by Courtney Crockett
Fall is such a festive occasion in Pioneer Square; the dark of evening sets in early, the crisp air nips and grounded, rusting leaves are brittle beneath your feet. The holiday lights are up along First Ave S and in Occidental Park, and there are more interesting openings and events than one can count. On this 5 November First Thursday Art Walk, included below are only a few that caught my attention.
The Piranha Shop – 1022 First Ave S
Technically this old artist warehouse may not be located in Pioneer Square but situated parallel to Century Link Field, it’s close enough. What is now The Piranha Shop is a fantastic mixed use space offering up entirely eclectic events from the global exhibition of Boxes of Death to a Seattle Seahawks tailgate event to the Sundries record release party.
This November’s Art Walk offers the inaugural issue of Crushed Magazine, the next development of Project Girl Crush. Created by local women, Jen Utley and Genevieve Pierson, their interviews focus on the importance of revealing a woman’s whole story.
Roq la Rue – 532 1st Ave S
Roq La Rue is an internationally known contemporary gallery that played an integral role in the Pop Surrealism art movement and more recently expanding to a broader vision of contemporary art. Nearly every event and opening is a happening and promises art goers nearly as interesting and adventurous as the art on the walls, nearly. During the preceding First Thursday, a guest was accompanied by their pet turkey.
November’s main gallery features Zachari Logan, Grotesques and Alessandra Maria, Di Minores, a body of work that comments on the subject of feminine identity. The loft gallery spotlights Joe Rudko, Broken Images.
Treason Gallery – 319 3rd Ave S
A grand welcome to Treason Gallery, brand new to the neighborhood and featuring its first group print exhibition, #PAPER. The show highlights the individuality and uniqueness of each artist while also celebrating prints on paper. Single limited edition print runs are available through November. Stop in and say hello!
by Courtney Crockett
With the waterfront redevelopment and the tunnel project, all of the rude construction makes it easy to neglect our neighborhood offerings on Alaskan Way South. That is one reason to go to the OK Hotel Gallery on 4 June First Thursday Art Walk. Another is to support the OK Hotel and its historic relevance to Pioneer Square during the days of yore as a bar and venue for Seattle’s epic music scene. Another reason still is to check out the one-night only exhibition called, Strange Coupling.
Originating in 2002, Strange Coupling is a University of Washington student run organization whose purpose is to generate meaningful connections between professional artists and art students. Students are selected by jury and partnered with a Seattle artist and the pair collaborate over a 2 month period to culminate in a one-night group exhibition. This year marks their twelfth annual event.
Artists participating in Thursday’s opening are Neddy award winning and have previously shown works at Frye Art Museum, Henry Art Gallery and the neighborhood’s own, Greg Kucera Gallery. This year’s artist lineup includes-
Amber Barney + Rodrigo Valenzuela
Christie DeNizio + Gretchen Bennett
Coley Mixan + Gary Hill
Danielle VonLehe + Nat Evans
Ellen Xu + Neal Fryett
Hami Bahadori + Alejandra Salinas & Aeron Bergman
Pattique Shi + Paul Berger
Paul Baughman + Sol Hashemi
Paulo Castillo + Anne Fenton
Søren Nilsson + Matt Offenbacher
The OK Hotel Gallery is located at 212 Alaskan Way South; now a residential property with artist studios open to the public every First Thursday Art Walk from 6-9pm.
Velouria First Thursday Art Walk Event on 7 May from 6-9 pm
by Courtney Crockett
One of our lovely neighborhood retail stores, Velouria is having an event this First Thursday Art Walk as part of an ongoing curatory collaboration with Shawn Parks, Founder of QMNIQBL (pronounced communicable). The occasion features large-scale architectural mobiles by Bay Area artist, Beth Naumann. This is Naumann’s Seattle debut and she will be in-store with selected works from her jewelry line Hellbent.
The evening event also features local designer Jenny Fort and her Seattle-made clothing line Lu. She and her team will be on hand for a special trunk show from the current collection of season to season pieces that are both modern and easy for women to wear.
Velouria is located at 145 S King St. http://shopvelouria.com/.
by Courtney Crockett
This March First Thursday Art Walk is the perfect time to share discovery of The New Foundation Seattle. Having passed by the location at 312 2nd Ave S on any number of occasions since its opening 6 months ago, I made my way through the unassuming doors to find an organization run by 3 outstanding women, all with serious and longtime commitment to the arts.
