J a n u a r y   2 0 0 5

Seattle's Garde Rail Gallery: Self-taught artist Jennifer Harrison shows through Jan. 22.
Guest Writer

The art of efficient gallery hopping
Doing Easy in Seattle
by Carolyn Zick

n 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 downhill sweep.

The new Tashiro-Kaplan building.

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 least effort:

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 Tower).

James Harris Gallery: another purveyor of contemporary artists.

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:
Howard House (604 Second Avenue)
TK galleries:
Garde Rail Gallery (110 Third Ave. So.)
SOIL (112 Third Ave. So.)
Platform (114 Third Ave. So.)
Shift Collaborative Studio (306 So. Washington, Suite 105)
Gallery4 Culture (currently 506 Second Avenue, Suite 200)
Gallery110 (110 So. Washington St.)
James Harris Gallery (309A Third Ave.)
Greg Kucera Gallery (212 Third Ave.)
Zeitgeist Coffee (171 So. Jackson St.)

E-mail Carolyn Zick at carolynzick@gmail.com, visit her blog, Dangerous Chunky, and check out our archives.

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