As the residents of the West Seattle Nickelsville encampment pack up their sleeping bags and tents this month, homelessness in Seattle gets a rare close-up. Zooming in is exactly what architect Rex Hohlbein has been trying to do for the past two-and-a-half years with his Facebook group “Homeless in Seattle,” by which he hopes to bring the more than 6,000 fellow citizens into focus.
Must Rock OutBumbershoot(8/31 to 9/2, times vary) — This end-of-summer arts extravaganza pulls together some of the biggest names in comedy, visual arts, theater and, of course, music. Local bands worth braving the crowds for: Kris Orlowski, Kithkin, The Redwood Plan, Katie Kate, BellaMaine and Allen Stone.
Born and raised in Seattle, Roger Shimomura has been living in the Midwest for the last 40 years, but says he is still regularly asked what part of Japan he’s from and how long he’s been in the U.S. Frustrated by the presumption that he’s not American, he created this new series of paintings, American Knockoff, in which he portrays himself as battling both American icons (Mickey Mouse) and Japanese stereotypes (shown here) while using Japanese fighting styles (karate, sumo wrestling and a samurai sword).
People have been “doing the Puyallup” since 1900, and though this year the name has been changed to the more staid Washington State Fair (thefair.com), more than 1 million visitors are expected to attend the rural extravaganza of blue-ribbon food, breathtaking rides and rodeo broncs. But it’s not all fun and games at this treasured state ritual. Here we’ve assembled our picks for the most titillating and terrifying facts about the big event.
The construction crews will clear out just in time for kickoff on Saturday, August 31, when the University of Washington takes on rival Boise State for the home opener—the first game in the thoroughly renovated Husky Stadium. And while you may not be lucky enough to sit in the new luxury suites, remember, every seat in the house still gets an unobstructed view of Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains. 7 p.m. Prices vary. 3800 Montlake Blvd. NE; huskystadium.com
Seattle Design Festival[DESIGN] This year’s 10-day festival of architecture and design boasts more than 60 events, including architecture walking tours, a design-focused film festival (see page 141) and the popular Design Block (which, for the first time, will take place in Pioneer Square), featuring an array of intriguing and interactive inventions, including human-powered machines. 9/13–9/22. Times, prices and venues vary. seattledesignfestival.orgSeattle Fringe Festival
Must PicnicShelby Earl at Salish LodgeThursday (8/22, 7:30 p.m.) — For the final installment of Music on the Green, sweet Seattle singer/songwriter Shelby Earl performs on the intimate lawn at Salish Lodge, while Snoqualmie Falls roars majestically in the background.
COFFEE DATE: Visual artist Diem Chau (diemchau.com), known for the tiny likenesses she carves into Crayola crayons, and whose show of new work at G. Gibson Gallery runs 8/30–10/5 (ggibsongallery.com) SCENE: Diem Chau’s home studio in Ballard on a warm Wednesday in JuneDIEM’S ORDER: Triple-shot iced Americano with milk
Seattle’s own Gala Bent paints and draws tiny, otherworldly, watercolor scenes in The Ether and the Mantle, a show of intriguing new work. 8/30–10/5. Times vary. Free. G. Gibson Gallery. ggibsongallery.com
Having nothing better to do on Mount Olympus, the Greek muse Clio descends to 1980s Venice Beach in the form of an Australian roller girl to help a struggling artist open a roller disco. (Like you do.) A surprise hit on Broadway, Xanadu skates into Issaquah’s Village Theatre, promising high camp and big laughs. 9/12–10/20. Times and prices vary. villagetheatre.org
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST The theme of this year’s Seattle Design Festival is “Design in Health”—which, thankfully, has been interpreted loosely for the featured film screenings. The lineup includes recent documentaries on such diverse topics as a 1960s commune, a wind-powered home and the first park built exclusively for parkour. Also on the bill are films about rebuilding at the 9/11 ground zero site and the history of West Coast Modernist architecture. 9/13–9/15. SIFF Film Center; seattledesignfestival.org
A CAPPELLA Experimental vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth earns automatic points for its excellent name. In addition, the group combines Tuvan throat singing with yodeling and pop-style belting, and one of the members is composer Caroline Shaw, who took home the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for music. We call that a win-win-win. 9/19. 7:30 p.m. Prices vary. Town Hall. townhallseattle.org
Choreographers always seem to see life from a different angle, and that’s nowhere more apparent than in this fall’s lineup of dance performances. In Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite’s “Emergence” (11/8–11/17. Pacific Northwest Ballet; pnb.org), black-clad dancers emerge from a dark tunnel to swarm and flit across the stage, moving alternately like leggy spiders and insects thrashing against windows, while the soundtrack transforms the clicks and buzzes of actual bugs into industrial music.
The best part about art—be it a painting, dance, play, book, film or rock show—is that it has the power to change your perspective, maybe on something small, such as earthworm mating rituals, or maybe something conceptually huge, such as what sort of bodies make for excellent dancers. Free your mind and let the season’s wave of arts offerings wash over you. You may well end up with a whole new way of seeing things. Follow the links for detailed listings in each of the below categories:
At the media preview on Saturday, July 20, Seattle magazine editor in chief Rachel Hart toured Bertha's dig site with photographer Stuart Isett. The 57.5-foot diameter cutterhead can swallow boulders 3 feet in diameter.