This spring break week, while things are slower, we have two new arts events seeking expression from the darker side. One is a reading by a poet who grew up around Richland and worked at Hanford, and the other is an art exhibit that takes on social issues such as racism and inequality.
Weary soldiers used to sing, “Hard times, come again no more!” But it’s true that suffering can prompt creativity and art. Which is better — to hurt but create something valid and powerful, or not to have suffered at all? And yes, it’s an open book question.
Joshua Gailey, trumpet, 7:30 p.m.,March 25. A senior recital from the UW School of Music in Brechemin Auditorium. Free.
School of Social Work art exhibit, March 26. “Social Movements: The Personal Becomes the Political,” features paintings, drawings, mixed media pieces, photos and poems by UW social work students.
The exhibit’s 31 artworks “reflect philosophies on how personal passions are able to create political action,” said Madeline Galbraith, assistant to the associate dean of academic affairs at the school and organizer of the exhibit.
The exhibit is located at the school, 4101 15th Ave. NE in Seattle. The pieces are in the first floor gallery. Much of the art is available for sale.
A series of 12 pencil drawings by Chau Huynh, a graduate student, depicts social work students and instructors, some in classroom settings and some participating in Occupy Seattle. See more of Huynh’s work in a video. Other pieces depict social issues such as racism and inequality, while others reflect what the students are inspired by, such as nature and the environment.
The exhibit runs March 26 through May 31. A public reception, which will include readings of the two poetry pieces in the exhibition, will be 4 to 6:30 p.m. Friday April 20. To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Poet Kathleen Flenniken, 7 p.m., March 27. Flenniken, Washington state’s poet laureate for 2012-2014, will read from her new book of poems, Plume, published in February by University of Washington Press, in room 220 of Odegaard Undergraduate Library.
Publicity notes state, “The poems in ‘Plume‘ are nuclear-age songs of innocence and experience set in the ‘empty’ desert West … [Flenniken] grew up in Richland, Washington, at the height of the Cold War, next door to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation … and worked at Hanford herself as a civil engineer and hydrologist. By the late 1980s, declassified documents revealed decades of environmental contamination and deception at the plutonium production facility, contradicting a lifetime of official assurances to workers and their families that their community was and always had been safe.” The event is to mark the closing of the exhibit “Particles on the Wall” at the library.
Webcomics artist panel, 7 p.m. March 29. In association with the Henry Art Gallery’s Test Site exhibition “Morning Serial,” webcomics artists will convene at the Henry the night before Emerald City ComicCon for a panel talk. Pushing the boundaries of what defines comics and answering to no editor, these creators are at the forefront of an exciting and constantly shifting digital movement. Join Dylan Meconis (Family Man), Erika Moen (DAR! / Bucko), Evan Dahm (Rice Boy / Vattu), Aaron Diaz (Dresden Codak), Spike Trotman (Templar, AZ), and Emily Ivie (The Locked Maze) for this evening discussion. Free for students, staff, faculty and Henry members. For others, tickets are $5.
Botanical art exhibit, through March 29. UW Botanical Gardens has announced the winners of the botanical art exhibit held in conjunction with the conference “Conserving Plant Biodiversity in a Changing World: A View from NW North America,” held March 13-14 on campus. The winners for botanical illustrations are: First place to Louise Smith for “Paintbrush and Sedge,” second to Daphne Morris for “Carex macrocephala” and third place to Jan Hurd for “Rosa nutkana.” For photographs, first place went to Daniel Mosquin for “Castilleja applegatei var. pinetorum,” second to Michael Hannam for “Veratrum viride” and third to Morgan Turner for Blechnum spicant.” The exhibit is on display in the Elisabeth C. Miller Library at the UW Botanic Gardens.
Some continuing arts events:
“From Public to Private: The Evolution of Portrait Photography in Everyday American Life, 1850-1900,” through June 10. Curated by UW art history doctoral candidate Kimberly Hereford, this exhibition explores two uniquely American aspects of early portrait photography: The emergence of the studio system and its unique marketing strategies, and the function of portraiture as keepsakes. In the Henry Art Gallerys North Galleries through June 10.
Flashback, through May 6. The Henry Art Gallery presents a one-room companion exhibition to “Around the Bend and Over the Edge,” featuring works from the Henrys collection that reflect the rebellious and provocative spirit of the 1960s and 70s. “Flashback,” in the North Galleries, curated by Judy Sourakli, also looks at the visual art of the day with a selection of paintings by Northwest artists and work by UW faculty of the period who were also breaking with tradition, such as Spencer Moseley, Alden Mason and Francis Celentano.
“Hungry Planet: What the World Eats,” through June 10. What we eat is essential to our connections to each other and the earth. Hungry Planet: What the World Eats provides a place to gather and discuss a feast of 21st century food issues, from sustainable farming to cultural survival. The exhibit introduces families from 10 countries around the world through photographs of family members at home, at the market, and surrounded by a weeks worth of groceries. Learn more at the Burke website.