6 exhibitions you need to see for Women’s History Month
By Jerald Pierce
As we march into Women’s History Month, our arts recommendations are full of ways artists are challenging patrons who venture out to see their work. One intimate exhibition gives space for women to fully express themselves without the outside pressures of society while another showcases the unique landscapes born out of a close friendship. All of these exhibitions, in one way or another, ask their viewers to examine themselves and how they interact with the world or people around them.
From solo shows to group shows, from exhibitions that ask us to push the limits of what we can imagine to attempts to capture the experience of being in nature, here are five galleries (and one museum) that you need to have on your March calendar.
Photographic Center Northwest
March will be your final chance to catch “OUTCRY,” Chicago-based artist Whitney Bradshaw’s series of portraits (through March 16). This project, which Bradshaw launched on the night of the Women’s March in 2018, involved inviting groups of womxn — an inclusive term Bradshaw prefers as her work includes trans and nonbinary folks — into Bradshaw’s studio for “scream sessions,” allowing participants to express their emotions in a supportive environment. From there, Bradshaw created “OUTCRY,” a series of now more than 400 intimate portraits that challenge expectations put on womxn by mainstream culture. PCNW’s exhibition includes 199 of Bradshaw’s portraits, which range in expression from sorrow to laughter as they combine to create an act of collective resistance.
ARTS at King Street Station Gallery
Now on view at the ARTS at King Street Station gallery, you can see “Happy Room — Mosaic Collage,” a collection of more than 50 works from Seattle-based artist Naoko Morisawa (through April 6). The installation is divided into four rooms — Shoes/Closet, Kitchen/Living Room, Theater Japonism/Living Room and Heart Room — as Morisawa transforms everyday objects into colorful mosaics. Pieces featured in the installation, gathered from the past 15 years of work from Morisawa, are aimed at evoking a sense of joy. Also on view at the gallery through April 6 is “digital indigiqueer: a showcase of trans transmedia,” which features 11 pieces from Indigenous artists organized by Hexe Fey.
In “Wonderland Trail,” Canadian painter Sheri Bakes has created a series of landscape paintings inspired by her friend’s three-day, 93-mile hike/run along the Wonderland Trail on Mount Rainier last summer. Through the use of stippling, or small dots, Bakes seeks to capture the wind, fog and mist in the atmosphere in her landscapes, resulting in work that can range from loosely rendered landscapes to something completely abstract as it plays with the conditions of the natural environment. Bakes depicts conditions that would typically be hard to see, like fine mist or thin fog, as she looks to capture the subtle feeling of being alive and fully present.
Featuring all local Seattle artists, the group show “Re: Seeing,” curated by gallery director Shayley Timm, examines how we see people and the world around us. The exhibition will feature works from Baso Fibonacci, Denise Emerson, Bonnie Hopper, Li Turner, Marie Okuma Johnston, Angshuman Sarkar, Dorothy Anderson Wasserman, Nahom Ghirmay and Greg Amanti. Through unfiltered self-portraits, landscapes, social commentary and other works from these artists, the exhibition invites viewers to question any implicit biases they carry. Timm crafted the exhibition to offer patrons a chance to experience a connection with the artists, one that asks patrons to see the artists as they want to be seen.
Tacoma Art Museum
Featuring a collection of new paintings created over the past three years, Seattle-based artist Camille Patha’s new exhibition, “Camille Patha: Passion Pleasure Power” (March 4-Sept. 3), seeks to share the power of painting. Through mostly abstract paintings, Patha’s work merges modern art movements to create paintings devoid of people, places or things, but instead crafted to express feelings and emotions. Through more than 50 paintings, Patha attempts to depict the indescribable and push the limits of our imagination. The exhibition also will feature a short film, “Camille in Color,” directed by Seattle filmmaker David Wild and exploring Patha’s passion for painting.
J. Rinehart Gallery
Mount Vernon-based painter Lesley Frenz tells stories through landscapes in “The Longing is the Return” (March 11-April 8). Frenz, an avid hiker and backpacker, works in acrylics and watercolors to create expressive paintings of her experiences in nature. Her work explores themes of love, loss and longing as she depicts moments when she felt connected to the world around her. Frenz’s work evokes the emotion and nostalgia that comes along with remembering a location where she felt a strong connection between the living and dead.