bumberprep: arts extravaganza

kerfuffle, a glimpse at the bumbershoot arts program courtesy lele barnett. more in her photoset [flickr] via our group pool [#]

With the biggest names on the Bumbershoot poster typically dedicated to music (often of the confusing mainstage variety), the most visible lines at the festival composed of dedicated comedy fans, and the most frequent accessory a buttery stick or corn or deep fried dough, it’s often easy to forget that stashed away in the northwest corner of the festival is an exceptional set of art exhibits. If you’re worried that you’ll become so overwhelmed by bands, shortbread, skateboarders on energy drink vert ramps, scrambles to performance spaces, and other forms of exhaustion, then why not add to your schedule and drop in on the art exhibits a day early?

In ancient times, Bumbershoot was an even more massive, four day festival. Now with the magical Friday evening having fallen out of favor, the day is left open to peruse the visual arts programming. Even better, you can see it all, without the massive crowds and with no admission charge from noon to 7pm in celebration of the Mayor’s Arts Awards (presented this year to Artist Trust, Jesse Higman, Speight Jenkins, Northwest Tap Connection, Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras).

This year’s featured exhibits include four major presentation by some of Seattle’s finest: the Seattle-Moscow Poster Show, curated by Daniel R. Smith; Dada Economics, Greg Lundgren and Vital 5 Productions; the return of the Gage Drawing Jam; and Kerfuffle (or the Uneasy Relationship Between Humanity and the Environment) curated by Chris Weber and Lele Barnett. In addition, spectacles abound around the Seattle Center grounds. Press release with tons of information about the program after the jump.

The 2009 Visual Arts Program explores the human impact on the earth, builds connections between Seattle and Moscow, invites thousands of Festival fans to try their hand at sculpture and drawing, and encourages art fans locally, as well as globally, to participate in art throughout the summer through a series of creative art grants.
The Seattle-Moscow Poster ShowCurated by Daniel R. SmithShaw Room
Focusing on posters as cultural expression, The Seattle-Moscow Poster Show marks the culmination of a three-year exploration of graphic art as bridge between cultures. The show is a selection of more than 70 posters, half from each city, sharing cultural themes such as music, film, theatre, and contemporary art. Seattle-based designer Daniel R. Smith is curator of the show featuring Moscow designers Ostengruppe, Sicksystems and Mainstreamers as well as Seattle artists Jeff Kleinsmith, Coby Schultz and Barry Ament of Ames Bros and more.
Gage Academy Drawing JamCurated by Gage Academy of ArtRainier Room
The surprise hit of Bumbershoot’s 2008 Visual Arts lineup (with approximately 10,000 festival-goers attending in ‘08!), the Gage Academy Drawing Jam, is back—and it’s bigger and better (now with sculpture!). The 2009 edition will allow art curiosos the opportunity to attend art school in the midst of Bumbershoot, complete with art supplies, figure models and professional artist demonstrations. Gage Academy of Art is a non-profit art academy offering classical instruction in drawing, painting and sculpting; their achievements include the 2007 Governor’s Arts Award for excellence in art education.
Kerfuffle (or The Uneasy Relationship Between Humanity and the Environment)Curated by Chris Weber and Lele BarnettLopez and Fidalgo Rooms
A multi-faceted multimedia show with works that explore waste, regrowth, and sustainability. The show will include Chris Jordan’s photographic portraits of global mass culture; Allison Kudla’s capacity for (urban eden, human error), which utilizes state-of-the-art technology to “print” intricate bio-architectural constructions out of plant matter; and work from Vaughn Bell, Joseph Gray, Karen Rudd, Christina Seely, Brent Watanabe, Kuros Zahedi, and select works from Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica by Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky.
Dada EconomicsCurated by Greg Lundgren and Vital 5 ProductionsOrcas and Olympic Rooms
Dada Economics is the remarkable celebration and culmination of a unique artistic experiment. Created for Bumbershoot by Greg Lundgren’s Vital 5 Productions, the goal of Dada Economics is to engage and inspire creativity and art making on a world stage. All summer long, Arbitrary Art Grants are being distributed in a wide variety of artistic fields. Dada Economics will not only showcase the hilarious and often brilliant submissions collected throughout the summer, but Bumbershoot patrons will have the chance to participate in the exhibition, creating works in fashion, architecture and photography. Professional artists will be on hand to help inspire and develop ideas. Each day a new Arbitrary Art Grant will be awarded to a Festival patron who has dared to share their originality.
ON THE FESTIVAL GROUNDSThe Bumbershoot grounds offer arts beyond the boundaries of the Northwest Room gallery spaces. The expanded presence of the arts throughout the Seattle Center campus is evident with unique spectacles and random acts of artistic performance. In 2009, these site-specific attractions will feature Wise Fool New Mexico’s “Flexion,” a show that will stretch your perception of the human body, set on Seattle Center’s Fountain Lawn. In addition, fans may encounter a parade led by Jason Webley, sculptural installations specifically created for Bumbershoot by Julie Lindell, captivating fountain performances from DASSdance, appearances by mobile hedge All-Terrain, performance from Portland’s Woolly Mammoth Comes To Dinner dance company, Amy Steel’s Snack Bar, hand-made midway games by artists Chris McMullen and Steve Withycombe, a flea circus, and many more artistic actions to abound around the grounds.
OFFICIAL BUMBERSHOOT 2009 ARTBumbershoot is proud to work directly with two Seattle artists on this year’s official Festival artwork and annual Fine Arts Poster.
Sasha BarrOfficial Bumbershoot 2009 artworkBumbershoot’s 2009 campaign artwork was created by Sasha Barr, a Seattle-based illustrator/designer. Born and raised in Tennessee, Barr relocated to Washington in 2007 to embrace a different pace of life and a cooler climate. His portfolio includes work for Sub Pop and Suicide Squeeze Records, Intiman Theatre and a number of artists (including rock posters for Ray LaMontagne, Death Cab for Cutie, Cat Power, The All-American Rejects, among others).
Warren DykemanBumbershoot 2009 Fine Arts PosterThe Official Bumbershoot 2009 Fine Arts Poster features “Fullness,” a work from local artist Warren Dykeman, an Eastern Washington native and graduate of Western Washington University. Dykeman grew up in Kennewick, Washington, just outside the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Having lived under the shadow of America’s atomic ambitions, Warren’s work is informed by the Cold War era Americana that surrounded him in his formative years. The selected piece featured for this year’s poster displays his graphic design roots, incorporating handmade sign lettering, digital art and a variety of materials to create rhythm between contour and color, ultimately developing a unique take on primitive folk art. The 2009 Fine Arts Poster is made possible with support from the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs.
2009 MAYOR’S ARTS AWARDSMayor Greg Nickels will honor the recipients of the 2009 Mayor’s Arts Awards in an outdoor ceremony at noon on Friday, September 4 at Seattle Center’s Northwest Court. The ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will feature award presentations followed by the official opening of Bumbershoot’s visual arts exhibits. This year’s free public preview will remain open until 7pm. In addition to the exhibits, Bumbershoot will kick off the 1 Reel Film Festival early with a free special screening of award-winning shorts from around the world beginning at 8pm. Bumbershoot’s visual arts exhibits and Fine Arts Poster are presented with the support of the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs.
The recipients of the 2009 Mayor’s Arts Awards are:Artist Trust, Jesse Higman (artist), Speight Jenkins (Seattle Opera General Director), Northwest Tap Connection, Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras

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