September 10

Up Close and Personal

A new MadArt Seattle exhibition draws the audience in to public and private spaces.

MadArt Studio (325 Westlake Ave. N., Ste 101), a cornerstone for art in South Lake Union, is known for its intriguing, large-scale exhibitions that invite public audiences into its artists’ process. From now through October 13, patrons are welcome to visit MadArt’s Open Studio for Niche Audience, a new exhibit from Seattle-based artists Leo Berk and Claire Cowie.

“The Open Studio period is a time to directly engage with artists while they are in the process of creating their exhibitions,” said Emily Kelly, MadArt’s director and curator. “This is an opportunity to see the creative process first-hand and learn directly from exhibiting artists about the concepts and inspiration behind their work.”

With Niche Audience, Berk and Cowie use experimentation and spontaneity explore public and private spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this exhibit, the artists test the boundaries of their domestic partnership, community connection, and personal space and distance with free-standing sculptural alcoves. These alcoves are made almost entirely of recycled or refuse materials collected from construction sites to highlight both ecological waste and the ongoing adaptation of the human experience.

Wooden alcove with modern art sculpture sitting inside.

The twist in Niche Audience? Some of these alcoves are left intentionally empty, allowing you to place yourself in the exhibition. That makes both you and the sculptures created by Berk and Cowie part of the audience and exhibition.

Empty arched alcove made from recycled wood.

The Open Studio portion of Niche Audience is available to the public through October 13. You can schedule your visit here. The exhibit officially opens on October 14.

Story by Ethan Chung & photographs courtesy of MadArt.

At The Center

SLU is the geographical center of Seattle