With galleries opening and museums reopening, visual art is back for fall – in person and online

While some galleries reopened with physical distancing measures over the summer, museums did not start announcing their reopenings until news last month that along with bowling alleys, museums could resume operations, with some restrictions, in counties cleared for Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s ‘Safe Start’ reopening plan.

While some, like the Henry Art Gallery, remain closed for now except for a few online programming and one (great) Instagram account, many art spaces are temporarily extending existing exhibits and reopening with safety protocols in place. These include things like timed ticketing, mask requirements, one-way exhibits, reduced capacity and frequent sanitization. This is in addition to online offers which (thankfully) go nowhere.

Although some art spaces haven’t reopened, several local galleries have moved forward with exhibitions — and, along with some of the city’s most expensive museums, they’ve set the tone for a new normal, at least as far as art is concerned. visual arts.

Whether you’re ready to buy a ticket or continue to consume art from home, here’s a sampling of the big-budget exhibitions coming to museums across the city and a look at how several galleries have rolled with it. shots. With others still waiting to reopen, this is just the beginning.

Seattle Art Museum

Seattle Art Museum reopens On September 11, with pieces from SAM’s global collection currently on display and two new shows planned for the fall. “The City of Tomorrow: Jinny Wright and the Art that Shaped a New Seattle” (opening October 15) will feature pieces collected by Wright, who previously gifted SAM with Wright’s collection of modern and contemporary abstract and expressionist art.

On November 14, SAM will unveil “Barbara Earl Thomas: Geography of Innocence,” a solo exhibition featuring a light installation as well as new works by the esteemed Seattle artist. There’s also still time to see two other exhibits that opened in March: “John Akomfrah: Future History” and “Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstract Variations” will remain in place beyond their original closing dates.

During SAM’s reopening, the Museum Café, Seattle Asian Art Museum, and Olympic Sculpture Park’s PACCAR Pavilion all remain closed, and SAM will continue to provide online content for art appreciation. from a distance.

More information: seattleartmuseum.org

The Frye Art Museum

The Frye Art Museum plans to reopen in mid-October, with three special exhibitions still on view: Questioning Gender”Disturbing Femininity: Selections from the Frye Art Museum Collection(until May 30); “Subspontaneous”, featuring Francesca Lohmann and Rob Rhee’s time and nature-infused sculpture (until Jan. 4); and the computer-generated art of Agnieszka Polska in “love bite(until January 31).

While these exhibits are open to the public, Frye’s public programming — including lectures on art history with Rebecca Albiani and mindfulness meditation — has been moved entirely online, where you’ll find it even after the reopening of the museum.

More information: friemuseum.org

The National Nordic Museum

The Nordic National Museum reopened on September 4 and will launch two new exhibitions in October. While that might seem a little on the nose at a time when the national vibe resembles the screaming emoji, “The Experimental Self: The Photography of Edvard Munch” (opening October 29) offers new insight into the artist perhaps best known for his panicked mastery of 1893 painting.”The Scream.” Munch also worked in photography, and the exhibition brings together his photographs, prints, watercolors and film for a new look at an iconic expressionist.

A contemporary exhibition, “A history of unruly returns” (opening October 8) centers on the contemporary work of Sainte-Croix-based artist La Vaughn Belle, who interrogates Denmark’s colonial past, here through references to “chaney”. A portmanteau of “china” and “silver,” the term describes the blue and white ceramic detritus that abounds in the soil of Sainte-Croix, a physical residue of its history.

“Coming first in the form of plates, teapots and cups from Holland, England, Denmark and North America as part of the vast transatlantic trade of the last centuries of the second millennium, they became its rubbish, decomposed in the ground, just like the objects exchanged. body,” explains Belle in the Nordic Museum exhibition notes.

Two previous shows, “Gudrun Sjödén – A Colorful Universe” and “Swedish Daddies”, will remain on view until October 18 and October 4 respectively.

More information: nordicmuseum.org

Greg Kucera Gallery

Greg Kucera Gallery is moving forward with several exhibitions planned for the 2020-21 season. Humaira Abid’s politically resonant carved pine sculptures are currently on display in “Sacred Games,” which Kucera described as “a truly groundbreaking spectacle” with “plenty of room to sink your teeth into” and a direct interest in genre and culture. world politics.

