Greetings and welcome to the inaugural post of Art Breaker, my blog about local arts and culture. Seattle has a surfeit of amazing arts and artists—so many fantastic painters, dancers, photographers, filmmakers, writers, sculptors, actors, musicians, galleries, theaters, museums, nonprofit arts orgs and performance halls, in fact, that it can feel a little overwhelming to try to keep up with the local arts scene. But here’s some good news: you don’t have to be up on art to enjoy the arts! You don’t have to be an expert, or have a fancy MFA, or have season tickets anywhere, or have aced art history in college. All you have to do is make time to experience art. Yes, this can feel overwhelming too. How can you possibly make time for art when you have work and family and that awesomely bad reality show you’re totally sucked into? Luckily, there is more good news here: experiencing art doesn’t have to take very long (unless you’re a Wagner groupie).
Neither of my parents were artists by trade—and as teachers, they had almost no money to spend on art—but they made clear to me from a very young age that experiencing art was not just worthwhile and interesting, but essential to a well-rounded and satisfying life. As a kid I was often given art books for birthdays and holidays—big, coffee table, grown-up books on Rene Magritte and Saul Steinberg and Georgia O’Keefe. I didn’t always understand what the art inside was “about,” but I did understand the point was to leaf through the pages now and again, and maybe spend a little extra time with a picture I found particularly compelling. My parents taught me that popping briefly into a museum or peering through a gallery window or just pausing to watch a street performance can change your whole day and open your mind to entirely new connections.
Accordingly, my aim with this blog is to give readers a quick hit of art—either something you can go experience in person, or something you can read about here and take a few minutes out of your busy, busy day to ponder. There’s so much vibrant art going on around us—I want to encourage everyone to take an art break, as it were. You’ll be the richer for it, I promise.