Introducing Art as Activism: TeenTix Summer Sessions

Join TeenTix for a series of workshops on how art can be an act of resistance, of protest, and of activism.

Art as activism for web

Join us for a series of FREE online TeenTix workshops exploring how art is a powerful tool for activism and the fight for racial justice. Each Summer Session will focus on a different genre of art including theater, dance, and performance art. You’ll learn about the history of social justice movements and how art has played a role in both the past and present movements.

Use the links below to sign up for individual workshops, or all three! Theater as Protest with Jasmine Mahmoud

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Community Art in COVID Times

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Joshua Caplan and edited by Teen Editor Kendall Kieras

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Historically, art has been used to interpret surroundings, and reflect those surroundings back to us in an encouraging, enlightening, or thought provoking way. This type of art allows for introspection, discussion, and a sense of resonance. A more immediate type of art, without a topical focus, can simply please the aesthetic part of our minds, distracting from the gloom of our surroundings and ourselves. A chance encounter with art, in these distressing and occasionally dull times, can add a small pocket of reflection or joy to one’s day.

In this period of pandemic and glaring inequity, creativity has flourished in many corners. When businesses were forced to close to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and board up their windows to protect their vacant properties, Seattle-area visual artists saw these expanses of plywood as an opportunity to create community-centered public art..

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Art Apart with Tacoma Art Museum

Review of Tacoma Art Museum's TAM at Home
Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Nour Gajial and edited by Teen Editor Joshua Fernandes

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As we adjust to these unprecedented times, quarantine can feel very isolating. Especially for art lovers and museum enthusiasts, exploring museum-quality art has been a big challenge given that most galleries are inaccessible. Thankfully, Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) has created a public website where their collections and exhibitions can be viewed digitally. Although the physical museum setting is absent, their website is an opportunity to continue to connect with art while being physically disconnected. As someone who is not tech-savvy, TAM’s website’s clear tabs and simple design made navigation effortless. The tabs were organized into different categories which made my exploration more focused. TAM’s high quality pictures of art and detailed descriptions gave me a mock museum experience through my computer. While I could talk extensively about all the resources they offer on their page, I found “TAM at Home” and the “TAM Blog” the most interesting. Both pages included an abundance of information about ways you can get involved with art while staying at home.

To start, the “TAM at Home” page gives you access to fun art projects anyone can make. The art projects were very simple and required minimal materials which made me feel motivated to create a piece of my own. There was also a specific hashtag for social media which would give anyone an opportunity to be featured on the Tacoma Art Museum Instagram. I thought that this was a really cool idea, as it gives viewers incentive to engage in their own creativity and share their product with a community as well. In addition, I could also view videos of other artists sharing their processes of creating art, which was inspiring, while I perused the fun project ideas. Overall, I thought this page provided realistic, child friendly, and yet fun art projects which could be very useful if you find yourself bored during quarantine.

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Celebrate and Graduate!

Teen Editorial Staff June 2020 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Joshua Fernandes and Tova Gaster

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It has been a very long year. Or at least a very long six months. The events that need no introduction have completely changed our way of life, our mindsets, and our perspectives. Despite this monumentally terrible year, we all made it to the summer and now is the time to move forward and celebrate! While maintaining social distancing regulations, of course. To help ease those social summer urges, we here on the Teen Editorial Staff have picked some truly wonderful online art for your viewing and our reviewing pleasure.

