Visual arts picks

Art Detour—Over 100 artists will open their studios to the public for the second annual "Art Detour," a behind-the-scenes peek at Seattle artists' garrets, working conditions, and styles (11/6-8). There's a certain delight in discovering artists' habits and processes as one tours studios in intriguing locations such as the Sunny Arms, Northwest Industrial Buildings, and Noodleworks, where concentrated numbers of artists work, as well as poking around the many individual studios scattered in neighborhoods all around town. "Art Detour" aims to broaden awareness of the visual arts community and provide an educational experience for arts enthusiasts, patrons, and collectors. It's well worth the $5 minimum donation. 988-8983.

Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA)— On view all season at CoCA is the gallery debut, after a brief showing at Bumbershoot, of "Emotional Rescue," the contemporary art collection based on Linda Farris' dot-com brainchild, ContemporaryArtProject. "Emotional Rescue" features work by emerging artists from all over the globe, including Brad Kahlhamer, Cecily Brown, Lisa Yuskavage, Karin Davie, Kim Dingle, Susan DeBeer, Anna Gaskell, and Zhang Huan, to name a few (9/28-10/28). Appealing to the pyromaniac tendencies in all of us, CoCA holds "The New Prometheans International Fire Arts Festival" (10/1-8). The festival, organized by Seattle fire artist Astrid Larsen, features the work of international, national, and local artists whose primary medium is fire. It's all about spectacle, and the art event/exhibition includes sculpture, performance, fireworks, music, stunts, theater, and visual arts examining "the wide path that fire cuts across cultural production." 65 Cedar, 728-1980.

Consolidated Works—"Imagined Landscapes" is the second installment of Consolidated Works' "Consolidation Series," wherein film, theater, music, visual art, and performance "congeal" around a common theme (10/27-12/17). The visual arts portion of this ongoing series of multimedia events and exhibits is to feature the spectacular beadwork installations of Liza Lou, who's declared that she is going to "bead the world" and is making a good start of it by lavishly coating entire rooms in tiny seed beads; video art installation piece "Kumano" by Japanese "star" artist Mariko Mori; as well as work by Sharon Ellis, local painter Darren Waterson, and others. Consolidated Works, 860-5245.

James Harris Gallery—Photographs and video by Jeanne Dunning (10/5-10/28). Dunning's work makes the familiar appear foreign, manipulating our responses to female subjects by introducing props that mimic corporeality. Two videos and a selection of photographs delve into the vulnerability, obsession, and discomfort we feel when confronted with our own bodies. San Francisco area artist Stephanie Syjuco takes modified office furniture and other found objects, enhancing and manipulating them to represent "landscape" as it exists today (11/2-12/2). The gallery continues to bring important mid-career artists to Seattle and to foster the burgeoning careers of local emerging artists. Continually pushing the envelope and not afraid to show art that is controversial and visually daring, the gallery represents a last gasp of originality and freshness in the commercial realm of Pioneer Square. 309 Third S, 903-6220.

Henry Art Gallery—The Henry, though not forecasted to altogether discontinue traditional museum-style exhibitions with pictures hanging on gallery walls, does hop on the "experience" bandwagon this fall, mounting two rather daring interactive exhibitions. A computer-generated virtual reality installation called Terraform I fills the entire Media Gallery with surround sound and an elaborate interactive light show; a "terraform" is a world that has been made habitable or "earth-like," supporting life where none previously existed (12/8-3/18). A large-scale sculptural installation by Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto—also to be entered, touched, smelled, and experienced with all the senses (12/1-4/19/01). UW campus, 543-2280.

Seattle Art Museum—"Language Let Loose" examines the use of words as artistic media. Revolving around Gary Hill's video/sound installation "House of Cards" are works by Walker Evans, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and others, all of whom incorporate text into their work, infusing it with deeper cultural and personal meaning (ends 4/29/01). Trevor Fairbrother leaves SAM with a glorious tribute to his own expertise with the exhibition "John Singer Sargent." Fairbrother is an internationally recognized scholar on Sargent and the exhibition will certainly be a thoughtful and—if it can be said—passionately curated one (12/14-3/18/01). This is the first major comprehensive exhibition of the artist's impressive oeuvre to be shown on the west coast. The exhibition will comprise four major components: a dozen works from a traveling exhibition of Sargent's portraits of the Wertheimer family, his London patrons; over 30 large charcoal drawings of male nudes; about 30 lively group of watercolors and oil sketches completed on Sargent's vacations to Italy, Spain, British Columbia, and Florida; and informal portraits made throughout his career. Seattle Art Museum, 100 University, 654-3100.

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