Washington picks from Sharon Arnold

Cliff Notes

Each week our regional Cliff Notes columnists Christopher AlamSharon ArnoldDemian DinéYazhi’, and Angella d’Avignon pick the most exciting events and exhibitions on the West Coast.

Rodrigo Valenzuela: New Land
Mini Mart City Park, Seattle, WA
July 1 to August 29

For those who’ve followed artist-trio Sutton Beres Culler’s work to build Mini Mart City Park over the years, and the hardships of their unexpected foray into environmental cleanup and preservation, the completion of this space is a hard-won feat of commitment and creative vision towards building a community arts hub.

July marks the end of their first year, and they’re celebrating with a huge festival featuring artists, music, and performance. Their featured artist in July is Rodrigo Valenzuela, who will be showing large scale works in the space for his exhibition New Land. I’m finding a deep and poetic alignment between the literal transformation of the land, space, and architecture of Mini Mark City Park, and Rodrigo’s visual and conceptual transformation of land, space, and architecture through sets, video, photography, and installation. 

Craig Mammano: Pausok
Solas Gallery, Seattle, WA
June 24 to July 15

Solas Gallery is one of Seattle’s newest additions to the gallery ecosystem, but with the express focus of contemporary photography. Solas is the Irish—Gaeilge, not to be confused with Gaelic—word for “light,” which I find beautifully descriptive and evocative without being overt or heavy-handed.

For their July show, they’re featuring the work of photographer Craig Mammano. Mammano’s exhibition uses the Filipino method of fumigation called pausok—a method of cleansing the home with the smoke of smoldering medicinal herbs—as a way to explore themes of mental health, protecting one’s energy, the sacred space of the home and the neighborhood, and how we deal with loss, trauma, and the impacts of hardship over the course of a lifetime. I can’t help but reflect on the cross-cultural practices of smoke and water cleansing, blessing, and protection that may bring so many of us much-needed grounding, and peace through ritual.

Bogosi Sekhukhuni: HABITABLE ZONES
Veronica, Seattle, WA
June 10 to July 22

Bogosi Sekhukhuni explores the interconnected cultures and histories of technology, offering insightful perspectives on its relationship to aesthetics, ecosystems, and cosmologies.

Previously, Sekhukhuni has made it clear the internet or technology is not the point or the focus of critique but how it is used—the choices people make within the space of the internet and communication amongst one another. When I look at their work, I’m enamored with storytelling that incorporates a broad array of objects, installation, media and methods, which emphasize their considered and dynamic approach to provoke our own conclusions on futures through a philosophical lens.

I’ve featured the Veronica space in the past, and spoken to their large window and shallow exhibition space. I’m thinking a lot about how the view from the street mimics the position and presentation of a screen, and I’m very much looking forward to this exhibition as a literal, multidimensional experience and exploration.

Meghan Elizabeth Trainor and Sarah Lipstk, Sphagnan: Ink & Logic
Frontier Home, Seattle, WA
June 23 to July 23

Frontier Home is best known for its intimate musical performances and community events in Ian Curry’s log cabin and backyard on North Beacon Hill.

In July, they begin with what will hopefully become the first of many visual arts shows to come with a two-person exhibition, Sphagnan: Ink & Logic. Featuring the enigmatic collaborative works of Meghan Elizabeth Trainor and Sarah Lypstk, this show casts an esoteric light on gravity, electromagnetism, sigils and logic symbols, transformation, space-time travel, and bog ecosystems; as well as the mythos of Pacific Northwest dangers, outdoor living, adventure, and mysticism. I like how Trainor and Lypstk’s works are both unequivocally transparent and straightforward while also entirely mystifying, captivating us in wonder about the interconnectedness of signals and transmission throughout our surrounding world. 

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