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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Friday's Art Show at The Greenwood Collective Through the Eyes of the Intern

I will admit it...I am a self-proclaimed "Bellevue Kid". Travel due east of the city, over bridges and rundown highways, and you will find my home--a suburban, safe, and sometimes mind-numbingly boring city. I like to refer to Bellevue as an overgrown suburb of Seattle--one with a thyroid condition. I am not used to one way streets, cool, urban art studios, walking on sidewalks, or really anything happening in town past 9 PM. So when the art show began on Friday evening, October 9th, I found myself submersed in a new and unknown world. I stepped out of my intern space at Bherd Studio to get a personal preview of all the art holding a hastily folded piece of paper for notes. The first thing I wrote and triple-underlined, "This is not Bellevue anymore...." Instead, it was a new dose of thoughtful, eye catching, and fun art work.

I wandered past the DJ setting up his turn tables--DJ Swervewon--and into the Brand Vibes Studio showing Rabid Child Photography, a collection called "Snaps". The gallery was in a space resembling a 70's living room with a faded paisley print sofa and fireplace. Hanging from the walls in a studio were photographs of local hip hop artists that captured the personalities of each musician as well as the feeling of the musical genre as a whole.

Next was KillahB studios showing work made by Jon Smith and Owen, titled "Something is Better than Nothing". In this space was a platformed loft where artists in The Greenwood Collective sat and caught up before the show began. The work was screen prints and stencil work on different surfaces from old newspapers to rounded rectangles cut from vinyl records. The images were a collection of great American icons, Bob Dylan lyrics, and poster work done for musical groups.

In another studio space I explored, there were interpretive paintings of Carol Puri. There were expressionistic landscapes and other more abstract pieces open to the interpretation of the audience. A white canvas sat on an easel that read "Make your mark!" I was incredibly tempted to leave my favorite quote or scratch down a quick doodle, but I found myself too timid to disturb any of the other marks left by everybody else who had past through the studio.

In Urban Light Studios was a collection of altered guitars called "Art Axes" done by Doug Keith. The work ranged from guitars inspired by America's musical past to works of illustration inspired by fairy tales and Pike Place Market. My personal favorite was the guitar inspired by "The War of the Worlds", a scene depicting a city under attack by alien spaceships. Also in the studio were the photographs of Urban Light Studios owner, Kevin Law and the poster work of Tom Dewar.

Finally I found my way back to Bherd Studios. I walked past the sliding door painted with one of John Osgood's murals. Inside the pure white room were colorful paintings for different people with different personalities. John was doing a live painting demonstration in the corner, working with bright paints as people watched him work. The work was varied, from works of watercolors on one wall, to oil paintings on another, to the screen printed t-shirts.

The night was unlike anything I had ever expected. A far cry from the quite and somewhat unnerving galleries I'm used to wandering into when in Pioneer Square, The Greenwood Collective put on a show that was full of life and personality. I could feel the individuality of each artist and studio, and as a whole, saw how the collective really came together.

Andy Wong
Gallery Intern

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