Stranger (Than Usual) Things To Do This Week

Our arts critics have already recommended 42 great things to do and our music critics have picked the 30 best concerts, but there are still hundreds more events happening this week. To prevent some of the quirkier and more extraordinary ones from slipping through the cracks, we’ve compiled them here—from unusual Pride events like Prom Dress Rugby and the Big Gay Dog Prom to the Questival Adventure Race, and from the Bibliophilia Storytelling Festival to Oddmall: Emporium of the Weird. For even more options this week, check out our complete Things To Do calendar, or see our Pride calendar for all of the parades and parties this weekend.


Jump to: Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday


recommendedGet all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app—available now on the App Store and Google Play. recommended

TUESDAY

FILM

1. Mysteries of China
The Terracotta Warriors, some of whom are now on display at the Pacific Science Center, stood for thousands of years in service to the First Emperor of China. This documentary by Keith Melton will trace the story behind these mysterious statues. After the film, Melton will answer your questions.

FOOD & DRINK

2. Summer Kickoff Luau and Pig Roast
Believe it or not, it’s almost summer. And though temperatures may not evoke Hawaii, Chef Rich of Art Marble 21 will do his best to create a tropical mood with a pig roast and pork specials. Come for Kona Brewing beers, games, a longboard giveaway, and food.

GEEK & GAMING

3. Nerd Nite Seattle: Pride Edition
At this special edition of Nerd Nite, hear talks on two disparate but appealing subjects: Queers in mainstream and underground comics and cannabis in the bedroom.

MUSIC

4. Art Hop Fest
Jay $ilver will set the evening scene for Art Hop Fest, blending art with music performances from Lex Tillary, Peace & Red Velvet, Lord Olo, Rocket Da Prophet, and Seven Da Panther.

5. First Qualifier for the Karaoke World Championships
Sing your heart out for a chance to qualify for the Karaoke World Championships at Ozzie’s for four straight weeks in June and July. The finals will be held on July 25th; the top singers from each qualifier will move onto these finals, and at the finals, the top Male, Female, and WildCard contestants will then move on to the Washington State Finals.

6. Helion Prime, Weaponlord, Thread the Sky, Nasty Bits
Helion Prime is a metal supergroup of science enthusiasts who write songs incorporating scientific theories and, occasionally, speculative fiction. Thrash out your nerdy metal soul.

7. Programmes, Yr Parents, J’owl
If you find that live music is improved by the addition of a “quasi-sentient, music-playing device,” check out the two-person, one-robot Programmes.

8. Seattle Folklore Concert: Helene & Harald
Danish folk singer Helene Blum, accompanied by fiddler Harald Haugaard, will perform evocative traditional music, bringing to mind gray seas and Viking fires. They’ll be backed up by Kirstine Elise Pedersen on cello, guitarist Mikkel Grue, and drummer Sune Rahbek.

PERFORMANCE

9. Copi-Curious Theater Open House
Get a crash introduction to fringe theater with Copious Love. Find out how you can get into the local weird theater scene and have a drink with the actors and producers of the offbeat company.

READINGS & TALKS

10. Andrew Evans
Andrew Evans combines travel writing with queer (and ex-Mormon!) memoir in his new book, The Black Penguin, about a lengthy and eventful journey to Antarctica.

11. Annual Queer Slam featuring Rio Chanae
Try out your newest slam poetry on this friendly audience at this three-round, three-minute-limit slam. If you come out on top, you’ll win 20 bucks.

12. Brian Merchant: The One Device—The Secret History of the iPhone
Learn about the practical and philosophical ramifications of the iPhone—how it’s made, why it’s popular, why we should care that everyone has one—from Brian Merchant, author of The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone.

13. Design in Depth 2017: Two by Two
Rob Fellows, president of the Greenwood Community Council, will help the Seattle Architecture Foundation finish up its Design in Depth series with a talk about this lovely northern neighborhood and, more generally, urban planning and design that keeps districts livable.

