Art of Our City

Flickr Photo/~C4Chaos

Matthew Richter has his dream job. For the past eight months, he has served as Seattle's Cultural Spaces Liaison. But when you ask him to tell you what a cultural space is, he laughs.

"That's the million dollar question,” Richter said. “It's like pornography (you know it when you see it)."

Courtesy of Seattle Art Museum/Jennifer Richard

Seattle Art Museum's waterfront Olympic Sculpture Park was still a work in progress when SAM Education Director Sandra Jackson-Dumont arrived here in 2006.

"The Neukom Vivarium, that big log in the glass case, it was up in a hoist," she recalls. "It looked like some kind of living UFO."

Courtesy of ACT Theatre/John Cornicello

Seattle has a nice reputation. We are squeaky clean, we compost and recycle, and rumor has it we have more people trained in CPR than most cities our size in America.

But a new cabaret show at Seattle's ACT Theatre aims to show the shady past underneath that shiny image. Seattle is a port city, and like every port city, it has had its share of vice, corruption and not-niceness.

Courtesy of Seattle Shakespeare Company/John Ulman

Oscar Wilde is one of those people: You've heard of him, even if you've never read his novels or seen one of his plays.

Successió Miró/Artists Rights Society

Seattle Art Museum contemporary and modern art curator Catharina Manchanda calls Joan Miró one of the great avant-garde artists of the 20th century. But audiences on the West Coast of the United States have never had a chance to see a comprehensive exhibition of Miró's art, until now.

Courtesy of Teatro Zinzanni

Across from the Seattle Center on Mercer Street, there’s a white, pre-fabricated, nondescript building with a couple of flags outside. The exterior is really camouflage for a 100-year-old velvet tent imported from Belgium.

Copyright (c) 2012 by Ellen Forney. Reprinted by arrangement with Gotham Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.

When Ellen Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 16 years ago, her first concern was for her creative future. The award-winning cartoonist prided herself on the artwork and stories she'd come up with during periods she described as manic. Right after her diagnosis, Forney was reluctant to try the drug treatments her psychiatrist prescribed for her. Would she lose her creative edge on lithium? But after a serious period of depression, Forney set out on the ongoing journey to achieve and maintain a state of mental balance.

Courtesy of Annex Theatre/Shane Regan

When Rachel Atkins was 7, she and her sisters got a new stepfather. Atkins loved this man, but when she and her family went out in public, they raised a lot of eyebrows.

Courtesy Spectrum Dance Theater/Nate Watters

When choreographer Donald Byrd first presented "The Minstrel Show" more than 20 years ago, he wasn't ready for the way audiences would react. He recalls one performance in La Jolla, California, when people started yelling at each other across the theater.

Velocity Dance Center/Jacob Rosen

When you ask Seattle dance insiders which young artists they've got their eyes on, 24-year-old Kate Wallich's name almost always rises to the top of the list.

Courtesy of Beth Sellars

Standing in the middle of the main gallery at Cornish College of the Arts, you're surrounded by color: Artist Robert C. Jones' large paintings are vivid swaths of red and green, yellow and blue; punctuated by black lines or circles.

From Seattle Repertory Theater's Facebook page

Playwright Samuel B. Hunter was never a fundamentalist Christian, but his boyhood experience at a Christian school was the inspiration for his new play, "A Great Wilderness."

Courtesy of John Ulman

Stephen Black remembers the moment he decided to bring a play called "The Normal Heart" to Seattle.

KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman

On the first Thursday of every month, Pioneer Square transforms itself into a festival of visual art. Most of the commercial galleries in the neighborhood throw open their doors to welcome the moving feast of art lovers who flit from shop to shop, sipping wine and perusing the wares.

courtesy of Radio Raheem

Seattle is a town full of music. From indie rock to folk to rap, the city boasts a bevy of thriving scenes. These days, those scenes tend to cross-pollinate. And that can result in something powerful, especially when a traditional gospel singer is part of the mix.

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