““Jane Fonda hugged me.” Columbia City–based writer, performer and activist Lindy West still can’t quite believe she got a squeeze from one of her idols, but there is video evidence from the Women’s Media Awards, held in October in New York City. West, a Seattle native, former writer for The Stranger and now full-time writer for feminist blog Jezebel.com, received the Social Media Award (presented by Fonda) for her smart and seriously funny online essays about gender dynamics, social justice, politics, body image and other women’s issues.” – Brangien Davis, Seattle Mag | January 2014 | Photo by Hayley Young
“Old photographs, brief chronology, thin and disjointed narrative threads — not much on which to build a book about music and race in Seattle. But David Keller manages to reveal some significant truths despite these limitations in “The Blue Note: Seattle’s Black Musicians’ Union — A Pictorial History.”
From 1918 to 1956, a union of black musicians operated in Seattle separately from whites. This single subject makes Keller’s book more manageable and approachable than Paul de Barros’ encyclopedic “Jackson Street After Hours: The Roots of Jazz in Seattle,” though not a substitute.” – Steve Griggs, Seattle Times | January 2, 2014
“The strip of 30 columns under the I-5 overpass on South King Street has undergone a makeover in a bid to transform and revitalize the area. The community project, led by former architects-turned-retirees Dennis Su and Alex Young, had a recent dedication ceremony to commemorate the painting done on the columns.
Though painting for the project officially ended in November, its origins began in 2011, when InterIm CDA, a community development nonprofit organization based in Chinatown and the International District, first put out a call for proposals to redo the columns on South King Street.” – Vivian Nguyen, Northwest Asian Weekly | December 20, 2013
“Eirik Johnson is making some of Seattle’s most eloquent art these days. “Barrow Cabins” is his fourth solo exhibition at Gail Gibson’s Pioneer Square gallery. It features a series of melancholy double images of hunting cabins that stand on the coast of the Chukchi Sea in the very northernmost part of Alaska — about as far north of Seattle as the Panama Canal is to the south.” – Robert Ayers, Seattle Times | December 30, 2013 | Photo courtesy Eirik Johnson
“There’s much to get excited about in Prographica Gallery’s new group show, “Figures & Faces — Fighting with Fiction.” And there’s also some work that draws more of a “ho hum” reaction.
The highlights first: Five terrific artists are part of the mix, with painters Peter Zokosky and Fred Stonehouse being the closest kindred spirits, taking figurative imaginings in fantastical directions.” – Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times | December 27, 2013
“Virginia Wright doesn’t know how much longer she’ll keep doing this. She’s been behind the scenes of Seattle art since 1956, the year she moved back to her home city. The daughter of a local timber titan, she’d gone east and studied art at Barnard. She married Bagley Wright in 1953, and together they amassed a huge collection of modern art they would promise to Seattle Art Museum, forming the basis of the museum’s holdings in a significant period for American art. Eventually, the Wrights wanted a room of their own, too, so in 1999, they converted a one-story concrete-block building near Denny Park—its exterior blanketed in ivy so you don’t notice it unless you know what you’re looking for—into the exquisite Wright Exhibition Space. When Bagley died of a heart attack in 2011, Jinny soldiered on, continuing to organize unfailingly beautiful exhibitions. Admission is always free at the Wright Space.” – Jen Graves, The Stranger | December 25, 2013 | Photo courtesy Wright Exhibition Space
“In Chinese-Canadian author Kim Fu’s debut novel, For Today I am a Boy, the Asian-American experience enters a new social milieu of the modern family. Fu unhinges a palpable and courageous conversation on gender and transgender identity with her protagonist Peter Huang, and weaves it in seamlessly with whispers of the immigration experience and American dream from Peter’s second-generation perspective.” – Christine Twu, International Examiner | December 29, 2013
And a few roundups of 2013:
“What we saw, what we heard, what we loved” | By Seattle Weekly Critics | December 23, 2013
Artists Wish They Had and Wish They Hadn’t in 2013 | January 1, 2013
By Jen Graves | December 27, 2013