14. Salon of Shame
Writing that makes you cringe (“middle school diaries, high school poetry, unsent letters”) is displayed with unapologetic hilarity at the Salon of Shame. Every show sells out extremely quickly, but if you can’t get tickets, show up at 7 pm on the night of the show to get on the waitlist—cash only. The organizers say you have a 90 percent chance of getting in if you do so.

RESISTANCE & SOLIDARITY

15. ARTvocacy: Celebrate World Refugee Day Through Art
It’s World Refugee Day, and you can get better acquainted with talented artists from these marginalized and threatened populations by showing up to this exhibit, which is sponsored by the International Rescue Committee, Jewish Family Services, and Lutheran Community Services Northwest.

TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY

MUSIC

16. Curtis Stigers with Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra
Curtis Stigers is equally a singer, songwriter, and saxophonist, with a high energy flow, and decades worth of hit singles, million-record sales, and globe-crossing tours.

TUESDAY-FRIDAY

ART

17. Robert Bruce: Neontot
Good musicians have a tough time learning how to play poorly; it can be hard to imitate the worst in your discipline when all of your training and intuition is guiding your split-second decisions. We imagine it’s the same for artists, which is why Robert Bruce’s Neontot looks like a fun exercise: a show that puts cheap artifice and exceptional gaudiness in the spotlight. The show is described as “a careless, unabashed nihilistic response to the disposable, gentrified culture of the first world and an ironic critique of the art world.” It closes this weekend.

WEDNESDAY

COMEDY

18. Solomon Georgio
The formerly local comedian twice took top honors at The Stranger Gong Show and became a frequent Stranger contributor before he had to leave Seattle for the pro-comedy hub of LA. He has since performed on Conan O’Brien. I’ll never forget the first time I saw Georgio perform, explicitly presenting himself onstage as an Ethiopian-born male homosexual, then proceeding to tell jokes—topics included: his name, his gayness, and Disneyfied genocide—that surprised, challenged, and delighted the whole crowd. DAVID SCHMADER

FESTIVALS

19. Make Music Day
A worldwide tradition since 1982 (where it started in France as the Fête de la Musique), this day is devoted to professional and amateur music-making from and for anyone who wants to participate. In Seattle, special events include a big music party in Westlake Park, a youth jam at the School of Rock, a songwriters’ showcase and open mic, and a children’s event at Music Works Northwest in Bellevue.

FILM

20. Collide-O-Scope Best of the Worst World Tour
Mark Pride with one of Seattle’s most delightfully weird traditions, Shane Wahlund and Michael Anderson’s Collide-O-Scope, a cavalcade of curated video delights from all corners of the internet and archives. On this special evening, they’ll be capping off seven years of baffling and amusing stoned audiences with selections of their finest/most awful arcana. This is the debut of a show they’ll be taking around the Pacific Northwest.

MUSIC

21. Corey Feldman & His Angels, Muldoon, Tiger Rider
Relevancy-hunter Corey Feldman hits the Northwest on his Heavenly Tour with his backing band His Angels, whose stated mission is to “Entertain the World while spreading positive messages of LOVE and BEAUTY and EQUALITY to ALL!!”

22. Every New Beginning
Town Hall will present their last Town Music Series concert in the old Great Hall before they kick off their massive renovation this summer. The evening’s program will reprise their collaboration with current members and alumni of Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, playing alongside professional mentor artists and conductor Joshua Roman, all performing works by Reena Esmail, Christopher Theofanidis, Jessie Montgomery, and jazz-influenced composer Gregg Kallor.

23. Hero Worship: Donna Summer & Giorgio Moroder
Hero Worship: Tribute Night and Pony present the ultimate celebration of the life and work of dance floor queen Donna Summer, and her collaborations with #1 disco daddy, Giorgio Moroder. A full lineup of local music legends lend themselves to all-night live performances, featuring Adé with Jayson Kochan (DYED, Night Boss), and Okanomodé with TV Coahran (Gazebos, GGNZLA). Backing soundtrack to the festivities will be provided by DJ King of Pants, DJ TV, and Dee Jay Jack.

