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Originally published Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 7:17 PM

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Bumbershoot 2014: More than 100 visual artists to explore

Yes, there’s art to look at in the Fisher and Fountain pavilions, but you’ll see and do a whole lot more in this exploration of creativity by more than 100 artists at Bumbershoot.


Special to The Seattle Times

IF YOU GO

Free Bumbershoot visual-arts kickoff events: Friday, Aug. 29

3 p.m., public preview of artworks, Fisher and Fountain pavilions; 4 p.m., Mayor’s Arts Awards, Fisher Green; 5 p.m. Pre-Flatstock 46 Happy Hour, Solo Bar; 7 p.m. 1 Reel Film Festival Preview, SIFF Film Center. (bumbershoot.org)

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Video games, sculptures, aquatic ecosystems, photography, painting and many, many interactive works where visitors can create their own artistic effects are all offered at Bumbershoot this year.

Programming Manager Chris Weber selected the 2014 visual-arts presentations to astound and educate, to make you laugh and encourage you to explore the manner in which your mind reacts to art. Yes, there’s art on walls, but you’ll see and do a whole lot more in this exploration of creativity by more than 100 artists.

Maybe you are interested in gaming. “Bumbercade” curated by Sam Machkovech includes work by a number of cutting-edge gaming artists. Here you will find everything from traditional arcade-style games to the most creative and artistic new-wave games noteworthy because of their visual and narrative explorations.

Then there’s “Black Poem” by Seth David Friedman, a medical physicist by profession, a sculptor by avocation. His offering consists of nonfigurative sculptures laid out on a 40-foot-long table in a darkened gallery with only the footpath illuminated. It is presented in this manner to encourage visitors to experience art with their hands rather than their eyes.

Visitors are invited to close their eyes as they walk beside the table. That way, they’ll experience each piece through touch; be forced to “read” the exhibit without words.

In “Food for Thought,” curator Shane Montgomery asked groups of artists and scientists to explore our relationship to food, food science, agriculture and food service through artwork.

One group presents examples showing how food has changed through genetic modification and irradiation. From another group you’ll find an installation created from mushroom-fiber bricks, proving that we’ve yet to discover the full range of vegetal-building materials. Still another group of artists is exhibiting “Farm Fountain” an aquatic environment where fish swim and herbs grow in self-sustaining harmony.

Native Americans have been exhibited at fairs and expositions for over 100 years, exploited by entrepreneurs like Buffalo Bill in a manner that suited the entrepreneurial motive. Here “Wendy Red Star’s Wild West & Congress of Rough Riders of the World” features 11 contemporary Native American and First Nation artists, presenting themselves as they wish to be perceived.

Wendy Red Star, a Portland artist, is a member of the Crow Nation whose relatives actually appeared with Buffalo Bill. This mixed-media exhibit is the first all-contemporary Native American arts show in the history of Bumbershoot.

Also of interest, recently added: A retrospective of images by pioneering Northwest rock photographer Jini Dellaccio, “Jini Dellaccio: Jan. 31, 1917-July 3, 2014,” whose subjects included The Sonics, The Wailers, Neil Young and many more.

Nancy Worssam: ngworssam@gmail.com



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