SAM's 'GET OUT!': open-air fun at Olympic Sculpture Park
Seattle's Olympic Sculpture Park becomes a hub of music and art festivities with "GET OUT! Summer at SAM," starting July 12 and continuing through Sept. 8, 2012.
Seattle Times arts writer
"GET OUT! Summer at SAM"Varying times July 12-Sept. 8, Olympic Sculpture Park, 2901 Western Ave., Seattle; free except for "SAM Creates" and "SAM Remix" (206-654-3100 or www.seattleartmuseum.org/getout).
Starting next week, Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park becomes a summer-long hub of music and dance activity — with food trucks, yoga sessions and sketching excursions thrown in.
"Summer at SAM" kicks off with the Brazilian carnival tunes of Eduardo Mendonça's Show Brazil! and the VamoLá Drum & Dance Ensemble on July 12.
That's just the first in a series of Thursday-evening concerts, all at 5:30 p.m., that include "surf-pop" band Seapony (July 19), the "palm-wine music" of Ghanaian drummer Yaw Amponsah and his group Anokye Agofomma (July 26), soul-funk-jazz ensemble Big World Breaks (Aug. 2), Cuban jazz-dance band Tumbao (Aug. 9), the world music of the Kora Band (Aug. 16) and the New Orleans sounds of Tubaluba (Aug. 23).
The most unusual Thursday night event may be Catherine Cabeen and Company performing a one-time-only, site-specific piece, "Where They May," in which the dance troupe "cascades" down the slopes of the park with the audience in tow. That's at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16, right after the Kora Band wraps up its set.
Since Kora Band player Kane Mathis is a frequent collaborator with Cabeen, it shouldn't be surprising if the musicians are somehow involved with the dance.
The Thursday night festivities close Aug. 30 with a "Dance 'Til Dusk Ball" where participants are invited to dress all in white. Rustic Seattle band KGB provides the music.
Saturdays feature more hands-on activities for park visitors, including weekly "Drawing in the Park" sessions (10 a.m.-3 p.m.), yoga instruction (10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.), Latin dance-fitness Zumba lessons (2 p.m.-3 p.m.) and public tours (noon and 1 p.m.). All are free.
A few special events dot the summer schedule. The Seattle Aquarium Beach Naturalists will lead a free exploration of the park's pocket beach at low tide at noon, July 21. A three-hour workshop inspired by "Ancestral Modern" at SAM's downtown museum, "SAM Creates: Foraging for Images Sketch Workshop," is one of the few with a cover charge ($10-$20).
The SAM Remix, the museum's summer bash, happens 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24 ($12-$25). A final free close-of-summer celebration, the Salmon Return Family Festival, happens Sept. 8, and includes music, contests and other activities.
Two new artworks are on display in or near the park's PACCAR Pavilion. Brazilian artist Sandra Cinto and a score of helpers painted "Encontro das Águas (Encounter of Waters)" last month. It's a pleasantly fanciful mural on a high-seas theme, executed in spiraling swirls of blue and white. A time-lapse video of how it was made is as eye-catching as the work itself.
Sarah Bergmann's Pollinator Pathway Demonstration Garden, just outside the pavilion, offers information on her Central District project, "The Pollinator Pathway," a mile-long stretch along Columbia Street between 12th and 29th avenues, designed to provide a pollinator-friendly corridor between two existing green spaces, Nora's Woods and the campus of Seattle University.
See www.seattleartmuseum.org/getout for full details on all exhibits and activities.
Michael Upchurch: email@example.com