Each week our regional Cliff Notes columnists Christopher Alam, Sharon Arnold, Demian DinéYazhi’, and Angella d’Avignon pick the most exciting events and exhibitions on the West Coast.
Joey Veltkam: Tell Your Cat I Said PsPsPs
Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WA
May 13 – July 1
Joey Veltkamp has become well known for his beloved bright, colorful, and elaborately layered soft paintings. The imagery he depicts ranges from banners and flags with declarations, and locally specific signage from stores, ferries, and streets; to large, intricate quilt-like works which he has always encouraged people to use, and to love, as cherished and cozy nurturing belongings. Veltkamp’s work and processes weave together multiple histories and moments, including a clear nod to objects and symbolism in queer culture, as well as a tether to the mysticism and mystery of Pacific Northwest lore and culture. In Tell Your Cat I Said PSPSPS, Veltkamp continues to bring us the warmth, sweetness, and tenderness of beauty and intimacy through both humor and profound depth.
Reflections on Art Practices in Seattle: 25 Years of the Neddy Artist Award
The Museum of History & Industry’s (MOHAI), Seattle, WA
June 4 – September 5
For the last 25 years, the Neddy Artist Awards program has been one of the most anticipated annual events in the Seattle arts community, offering an unrestricted gift to two recipients in painting and open medium, as well as an exhibition for all eight of its finalists. Celebrating Pacific Northwest Artists: 25 Years of the Neddy Awards brings together the majority of the Neddy’s award recipients from 1996–2022 into a celebratory exhibition of wide-ranging styles, media, and approaches, demonstrating the breadth of painting, installation, and multi-disciplinary storytelling of the region. Through the curatorial narrative of this year’s curator, Negarra A. Kudumu, this retrospective demonstrates the steadfast commitment artists have to their craft, their work, and their timeless ability to compel us through beauty, poignancy, and presence.
Collective reflection: There is no formal presentation, space, or accolade that can fully encapsulate the entirety of what artists do; not just for each other, but for us all. If the way we create and share stories expands who and what we are and how we connect across time, how do we nurture storytelling as a powerful tool for intimacy beyond formal methods and means?