If you find your film recommendation list running low, then Tangerine at Northwest Film Forum might scratch that itch. Following the story of a transgender sex worker and her best friend tracking down the pimp that cheated on her, this drama-comedy is sure to be a wild ride. If you’re looking for something a little more grounded, then you should’ve already seen Blackfish by now. Playing in SIFF’s Virtual Cinema, Blackfish is a 2013 documentary exposing the dark underbelly of Seaworld and their treatment of orcas. If you’re interested in helping out more local populations, there’s always MOHAI’s History at Home website. Sharing new highlights from their museum each week, this is a great way to stay connected and maintain a sense of community while staying apart. If you like your community to be more musical, there’s always Kirkland Performance Center at Home’s weekly throwback videos. Throwing it back to some of KPC’s best performances, this series offers live performances, interviews, and sing-alongs serving as a glowing reminder of the uplifting nature of the rock community. If you want a little more groove out of your music, you have to check out Duende Libre at Earshot Jazz Fest. The self proclaimed “power trio” of Alex Chadsey on piano, Jeff Busch on percussion, and Farko Dosumov on bass is sure to deliver “musical medicine” right to your soul. Finally, if you want something a little more classic, there’s no better option than Also sprach Zarathustra at Seattle Symphony. Inspired by the philosophical novel Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche, this score is perhaps most well known for its use in Stanley Kubrick's iconic film: 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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No Need to Plan a Trip—SAM Brings the Museum Experience to You

Review of Stay Home with SAM by Seattle Art Museum

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Valentine Wulf and edited by Teen Editor Lily Williamson

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In uncertain times of panic like these, art is a great form of escapism. Sometimes diving into a visual masterpiece that somebody else has created is exactly what you need to distract yourself from the fact that the people around you are dropping like flies. However, with museums closed and an inescapable sense of impending doom around every corner, the arts world is feeling more and more out of reach. A website, such as Seattle Art Museum’s Stay Home with SAM, is an excellent way to make art accessible to the quarantined masses.

Don’t visit the website expecting a museum experience translated onto your screen. It’s more of an extension of SAM’s blog than a digital museum, but that doesn’t stop the art from being beautifully captivating. When you first visit the Stay Home with SAM website, you are greeted with the “Object of the Week”. My first visit featured the “Magnolia Blossom,” an eye-catching black and white close-up photograph of a flower.

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Part 3: Keeping Cultured During Quarantine

Find out how some of the TeenTix-ers are staying artistically engaged while socially distant.

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This is the third installment of our “Keeping Cultured During Quarantine” series. Enjoy these recommendations from TeenTix Newsroom writers, New Guard members, and Press Corps teens about how to fight the collective cabin fever!Daisy

Ok, so actually, my favorite kind of art right now might not even be classified as art (but in my head it is)! My favorite kind of art right now is . . . . PEOPLE!! (People are art!) The best quarantine activity EVER is to watch people tell me things about their life (over a socially distant video call, don’t worry!), or things that happened when they were little, or anything that’s happening in their heads! Good art = stories. Stories = people. People = art!!! Seeing people that I love, even from far away, and getting to know them better, learning more about the stories-that-make-up-who-they-are, is the best quarantine art obsession I can imagine! (Also Parks & Rec.) Hana

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The Art of Procrastination

Teen Editorial Staff May 2020 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Anya Shukla and Kendall Kieras!

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Our quarantine art viewing is still going strong! One thing we have noticed during online school, however, is that we find ourselves procrastinating far more than we used to. Our emails are open, our phones are right next to us, and YouTube and Netflix are only one click away…

There’s also a lot to procrastinate! Some may say that because AP tests are only forty-five minutes, they cause less stress; others believe that because many final exams have been canceled, we don’t need to study; still others think that because many schools are going pass/fail, grades don’t matter anymore. To all those people, we say only this: we’re teenagers, and even when it’s not necessary, we make procrastinating a full-time job! (Also, do you see how we slid in an AP-English-worthy concession there? Take notes, College Board.)

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Virtual World? See Virtual Art!

Editorial written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Sumeya Block and edited by Teen Editor Tova Gaster

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Is anyone else very, very, very, bored? It’s weird to think that not even a month ago, we were all living entirely different lives. On March 1st, we were still going about our normal routines: taking buses to school, eating lunch (and sharing food!) with friends, and of course, using our TeenTix passes. But all that has changed. Now, I go to my classes via Zoom, I take a walk around the block, and, like everyone else, I try my best to help contain COVID-19. To fill my boredom, I have participated in lots of virtual art. There are many lessons we have learned since quarantine and one of the big ones is that humans are adaptable; we change to fit our environment no matter how drastic the situation.

