Northwest Annual

I don't envy Ken Lum, the curator of this year's Northwest Annual at CoCA. The chair of the University of British Columbia's Art MFA program, Lum had the task of sorting through hundreds of entries to come up with the current sampling of a couple dozen emerging artists working in photography, painting, sculpture installation, and video. The results of Lum's search are pretty good, with several standouts. Laura Wright's textiles are a kind of hybrid between two- and three-dimensional art that pay tribute to the tools of paid and unpaid workers; Emily Ginsburg's small monochrome paintings are composed of mysterious little Rorschach blobs/ flowchart bubbles; and Sean Healy's colorful cast resin sculptures make use of '70s toys in novel ways. In a category all their own are Pat Boas' three beautiful and disturbing acrylic-and-ink paintings of furry, mutant forms that coil and writhe like some demented genetic fusion of cats' tails and phalluses (including Untitled #1, above). On the lighter side is Noah Klersfeld's video shot at an intersection in Manhattan. With an after-the-fact voice-over, he's transformed a boring 10 minutes of pedestrians and cars into a piece of micromanaged stage direction that's often quite funny: "You with the glasses, scratch your nose. On three, get rid of the pigeon." He's simply living out the fantasy of the bossy film director and traffic cop within us all. Curator talk and award presentation: 6:30 p.m. Wed. Nov. 10. Center on Contemporary Art, 410 Dexter Ave. N., $5 suggested donation, 206-728-1980. 2-8 p.m. Tues.-Thurs., noon-5 p.m. Fri.-Sun. Exhibit runs through Nov. 20.

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