The powerful forces behind non-profit TNFS are its President, Shari Behnke, a longtime art collector and benefactor having introduced the Neddy award program to Cornish College of the Arts and the Brink award in conjunction with the Henry Art Gallery. She is a former board trustee for Artist Trust. The Founding Director, Yoko Ott brings her background as both curator and educator having developed programs and initiatives for Bumbershoot, the Frye, the Hedreen Gallery and Open Satellite, and Associate Director, Jessica Powers, is a founding member of curatorial collective TARL and former curator of Seattle University’s Hedreen Gallery.
Yoko and Jessica acted as my guides and it was refreshing when told that TNFS chose Pioneer Square as their destination. In learning about the space I indulged in the glimmer of nostalgia, briefly transported to the way back days when the Square was a center for Seattle’s arts community. Home to the city’s most prominent galleries and replete with artists living and working out of their slightly illegal and affordable studios.
The New Foundation Seattle emphasizes Seattle-based contemporary artists, it contributes to the contemporary art dialogue as well as nurtures the art community through shared events at Town Hall Seattle, University of Washington Jacob Lawrence Gallery and Henry Art Gallery, and On the Boards. For Pioneer Square, TNFS is a cultural resource center providing to the public free events and services in both the library and presentation rooms.
The Library offers access to regularly updated arts and culture periodicals and trade journals inside a comfortable reading room with plush pillows and chairs. Reading material complimentary to current art programming is available as well as suggested reading relevant to works on display throughout the city including the Seattle Art Museum.
The Presentation Room is a collective laboratory for contemporary art featuring exhibitions, lectures, performances and workshops.
Screening Now – 28 March and 5 March First Thursday Art Walk until 8pm. HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? Artist Christa Bell and YAMS added to the dialogue of “subjective authenticity” in part by withdrawing their operatic video from the Whitney Biennial in 2014. The central question posed, “What happens to the black body when it is haunted by ‘a blackness’ outside of it?
Literary Event Tuesday 10 March at 7pm. Readings by Poets Chris Nealon and Robert Mittenthal. Introduction by Maged Zaher.
Literary Event Friday 27 March at 7pm. Topic Ecopoetics: An Evening of Poetry with readings by Rob Halpern, Angela Hume, Gillian Osborne, Joan Retallack, Evie Shockley, and Jonathan Skinner.
The New Foundation Seattle is open Thursdays – Saturdays from 11am to 6pm. For more information on programs and events visit http://www.thenewest.org/
The garlands are up around the Square and the holiday excitement is mounting. The festivities begin this First Thursday, December 4th when Coco+Kelley will sponsor a special Holiday Pop-Up at 95 Yesler Creative Studios. An impressive lineup of local designers will show their wares and present classes in holiday crafts. On First Thursday, you’ll find an opening night party, and there’ll be nibbles and treats every day.
On Saturday, you can sign up for one of the three sessions of the Gift Wrapping 101 workshop, led by Brandy of Marabou Design. You’ll learn how the pros wrap their presents and you’ll have the opportunity to create your own gift tags and wrapping paper. McKenzie Powell will be on hand to lead two workshops on Wreath Design – she’ll share the process of creating the perfect décor for your front door. You can sign up for sessions at Coco+Kelley’s website here: http://cocokelley.bigcartel.com/.
Do plan to come by 95 Yesler Creative Studios to discover the creativity and holiday cheer on Pioneer Square!
Here’s the schedule:
|* Thursday, Dec 4th 5-10 pm||* Friday, Dec 5th 12-7 pm||* Saturday, Dec 6th|
|Opening Night Party||Workshops|
by Jenny Kelly
My husband and I moved to this neighborhood over 5 years ago, and fell in love with it right away. Shortly after moving in, we started this website/blog, and mostly kept up with it over the past five years. (However, I am more than excited to have new contributors to the blog!). In that time, we also had a daughter, who is now an inquisitive 2 year old, who loves exploring the neighborhood and various activities downtown.
Despite some of the tough times we’ve experienced in Pioneer Square, we really love this neighborhood and are committed to contributing to its success. With new businesses, and especially with more residents, I think we are beginning to see some great changes in the neighborhood. I’ve always felt that this neighborhood had all of the right pieces — it just needed a better balance of a strong residential base — and we see new building announcements every year that continue to move the neighborhood in that direction.
When my husband and I decided to open a healthy, fast-casual restaurant, Pioneer Square was our first choice. So, a little over a month ago, we opened SPROUT at the base of Smith Tower (512 2nd Ave S). We weren’t too public about it because we are new to the restaurant business, and wanted time to work out some of the inevitable kinks. It’s been amazing so far, and we are incredibly grateful to all of the support we have already received from local employees and residents.