PERFORMANCE

24. Stripperoo: Two Nights of Seattle Burlesque Tribute Acts
Burlesque performers will step out of their comfort zone and honor their favorite performers at this tribute show presented by IvaFiero Productions in association with Theatre Off Jackson.

READINGS & TALKS

25. What She Said
LGBT women will share their success stories and tales of adversity. The speakers will include Danni Askini of the Gender Justice League, Beth Barrett of SIFF, lube CEO Amy Buckalter, and restaurateur Dani Cone.

WEDNESDAY-SATURDAY

PERFORMANCE

26. Quickies 17: Lost and Found
If you like your theater short, fast, and feminist, check out this night of seven curious plays by women playwrights and encounter characters like “a charismatic cooking show host, a troubled ghost hunter, a sensual chair thief and a pair of exhausted mountaineers.” Wednesday, June 21 is a free preview night.

WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY

COMEDY

27. 21st Seattle International Festival of Improv
Improvisors from around the world will come to Seattle to participate in the 21st Seattle International Festival of Improv. The festival will start with a show of trios on Wednesday, include a “translation” theme on Thursday when everyone will speak in their native language, and continue with regular Unexpected Productions shows on the weekend like Improv Happy Hour and Theatresports.

THURSDAY

COMEDY

28. Gender Is a Joke
You may have a gender or you may not. Whatever the case, you’ll not want to miss this show by comedians from beyond the binary and/or cisgender normativity, hosted by El Sanchez and Andy Iwancio. Lexi Haack, Finn Cottom, Max Delsohn, Nancy Jean Naly, DJ Martinez, Bjarke Mitchell, and Aila Slisco will show off their comic chops—and we can guarantee you won’t hear any “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus”-type jokes. Proceeds will benefit the Gender Alliance of South Sound.

COMMUNITY

29. First Hill Street Bingo
Enjoy being on the street with no smelly cars in your way and play a round of bingo, eat Dante’s Inferno Dogs, and make friends with neighbors. There’ll be chances to win prizes from local businesses.

30. Get Nailed for Pride! Manicures with TopCoat
Your first association with Babeland might not be “manicures,” but they’re hosting a Topcoat pop-up with nail art, cocktails, and a chance to receive a goodie bag or Womanizer clit toy.

31. West Seattle Light Rail: Where Do You Want It to Go?
The West Seattle Transportation Coalition invites you to discuss your preferences and the different options for ST3 as concerns West Seattle. Also on the table: Ways to get improvements in transport before 2030.

FOOD & DRINK

32. Beers-for-Bikes
Drink beer and support Bike Works, which will receive $1 of every beer drunk, as you watch the cycling movie Breaking Away. If you’ve got a bike to donate, bring it! If you’ve simply got a manky bike, get it repaired at the BikeMobile.

33. Iftar Dinner
The Table Manners Aside cooking duo and Nue present a meal of halal foods traditionally served during Ramadan to break fasts. Find out about Islamic tradition through tasty dishes like goat curry, kabob, tabbouleh, and more.

GEEK & GAMING

34. TechCrunch Meet-up & Pitch-Off
Ten techie entrepreneurs will wage battle to win over judges with 60-second pitches. The first-place winner will get a table in Startup Alley at TechCrunch Disrupt SF. Watch the competition and check out demos from other startups.

MUSIC

35. Ex Licks, Bethlehem Steel, Quid Quo, Adult Mauling
Local supergroup Ex Licks, made up of Seattle music scene vets Alex Noble, Dan Paulus, and Shawn Kock take their cues from ’70s garage rock and punk traditions, and have been gigging around town for the last year. KIM SELLING

36. La Bouche
The legendary dance music duo La Bouche—Lane McCray and Zsofia Farkas, who replaced the Melanie Thornton (RIP)—will bring the Gay ’90s roaring back at Chop Suey. Revisit some of the biggest hits of yesteryear’s queer club scene with icons of the era.