This is Abid’s first exhibition with the gallery, and it is accompanied by Chris Engman’s “Intimate Immensity”, a photography exhibition featuring images that superimpose closed domestic spaces on open landscapes (in the context of the quarantine , it is a particularly poignant spectacle).

Kucera said visits to the gallery dipped during the initial COVID-19 outbreak, but “we’re seeing pretty steady traffic now” and he looked forward to the next slate of emerging and established artists from the gallery.

While the usual First Thursday crush is banned, Kucera said he’s found small gatherings to be an effective way to draw attention to gallery exhibitions – and potential buyers in line, keeping artists represented afloat.

The glowing responses Kucera got confirmed the work he was doing. “People were like, ‘Oh my God, this is the first time I’ve had a chance to look at art in four months,'” he said.

More information: gregkucera.com


Studio e closed the summer with a duo exhibition featuring works by Emily Counts and Ko Kirk Yamahira. In October, the gallery will host new works by painter Sarah Norsworthy, whose voluminous landscapes and botanically themed pieces make for powerful indoor viewing.

Like many arts organizations, studio e’s Dawna Holloway has creatively adapted to the pandemic, using YouTube surprisingly cleverly to show brief videos of gallery exhibitions. His depiction of the Earls’ playful sculptures is a calming and engaging watch, and a good way to see the artists represented by the gallery without leaving your home.

Holloway said there’s a silver lining to some of the new limitations: the potential to connect with viewers in new ways. “Since we’ve stopped having opening receptions and been open with smaller or individual visits, we’ve been able to really get to know our visitor base better and provide them with a more personal experience,” she said. declared.

More information: studioegallery.net

Onyx Gallery

After a four-month closure due to COVID, Gallery Onyx, the art space operated by Onyx Fine Arts Collective from a space inside Pacific Place, reopened on July 3, said Earnest Thomas, President from the gallery, but “for about the first two to three weeks, I think we saw maybe 10 people.

Although the reduction in foot traffic downtown has had an impact on the gallery, he said “we are open”, noting that the Onyx gallery had just celebrated its 15th anniversary in August and that a group exhibition was scheduled for the second week of October, featuring 48 artists. The space, which is dedicated to the work of artists of African descent, typically features one major exhibition per year and group exhibitions every two months. Thomas said the nonprofit gallery will show works on its walls and online.

While he hoped downtown would “come back slowly,” Thomas said community support was important to the galleries’ longevity. “Galleries only really exist if they generate interest,” he said.

More information: onyxarts.org

Also showing (virtually)

Wa Na Wari resumed operations in July and made good use of virtual gatherings as a way to build community and shed light on exhibits. On September 1, the gallery hosted a virtual conversation with Lisa Jarrett, whose work “House/Field/Home” is currently on display at Wa Na Wari House, offering an expanded look at the artist’s work, which focuses ” in the African Diaspora where the desires and limits of representation are controversial sites… Recent cartoons examine hair care and beauty regimes within black women’s culture More virtual gallery events can be found on Wa Na Wari’s Facebook page. More information: www.wanawari.org

In April, the Seattle artist Marie Anne Carter began posting photos of herself on Instagram wearing increasingly elaborate masks – bandanas dripping with delicate chains; masks with fringes, feathers and/or studs; leopard print and floral face masks; a mask with a twisted smile on it; handmade masks. It’s an incredible evolution and endless cataloging of an item that none of us wore regularly before COVID and now straps around our heads daily, delivered with incredible humor, craftsmanship and style . I covet these masks. You can see them all from the comfort of your phone, where a series of masks are pinned to his profile on Instagram. More information: instagram.com/jesusmaryannejoseph, thisismaryannecarter.com

So that you can visit J. Rinehart Gallery in person (dates are encouraged), there’s another way to attend the gallery’s upcoming Lakshmi Muirhead exhibition, “There’s Always a Before.” Muirhead and gallery owner Judith Rinehart will give a live tour of Muirhead’s work on September 19 as a “virtual opening.” While it might seem like an odd way to look at the art, the subtle textures of Muirhead’s paintings translate effectively to video, and viewers will have the opportunity to ask questions live. More information: jrinehartgallery.com