Beginner’s Luck

Ten years ago, Slideluck Potshow brought Seattle artists together to break bread and share art. Since then, the event has gone global. Rookie organizer David Wentworth talks about bringing it home.

We can all be so insular here in Seattle, isolated in our own work. Having a potluck is one of those things you can do to go out and interact with each other.

The Slideluck Potshow builds on that idea. We have a big bay door at the studio that we’re going to open up to start the evening. We’ll have a lot of mingling and eating and drinking out in the sun. Then at 9 o’clock, we’ll bring everyone into the studio. It’s 5,000 square feet with a 23-foot-high white wall. We’ll dim the lights, fire up a digital projector and illuminate the space with beautiful art. We’ll have two segments where we give 12 local artists three minutes apiece to show the best work possible. We’ll have John Keatley, Andy Reynolds and Daniel Carrillo, and lots of other amazing artists.

This is a great outlet for artists to show their work to their peers, and they can use it to gain momentum or to make personal contacts.

A photographer named Casey Kelbaugh started the Potshow in Seattle about 10 years ago. He invited everyone to show their work and then serve food. It was basically a way to get the artists and photographers at that time to show their work and eat and drink.

He moved to New York almost immediately after the first one, but he kept doing it. It was there, in New York, that the event started to take off. Since then, Potshows have been held in dozens of cities around the world.

I’m originally from Seattle, but I’d been living in New York at the time and working as a photographer. The funny thing was that the whole time I was in New York, I couldn’t make any of the events—either I had a shoot that night or I was getting up early the next morning.

After I moved to Seattle last year, I was talking with a friend about New York and art, and I told her that I wished I’d gone to one of these Slideluck shows while I was there. She told me that her brother started that event and was looking to bring it back and do it again here.

I’m excited to bring it back to Seattle with more people involved and in a bigger space, because there are such amazing visual artists here, and there are such great musicians and the food is amazing. I know it’s taken off and gotten really big in New York and Europe, but if any place can do it really well, it should be Seattle.

Slideluck Potshow takes place Aug. 18 at Voda Studios. Above: Slideluck Potshow in Berlin.