37. Rachel Baiman, Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons, Mike Giacolino
Rachel Baiman of Nashville duo 10 String Symphony is known for breaking out not one, but two whole fiddles for ten strings of Americana-pop melodic partnership and classical folk tradition. This time around, she’ll play tracks from her newest solo album Shame, with local support from Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons and Mike Giacolino.

PERFORMANCE

38. GetWoke: Queer and Trans People of Color Dance Party & Show
Celebrate the BlQTPOC community at Seattle Pride’s official kick-off party, #GetWoke, with live performances by Jade Sotomayor and Monica Beverly Hillz of RuPaul’s Drag Race, hostess for the evening Monique Heart, and dance music by DJ Stunt Queen.

39. Weird: A Very Weird Pride Show
Join Miss Gay Seattle Londyn Bradshaw and Hellen Tragedy as they take a break from fundraising, and get together simply to celebrate Pride Month. The June edition features live performances from local queens Old Witch and Indika Haze.

QUEER

40. Big Gay Dog Prom
It’s time for your pooch to dress up extra-fancy and frolic for the joy of Pride and doghood. Humans can gather for coffee, drinks, dancing, and good dog company in a rainbow-and-unicorn-themed party space. Pups must be House of Ruff members (and to be clear, we are talking dog-dogs, not human dogs), but all furless, bipedal mammals are welcome.

READINGS & TALKS

41. Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee with Ramez Naam: A Digitally Powered World
Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson (both from the MIT Center for Digital Business, and authors of The Second Machine Age) present this take on the digital age that calls on forward-thinkers to re-examine “the integration of minds and machines, of products and platforms, and of the core and the crowd.”

42. Julia Quinn: The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband
Bestselling historical fiction author Julia Quinn (a pseudonym) has a thirst for romance. Her latest work, The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband, is a prequel in her Bridgertons series, and features a woman who happens upon a soldier in a coma and pretends to be his wife.

43. Langdon Cook
Langdon Cook (The Mushroom Hunters) will share his latest work, Upstream: Searching for Wild Salmon, from River to Table, which offers an up-to-date and holistic examination of our favorite local fish. Look forward to perspectives from fishermen, farmers, scientists, environmentalists, and indigenous communities.

SPORTS & RECREATION

44. Summer SoulSkate with DJ McLovin
It’s time to strap on some roller skates and head south for an evening of skating to funky and soulful ’60s and ’70s grooves selected by DJ McLovin.

THURSDAY-FRIDAY

COMEDY

45. The Lost Folio
Witness improv actors pull iambic pentameter monologues out of thin air, with plenty of input from the audience (and even some audience casting).

GEEK & GAMING

46. 3-D Printing Symposium
Over the course of this two-day academic conference (open to the public), see magic wrought by the latest 3D printers and discover this evolving technology’s implications for society. Learn about “interface with functional polymeric materials” from American and international researchers as well as industry experts.

PERFORMANCE

47. Trio de Femme: The Girly-esque Show
This New American Butoh trio, drawing on a Japanese contemporary dance genre emphasizing the grotesque, will mix dance, storytelling, and “pink, plush magic” to make a show about sexual empowerment and growing up. They promise: “You will feel seen and welcomed, loved and adored.”

THURSDAY-SATURDAY

FOOD & DRINK

48. Masskrugstemmen Tournament
Masskrugstemmen, for those somehow not in the know, is the sport of holding a liter of beer with the art of outstretched arm for longer than any other competitor. Seattle German pubs are wholeheartedly taking part this year: Feierabend will have an event on Thursday and Die BierStube will join in on Saturday. Whoever wins will face off at the Seattle championships on July 11, after which the winner will get a plane ticket to compete in Las Vegas. If you lose, don’t cry: You still get to drink the beer and take the stein home.

