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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.

“Ghosts of Flesh Avenue” on view downstairs

Guest artist and honorary Biscaynito Amanda James Parker has installed her video homage to peep shows of yore in the storefront beneath ’57 Biscayne studios. More here, at the Good Arts Building website.

Welcome to our newest Biscaynito!

We’re super-excited to announce that we’ve filled the cute new nook of a studio with the lovely Celeste Cooning, cutter of intricate patterns in Tyvek and much more.  She will be settled in by our next open house, December 1st in time to celebrate the holidays. Welcome to the community, Celeste, and we look forward to future co-inspirations and collaborations!

That the studio had a line-up of fabulous and personable artists ready to take it before it was even built speaks to the utter dearth of affordable cultural space in this town. Good Arts is looking forward to building some additional work & gallery spaces on the street level of the building in the upcoming months. Please join our mailing list to keep abreast of developments. While we’re at it, let’s hear a shout-out to those who are working to create affordable space elsewhere in the city: Sam Farraizaino at Equinox, Timothy Firth at Common Area Maintenance,  and many others, most of them artists themselves.

Studio 214: A work in progress!

In celebration of our fifth year anniverisary, and in keeping with building owner Good Arts’ mission of maximizing creative space, we are adding a new studio to ’57 Biscayne! It’s being carved lovingly out of the second-floor lobby, and will have its own door across from the main ’57 Biscayne entrance, with full access to ’57 Biscayne’s kitchen, bathrooms, and other common areas. And we’re looking for a new creative community member to rent it and join the fun. It will be ready & available to rent November 1st, in plenty of time to be part of our December First Thursday Open House.

The finished space will be a 170-square foot L-shape, with variable ceiling height, operable south-facing windows, a transom for ventilation, newly refinished fir floors, a combination of track and can lighting, and loads of charm. Perfect for a painter, jeweler, or clothing designer, to name just a few. $400 monthly rent is inclusive of utilities. Available November 1. Contact Jane to find out more and take a tour.

View from inside the studio looking at the '57 Biscayne main door. The openings are for a full-light door and transom window.

View from inside the studio looking at the ’57 Biscayne main door. The openings are for a full-light door and transom window.

This is the view as you walk into the space. The tall pitched ceiling above you is the bottom of the staircase.

This is the view as you walk into the space. The tall pitched ceiling above you is the bottom of the staircase.

Windows look onto Cherry Street. Yes, they open.

Windows look onto Cherry Street.

Cute built-in bench seat looks out the windows. (Could also be made into a desk or work table.)

Cute built-in bench seat looks out the windows. It could also be replaced with a desk or work table.

A second set of windows overlook the stairs and bring in some additional light.

A second set of windows overlook the stairs and bring in some additional light.

PLACINESS

’57 Biscayne presents PLACINESS, August 4-7 at ’57 Biscayne in the Good Arts Building

Open First Thursday, August 4, from 5-8 PM and 12-7 Friday, Saturday; 12-5 Sunday

Artists’ Reception Saturday, August 6 (time TBA)

’57 Biscayne was born out of the much-ballyhooed demise of 619 Western, and in the years since we’ve become a kind of charismatic megafauna in the exploding urban environment of the boom-and-bust city we call home. The image of artists losing their place in the city often functions as a symbol of a larger sense of loss: While the decline of affordable studio space is measurable and undeniable, people also tend to remember places they love as having been in the past more interesting, animated, authentic–placier–than they are in the present. Whether that is actually the case or just the foggy goggles of nostalgia is debatable.

What is often lost in the discussion is what it means to the art. ’57 Biscayne, and other urban studio spaces, are not mere symbols to the artists who work there, but a base from which we observe, interact with, and respond to the city. PLACINESS gathers the visual evidence of what it actually means–from the artists’ points of view–to stay in our neighborhood and in our city: to live and move about and to look at things and people. The show encompasses representational paintings and photographs that directly reference Seattle physically or spiritually or historically; constructions that incorporate materials or found objects endemic to here; and work in a variety of media that is visually inspired by the streets, buildings, history, landscape, and humanscape of Seattle.

PLACINESS will coincide with the Seattle Art Fair, which is presenting sound art by Brendan Fowler downstairs at 108 Cherry.  In keeping with its mission, the Good Arts Building is hosting Art Fair as an Event Partner, as well as providing storefront space to La Sala, presenting La Cocina, a multimedia extravaganza at 702 First Avenue; and the Center on Contemporary Art at 106 Cherry.

Image: Dara Solliday, View from Jane Richlovsky and Drake Deknatel’s Studio at 619 Western I

Studio Available!

UPDATE: THE STUDIO IS RENTED.

We are thrilled to welcome Rad and Hungry to our community this June. Rock on, Hen and Laura!

 

We are looking to add a new Biscaynito!

