So it comes up now and again, or all the time, or once in a while, or constantly; that there is no art writing in Seattle. Sometimes, on a bad day, I agree and yell a lot about it. Then I feel guilty or jealous or anxious because I used to be and/or still want to be one of them. I lament the loss of we artist writers who used to write and cross post and hyperlink more. Those were the days, I say. And then I secretly plot to write about a show or an artist or something every day. It will be a good day, I say.
Last week someone linked a post that gallerist Paul Pauper wrote and it felt like someone slapped me out of a fog. Wait a minute. Artists are still writing in Seattle. What the hell? Why aren't we acknowledging this? Is there some kind of unspoken need to have writers be uh, "vetted"? How could a writer be any more vetted than either a] writing, b] being an artist/curator/gallerist themselves, and/or c] all of the above?
Let's snap this bitch into focus. I'm going to say it clearly so you can catch the whole thing:
THERE IS ART WRITING IN SEATTLE AND IT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW.
Whether or not you find the writing to be frequent or critical enough is an entirely different conversation but we'll get into that another time. Let's just start with what's out there and you can tell me what you think when we're done:
Jen Graves, The Stranger - our most prolific art writer, covering as much of the city as she can with the time she has as our singular paid, bona-fide art critic in Seattle. Her writing covers everything from small features suggesting shows and events to full length articles and reviews. Notice I emphasize art critic - something we actually must admit we don't have in Seattle, particularly since Regina Hackett has stopped writing. How/if/when we get more writers on the more critical end of analysis/criticism/questions is an old, old old old Seattle question. We're still waiting for people to step up to the plate on this one. For now, Jen is it.
Joey Veltkamp, Best Of - our second most prolific art writer on top of being an artist himself, Joey gets out there more than anyone I know. Joey does a great job of interviewing artists, spotlighting what's going on around town, and presenting a positive voice about what he enjoys most in Seattle.
Translinguistic Other, Emily Pothast - like many of us artists who write, Emily was writing infrequently in 2011 but has since cranked it up to present her much adored literary voice to the community. The virtue of Pothast's writing is its thoughtful intellectualism which is not only beautifully worded but well resourced, putting art into context for the reader via thorough cross reference to other material and artwork.
City Arts (multiple writers) - City Arts is the local magazine dedicated to the full spectrum of Seattle arts, from dance and theater to music and visual art. I have seen Rachel Shimp, Bond Huberman, and Amanda Manitach writing most recently for them. Dan Paulus brings in great art and illustration as their Art Director. They also have a great blog which covers the arts between issues.
Seattle Magazine - Brangien Davis primarily covers art for Seattle Mag but they also have a great online arts section with some great features about museums, artists, collectors, and events.
Hankblog - I confess I hadn't read Hankblog in a long time and had a total "oh duh" moment when it came up in my Facebook feed. It's a great resource for art events around town.
The Monarch Review - Monarch Review is the best cross section of literary writing in Seattle right now. Not only do they connect the visual art community with the literary community; the writing on visual arts is thorough and well presented. It isn't often enough that we see visual arts essays but the quality far outweighs my need for quantity here.
New American Paintings, Erin Lagner - Lagner has had a presence in Seattle for some time, and you might know her better from her blog Peripheral Vision. While I am always hoping she will write more, I am equally if not more ecstatic to see her writing in a more national venue with the New American Paintings Blog. Seattle art getting a national audience? That's kind of a big deal.
Hi Fructose Magazine, Kirsten Anderson - Speaking of a national audience; Kirsten Anderson, gallery owner of Roq La Rue in Belltown has been writing for Hi Fructose Magazine in print and online for some time and is in fact editor at large for the magazine. Lest you think it's only Pop Surrealism, I'd like to point out that non-Pop Surrealist artists such as Joe Park, Chris Crites, Kimberly Trowbrige, Mandy Greer, and Michael Alm have graced the walls of Roq La Rue - and that's not even counting the show I curated this month.
Molo's Sketchbook, Ryan Molenkamp - Molenkamp, like Emily and Joey, has been writing about art for years on this blog. He presents a thoughtful artist's view and aesthetic in his writing, and also discusses his own work in progress. He has become affectionately known as "Molorazzi" around town because of his uncanny ability to capture the artists in his flash at various events. You definitely suffer no loss of fun shots and photo bombs on Molenkamp's blog!
Drifts & Scatters, Gala Bent - Gala's writing is as mesmerising and poetic as her work. I never tire of her prose. Not only is her blog a tender, thoughtful documentation of her work but it is a recorder of the things which inspire her which in turn, inspire us too.
Art History Blogger, Carol Hendricks - Hendricks runs the adult programs at Gage Academy of Art on Capitol Hill; but in addition to that she's also an art historian. She's spent a lengthy amount of time in Europe, mostly Italy, and her studies predominantly focus on Italian Renaissance and Baroque. While this blog is not about the contemporary art scene in Seattle, it is an excellent resource of art historical information which not a lot of people are focusing on.
Getting to Know You Better, Susanna Bluhm - Susanna's voice isn't as frequent as it used to be, but what I've always appreciated about her writing is not only her eloquence but her introspection as a painter. Once one of many artist bloggers from the 2007-2010 era who were writing more frequently, she is writing less; but no less beautifully.
ARTDish - one of Seattle's longest running art resources, sometimes you still see features contributed by Jim Demetre, Robert Ayers, Adriana Grant, Amanda Manitach, Gary Faigan, Marcie Sillman, and of course Andrew Bartels who also is on staff at Monarch Review.
Degenerate Art Stream, Degenerate Art Ensemble with guests - this blog is curated by a broad group of artists, writers, and performers (many of them DEA performers, more specifically) and constantly delivers amazing content via its guest features. Currently, C. Davida Ingraham is guest writer for the blog, her first post covering Gala Porras-Kim's show in Los Angeles, Whistling and Language Transfiguration.