Just like how we have had to adapt, so has art, by catering to an online audience. One can no longer fill McCaw Hall or the beautiful MOHAI Museum but can instead fill an infinite number of virtual seats through a computer screen. Currently, Jet City Improv is hosting a virtual happy hour via Twitch. Seattle Opera and Seattle Art Museum have created an interactive page full of weekly podcasts, interviews, and hand-picked playlists. And those are just a few of the events going on this month! I love being able to support local art right from my bed by interacting, sharing, and donating to their websites. But the true power of virtual art is the ability to experience it from anywhere, try something new, and hear the voices of people from all over the world.

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Creative Cures for Quarantine

Teen Editorial Staff April 2020 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Olivia Sun and Lily Williamson!

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Even though COVID-19 has kept us inside, there are still plenty of ways to stay involved with art while practicing good social distancing. From online exhibitions to performance archives, the Seattle arts scene is still alive and well, even under quarantine.

The coronavirus outbreak not frightening enough? Give Dark Matters at OntheBoards.tv a try—a spine chilling performance combining elements of contemporary dance and theatre. Directed by choreographer Crystal Pite, this performance will take you on a wild emotional journey from the comforts of your own home.

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Keeping Cultured During Quarantine

Find out how our Teen Editorial Staff is staying artistically engaged while socially distant.

The Beatles

Just because COVID-19 cancelled many arts events, that doesn’t mean art stops! We here on the Teen Editorial Staff have been spending our quarantine keeping cultured with the plethora of great art we now have the pleasure of catching up on. From music, crafts, TV, movies, books, scrapbooks, knitting, and cosplaying, we all have our own way of taking advantage of this time. So if you’ve been sitting at home longing for the outdoors like the Disney prince/princess you are, read on for our recommendations on how to beat the collective cabin fever! OLIVIA:

I’ve been feeling extra nostalgic lately, so a lot of my time has been spent reminiscing about the good ol’ days (that is, before the plague hit). After all, I’m a senior in high school, and it won’t be long before my childhood ends, and the next chapter officially begins. So, I’ve spent a lot of my time at home reliving memories through various arts and crafts.

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Fresher Start!

Teen Editorial Staff March 2020 Editorial

Written by Teen Editor Kendall Kieras!

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We all promise ourselves that the new year will bring a “new me,” but let’s all be honest and admit that the few people among us who still maintain resolutions have already forgotten about them by now. Who even designed the calendar system so that the year would start in the middle of winter? No, the true start of the year is now, with the beginning of Spring! It’s bright, it’s sunny, and we’ve got just the art to give you that fresh start we all need right now!

If you’re looking to shock yourself awake this Spring, there’s no better place to start than Rebecca Brewer’s Natural Horror at the Frye Art Museum. Toying with the psychological effect of the relationship between humans and the natural world, the pieces seem to come alive with their bold and flowing shapes evoking expressionistic painting through the medium of crafts.

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Art Museums—Not Just For Your Grandma and Her Bingo Friends Anymore!

Review of SAM's Asian Art Museum

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Valentine Wulf and edited by Teen Editor Anya Shukla

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I am not a museum person. Surprisingly, however, I wasn’t begging for death by the time I reached the gift shop of the newly renovated and expanded Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park. In fact, I enjoyed every minute of the experience.

The Asian Art Museum feels welcoming from the minute you step in the door. The redone space lacks the usual cold, sterile, hospital-esque feel of your run of the mill museum and is definitely a building you want to spend time in.

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Not Just Hearts And Roses

Teen Editorial Staff February 2020 Editorial

Written by Teen Editors Anya Shukla and Olivia Sun

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February is such a beautiful month. It’s full of sappy Hallmark cards, sappy Hallmark movies, sappy Hallmark hearts, and… freedom? Yep, February 1, is actually National Freedom Day. In that spirit, we’ve chosen to free ourselves from the cliche of Valentine’s Day as this month’s theme. (Also, a bit of an aside, but February doesn’t have a National Sappy Hallmark Day! Crazy.)

Some of our shows are more literally related to freedom, like Our Country’s Good, Strawberry Theatre Workshop’s play about the prison system, as well as SIFF’s Noir City, a festival featuring detective-and-crime-filled noir films. SAM’s new Asian Art Museum frees itself from tradition, intermixing art from various cultures in the same gallery. Admissions at Seattle Public Theater and #adulting at 18th and Union connect to our theme in a more abstract way: we all will someday have our first taste of independence—and for some of us, the transition can be rocky. Finally, for all you love-story enthusiasts out there, we’re seeing Mamma Mia! at Kirkland Performance Center, which, with all of its island fun, gives us the freedom to have a good time! And also, we love Mamma Mia!

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Strange Stories

Review of Into Existence at SAM.
Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Alyssa Williams and edited by Teen Editor Josh Fernandes.

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Aaron Fowler’s Into Existence at the Seattle Art Museum is a peculiar and fascinating exhibit. Experiencing Into Existence is like reading a storybook collecting narratives about Aaron Fowler’s life.

Debo Free, one of the artworks in the exhibit, shows a man wearing Nike shoes and a shirt which says ‘Debo Douglass’ breaking free from the chains attached to his wrists. Coming from the top of the structure and going onto the adjacent wall is an ominous-looking rope. There are shards of broken mirrors around him, and above and below him are the words “Debo Free” in lights. On the back the words are switched so that it says “Free Debo.” The man is in Crocs and with holes all over his body. The artwork clearly has a lot of symbolism; I interpret the holes as meaning that the man lives an unfulfilling life and feels hollow. The front of the structure represents that man breaking free from his empty life and finding meaning. However, it could also be about the incarceration of the artist’s friend, as demonstrated by the use of chains and a rope representing captivity. Fowler’s work opens itself up to many different interpretations. Into Existence by Aaron Fowler at SAM. Photo by Natali Wiseman.

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Fresh St(ART)

Teen Editorial Staff January 2020 Editorial

Written by Teen Editor Joshua Fernandes!

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2019 was the year of death. We waved goodbye to the beloved characters of film franchises like Star Wars and Marvel, mourned the loss of real life heroes, and said farewell to the 2010s. But now is the time to be reborn with iron clad resolutions for the new year, and what better resolution than to seek out the freshest art of the decade?

At Seattle Art Museum there's Into Existence, an exhibit all about giving new life to the items America discards and using them to express the stories America tells. Witness security gates, afro wigs, and car parts weave together and form into the ideas and dreams of artist Aaron Fowler in the shape of cultural icons and personal figures. If you're left craving a different mix of history and creativity, check out author Isabel Allende and dive into her book A Long Petal of the Sea at Town Hall Seattle. Using the story of two refugees fleeing a fascist Spain in the 1930s to explore motifs of oppression, exile, and hope, this event is sure to please any fans of historical fiction. If you're still looking for that perfect mixture of education and entertainment, then Jaha Koo: Cuckoo at On the Boards might be what you're looking for. It analyses the rocky history of Korea over the past 20 years and the isolationism that currently grips the population through the commentary of a South Korean artist and his three rice cookers.

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Beyond Bollywood: Cultural Insight Within the PNW

Review of Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation at MOHAI.

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Maia Demar and edited by Teen Editor Anya Shukla.

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MOHAI’s Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation is an eye-opening peek at how generations of Indian-Americans have influenced the United States—the Pacific Northwest in particular—throughout history. The exhibit was curated by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center in Washington, DC and brought to Seattle thanks to Dr. Amy Bhatt, co-author of Roots and Reflections: South Asians in the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Bhatt worked on localizing the exhibition and finding artifacts that are unique to the Pacific Northwest.

The exhibition also includes pieces of Indian American history that have generously been lent to MOHAI, including a photograph of the first Hindu wedding documented in Seattle and a box containing code for Microsoft Windows ‘95, written by Indian American Rao Remala. These pieces give even more insight into just how much Indian Americans have impacted the United States. People participate in a Holi celebration at Redmond's Marymoor Park in 2013. Also called the Festival of Color, this ancient Hindu festival celebrates spring. Photo courtesy of CC Vedic Cultural Center and Byron Dazey of Creative Flashes Photography.

