amy's multiple sclerosis?  That's easy. You find out why when you listen to his philosophy. The wild look in his kind eyes starts to tell the story. His uncanny connection with a piano punctuates it.

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Artscape
11:07 am
Mon December 27, 2010

A new chapter in a new year

The late George Shangrow conducting Bach's "St. Matthew's Passion" on April 6, 2007.
Photo by John Cornicello

A Seattle musical institution and its volunteer performers find strength in the memory of the group's founder, a man whose creative energy remains an inspiration to move forward following his death earlier this year.

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Artscape
7:19 am
Mon December 20, 2010

The holiday magic makers

Sean G. Griffin as Scrooge and Sarah Roberts as Tiny Tim in ACT's "A Christmas Carol."
Chris Bennion ACT

There's about 180 roles in Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker. There’s also some engaging props like a Christmas tree that grows right before your eyes, and one enormous rat with a twitching tale.

But the snow scene – the first time Clara dances with her Nutcracker-turned Prince is the sight to behold.

The couple dance in the moonlight, surrounded by ballerina snowflakes dressed in pale blue skirts. A dusting of snow falls throughout the scene.

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Artscape
9:27 am
Mon December 13, 2010

At MOHAI, it's all about the purse

One of hundreds of purses on display at Seattle's Museum of History and Industry
Courtesy of MOHAI

I’m one of those people who carries a bulging, heavy handbag, crammed with so much stuff that I can’t always find my cellphone. But heavy or not, it’s my attempt at making a fashon statement. It’s the color of a tangerine.

Walk into the galleries at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI)and it’s impossible not to size up your purse.

Over here, from the '30s, a bag made out of Bakelite is the color of butterscotch. And from the 1990s, stylish Prada and Kate Spade bags.

There’s a century’s worth of purses, made out of sealskin, clam shells, cantaloupe seeds, even cigarette wrappers and aluminum can tabs. Purses meant to be worn under clothes or proudly shown off.

And purses from the turn of the century that weren’t even meant for one’s arm.

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Artscape
7:40 am
Mon December 6, 2010

MTV shines a light on Seattle's music scene

Courtesy MTV
Courtesy MTV

If you ask anyone outside the Northwest what the region is known for, they will likely say coffee and grunge music. People here still love their lattes, but the new web-series from MTV and local filmmaker Lynn Shelton shows us how the music scene has grown far beyond the sounds of of Nirvana’s Teen Spirit.

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Artscape
5:49 am
Mon November 22, 2010

Jazz program hopes to strike a chord with Seattle kids

Students in the Advanced Ensemble of Seattle Jazz Ed practice under the direction of Clarence Acox every Sunday
Charla Bear

Seattle public schools have some of the best jazz programs in the country.  Student ensembles dominate at national competitions and perform all over the world.  But many kids don’t get to participate because the bands only exist in a few schools.  Now a new program aims to give every middle and high school student in the area an opportunity to learn from renowned jazz teachers. 

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