Arty Seattle

A few years ago, when Scott Lawrimore closed his big, industrial Lawrimore Project space on Airport Way South and moved his gallery to a closet storefront in Pioneer Square, I tried not to express my disappointment.

"Maybe it's not the recession," I told myself. "Maybe it's time to go minimal with the exhibitions and disperse the huge, opening weekend gatherings."

I can now admit Seattle lost something when Scott closed the epicenter of the Seattle arts scene at the edge of the International District.

Seattle southern downtown skyline seen from Sorrento

I can admit that now, because there is a new epicenter at the Frye Art Museum on First Hill, and it has two catalysts, both bold, earnest and ambitious: Jo-Anne Birnie Danzke, the Director of the Frye; and the aforementioned Scott Lawrimore, who has joined the museum as Deputy Director.

You might have foreseen this dream team forming when the two collaborated together with Isaac Layman for last year's transformative show at the Frye, Paradise. I might have foreseen this, but I had previously believed two bolts of lighning couldn't strike the same spot concurrently.

And yet it has happened. Seattle seems so much more cosmopolitan, seen from a civically reclaimed First Hill.

Opening tonight at the Frye Art Museum: Nicolai Fechin; Chamber Music; and 36 Chambers.


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