MUSIC

49. Mahler Symphony No. 5
You remember that ghostly and yet somehow epic-feeling choral music that plays during 2001: A Space Odyssey any time the sun dramatically rises up over something? That’s György Ligeti’s “Requiem.” It’s a stunning piece of music that perfectly reflects the horrors of the first summer under Trump. Mahler’s 5th, which will close the evening, is one of the few symphonies that could eclipse Ligeti’s “Requiem” in terms of scope and ambition. The 5th picks up on the mournful tones of the “Requiem,” but then, in its final movements, thunders out in triumph. RICH SMITH

PERFORMANCE

50. Bibliophilia Storytelling Festival
This short festival, presented by Word Lit Zine in co-production with Theater Schmeater, will celebrate the way words can come alive as they’re put on stage. Look forward to readings and performances by excellent local talents Karen Finneyfrock and Anastacia Renee Tolbert, among others.

51. Medicine Ball: Playwrights v. Poets
Seven playwrights and seven poets will compete in a literary showdown, inspired by prompts created by seven visual artists. The words produced during that part of the competition will be used in the next phase, which puts those pieces of writing onstage (performed by Seattle actors). At the end of the show, audience members bestow bottles of Two Buck Chuck on either the poets or the playwrights for their unmatchable genius. This year’s theme is “unity.”

THURSDAY-SUNDAY

FESTIVALS

52. Seattle’s Alternative Pride Festival 2017
True to the diverse spectrum of sexuality and identity, Pride runs in several currents. Nark magazine’s event series bills itself as the “alternative” Pride, “for EVERYONE, EVERYBODY and EVERY BODY.” Some money from the parties will benefit Gay City and its health projects. On the agenda: Fierce Queen on Thursday, a Rooftop Happy Hour and Dickslap Pride on Friday, a Rooftop Brunch, Pride Cruise, and Pride Is for Everyone on Saturday, and The Make Out Party Pride Edition on Sunday.

FILM

53. Burien Film Festival
This annual film festival promises a variety of draws including silent cartoons with live musical accompaniment, an industry event, a full day of short films, an international film crawl, and a special screening of local alien film The Maury Island Incident.

MUSIC

54. Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band
Poncho Sanchez, whose band won a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album in 2000, is one of the foremost, if not the biggest, percussionists in Latin jazz right now. He will perform with his air-tight band, drawing from a decades-long repertoire.

FRIDAY

ART

55. 2017 SOIL Art Auction
Celebrate SOIL at their annual auction and art party. Auctioneered by Laura Michalek, with refreshments, games, a raffle, several silent auctions, and a live auction.

56. Artist Talk: Qing Qu
The annual DePoi artist exchange allows a Seattle artist to travel to Perugia, Italy, and brings a Perugia artist right to Pottery Northwest—this time, it’s Qing Qu, who at this event will speak about her ceramic practice.

57. Button Zap
Easily wear your art by making them into small buttons—either print out your own design ahead of time or draw it onsite. You’ll end up with 80 round one-inch buttons, 30 2.5-inch buttons, 35 oval buttons or 40 1.5-square inch square buttons. It’s $10 extra for the special templating if you submit your design to Push/Pull ahead of time.

COMEDY

58. Vickie Shaw: Platinum Is the New Blonde
Texas comic Vickie Shaw will drawl out riffs on aging, family, her hypochondriac partner “Sergeant Patch,” and more.

COMMUNITY

59. Gaybie Cakes: Sex Tips and Cupcakes for Pride
You won’t know whether to focus more attention on Babeland’s sex tips or the cute “gaybie” Cupcake Royale cakes you’re scoffing, but don’t forget about the free champagne, the gift bags for the first five guests, or the raffle ticket for sexy Pride swag.

FILM

60. Movie Night
Catch a screening of Oscillate, which June Zandona and Daniel Costa co-created during the V2 Dance Film Residency last year, and stay on for Retrospective Exhibitionist by Miguel Gutierrez. It’s free, and you’ll enjoy the company of artsy dance enthusiasts while appreciating some local creators’ work.

FOOD & DRINK

61. The Rice Stuff
Discover Chinatown-ID history and culture on a one-mile walking tour combined with a variety of tastes of savory, sweet, sticky, and crispy rice dishes.