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Boundless Imagination

Review of Robert Williams: The Father of Exponential Imagination at the Bellevue Arts Museum.

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Nour Gajial and edited by Teen Editor Kendall Kieras.

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Robert Williams has created it all! From a multi-colored monster jumping out of a canvas to a monkey serving pie from a gravestone, the The Father of Exponential Imagination is sure to bring audiences on a thrilling and somewhat unpredictable journey as the viewers unlock the messages within his paintings.

Williams is an unconventional artist. He grew up in an unstable household and lived through a rocky childhood wrought with familial issues. He was very curious about technology, especially cars, and is well known for his work with the Hot Rod, a custom car shop in California. Robert attended art school and worked as a comic designer, but his work did not satisfy him. He couldn’t fully express himself through the common art style of the time, so he created his own.

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Finding Your Beauty

Review of Where Beauty Lies at the Wing Luke Museum.

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Alyssa Williams and edited by Teen Editor Anya Shukla.

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The Wing Luke Museum’s Where Beauty Lies is a wonderful exhibit that showcases the Asian-American perspective of beauty through various mediums of artwork, such as artifacts, videos, photographs, and posters. The multitude of mediums kept the exhibit engaging: it interested me to see all the different interpretations of beauty. I loved looking at the fashionable articles of clothing from different cultures, videos of hair and makeup, and photographs of stunning models. One of my favorite pieces, two photographs of a woman with short black hair throwing her head back in laughter, represents how happiness is valuable and beautiful. Her joy makes the woman look approachable and appealing—two qualities that most people strive to achieve. Beauty is a mental state rather than a physical one.

The exhibit shows how the beauty standards that the media sets up are largely unachievable and unrealistic, especially for people of color. By showing stories about Asian-Americans accepting themselves and their culture, the exhibit inspires viewers to break free of these standards and accept themselves. One Indian woman speaks about how she decided to wear traditional Indian clothing for her wedding, describing how the clothing made her feel comfortable and empowered. She learned to never forget her identity nor try to hide it. Similarly, one room has movie posters with culturally diverse casts hanging from the ceiling. By featuring these movies, the exhibit sends a positive message about the trajectory of widening beauty standards and cultural acceptance—two things that have been historically been left out of Hollywood. One of the big influencers of cultural trends is movies, so seeing films representational of the Asian-American community inspired me to not feel limited by my race.

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In Plain Sight: Exhibiting Untold Stories

Review of In Plain Sight at Henry Art Gallery.

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Taylar Christianson and edited by Teen Editor Tova Gaster.

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If you visit the Henry Art Gallery during the next five months, the first thing you’ll see as you walk towards the galleries is a large, color-changing neon sign stating “Education Should Be Free.” This bright and vibrant piece by Andrea Bowers sets the tone for the expansive and exciting exhibition ahead. In Plain Sight showcases 14 artists from around the world in a single exhibit, which occupies the whole museum but won’t take your entire day to explore (unless you want it to!).

The title of the exhibition is taken from the phrase “hidden in plain sight”—something that exists just under the surface but is invisible to the eye. In Plain Sight removes the “hidden” element of the phrase and aims instead to bring forward narratives, communities, and histories that are often invisible in mainstream American culture. The artists address these stories and identities in their art, and work to “tell previously unknown stories, to speak for voices that have been undervalued or deliberately silenced, to reveal aspects of our public narratives that have been obfuscated, and to reimagine histories for the future” (The Henry website).

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Getting Festive

Teen Editorial Staff December 2019 Editorial

Written by Teen Editors Lily Williamson and Tova Gaster!

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Sorry Boomers: in Seattle at least, you’ve pretty much lost the “War on Christmas.” While in the days of yore, our monthly theme for December might have been limited to Christmas, we at TeenTix respect cultural and religious diversity—so our reviews this month will simply be getting Festive (whatever that means to you).

MOHAI’s new exhibit, Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation, displays the rich history of the Indian American community in the PNW and throughout the country. Through video, audio, and photographs, learn about the underrepresented history of one of America’s largest immigrant groups.

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