Recently named #2 in Kiplinger's list of the nation's top cities, Seattle is full of an endless and imaginative variety of things to do.
SAM, Seattle Art Museum, is a wonderful jewel in the city's plethora of adornment, but can easily be overlooked as we take advantage of the infinite range of what's available here, there, everywhere in the area. Don't overlook it this spring. The Paul Gaugain exhibit (Gaugain and Polynesia) is here until April 29, and it would be a real shame to miss out on the chance to see his work in real life (much as I love the virtual world), the only opportunity to see this show in North America! (Thanks, SAM!) Gaugain is one of the larger-than-life morphing-into-modern painters along with Picasso and Van Gogh (ok, and Cezanne and Monet and Matisse and ...)
whose work remains influential throughout our art and life. What soft bright glory shines through some of his island visions and lush still lifes! Sometimes characterized as a European stockbroker who left his wife and five children to live an unstructured fantasy on a remote Pacific Island, certainly not a character of moral exemplitude, yet as with all truly great historical figures the work he leaves us retains a life beyond the mere humanity of its creator. We left with a magnified sense of things unknown, of soft breezes in the far distance calling our names over and over, of the point on every path where our past and our destiny intersect for an instant, of the moment in time that defines history.
FURTHERmore, the next day after going to the exhibit (I'm a member so they knew I'd been there of course, but this is a little big-brotherish for me, though I'd better get used to it) I got an email from SAM thanking me for turning up to see the show, and reminding me that as a member I'm eligible for as many free visits to the Gaugain exhibit as I wish! Actually I plan to go several more times, and not only to see Gaugain. A rainy Sunday afternoon must be one of the most crowded moments in the week, and I will certainly pop in on a weekday morning to take advantage of the quieter time. Also, we spent so much time in the modern sculpture and painting gallery, and the glass, as well as the Polynesia exhibit that I failed to get my usual 30 minutes in the small but really really poignant collection of Greek and Roman artifacts including glass and carvings that date from (give or take a few centuries) 2,000 years ago. The sense of timelessness and distance available there in the heart of Seattle is an endless source of renewal. Oh, in the email from SAM they provided me with a wonderful link I want to share with you, to an interactive map of Gaugain's journey with videos of a couple curators and local art historians talking about his work, and life. Until you get to SAM, this is a great start to the experience! And a good aftermath, I have to admit.
If you have young children, don't hesitate. My friend commented repeatedly on all the fantastic play areas with art related toys and interactivity including computer learning stations for the tweens in strategic areas of the 5 floors of the Museum. We stopped by Taste for some truly perfect coffee and desert, highly recommended and with a major play area within view on the landing just outside for the active members of your party. I say "outside"and it is outside the restaurant but within the building itself, part of the museum facilities. My son, being 10, enjoyed photographing many of the sculptures, paintings, carvings and instalations, a great way to engage that age group with the art and exploration. There are "no camera" icons where photography is prohibited (yes, like in the Polynesia exhibit), but elsewhere the art and the people experiencing it provide wonderful opportunities for yet another kind of self expressive interactivity. His photos are used for this blog, thanks Daniel!
More information about Edy Kizaki.
Edy's March in Seattle 2012 blog.