Guide to Art Fair Weekend: Aug. 2–5

"Ijeoma, Aimee, Kim with Owl" by C. Davida Ingram shows at Seattle Art Fair as part of the artist's multimedia project 'Rootsystems and Ley Lines'

Whether you’re a hardcore patron, casual collector or just in it for the aesthetic stimulation, touring the art fair and the whirlwind of satellite art world happenings is a must.

The fourth iteration of Seattle Art Fair brings more than 100 galleries from Seoul to Milan, including New York blue chips like David Zwirner and Gagosian, and local favorites such as Greg Kucera and Linda Hodges. Nato Thompson, the fair’s 2018 artistic director, focused on programming that gets at the root of the city’s identity, covering topics that range from Native perspectives to robotics.

Projects to Behold
at CenturyLink Field Event Center

  • C. Davida Ingram’s Rootsystems and Ley Lines presents a multimedia poetic revisitation and revision of the 1999 WTO protests.
  • Inspired by Anishinaabekwe artist Rebecca Belmore’s work Ayum-ee-aawach Oomama-mowan: Speaking to Their Mother, Charlene Vickers and Maria Hupfield’s performance Jingles and Sounds For Speaking to Our Grandmothers offers a monumental jingle-infused sound piece made with hand-sewn cardboard megaphones. 
  • Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Chelsea E. Manning’s Probably Chelsea plays with the subjectivity of genetic data by creating 30 different portraits of Manning algorithmically generated by DNA analysis.
  • Jennifer Levonian’s Xylophone is an animated short about the journey of a single mother in a run-down, gentrified hipster neighborhood attempting to raise a daughter, go to yoga and (what else?) steal a goat from a paintball petting zoo.
  • Artist and Survival Research Laboratories founder Mark Pauline is producing demonstrations of his massive industrial analogue machines that create cacophonous performances.
  • Trevor Paglen’s Orbital Reflector is a model for his upcoming satellite launch, developed in collaboration with the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art. Once launched, the reflective sculpture will orbit the Earth at an altitude of about 350 miles, visibly cruising like a slow-moving artificial star.
  • Wayne White presents two 14-ft. puppets of Seattle pioneers Mary Ann and Louisa Boren. The public will be able to move the oversized puppets using oversized ropes, recalling the effort put in by these iconic female settlers.


studio e: 1 Room
If you’re looking for a sampler of cream-of-the-crop Northwest artists who may not be repped at the fair, this massive group show is a stone’s throw from CenturyLink. Hung floor to ceiling, recalling the style of the Salon des Refusés, are works by Emily Gherard, Dawn Cerny, Robert Hardgrave, Alfred Harris, David Hytone, Andrea Heimer, Fay Jones, Paul Komada, Jeffry Mitchell, Whiting Tennis, Polina Tereshina and Robert Yoder. Bonus: a golf cart shuttle for a quick commute if your feet are sore.

Inscape Arts: The High Wall / This Noble Work
The exterior of this massive hive of artists studios is illuminated by projections featuring the work of artist/activist Tracy Rector. The videos will be visible after dark, with a small reception on the southwest second-floor porch of the Inscape building on Sunday, August 5, 8–11 p.m. Also check out some highlights of Seattle’s neon renaissance at This Noble Work, a show of 10 artists curated by Tania Kupczak, featuring experimental luminous pieces by pros like Kelsey Fernkopf, Koko Jamison and Kristen Ramirez.

Party Hat + Mount Analogue
In the mood for love? Colleen Louise Barry and Mary Anne Carter have mounted an installation at Mount Analogue on First Thursday called Destinations’ Weddings & Wig Sales. It’s a bona fide shotgun wedding chapel where guests can get hitched amid “faux fur, a rocky grotto, alligator leather walls and Robert Mapplethorpe.” Across the hall, Party Hat exhibits the psychedelic color-soaked, “part mystic vision, part clown art” of New York-based photographer Marcus McDonald in a show called Ephemeral Panic, also opening on Thursday in conjunction with art walk.

CoCA: Gary Hill
Center on Contemporary Art presents Linguistic Spill ([un]contained) by Seattle’s own internationally acclaimed pioneer of video art Gary Hill. The piece is an offshoot that “spills” and spins off from his current installation at the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology in Lisbon, Portugal, and CoCA’s gallery space will be enveloped and submerged in projections, reverberations and “organic electric light forms.”

Oxbow: Dylan Neuwirth
Central to Dylan Neuwirth’s latest exhibition GENERATIONS is an illuminated, symbol-clad, 27-foot telecom tower installed in the Oxbow courtyard. Channeling Neuwirth’s dark humor and showcasing his prowess as a fabricator, the structure aims to function as a hate-jammer broadcasting good vibes to “metabolize the negative wavelengths we exist in everyday into something positive, transformative and real.”

CHILL: a City Arts afterparty
Thursday, Aug. 2
9 p.m. at AXIS and the Cellar at Nordo
Join us after First Thursday’s Art Walk and opening night of Seattle Art Fair for the summer’s biggest art soirée. We’re taking over two spaces at 1st Avenue and Main Street to bring music, interactive art and a few surprises.
Tickets $20, free for City Arts members