Podcast Episode 21

Displacement: Visual Artist Veit Stratmann

Paris-based artist Veit Stratmann, who presented the work title L'Aquila at The Project Room in 2012, has made a practice of researching and writing about places of massive upheaval and its impact on the people who have lived there. After the recent terrorist attacks in Paris which took place near his home, we had a conversation about the connections between this event and his work, and what motivates him to be an artist, especially during difficult times.

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Podcast Episode 19:

The New Art Marketplace: Digital Artist Kevin McCoy

In this interview, we visit with Kevin McCoy during the launch of his first company, an online platform for the buying and selling of digital artwork. Monegraph, as this company is called, could change everything about how we value artwork and how artists get paid for the work they make.

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Podcast Episode 18:

A Symbol of Pride: Rainbow Flag Designer Gilbert Baker

In 1978, Gilbert Baker, a drag queen and community activist in San Francisco, responded to his friend Harvey Milk's assertion that the gay rights movement needed a new symbol. In this interview, he chats with TPR Founder Jess Van Nostrand about the rainbow flag's first showing in 1978 and many of the interesting things that have happened since.  

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Podcast Episode 17

Was Here: Visual Artist Ellie Dicola

This month's podcast is a conversation with Seattle-based artist Ellie DicolaAs part of Seattle Storefronts, a program that places artist projects in vacant storefront spaces, Ellie created the installation Was Here. As a corporeal monument to places that are gone, Was Here is a documentation of local businesses and organizations that have disappeared over the last handful of years.

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Breathing the Water: Short Films about Denise Levertov

Monday May 4th, 6-7pm at The Project Room

Photograph by Christopher Felver

Denise Levertov was a great 20th century American poet who lived in Seattle from 1989 until her death in 1997.  A convert to Catholicism, she wrote about faith, nature and the environment, politics and social justice.

Author Rebecca Brown, Poet Jan Wallace, and The Project Room will host this evening remembering Levertov by introducing her work, screening short films about her and sharing audio and video clips of Levertov reading. 

Breathing The Water is part of a city-wide celebration of Levertov which culminates May 16th, Seattle's official Denise Levertov Day.  Join the final celebration on May 16, 2015, when Coral Arts, a vocal ensemble in residence at St. Joseph Church where Levertov was a parishioner, will present the world premiere of a setting of Levertov's poem "Making Peace." St. Joseph is also sponsoring the city-wide celebration of Levertov's legacy as poet, activist, and woman of faith.  Concert tickets are available through Choral Arts. 

Read more about Levertov in TPR's recent Off Paper Essay,  "Bearing Witness" by Jan Wallace. Information about additional Levertov events online.  Special thanks to Levertov event sponsors: 


April 27 Introducing Levertov, St James Cathedral, 7 PM
May 4 Levertov films, The Project Room, 1315 E Pine, 6 PM
May 5 Homage to Levertov reading, Sorrento Hotel, 7 PM
May 7 Introducing Levertov, St Joseph Parish Center, 7 PM
May 9 Levertov gravesite visit, Lake View Cemetery, 11 AM
May 14 Levertov evening, Elliot Bay Bookstore, 7 PM
May 16 Choral Arts concert, St Joseph Church, 8 PM
preceded by preconcert conversation, 7:30 PM
Reception, St Joseph Parish Center, 6:15 PM

City of Seattle declares May 16 Denise Levertov Day

Rebecca Brown. Photo by Andrea Auge

Rebecca Brown. Photo by Andrea Auge

Rebecca Brown is a writer, teacher and literary activist.  She is the author of seven novels, including The End of YouthThe Terrible Girls, and What Keeps Me Here, and her short stories are widely anthologized. Her novel The Gifts of the Body won a Lambda Literary Award and has been translated into several languages. Brown divides her time between Seattle and Vermont, where she is a faculty member in the Master of Fine Arts program at Goddard College.

Jan Wallace, poet and essayist, was a dear friend of Denise Levertov's.  Her poems currently appear in Terrain, A Journal of Built and Natural Environments. Her work has also appeared in ARCADE, Fine Madness, Field and other journals. Read Jan's recent essay about Levertov, "Bearing Witness" in TPR's online journal, Off Paper. 

