On the first Thursday of every month, Seattleites flock to the streets of Pioneer Square for the city's central and oldest art walk, which offers opportunities to stroll, sip on wine, and attend as many gallery openings as possible. But, in most cases, the shows are up for longer than just one night, and the historic neighborhood is a great place to check out art any day of the year. So, below, we've compiled the most promising exhibits that are having opening receptions on January 3—complete with a Google map at the bottom. You can also find more options on our First Thursday calendar, including the one-day pop-up Deity by Zah. For art in other neighborhoods, check out our complete visual art calendar.
Anyone with a period who has at some point woken up to find an accidental blood stain on their bedsheets might recognize the forms in Philadelphia artist Andrew Wapinski’s work. But instead of uterine lining and embarrassment, Wapinski melts blocks of pigmented ice onto canvas, allowing this natural process to shape the final outcome of the piece. Though completely still, there’s a sense of movement, of liquification, of ooze. These organic (read: yonic) and abstract forms against Wapinski’s stark and contained backgrounds are strangely satisfying for your eyes to slide all over, like—what if you’d just left your sheets stained? What could you have created? JASMYNE KEIMIG
Anna Mlasowsky: Noon
As the first artist featured in the gallery's women-focused 2019 season, Anna Mlasowsky makes crystal art during the first phase of the exhibition (Jan 4–18) and arranges the resulting pieces in an installation for the second phase. On First Thursday, January 3, visitors are invited to help her in the process of art creation. According to the program notes, the title of the show derives from the "the moment in the day that is neither morning nor evening, a form of middle ground. The word itself is a palindrome, reading the same forward and backward, upside down and right side up, further fulfilling a sense of neutrality."
Anthony White: Smoke and Mirrors
White is 24 years old and his work is maximalist to the highest degree. It has been causing waves in the Seattle art scene, and for good reason—it's really fucking cool, and it seemingly came out of nowhere. He makes his giant, vibrant paintings on handmade wooden panels, although calling them paintings is almost a disservice to them. They occupy a unique middle ground between painting and sculpture. His work is very much of this century: blisteringly bright and loud, distinctly American, inspired by (and commenting on) technology. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Greg Kucera Gallery
Brian Sanchez: Idle Urge
Which is longer: a century or 100 years? Abstract (or nonrepresentational) artists began to disrupt the art world a little over a century ago. But wait. That was only 100 years ago, which sounds like yesterday. Like then, we find ourselves in a similar place politically and culturally, motivating artists to break with representing reality. (Although we may never be able to claim to be in a “postwar era” again.) In his first solo show at Treason, Brian Sanchez’s abstract, color-saturated paintings step into a century-old tradition with a 21st-century vocabulary. KATIE KURTZ
East European Printmakers
The wonderful print-focused gallery presents mainly 19th- and 20th-century works by Czech, Slovak, Russian, Ukrainian, and other artists, with an abundance of whimsical, fabulist, surreal figures.
Escapism from LA
A host of accomplished local artists tackles the current exodus of Los Angeles residents to the Pacific Northwest as a springboard for pieces about escape, growth, and unmooring. Contributors include Nola Avienne, Seann Brackin, Jane Callister, Sijia Chen, Emily Counts, Alex Couwenberg, Tom Dunn, Roni Feldman, David French, Elizabeth Gahan, Yvette Gellis, Jimi Gleason, Cable Griffith, Ben Jackel, Jeffrey Mitchell, and Steven Wolkoff.
Joe Rudko: Same as it ever was
Seattle-based artist Joe Rudko cuts up found photographs to create and reinterpret the way we encounter and think about images—sometimes to trippy result. Whether rearranging the shredded photos into a complex labyrinth or seemingly weaving together two different pictures into a lattice, Rudko makes you think about the physicality of the photo itself. His exhibition at Greg Kucera Gallery is sure to subvert the traditional way we view photography. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Greg Kucera Gallery
Kamryn Tulare: 100 Heads
Kamryn Tulare was discovered by Statix gallery director Peter Robinson (aka Ten Hundred) the way a lot of up-and-coming artists are discovered these days: through Instagram (@kamt.art). Tulare was posting her iridescent colored-pencil illustrations as part of #100heads, a challenge to create one hundred portraits. When she started in February, her posts garnered a few hundred likes. Her most recent post—a devilized portrait of LA artist Max Gunkel—has more than 1,500 likes, and she now has almost 12K followers. All 100 Heads (many of them of her friends) will be on view during the first gallery show ever for the 20-year-old, mostly self-taught artist, and for sale from $75 to $120. KATIE KURTZ
Katie Miller: Edifice
Northwest artist Katie Miller's latest show, Edifice, explores how our sense of place is informed by the rapidly evolving built environment, like construction sights promising architectural superstructures.
Lynne Rotholtz: Re Cast
Vintage magazines and paper products achieve a second life in Rotholtz's impressively painterly collages, which are equally beautiful and controlled-chaotic in tributary, organic, and right-angled shapes.
Sylwia Tur, Nicholas Nyland
Linguistics scholar Tur sculpts angular, delicate, architectural, mysteriously symbolic-looking shapes in white porcelain. Her pristine objects are complemented by Nyland's blazes and tangles of color, painted onto ceramics or paper.
Linda Hodges Gallery