This Thursday, we are (finally) going to have our Grand Opening and would love for you to stop by and try a salad, wrap, soup, or some frozen yogurt.
Details from the official announcement are below:
SPROUT Grand Opening this Thursday
After a few weeks of being open, SPROUT is ready to celebrate with a Grand Opening. Come by this Thursday (12/4) to experience live music, a free cup of soup (with the purchase of a salad), and taste their organic frozen yogurt.
They will have a ribbon cutting at 4pm, and the festivities will continue until 6:30pm, so stop by after work for some dinner while enjoying the live music and free samples.
SPROUT was started by Pioneer Square residents Jenny and Michael Kelly, with their business partner Marcus Oesterwinter, and Executive Chef Alison Strong. Looking at all of the fast-food choices today, they wanted a place where people could eat healthy food every day — and eat with purpose. ‘
SPROUT offers a variety of filling salads that carry as many organic and local goods as seasonally possible. Their dressings are all house made, and are low fat and gluten-free. Drinks include uniquely house made drinks (like Agave Lemonade, and Strawberry Limeade) that will make you forget traditional soda ever existed.
What: SPROUT Grand Opening
When: First Thursday, December 4th
Live Music from 12 – 1:30pm and 5 – 6:30pm
Ribbon Cutting at 4pm
Saturday Dinner Series March 15th, 7pm
Our monthly Pre-fixed Family Style Dinner that focuses on locally sourced ingredients with a general theme or focus. Our upcoming dinner still has a few seats available and is focused on Duck. The Menu is here.
It is $40 per person for 3 courses plus an aperitif to start and something sweet to finish. This is a fun casual dining experience with our Chef Aaron Willis talking about the the food, where it comes from and why he created the dish. It would be great to have more locals take advantage of these dinners as they are always a good time.
Dine Around Seattle March 2nd-March 27th
This is a biannual event citywide with a Pre-Fixed menu focused on local, sustainable product. It is a 3 course meal with a choice of 1 of 3 items per course (Apt, Entree, Dessert) for $30. Reservations are recommended as we get pretty busy. We are the only restaurant in Pioneer Square and 1 of a few within walking distance for local in PSQ. We serve Dine Around Mon-Thurs from 5-9pm. You can see the menu here.
1st Thursday at The Kitchen by Delicatus with Sous Sol Winery
We are opening on 1st Thursday for tastings of Sous Sol Wine. The Kitchen by Delicatus is our experimental kitchen and event space just 2 blocks south at 309 1st Ave S and Sous Sol Winery is our winery located in the front of that space. We will be showcasing the art work of Ethan Jack Harrington & Jennifer Cullen with cocktails available and complimentary tastings of Sous Sol. Open from 5-9pm.
Holiday Dog Costume Contest
Dress up your pups in their best costume (holiday-themed or otherwise) and bring them down to historic Pioneer Square. Join the friendly competition for best costume prize and bragging rights for Pioneer Square Dog of the Year!
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2013
Activities start at 5:30pm
Tree Lighting at 7:00pm
Nord Alley & Occidental Park
By South Main Street & Occidental Avenue South
Holiday Tree Lighting and Festivities!
And First Thursday Art Walk!
LIVE music from The Beaconettes and Jack Hilovsky & Friends
Light snacks, prizes and tons of dog fun!
For more info or to register your dogs, go to
Help design Pioneer Square’s alleys!
THE RESULT a “shovel-ready” surface design
*cost effective, historically appropriate & community driven*
Explore Seattle’s Historic Alleys from Pioneer Square to Post Alley, as these forgotten passages come alive with music, food, art & entertainment for all ages.
JOIN US in NORD ALLEY for A Meeting in an Unlikely Place
An installation by Benjamin Maestas exploring the intersection of dance and architecture premiering August 1st, 2013.
The installation will open at 5pm with performances at 6pm, 7pm, 8pm and 9pm. Featuring performers Benjamin Maestas, Ezra Dickiinson and Zeke Keeble.
Follow the link to view the trailer: A Meeting in an Unlikely Place
Also enjoy music by 5bit – a smooth, soulful, and funky a capella group hailing from the greater Seattle area. Captivating audiences with covers of both current hits and classic favorites using only the power of the voice, their goal is to ensure you’re having as much fun listening as they are performing!