Legacy Assignment Series 2:

Sierra Nelson

If a Handful of Matches is Thrown to the Floor:

Exploring the parallels between the scientific method and divination with Artist Sierra Nelson.

MondAY, April 27, 7-8pm at The Project Room

Performance Artist and Poet Sierra Nelson invites us into a conversation questioning the roles divination, science, and artistic practice play in our understanding of the past and choices for the future.  She’ll be joined by her longtime collaborator Rachel Kessler to bookend the conversation with some live experiments.

Photography by Rebecca Hoogs

Photograph by Rebecca Hoogs

Photograph by Rebecca Hoogs

Poet, performer, and text-based artist Sierra Nelson (co-founder of The Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society) is author of lyrical choose-your-own-adventure I Take Back the Sponge Cake (Rose Metal) made with visual artist Loren Erdrich and chapbook “In Case of Loss” (Toadlily Press). Earning her MFA in Poetry from U.W. (2002), she is a MacDowell Colony Fellow and Carolyn Kizer Prize winner, and she teaches in Seattle, Friday Harbor, and Rome, Italy.

On the divination side, she has written poems inspired by the patterns in tarot, created an interactive poetry installation inspired by Nordic runes using Icelandic lava stones ("Runasafn: Rune Library"), and most recently she has written a new interactive manuscript of poems, "I Change," inspired by the 8 elements in the ancient Chinese divination system the I Ching (a.k.a. The Book of Changes).

On the science side, she has written scientifically-vetted poems about fish in collaboration with ichthyologist Adam Summers' "Cleared" photographs of stained fish skeletons, both of which debuted at the Seattle Aquarium; she teaches and works with scientists at U.W.'s Friday Harbor Labs in the San Juan Islands; and science is a core inspiration for her performance and installation work as the Vis-à-Vis Society collaborating with Rachel Kessler under their poet-scientist personas, Dr. Ink and Dr. Owning.

Photograph by Rebecca Hoogs

Photograph by Rebecca Hoogs

Rachel Kessler (co-founder of The Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society) is a poet and essayist who works with comics, video, installation, and performance art. Her work has appeared in Open Daybook, Narrative Magazine, Poetry Northwest, The Stranger, The Frye Art Museum and elsewhere. She works as a teaching artist with Writers in the Schools, Path with Art, Richard Hugo House, and Centrum.

Sierra and Rachel have been collaborating for over 17 years.

Who's Musing Who?

Tameka Norris

An Intimate Dialog with Interdisciplinary artist Tameka Norris

Sat. April 11, 1-2pm

Interdisciplinary Artist Tameka Norris (aka Meka Jean)  recently had her identity and creative property appropriated while producing her newest film, Meka Jean: How She Got Good.  Join Tameka Norris at The Project Room to discuss intellectual property, authorship, and socioeconomic status as it relates to personal legacy in a digital era and our current topic, Monument

RSVP via facebook (optional). 

Tameka Norris.  Still from her newest video,  Recovery .

Tameka Norris.  Still from her newest video, Recovery.

Tameka Norris (b.1979, Guam) received her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles before graduating with an MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2012. Through her work in performance, video, photography, and installation, Norris has always sought to originate and control the distribution of her own images, delving into themes of authorship and subjecthood. She has participated in the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2009), the Fountainhead Residency (2012) and the Hermitage Artist Retreat (2012). Her group exhibitions include Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art recently at the Walker Art Center and Gifted and Talented, Third Streaming Gallery, New York (2012). Norris debuted her feature length film/installation Meka Jean: How She Got Good at Prospect 3 in New Orleans (2014). Publications include articles in Art News, ArtForum, Art in America, and The New York Times. Norris lives and works in New Orleans, LA and Berlin, Germany



This TPR event is sponsored & supported by:  the neddy artist award.

