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This week in art news: new KEXP mural, Bo-nita, Future Seattle Landmarks, and more!

The Cost of Being an Artist

“Artist and musician David Byrne recently wrote that the cultural life of New York City had been “usurped by the top 1 percent,” implying that our society’s emphasis on the bottom line has compromised our humanist sensibilities.

With soaring housing and health care costs, and a culture that seems more interested in financial stability than creative expression, has it become too expensive to pursue the arts in this country?” – Various authors, “Room for Debate,” The New York Times | November 7, 2013

KEXP Q&A: Mural Painter Jonathan Wakuda Fischer

“If you’ve passed by KEXP’s building recently, you’ve likely noticed the change: stacks of speakers painted in white, black and bright orange wrapping around our previously drab exterior walls. It’s so striking you can practically hear the music emanating from the bright, big-scale mural! I had a chance to catch up with the artist, Jonathan Wakuda Fischer, and talk about his inspiration for the work, his experience painting in Seattle and why he decided to draw a smashed guitar on our parking lot.” – Jacob Uitti, KEXP Blog | November 11, 2013

Photo courtesy of KEXP and Jonathan Wakua Fischer

Happy 50th Birthday, Seattle Rep—We’ve Had Some Nutty Times Together

“Today, the Seattle Repertory Theatre turns 50 years old and it’s giving the rest of us a gift—$5 vouchers to any show in its current season (except for the musical Once at the Paramount, but unless you’re a moony-eyed adolescent who finds the Smiths too heavy and coarse for your tender ears, you shouldn’t be interested in that anyway).”– Brendan Kiley, The Stranger | November 13, 2013

Capitol Hill symposium to jump start Seattle ‘cultural districts’ includes $10K toward inspired project

“Spaces for the arts — from painting to sculpture to dance — can be an increasingly rare resource on Capitol Hill. A new effort from the City of Seattle aims to make local government a force for artistic good through implementing “cultural districts” to encourage art projects in certain designated areas.

Next Monday, November 18th, the City will host Square Feet 2013, a day-long symposium at Capitol Hill venues focused on generating ideas for what cultural districts in Seattle could look like. The event is free and open to the public, you just have to RSVP.” , Capitol Hill Seattle Blog | November 12, 2013

Opening Nights: 25 Saints

“You’re disposable people,” a corrupt sheriff tells a pair of West Virginia meth dealers in the tensest of many tense scenes in this suspenseful stage thriller. But these disposable people will steal your heart even while scrambling from one tragicomic mess to the next, under the skillful direction of Desdemona Chiang. Azeotrope is known for its intense performances of hard-edged texts where the subject and writing don’t aspire to the avant garde.” – Margaret Friedman, The Seattle Times | November 5, 2013

‘Kylian + Pite’: 4 contemporary dances at PNB

“As “Black Swan” reminded us in the movie theaters not long ago — ballet, with its spindly pointed feet and endless limbs, can easily cross into the realm of creepy. Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite makes use of this quality in “Emergence,” a ballet that darkly plays with the idea of the swarm. It made its Pacific Northwest Ballet premiere Friday night, sharing a bill with three dances by Netherlands choreographer Jiri Kylian — and, while “Emergence” was greeted with an enthusiastic standing ovation, it was the Kylian works that remained with me, days later.” – Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times | November 11, 2013

Photo by Angela Sterling, courtesy of Seattle Times

12 landmarks of Seattle’s future

“We’ve got the Space Needle, the P-I Globe — even a historic sewer line in the Arboretum — as current official Seattle landmarks. But, what about the future? What standouts of our current built environment might one day deserve landmark status? What will survive, assuming we don’t blow our icons to kingdom come like the Kingdome? I asked some local experts — architects, scholars, designers, preservationists — to suggest some possibilities, then added a few ideas of my own.” – Knute Berger, Crosscut | October 21, 2013

Events around Seattle this week

Hannah Mootz in Seattle Repertory Theatre’s Bo-Nita, 2013. Photo: Nate Watters.

November 14 | West Seattle Art Walk

November 15 | Close Up exhibit opening night | EMP

November 15 | Hugo Literary Series: The Paper Chase | Hugo House

November 16 | Community Day in celebration of the exhibitions: Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon and Robert Davidson: Abstract Impulse | Seattle Art Museum

Through November 16 | The Purification Process | Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute

Through November 17 | Bo-nita | Seattle Rep

Through November 17 | Priscilla Queen of the Desert | Seattle Theatre Group

 *Links are provided as a matter of public service and the views of authors may not reflect those of the city of Seattle.