South Lake Union
Events Calendar

May 27 Events

May 2 - June 20, Winston Wachter

Deb Achak: Culture and Sea

Winston Wächter Fine Art is proud to announce, Culture and Sea, an exhibition of new photographs by Seattle artist Deb Achak. Opening reception for the exhibition will be held on May 2nd, 6-8PM at 203 Dexter Avenue North. The artist will be in attendance.

Photographer Deb Achak explores her fascination with water and the ways in which we connect with it in her debut exhibition Culture and Sea. This exhibition examines the texture, color, and poetry of the ocean with her Ebb and Flow photographs, as well as the commonalities across cultures in the way we gather, find joy, relaxation, and contemplation at the beach in her Aquatic Street series.

With Ebb and Flow, Achak takes the viewer into the water, at times submerging her camera, others hovering just above the water line. This series allows us to feel the power of the ocean, as well as it’s ability to sooth and heal.

Achak’s Aquatic Street photography documents life by the ocean as the silent observer. She moves within the crowds of people, capturing the impact the ocean can have on human behavior in honest and genuine expressions.

The photographs in this exhibition were captured in Positano and Capri Italy, Hawaii, and Florida.

May 14 - August 18, MadArt

The Presence of Absence

MadArt is excited to welcome Seattle-based artist Katie Miller to the studio this summer. Miller’s site-specific installation of sculptural forms, including a labyrinth of cut paper, will envelop visitors in light and shadow. Layers of coalescing lines and latticed structures will create an immersive environment referencing the changing urban landscape.

Katie Miller was born and raised in the pristine wilderness of Northeastern Minnesota, but is now deeply rooted in the Pacific Northwest. As an interdisciplinary artist, Miller creates immersive installations often with a participatory element. She received her BFA from the University of Washington and her MFA from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University. Her work has been collected and exhibited nationally, with recent solo exhibitions at Gallery 4Culture and METHOD Gallery in Seattle, Washington and group exhibitions at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Washington and Temple Contemporary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Miller has been selected for numerous artist residency programs including the Montello Foundation, Bullseye Glass Resource Center, Art Farm, Anderson Ranch, and Sculpture Space.

November 18 - June 17, Museum of History and Industry

Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith

Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith at MOHAI Nov. 18, 2017- June 17, 2018, is an ambitious exhibition that chronicles the African-American community in the Pacific Northwest. The exhibit also provides an entry point into national discussions about the history and changing character of Seattle and its evolving neighborhoods.

Legendary photographer Al Smith was an explorer and his camera was the universal key that opened doors and gave him license to go anywhere. Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith, organized by Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) and on view Nov 18, 2017 – June 17, 2018, gives visitors a rare peek into Smith’s historically significant collection that chronicles the African-American community during the mid-20th century in the Pacific Northwest. The exhibit also provides an entry point into national discussions about the history and changing character of Seattle and its evolving neighborhoods.

Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith is a retrospective of Smith’s work. It honors the collection of more than 40,000 photographs generously donated to MOHAI by the Smith family.

Curated by Howard Giske, MOHAI’s Curator of Photography and a long-time friend of Al Smith, this important exhibit uncovers a collection as unique as the man who created it. ”It is one person’s work but it says a lot about Seattle and its people,” said Giske. “Al was as comfortable in church on Sunday morning as he was in a nightclub on Saturday night.”

For more than half a century, Smith documented the African-American community life in Seattle. During that time, he amassed thousands of prints and negatives (taken between 1940 and 2005), which he stashed in drawers and cabinets and grocery bags in his home.

“Al Smith’s photography chronicled his life as an active, vital member of Seattle’s African-American community,” said Leonard Garfield, MOHAI’s Executive Director. “With great warmth and intimacy he created thousands of remarkable photographs of life in the neighborhood where he was born and where he raised his family—the Central District. Smith’s brilliantly expressive documentary photography captures a community in transition, and subtly raises issues of social equity and inclusion; a topic of great significance today.”

