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.

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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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Hidden In Plain Sight: Magnifying What Is Already There

Review of Hidden in Plain Sight by Maria Phillips at Bellevue Arts Museum.

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Sumeya Block and edited by Teen Editor Olivia Sun.

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Maria Phillips’ exhibit Hidden In Plain Sight at the Bellevue Arts Museum is not only a wake up call to the harm of plastic consumption in Seattle and the impact it has on our oceans, but a reminder to fight our society’s complacency. What started as a passion project for Phillips’ family, Hidden In Plain Sight grew into a series of sculptures that evoke a prudent message, if not a warning, for those who listen: human trash is taking over our planet. After all, the sheer amount of plastic tins, toothbrushes, rags, and food cartons collected by Phillips within a single year has the capacity to fill the large exhibit rooms.

There are many famous artists who have reused items to allude to an issue in their community, but Phillips has a distinct style across all her pieces. Let’s call it the looking glass effect. Phillips draws the viewer's eye to every aspect of trash before them. From the Calvin Klein label on a half open box, which once held clothes, to the remaining stains of food on an old food carton, I notice that Phillips does not choose to sanitize these reused items: rather, she calls attention to them. By commanding awareness to the ugly brown stain on a crumpled bag of chips and the rolled up lint on an old rag, Phillips places the blame on us, the viewers, and the corporations who mass produce the plastic products we love so much. Technosphere by Maria Phillips. Photo courtesy of Bellevue Arts Museum.

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Under the Surface

Teen Editorial Staff November 2019 Editorial

Written by Teen Editors Lily Williamson and Tova Gaster!

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As we transition into winter, the streets of Seattle may look grey and uninviting. It’s tempting to stay at home binge-watching shows you know you like. But look again: there’s a world of thought-provoking and entertaining art under the surface of Seattle’s November gloom, and this month, we want to highlight the events you might pass over at first glance.

Bellevue Arts Museum’s exhibition Hidden In Plain Sight explores how old materials can be made new through art. Similarly, a new exhibition at the Henry Art Gallery with the almost-identical title In Plain Sight, relates to this theme as well. Seeking to explore narratives of racial marginalization, class, and ethnicity repressed and overlooked due to systems of oppression, the Henry showcases visual art and photography to question dominant American cultural narratives.

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The Great British Bake Off Gets A Radical Upgrade

Review of the Great Victorian Radicals Bake-Off at Seattle Art Museum.

Written by Teen Editor Anya Shukla and edited by Teen Editor Tova Gaster.

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In a truly tragic turn of events, I arrived at SAM’s Great Victorian Radicals Bake-Off four days after I vowed to eat healthier and skip dessert for two weeks. As I watched my sister nosh her way through cakes, pies, and even dessert tacos, I could feel my mouth start to water. She looked at me between bites, raising her eyebrows as if to say “your loss!” I stuck to my guns, but if I go by my sister’s review, I missed out on a gastric fiesta.

The event was billed as a mix between The Great British Bake-Off, a family-friendly baking show, and SAM’s Victorian Radicals art exhibit, a showcase of the revolutionary techniques used by artists in 19th century Europe. Bakers had two months to view the exhibit, pick a piece, and create a breathtaking dessert based on their choice. On the day of, judges did a taste-test, scoring each scrumptious baked good on taste, presentation, and connection to the exhibit. At the Bake-Off, the audience also got the chance to vote for the winner of the “People’s Choice Award,” AKA “Best Looking Sweet.” This baking event seemed like a way of connecting the exhibit, which centers around older art, with young adults and teens who might know the British Bake-Off better than the Industrial Revolution. Great Victorian Radicals Bake-Off. Photo courtesy of SAM.

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B-List is the Best List

Teen Editorial Staff September 2019 Editorial

Written by Teen Editors Anya Shukla and Tova Gaster!

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As the great Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes once said, “It is now two days closer to the start of school than it was two days ago.”

We made that sentence its own paragraph, because the idea can stand alone as a bringer of pure, unadulterated panic.

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Discussing Wunderkammers and “A Deep Fear of Crappy Jobs”

Interview with Seattle Art Fair curator and artistic director Nato Thompson.

Written by TeenTix Press Corps writer Sitara Lewis.