Tameka Norris will be the featured speaker at NEDDY's 2015 Ned Behnke Annual Lecture on Friday, April 10 at the Frye Art Museum. Her presentation, 'Notes on Failure', will examine the vulnerabilities of being an artist and creating a life/practice after finishing college.
RECEPTION AT 6:00 P.M. PROGRAM BEGINS AT 7:00. 'Notes on Failure' is a FREE ticketed event. 

Legacy Assignment Series 1

10,000 Year Warning System:

A Workshop with multi-media artist Robert Rhee

Saturday, February 28th, 1-2pm at The Project Room

Special Guests include:  Environmental Lawyers Wyatt Golding + Sara Leverette, Linguist Tanya Matthews, and Multi-Media Artist Vaughn Bell. 

Join Artist Robert Rhee and a group of interdisciplinary thinkers for the first free public workshop in our event series, The Legacy Assignments.

Robert poses this question to participants:  How do you create a warning system to prevent an accidental unearthing of 200 million pounds of radioactive nuclear waste? A simple sign, some chain link and a military post might work today. But what about 10,000 years from now? 

In 2002 the U.S. Department of Energy brought together engineers, archaeologists, anthropologists and linguists and asked them this question. What type of warning system can be put in place so people, 370 generations from now, won't open the  glowing door?  What they came up with is hardly inspiring.  Can we do better?

Together with a group of special guests, workshop participants will take a stab at designing this system while asking, "How Are We Remembered?"

Images above from the 2002 U.S. Department of Energy Nuclear Waste Storage Plan Proposal.  It includes: a large earthen mound with a salt core and two identical Dr. Strangelove-esque control rooms with a warning message  written in the six official languages of the U.N. and Navajo. Construction of this Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is currently stalled and (in our opinion) in desperate need of a redesign.

Spread the word about the event by sharing our facebook invitation

Robert Rhee is based in New York and Seattle. He is an artist and writer and a professor at Cornish College of the Arts. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally, including White Columns in NY, the Ilmin Museum of Art in Seoul, and the Ferdinand Van Dieten Gallery in Amsterdam. He is currently represented by Opsis Art in Seoul and has an upcoming essay in the inaugural issue of Heck Magazine.

Rob Rhee (self portrait)

Rob Rhee (self portrait)

Unseen monuments

Thursday, February 5th at 7p at The Project Room

Author Michelle Peñaloza launches The Project Room's new topic, Monument, with a discussion about the unseen Seattle monuments she uncovered while writing her forthcoming book landscape/heartbreak. 

Over the course of a year, Michelle asked people in Seattle to take her on walks from the Richard Hugo House to places in the city where they’d had their hearts broken. With poems and maps, Peñaloza's chapbook landscape/heartbreak creates a literary cartography of heartbreak in Seattle.

Join us to ask, "How do our ephemeral experiences create monuments?  What kind of story can a city tell if this isn't just the corner of Broadway and John, but the corner where X learned that Y never really loved him? Or if this isn't just the hospital across the street, but the place where Z told her mother she loved her for the very last time?"

landscape/heartbreak  book cover (Tessa Hulls)

landscape/heartbreak book cover (Tessa Hulls)

Photo by Timothy Aguero Photography for Poetry on Buses, King County, WA

Photo by Timothy Aguero Photography for Poetry on Buses, King County, WA

About Michelle:

Michelle Peñaloza grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. Her poetry can be found or is forthcoming from The Asian American Literary Review, The New England Review, TriQuarterly, Pleiades, Pinwheel, and INCH.  She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the University of Oregon, Kundiman, Artist Trust, Jack Straw, the Richard Hugo House, and Literary Arts, as well as scholarships from VONA Voices, PAWA (Philippine American Writers and Artists), Vermont Studio Center, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the Napa Valley Writers' Conference.  She lives in Seattle.  Her chapbook, landscape / heartbreak, is forthcoming from Two Sylvias Press on Valentine's Day, 2015.

Michelle also recently published an essay, "Who Was Your First Hero, Michelle Peñaloza?" on TPR's online literary journal, Off Paper.  Take a peek to learn more about the character that brought her comfort and courage: Muhammad Ali.