As a teenager, Smith went to sea as a steward with the American President’s Line, sailing to Hawaii, Japan, China, and the Philippines. During his last trip to Asia in 1937, Smith bought a German-made Ikoflex camera and made up for lost time. He began to take his hobby seriously, although he modestly claimed in a 1992 interview that he was “doing nothing special, just shooting pictures…”

“Al wasn’t just somebody with a camera. He was a photographer. And that was his introduction,” said Jackie Lawson, Historian and founding member of the Black Heritage Society of Washington State.

MOHAI’s relationship with Smith goes back to 1986 when Smith volunteered in the MOHAI darkroom. For more than a decade, Smith helped the museum preserve its vintage-photo collection of Seattle history.

Seattle Times jazz writer and author of Jackson Street After Hours: The Roots of Jazz in Seattle Paul de Barros, describes Al Smith’s work as “extraordinary.” de Barros said, “When you look at Al’s photographs, you don’t feel like a visitor, but more like a participant, partaking in the joy revealed by his camera.”

Structured in a combination of six thematic sections, Seattle on the Spot takes visitors back in time.

An introduction/background of Al Smith is the first section and acquaints visitors to a humble, but driven photographer. This section provides an outline and background of Smith’s life.

From the introductory area, step into Smith’s Darkroom and explore his workspace—a captivating hands-on area where visitors can look at proof sheets, faux negatives viewable through a loop and a display of the cameras Smith used.

The next section is an immersive Nightclub. Here, visitors step into a theatrical nightclub-like atmosphere that breathes life into scenes of Seattle’s jazz scene of the 1940s immortalized by photos Smith took as a young man. This area includes a video, dance floor, music, interactives, games and artifacts on display.

Moving from the nightclub, visitors explore a more formal presentation of Smith’s work in the Nightclub Gallery section. Smith’s best-known work is from Seattle nightclubs in the Jackson Street district during the early 1940s capturing the musicians as well as reveling patrons, to whom he sometimes sold souvenir photographs. This was a heroic period for Seattle jazz—a wartime scene that ultimately spawned such internationally known artists as Ray Charles and Ernestine Anderson.

The final section focuses on the Retrospective Space. This section brings the discussion of Smith’s work to the present day and highlights the changes in the communities that Smith documented. Visitors will explore how communities are remembered today and have a chance to reflect and add information to Smith’s photos and stories to the oral history station.

“Al Smith just enjoyed people,” said Carol Peoples-Procter, President Black Heritage Society of Washington State. “I think he enjoyed life.  And he wanted to capture it through photos.”

Seattle on the Spot will be supported by unique programing including an exciting opportunity for a group of pre-selected high school students in the Central District to hone their photography skills, and develop personal aesthetic and narrative perspective. Students will curate their work for display in Seattle on the Spot from April – June 2018. Pieces will be on display in the exhibit and posted to MOHAI’s website.

MOHAI has gathered the city’s most influential leaders including former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice, Carol Peoples-Proctor, Jazmyn Scott and Al “Butch” Smith Jr. to advise and collaborate on program development for this unique and ambitious exhibition.

Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith is accompanied by an illustrated catalog with contributions by Jacqueline E. A. Lawson, Howard Giske, Al “Butch” Smith Jr., Paul de Barros and Quin’Nita Cobbins. The catalog is co-published by the Museum of History & Industry and the University of Washington Press.

Generous support for Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith is provided by National Endowment for the Arts, The Boeing Company, Laird Norton Wealth Management, MOHAI Exhibits Fund, Mike Repass, 4Culture, Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation, ArtsFund, and Gordon & Celia Bowker.

Instagram

A Little Bit of Texas is Coming to SLU.  Jack Timmons, the eponymous owner of Jack’s BBQ, is bringing his smoky flavors to the neighborhood this summer. >>link in bio
The SLU neighborhood’s biggest weekly food event is coming back, and it’s better than ever! >>link in bio
Gold Standard: A new bar & sidekick eatery are turning heads in SLU with Latin flavors. >>link to bio

1,000

dogs to pet on any given day