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Fellow TeenTix Press Corps writer, Rosemary Sissel, and I were honored to interview Seattle Art Fair’s curator and artistic director, Nato Thompson. The Seattle Art Fair 2019 took place at Centurylink Field Event Center August 1-4.

You’ve attempted to create a wide array of different objects and pieces of art and magic that evokes the curiosity rooms of the 16th and 17th centuries, and reading your curatorial statement, it’s almost as if these rooms contained everything. So how is it possible to curate everything?

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Wonderful Art Fair, Happens to Be in Seattle

Review of the Seattle Art Fair.

Written by TeenTix Press Corps writer Rosemary Sissel.

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A tunnel of captive trees reflects itself into infinity. Pieces of wood arranged in the shape of Africa cast the shadow of a face. Another face, painted by many tiny newspaper words, loses its eye.

The Fair is a river of continual images, inviting viewers to look at, question, and interact with collections from nearly one hundred galleries from around the world—and the variety is staggering. A head is suspended upside down by steel cable. A nose is a shoe. A plunger is glass.

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Familiarity And Femininity With A Sense of Wildness

Review of A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes at MoPOP.

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Charlotte Hyre, and edited by Teen Editor Anya Shukla!

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“Click, click, click, click. Beautiful!” said the young woman instructing me on selfie stick use towards the end of my walk through the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)’s A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes. The video, entitled Selfie Stick Aerobics (constructed by Arvida Byström and Maja Malou Lyse) was of two young women in pink tracksuits, posing with a selfie stick as feminine items, such as menstrual cups, belly button rings, and thongs, floated past. As they showed me different photo angles, they continued to enforce body positivity, insisting that this was not a competition. Instead of mocking selfies, which are often viewed as vain and superficial, the artists embraced them enthusiastically, as a way to affirm how beautiful they and the people around them were. The artists found an interesting way to reclaim culture frequently made fun of, all while promoting self-love.

MoPOP strives to use creative expression as a force for change by featuring exhibits that both educate the public on the history behind some of our favorite culture points, often giving new artists a platform. At this particular exhibit, a group of fashion designers diverse in popularity and establishment came together to discuss the meaning of femininity and the label’s borders. The presentation was split up into different feminine archetypes: “Mother Earth,” “Sage,” “Magician,” “Enchantress,” “Explorer,” “Heroine,” and “Thespian Queen,” each accompanied by a paragraph on the wall and archetypal symbols. Instead of a traditional mannequin presentation, there was a mixture of videography, photography, and clothing. Among the fascinating displays were pieces from an Alexander McQueen collection: Natural Dis-Tinction, Un-Natural Selection. His work was an interesting juxtaposition between natural-seeming fabrics and patterns and more modern silhouettes. For example, one outfit was composed of a dress made of light, cream silk patterned with meadow flowers under a simple leather bodice; however, the shoulders were broadened, the upper sleeves were voluminous, and the hips were exaggerated to the extreme. The purpose of this was to find a balance between modern and natural, providing familiarity with a sense of wildness underneath, which was an enthralling contrast. Another dress, similar in shape, had rough rainbow fabric that the light danced upon and, yet, a severe collar and neckline. It was interesting how the two ideas of natural and unnatural blended well together instead of clashing A Queen Within, Installation view by Iris van Herpen. Photo Josh Brasted.

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The Hydrant Connects Seattle-Area Youth to Arts World

Interview with Nancy Chang and The Hydrant at Northwest Folklife Festival. Written by TeenTix Press Corps writer Nolan DeGarlais.

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The 2019 Northwest Folklife Festival featured a new exhibit that put youth arts at the forefront. Fitting with Folklife's 2019 cultural focus of "Youth Rising," the A/NT gallery at Seattle Center featured the showcase of The Hydrant Lounge, a collective of youth arts leaders who came together to promote their work and form lasting partnerships within the art world. With an entrance facing the International Fountain, the central location of The Hydrant Lounge greatly facilitated the Lounge's popularity.

The Hydrant, the organization behind the Folklife display, is a youth-created and youth-led artistic "think tank" that seeks to promote emerging figures in the Seattle arts community. Urging young art creators of all kinds to "tap the Hydrant," the organization gives priority to young creators who, without a platform, may feel isolated in artistic fields that are often dominated by the older generations.

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