arts & life

Lara Davis is the arts education manager for Seattle's Office of Arts and Culture

Once upon a time, when you were young, you probably painted pictures, sang songs and danced yourself dizzy.

Many artists and arts educators believe that making art is second nature to humans. And they believe it helps kids learn. But somehow, by the time children reach their teens, many lose their enthusiasm for creative activities. Experts say that lack of arts curriculum in schools may be to blame.

Artist C. Davida Ingram's exhibition, "Eyes to Dream: A Project Room," is a rumination of what it means to be black and female in America in 2015.
Courtesy of C. Davida Ingram

The smell.

That's the first thing you notice in C. Davida Ingram's exhibition at the Northwest African American Museum.

It smells like the sea: fishy and briny, with a sort of musky undertone. You can trace those aromas, in part, to a white dress that's hanging on the gallery wall. Thousands of tiny fish that look like minnows or sardines are sewn onto the fabric.

It's a warning sign at art museums around the world: "Don't touch the artwork."

But Spain's famous Prado Museum is changing that, with an exhibit where visitors are not only allowed to touch the paintings — they're encouraged to do so.

The Prado has made 3-D copies of some of the most renowned works in its collection — including those by Francisco Goya, Diego Velazquez and El Greco — to allow blind people to feel them.

It's a special exhibit for those who normally can't enjoy paintings.

At the 1936 Olympic Games, the University of Washington eight-oar boat crossed the finish line ahead of Italy. They were featured in The Boys in the Boat by Seattle-area author Daniel James Brown.
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collection

We’re always looking for good book recommendations, which is why you often hear librarian Nancy Pearl on KUOW. That's why, ahead of summer reading season, we found out the most-checked-out and downloaded titles in 2014 from the Seattle Public Library.

Kurt Cobain, front man of the rock group Nirvana, is shown during a benefit concert at the Cow Palace in Daly City, Calif., April 9, 1993.
AP Photo/Sam Morris

Marcie Sillman talks with author and journalist Charles R. Cross about the new Kurt Cobain documentary, "Montage of Heck." 

Geoffrey McGrath: The Inadvertent Spokesman For Gay Rights

Jan 29, 2015
Geoffrey McGrath delivers a petition bearing more than 125,000 signatures, urging Amazon to stop donating money to the Boy Scouts on May 21, 2014.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Marcie Sillman talks with Seattleite Geoffrey McGrath about his path from a hiking/biking software engineer  to international spokesperson for gay rights after his membership from the Boy Scouts of America was revoked for his sexual orientation.

This story originally aired June 4, 2014.

Ms. Marvel designs by Adrian Alphona. Ms. Marvel, described by writer G. Willow Wilson as "kind of a hipster," is the second from the left.
Marvel Comics

G. Willow Wilson’s origin story, in a matter of speaking, started in New Jersey on about 3 acres of land surrounded by old-growth woods, where her parents raised rabbits and chickens and grew corn, blackberries and sweet potatoes.

Matt Smith in "My Last Year With The Nuns"
John Jeffcoat

Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood is hipster central these days: the place to go for the latest in music clubs, trendy restaurants and street style.

That wasn't always the case.

The Northwest wine industry has matured to the point where certain regions are trying to set their wines apart -- think the Willamette Valley pinots, or Columbia Valley cabs.

Flickr Photo/WSDOT

She loves dirt and hates sunlight. Seattle Magazine named her one of 2013’s most influential people, except she’s not really a person. She’s Bertha, the world’s biggest tunnel boring machine, charged with digging out the replacement path for the Alaskan Way Viaduct under Seattle.

Her profile on the Washington State Department of Transportation site lists her occupation as a tunneling specialist, but right now she’s stuck and has been since December 6. In light of her current predicament, the decision to name the machine, and thus humanize it, could be a shrewd move.

Flickr Photo/GeekGirlCon

She was the nasal-voiced puppeteer behind Red Fraggle on Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock, and she hung out with David Bowie on the set of Labyrinth.

A Young Irish Mom's Painful Decision

Dec 4, 2014
Sian Cullen and her daughter Aine. Cullen was a teenager in Dublin, Ireland when Aine was born. They now live in Seattle.
Courtesy Sian Cullen

I was 16 and going to school; I lived in Dublin and was infatuated with this older fellow who was a jack-the-lad kind of fella.

We met and had a relationship and it was brief. And I got pregnant.

Courtesy of Lincoln County Historical Society

In the competitive world of fishing, joining forces can be tough work. It’s even more difficult if the two parties are superpowers at the height of Cold War tensions.

Flickr Photo/Seattle Munincipal Archives (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds speaks with James Gregory, director of the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project at the University of Washington, about the history of racial exclusion in early 20th century housing covenants.

This segment originally aired May 21, 2014.

Marcie Sillman talks to Dr. Leslie Butterfield about the challenges new parents face and how to spot the signs of postpartum depression and anxiety.

One in five new moms and one in ten new dads have some form of postpartum depression. Postpartum Support International and Postpartum Support International of Washington State are resources for information about postpartum depression, as well as local support groups and counselors. You can also call the toll-free line anytime to talk to a volunteer: 1.888.404.7763.