Studio 213, which has not been advertised before, due to its propensity to being passed on from artist to artist, is looking for a creative person or persons to do their thing in it. It has two rooms, one of which was outfitted as a darkroom when we first took over the place. The plumbing is still there, and could accommodate a darkroom sink or just a regular utility sink, if your thing involved a lot of water. (Although one of our two communal utility sinks and the kitchen are right next door.)  It’s an interior space, but it has a window to the hallway and another window between the rooms.

The space is approximately 370 square feet and the rent is $600 a month, including all utilities. The studios are 24/7 access and work-only (no live-in). Available June 1, just in time to be part of one of our two annual art walk sensations.

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Entering ’57 Biscayne, studio 213 is the first one you encounter.

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The first room is a 15′ x 14′ rectangle with one corner cut off. In this view you are looking into the second room…

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… Which is long and skinny, about 8′ x 21′.

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The shared entranceway. Studio 213 is the door at far left

Our swanky lobby.

Our swanky lobby.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To make an appointment to view the space, email jane@janerichlovsky.com.

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.

Studio for Rent

UPDATE 4/13/16: This space has been rented. To be in the loop about upcoming opportunities, please join our mailing list.

We are looking to add a fabulously creative Biscaynito to our ranks this spring. Studio 211 is  available May 1; at 220 square feet, with 14-foot ceilings and one lovely exposed brick wall (which you can and may hang stuff on), it’s a bargain: $360 a month includes all your utilities and shared amenities like wifi, a kitchenette, a hallway gallery, a comfy and professional waiting area for your big-time visitors, and nice clean restrooms. There are lots of visibility-inducing events planned for the building this summer, and great neighbors who share information, expertise and marketing duties (and who are also super nice). Contact Jane for more information.

This space has a cute dutch door for an entrance!

This space has a cute dutch door for an entrance!

'57 Biscayne, artist studios, community

The lovely entrance hall, with a view of the yellow kitchen.

'57 Biscayne, Lily Solliday-Cheung, solliday-mason installation

Dog-friendly because dogs love art.

The Good Arts Building

On December 15,  2015, the building housing ’57 Biscayne (historically known as the Scheuerman Building) officially passed into the hands of Good Arts LLC,  a collaboration between four entities: artist Jane Richlovsky of ’57 Biscayne and the second-floor master lease holder of the building; Greg Smith of Urban Visions Real Estate; Steve Coulter, ACT Theatre Technical Director; and Cherry Good Arts LLC, headed by Cherry Street Coffee House founder Ali Ghambari. The group’s name pays homage the “Good Eats” cafeteria that occupied the building a century ago.

It seems every week brings a new story of artists or beloved small businesses being outpriced and displaced out of the popular, thriving neighborhoods they helped create. This unlikely alliance of an artist and developer is writing a different story, staking a claim in a corner of Pioneer Square to preserve and maintain commercial space for artists and arts-related businesses and to promote the cultural and economic vitality of the neighborhood.

Apparently we’re not the only ones hungry for a new story – here is some of the press coverage so far:

Puget Sound Business Journal

City Arts Magazine

The Stranger

Plans for the immediate future of the building include a commercial gallery and adjacent workspaces in one of the currently vacant storefronts, and a pocket craft retail space to be added to the second-floor lobby early next year. In late 2016, construction will begin on Cherry Street Public House in the corner and two adjacent storefronts.

In the longer term, the new owners plan to restore the basement to its historic role as a performance space. The Skid Road Show operated there from 1972 -1982, a jazz club during the 1940s, as well as less reputable enterprises (which the owners do not intend to revive). They will retain the second floor as affordable workspaces for artists and create additional ones as space becomes available elsewhere in the building.

The Good Arts Mission Statement
Given that artists, craftspeople, and creative businesses form the core of the historical identity of Seattle and, more specifically, Pioneer Square, Good Arts LLC endeavors to maintain that identity and promote economic and creative vitality through responsible real estate development.
Our mission is to preserve and expand the presence of the creative class in Pioneer Square by responsibly renovating and operating the historic Scheuermann Building specifically to supply affordable space for creation, promotion, and exhibition of a broad range of artistic endeavors.
We believe that economic development should include the creative class as its beneficiary as well as its catalyst. To that end, we also foster connections between, and promote the interdependent prosperity of, artists and other neighborhood businesses and institutions.

For more information see the Good Arts website.

above: New owners Steve Coulter, Jane Richlovsky, & Greg Smith celebrating the closing of the deal; not pictured is Ali Ghambari, who was visiting family in Tehran and thus unable to order a martini. (photo: Kara Kesler)

When Artists Get Together They Talk About Real Estate

As cities across the nation struggle with the displacement of culture by rising real estate prices, the conversation seems to be stuck on the idea of artists as hapless victims in this struggle. Biscayne founder Jane Richlovsky’s recent experience with a studio eviction and her subsequent attempts to be part of the broader solution led her to rethink the role of the artist as and economic as well as cultural actor.

Photo: Some 619 Western artists on their last night in the building. Courtesy of Peter DeLory