Visual arts picks

ACROSS THE MILES: DISCOVERING FOLK ART IN AMERICA Columbia City's Garde Rail Gallery presents an exhibition of folk art by artists from the Northwest, Deep South, and other rural regions of this fine land. Folk art includes art influenced directly by the artist's surroundings (contemporary folk art or vernacular art), art by people who have obsessive and divine visions (visionary art), and art by those with little or no formal training (self-taught art). Included are John Taylor's ships made of found objects, Tim Fowler's carved hardwood "occupational gods and political cartoons," and Jerry Brown's self-dug clay crockery. Shaw Room

ART SWAP Artists are notorious for scraping by in order to devote all their time to the act of creation. Most artists at one time or another have bartered their work for goods and services, trading a painting or sculpture for rent, dentistry, landscaping, babysitting, you name it. This exhibition looks at the concept of art bartering and reveals some particularly juicy stories shared by the bartering artists of our region. Curators Tammy Spears and Debbi Lester invited Northwest artists and collectors to submit their best art swap tale along with the actual artworks that were traded. Also on display are works for sale and works that will become part of the largest art swap to date. Lopez Room

SHADOWS OF BHUJ AND MYTHS OF MASCULINITY: ASSEMBLAGES BY PAMELA DHARAMSEY LEE AND RICHARD MILLER Pamela Dharamsey Lee's installation, "Shadows of Bhuj," is a giant, walk-in shadowbox that contains smaller shadowboxes within. The piece pays homage to recent earthquake victims of Bhuj, India. Nearby, in Richard Miller's "Myths of Masculinity," vintage objects and articles of clothing are assembled like effigies and then photographed. Miller's unique creative vision is partly the result of his physical vision: The artist suffers from a rare genetic atrophy of the optic nerve that has left him legally blind. Miller sees clearly the irony in being a blind photographer and thinks of himself as an iconoclast. The series of black-and-white photographs explores stereotypical and archetypal iconography associated with the American male. Orcas Room

WITHIN/WITHOUT: CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHS OF CUBA This exhibition presents a fine selection of photographs of Cuba taken by Pacific Northwesterners alongside photos taken by Cubans of their homeland, offering a look at the Cuban experience from within and without. The work of Cuban photographers has been selected by the Fototeca de Cuba in Havana and local photographers (including Alice Wheeler) have been selected by curators Catherine Eaton Skinner and Claire Garoutte. Two guest artists, Liudmila Velasco and Nelson Ramirez de Arellano Conde, will travel to Bumbershoot from Cuba and lead art talks at 2 p.m. on Sun. Sept. 2. The exhibition is slated to travel to Havana in 2002. Olympic Room

PAUL DORPAT'S BUMBERCHRONICLES Bumbershoot's Golden Umbrella has been awarded this year to archival celebrity, artist, author, and historian Paul Dorpat. For over 30 years Dorpat's "Seattle Now and Then" column has appeared weekly in The Seattle Times. A collection of his personal objects will be on display including some of his favorite Bumbershoot memorabilia and an ongoing video loop of past festival highlights. NW Court Room Lobby

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