Like most who live here, we’re fiercely in love with Seattle—but our love isn’t blind. Along with our singular natural vistas, thriving neighborhoods, leading-edge innovations and savvy, well-read locals, we have hideous transportation issues, under-performing schools and the all too common big-city heartbreakers: homelessness and hunger.
The news is like a siren’s call to fishermen: pink salmon, which surge into local waters for just a few weeks every two years, are here right now. Where pinks go, anglers are sure to follow, and they’re coming in droves; some even taking a road trip in from Oregon to target the fish in the most unlikely of fly-fishing spots: Seattle’s Elliott Bay. There are so many newbie fishers who want to get in on Seattle’s pink season—which runs from about early August to early September—that local fly-fishing club Northwest Fly Anglers is now offering a pink salmon “how to” mentoring outing.
Fall. It lands with a sudden, resounding clunk, causing a city-wide knee-jerk reaction: We lament the fact that summer was (way!) too short, and we begin the hunkering-down process, bracing ourselves for winter. But we’re here to suggest another response to the season: Rejoice in the fact that dance, film, music, theater and visual arts venues are overflowing with offerings to amuse and enchant (and sometimes confuse) you. It’s also when we present the Spotlight Awards—our picks for the city’s most exciting emerging artists.
Sitting on the living room floor of his modest Capitol Hill home, a cup of tea in hand and a large cat lounging nearby, Garrett Fisher hardly seems poised to upend opera as we know it. But he might just do so. The acclaimed composer has earned accolades nationwide for his fresh approach, blending ancient and contemporary elements in his intriguing musical productions. “I want to invigorate the opera form,” Fisher says, “by allowing it to evolve and develop in new directions.”
At Kyle Loven’s studio space in Belltown, the worktable is littered with ears—latex ears, which he’s been perfecting for his recent work, When You Point at the Moon. The spooky story is based on Chinese moon mythology that warns, “Don’t point at the moon, or the moon will cut your ears off.” Loven, a skilled puppeteer who uses film, transparency projections (seen at right) and live acting in his work, heard the phrase while performing in Taiwan. “I couldn’t get it out of my head,” he says.
Visual artist Troy Gua wants to be famous. His deadpan stare and signature slicked black topknot are unmistakable at local art gatherings—and often the subject of his own artwork. He’s hung large-scale photographs of himself, fashioned a small sculpture of himself urinating (after the famous “Manneken Pis” in Brussels), and even translated his face into a trademark emoticon: o(:-]}
“This is my eight-year-old dream come true,” says Mandy Greer, surveying her home studio, which her husband (artist Paul Margolis) recently built with a friend in a space adjoining the laundry room. Countless clear plastic tubs are packed to bursting with colorful fabrics. Sparkly garments hang from hooks, as does a furry wolf head and an elaborate headdress. Spools of thread and boxes of beads abound. The industrial window rolls open above a steep decline and onto high backyard branches.
Last May, inspired by a similar feature in St. Louis Magazine, we posed a question to dozens of our city’s leaders (and to our friends on Facebook and Twitter), asking them this: If you had a blank check with which to do anything to improve our city, what would you do?
Why do we make things that aren’t considered necessary? It’s a mystery of the human condition and one that a new nonprofit arts space on Capitol Hill is actively exploring.
The Project Room, which independent curator Jess Van Nostrand opened in July, is an experimental, blank-slate space that local artists can temporarily make use of for works in progress.
Turns out Google Maps can’t, in fact, do everything. Case in point: It can’t bring the past alive via wonderful illustrated maps—some more than a century old—like the Historical Atlas of Washington and Oregon (University of California Press; $39.95), published this month.
Noted historian Derek Hayes, author of several other historical atlases, packs this big, beautiful book with 550 fascinating maps and illustrations tracing the evolution of the Northwest from scrappy port towns to bustling cities.
If you’ve always contended that you’d love skydiving were it not for that part about leaping out of a plane midflight, the time has come to put your money where your mouth is. Austin–based SkyVenture has constructed an iFLY vertical wind tunnel in Tukwila for anyone (ages 3 and older) who wants to experience the thrill of free-fall without the fear of going splat.