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Ahhhh - the holiday hustle and bustle is behind us, and a new year of possibility lies ahead... it’s time for a collective out-breath, haaaa. Deepen this sense of calm with a January visit to the Magnuson Park Gallery for a new exhibit: The

Window, a collection of beguiling oil paintings by Abigail Drapkin. With a subtle, subdued palette, composed yet casual compositions, and the languid light of winter in the Pacific Northwest, Drapkin’s works allow us a visual exhalation.

Painted during the incipient days and ensuing years of the coronavirus pandemic,

Drapkin depicts and honors a long string of quiet moments that filled our domestic

lives, those times when we shed our public personas and reveled in our mundane,

tarnished selves. Her portraits pull you into the inner lives of the subjects - pushing

private spaces outward for our gaze. Personal places contrast with the public domain as newspapers containing pandemic updates coexist with figures in snail-like postures and relaxed time-outs that serve to refuel, restore, and ultimately renew.

There is a refreshing honesty and simplicity to the “Window” paintings with their unabashedly casual still lifes where a lightbulb lies in a box near a kitchen spoon perched precariously on table edge by a plant spray bottle, or where birth control pills, a can of sardines and fork live. With calm focus and steady gaze, Drapkin creates intimate spaces where the value of less lives, where we savor the unscheduled and find solace with what is in front of us. Her muted palette reinforces a pandemic-induced sense of prolonged time - indeed, weren’t we all holding our collective breaths waiting to surface?

The Window by Abigail Drapkin opens January 19 and can be viewed through February 25, with an artist reception on Saturday, January 21 from 5-8 pm at Magnuson Park Gallery.

SPACE Volunteer Terriko Sommers sits down with Abigail Drapkin to discuss her exhibition The Window. Listen below via our podcast, The Magnuson Park Gallery Exchange.

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SPACE Volunteer Terriko Somers sits down with artist Karey Kessler to discuss her work in the exhibition, Small Works From The Artists of Building 30 West. This annual exhibition showcases a range of artistic mediums from the artists with studio spaces in Building 30 West. Watercolor, oil, and acrylic paintings are displayed next to photographs, mosaics, and other mixed media works, demonstrating the vast range of artistic expressions.

CLICK HERE to visit Karey Kessler's website.

CLICK HERE for more information on the Small Works show.

CLICK HERE for more episodes of The Magnuson Park Gallery Exchange.

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Updated: Dec 15, 2022

- Written by Sally Vermillion, SPACE Volunteer

The 12 faces gaze out from their canvas constraints, compelling you to stop and stay, to study each portrait’s presence. And in the exchange that occurs between painting and observer, in engaging with these magnificent subjects, one encounters powerful beauty, resilient grace, and dignified self-assurance. Welcome to the Magnuson Art Gallery’s exhibition of Bonnie Hopper’s portraits of African Americans, Through the Glass Darkly: Portraits in Black and Brown.

One can’t look at Hopper’s artwork and not notice her love of fabric, textiles, and costuming!

Whether the clothes reference the Antebellum South, contemporary street fashion, or the

custom of “Sunday Best” dressing, her delight and interest in details of dress and rendering

pattern and design add a layer of complexity to Hopper’s portraiture style. In the serene

“Reversal of Fortune” we want to touch the burnout velvet shawl and glistening pewter buttons, as we imagine her story. Combining collage with oil painting adds a tactile dimensionality to the African textiles and mid-century prints Hopper favors. Her subjects garner agency via self-expression through their clothing style.

In lush color and gorgeous attire, Hopper’s portraits mirror the kind of confidence that comes

from life experience and self-knowledge. In her painting of an elegantly turbaned woman entitled “She’s All That” the subject’s uncompromising expression inevitably cues us to whisper, “And More!” It seems these subjects have been there, seen that, and come to terms with who they are, who they want to be. Their journey is universal, transcending race, background, creed - it is the journey of empowered men and women who have actively defined their lives.

Hopper’s collection of handsomely rendered, large-scale portraits compels us to consider the inextricable interplay between fashion and identity. Indeed, it seems they heed the advice given Alice in Through the Looking Glass: “Remember who you are!” Magnuson Art Gallery is pleased to exhibit Bonnie Hopper’s portraits from September 15 - October 29, 2022. The gallery is open Thursday, Friday 11-3 and Saturday 12-3. There will be a reception with Hopper on Saturday, September 24, 2022, from 2-5 pm.

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