MUSIC

62. Bill Anschell Quartet with Brian Monroney, Chris Symer, Brad Boal
Seattle native Bill Anschell has played at the Summer Olympics and at venues all over the world. Closer to home, the pianist and the rest of his quartet will treat Tula’s to his distinctive, rhythmically inventive compositions on the occasion of his CD release. Featuring Brian Monroney on guitar, Chris Symer on bass, and Brad Boal on drums.

63. Champagne Campaign Presents What’s Your Patronus?
Dress up as your Patronus (for the uninitiated, the Harry Potterverse equivalent of the patron saint crossed with a witch’s familiar) and shake your magic trunk to music by DJ Pressha, Tollefsen, Hydef, and Chris Tower.

64. Eden Seattle Grand Opening
SODO is getting a new nightclub, and Eden aims to stay. They’re kicking their tenure off with a whole night of dancing to DJs and a live band, $4 wells, and free Italian food.

65. Headcat with Guests
After the death of Motörhead’s Lemmy, Slim Jim Phantom and Danny B. Harvey, who had performed with him as Headcats, took a break from performing. Now, finally, they’re back, along with David Vincent of Morbid Angel, to show you “how Rock’n’Roll [is] supposed to f*ckin sound.”

66. Jacqui Naylor Quartet
San Francisco-based jazz vocalist and songwriter Jacqui Naylor will return to Seattle for a night of smooth throwback jazz with dinner and dancing in promotion of her 2017 release Q&A with Art Khu.

67. What the Float
Defined as a “private dance party in public space,” What the Float provides you with a headphone-sourced sonic experience and silent disco that take you through the city, track by track. This edition is brought to you by Forward Flux Productions.

PERFORMANCE

68. Lashes Cabaret
The cast of the infamous Lashes Cabaret, which normally reigns at R Place, will move to Westlake Park for a lunchtime drag extravaganza featuring Ladie Chablis, Jessica Paradisco, Drew Paradisco, and Lucy Paradisco.

69. Prismatic
Enjoy an immersive light show art, dance, acrobatics, and DJed music at this Subversionz Media show benefitting queer advocacy organizations.

70. The Punany Poets’ Secret of the Pearl Romantic Musical Comedy Show
Revel in female sexuality with this romantic (and explicit) show featuring “love confessions, kissing competitions, lap dance and more public displays of affection.” Accompanied men are welcome. VIP ticketholders get a lipstick vibrator to take home.

71. Rocky Horror at Pride
Relive your freaky and sexually confusing introduction to alt-queer musicals with this production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show by Island of Misfit Toys.

READINGS & TALKS

72. A Guide to Visitors: Flight
Listen to (or tell!) stories about flight—from the economic impact of Boeing to your stand-up jokes about airplane food—at this event co-produced by MOHAI and A Guide to Visitors (billed as “Seattle’s longest running storytelling event”).

73. Richard V. Reeves
Richard V. Reeves (author, journalist, and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution) will discuss and sign copies of Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It. Expect an economic and sociological analysis of the top 20 percent of American earners.

SPORTS & RECREATION

74. Questival Adventure Race
Can you stay up and solve puzzles for 24 hours? Join a two- to six-person team to tackle “challenges that push you out of your comfort zone” and that may include good works, athleticism, and cooperation. You may win prizes like trips or adventure gear. All participants get a free backpack.

WEED

75. Soulshine Vendor Day & Rooftop Party with Purple Mane
Meet the vendors from Soulshine Cannabis and rock out to music by the Prince cover band Purple Mane. Plus, learn about saving animals with Emerald City Pet Rescue, which receives a portion of sales from Soulshine. Outside of Pride, we think that’s all your bases covered for Friday.

FRIDAY-SATURDAY

PERFORMANCE

76. Schlong Song
Woody Shticks, one of the interarts storyteller troupe known as the Libertinis, will put on a revival of his frenetic one-man show about “his days inside a Puritan cult” and “his nights inside consenting adults.”

FRIDAY-SUNDAY

FOOD & DRINK

77. