Best Bets for the 2015 - 2016 Cultural Arts Season

Brenda Tipton, author of the Seattle Art Blog (www.seattleartblog.com) and publisher of Art Guide Northwest (www.artguidenw.com) – the guide to galleries, museums and antiques in the Pacific Northwest – provides these tips for best bets in the visual arts world for the 2014-2015 season

Maybe it’s because of the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, but art is part of the air we breathe. Although the Seattle Art Fair was a contributor, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more exciting year for art in this area. Have you ever noticed the tremendous number of neighborhoods, for example, with art walks? Not just places with a few galleries, but, increasingly, you’ll see a neighborhood sponsor an art walk by placing art on the walls of businesses in the area and then publicizing their “art walk.” Type www.seattleartblog.com in your browser to see all the art walks posted each Monday, and you’ll see what I mean.

You can see some fabulous museums in New York, London and Paris, but our museums in the Pacific Northwest hold their own. Standouts in our area are the Seattle Art Museum and the Tacoma Art Museum, but each of our smaller museums makes a big contribution in their own particular fields. If you want to understand the diversity of the people and cultures here, you really need to see them all! Listed below is a sample of upcoming exhibits of special interest in the next few months.

The Seattle Art Museum puts on several exhibitions each year, so you should look them up on the web to get a full list. On view from October 1 through January 10, 2016 is Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art (from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC). The collection is considered to be the jewels of one of the finest collections of French Impressionism in the world.

SAM has a substantial permanent collection also. For example, Europe Imagines the East, an ongoing exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum, deals with the relatively recent history of the ballooning trade with the Orient in the 17th and 18th centuries. The impact that trade had is very much with us today in art, furniture, fabrics and much more.

If your interest is in Chinese, then you must visit the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park. The exceptional Chinese collection was started by Dr. Richard Fuller, the founding director of the Seattle Art Museum, in the early 1900s.

The only museum in the area to concentrate on arts and crafts is the Bellevue Arts Museum. Camp Fires: The Queer Baroque of Léopold L. Foulem, Paul Mathieu and Richard Milette, on view from November 6 through February 14, explores the concept of “Camp” as manifested in the works of three important francophone Canadian ceramic artists: Léopold L. Foulem, Paul Mathieu, and Richard Milette.

Running through January 31, 2016 at the Frye Art Museum, located at 704 Terry Avenue in Seattle, is Favorites: The Frye Founding Collection. The Frye is Seattle’s only free museum in Seattle thanks to the largesse of museum founders Charles and Emma Frye.

The Nordic Heritage Museum, 3014 NW 67 Street in Ballard, is the only museum in the United States dedicated to legacy from the five Nordic countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland. Showing through November 8, is Keep Clam and Carry On: The Ivar Haglund Story.

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