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Original Hits by Original Artists: An Exhibit of TOTALLY FAKE Album Covers

R.I.P. the album cover, sort of. We said our goodbyes to that roomy square-foot of substantial cardstock, with its fantastic artwork — maybe by Warhol or Dali or Mapplethorpe —to name just a few. We also said our goodbyes to the hours of contemplation of the cover-art while the music spun on a nearby turntable, a unique synthesis of the aural with the visual with the tactile — a feast for the soul. Then the album cover was demoted in both size and importance, a mere afterthought of a booklet cover, encased in brittle plastic. Now stripped of its physicality entirely, it’s relegated to the ether where its low-rez pixelated remains live out their diminished existence barely visible on tiny hand-held screens. Until now! With LP sales now at a twenty-eight-year high, the album cover (both genuine and fake) is back!

Original Hits by Original Artists, opening May 4 right downstairs on the first floor of the Good Arts Building, will pay proper homage to the art of the album cover, both past and present—without the album. The exhibit features covers for dozens of fabricated albums cut by bands that exist only in the artists’ imaginations. The show will be on view May 4 – May 31, 2017 at 108 Cherry Street in the Good Arts Building (downstairs from ’57 Biscayne).

A Release Party and reception for the artists will be held First Thursday, May 4, 6:00 -10:00 p.m. followed by the Upstream Music Fest, May 11-13, when there will be actual live (if unrelated) music on site, programmed by Upstream during the run of the festival. One of a handful of free venues in the neighborhood, it will be open from 4-8 PM with music on May 11 and 12; and 1-8 on Saturday the 13th, with music from 4-8. The exhibit will also be open on the last two Fridays and Saturdays in May, from 1-6PM and by appointment.

Original Hits is curated by artist Jane Richlovsky of ’57 Biscayne which, incidentally, was named for a Joni Mitchell song lyric. For this show Richlovsky and fellow artist Dara Solliday invited approximately thirty-three and one third artists to unearth those long-forgotten catch phrases that had once sparked a reply of “That would make a great band name!” and then create a full-size old-school 12-inch LP album cover for this hypothetical hitmaker. Artists include Romson Bustillo, Kelly Lyles, Nia Michaels, Jed Dunkerley, Gabriel Campanario, and Richlovsky, showing fake album covers in paint, collage, repurposed tin, textiles, wood, and who knows what else.

About the venue: The Good Arts Building was purchased by an artist/developer partnership, Good Arts LLC, in 2015, with the mission of promoting the interdependent prosperity of artists and other neighborhood businesses and institutions. ’57 Biscayne Studios are located on its second floor.

Placiness featured on KPLU-FM

KPLU’s Monica Spain interviewed Jane Richlovsky and guest artist Gabriel Campanario about ’57 Biscayne’s current exhibit Placiness, the ’57 Biscayne-Good Arts story, whence the title, Seattle as muse, and more. Read or listen to “Art Exhibit Evokes a sense of Placiness” here.

 

Seattle Sketcher features ’57 Biscayne Artists

It’s been a week of viaduct stories in the Seattle media, including a resurgence of interest in the old 619 Western building, as in, “Say, whatever happened to those artists?”  Bertha the tunneling machine, for whose vibrations we were evacuated from the 619 five years ago, will be burrowing under the old homestead later this month, just a few years behind schedule.

Gabriel Campanario, the famous Seattle Times Sketcher, interviewed and, of course, sketched, Jane and Libby last week and featured our story in his column on Saturday. Perhaps taking Libby’s point that it might be a good idea to go easy on the nostalgia for a particular building and support artists wherever they are, he prominently featured our present digs, the Good Arts Building.

Celebrity sighting at ’57 Biscayne

Yes, the famous bus driver Nathan Vass made an appearance at our humble home. Metro has recently begun a recruitment campaign promoting part-time bus driving as the perfect day job for artists (among others). One day while making my descent into the Pioneer Square bus tunnel,  I was delighted to come upon this gigantic image of photographer & honorary Biscaynito Nathan Vass, whose lovely old-school photographic prints have graced our walls in several shows, including the ever-popular 100 under $100 (due back in June!). Nathan’s encounters with the public-transportation-riding masses of Seattle are vividly documented on his blog.

Here he is taking a break from the madness in Dara Solliday’s studio.

sollidayvass57biscayne

Pianoman Victor Janusz added to an already-too-exciting Holiday Extravaganza

This just in: Join us for First Thursday in December and be serenaded by the dulcet and classy sounds of crooner Victor Janusz as you shop for locally made art and crafty utilitarian objects to give to your loved ones.

VICTOR JANUSZ is one of the Northwest’s most in-demand Entertainers. Last season at ACT, he penned and performed his own “HANDS SOLO: Pianoman” Show (directed by Lori Larsen) which was critically acclaimed and sold out an exclusive two-week run. Victor has just released a brand new CD “Living In A Blue State” with his full VJ BAND, including drummer STEVE WHITE (of Blue Man Group) Rob Witmer, Billy Joe Huels, Angie Louise, and Saxman Mark Taylor, among others. Victor is most at home… Anywhere!–So long as he’s playing or singing at a piano, preferring original tunes, jazz, classic rock and Carpenters’ songs. He’s performed many times at ACT, the Space Needle, Canlis, Nordstrom…  even a Command performance for President-elect Obama. If he’s in a good mood, he’ll tell jokes, and if in a really, really good mood –may take requests!

His songlist includes the Sinatra Songbook, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Rogers & Hart, Broadway Classics, the Beatles, Elton John, Billy Joel, Carpenters, Motown, REM, Lou Reed, Steely Dan, and lots of original tunes, as well.

And he’ll be playing on ’57 Biscayne’s very own piano, thank you ACT Theatre (and the two middle-aged people who moved it into the lobby this weekend).