art of efficient gallery hopping
Easy in Seattle
1977 Gus Van Sant made a short, "The Discipline of D.E.,"
based on a story written by William S. Burroughs. The plot's protagonist
doesn't ever get around to doing much because he's living by his
solid and incredibly efficient theory of "Doing Easy."
I've come to take the easy way myself, which is why
I'm glad to report that, since autumn rolled around up here in Seattle,
it has been very D.E. to visit art galleries.
Instead of sweating to death climbing one neighborhood hill to
the next, enduring the bitch of parking, re-parking, more parking
and etc. not to mention just plain running out of steam
you can now be served a veritable plateful of art viewing in one
This efficiency is thanks in part to the new Tashiro-Kaplan building
on South Washington Street, but also due to the relocation of one
of Seattle's brightest galleries, Howard House, to its new digs
one block from the Smith Tower.
Welcome to the rejuvenated Pioneer Square area.
Here is the recommended D.E. routine for maximum impact with the
First things first. Get yourself to the corner of Second and James
Street. As sort of a cheater's tip, park on Yesler Way (yeah, a
big hill which kind of disqualifies it for D.E., but driving around
for 30 minutes is definitely not D.E.), which pretty much guarantees
a parking spot. Unless, of course, there is a sports event in the
vicinity (in that case you're better off just staying home).
OK, back at James and Second. Our first destination: Howard House.
Like I mentioned, H.H. is one of Seattle's most promising contemporary
art galleries and just moved into the neighborhood a few months
ago. Enjoy. They're also at the top of the hill, which makes things
easy from here on out.
Next, square yourself south (looking sideways at the Smith Tower)
and roll you'll run smack into the Tashiro-Kaplan building
at 115 Prefontaine (maximum output: 2.5 blocks). Here is the big
payoff five galleries and, with the Gallery4 Culture space
joining them early in the year, six galleries in one spot. Starting
on the right side of the building (Third Avenue) you can hit Garde
Rail Gallery, SOIL and my personal favorite, Platform (Blake Haygood
opens this month).
If you inch your way around the corner, Shift Collaborative is
opening a space on First Thursday (Jan. 6) with an exhibit from
the Bellingham brigade of Garth Amundson and Pierre Gour. Keep inching
and you can see the new Gallery4 Culture spot right on the corner
there (located for the time being on the second floor of the Smith
If you've made your way around the building and are standing on
South Washington, you could knock yourself out by walking two blocks
east and hitting Gallery110, which always has plenty of fine shows.
Return and, alternatively, continue D.E.-style to shuffle two blocks
south to the doorstep of James Harris Gallery. Another purveyor
of contemporary artists, JHG has Tania Kitchell's Low Pressure up
for half the month, followed by Thomas Baldwin.
Finally, your last D.E. gallery destination: Greg Kucera
the grand pooh-bah of contemporary galleries in Seattle always
with something worthy on the walls (Katy Stone's work goes up near
the end of the month). Say "hi" to gallery workers Jim
and Jena, who are very helpful.
That should have you feeling pretty full-up of art, but if you're
still hankering for more, turn right out the front end of Greg Kucera
on South Main. Two blocks east are the Grand Dame galleries of Pioneer
Square. Or head one more block south down to Jackson Street and
park yourself at Zeitgeist Coffee. Take in one more chance to see
art this time, though, very D.E. Sitting down.
D.E. gallery route:
House (604 Second Avenue)
Gallery (110 Third Ave. So.)
Third Ave. So.)
(114 Third Ave. So.)
Shift Collaborative Studio
(306 So. Washington, Suite 105)
Culture (currently 506 Second Avenue, Suite 200)
(110 So. Washington St.)
Harris Gallery (309A Third Ave.)
Gallery (212 Third Ave.)
Coffee (171 So. Jackson St.)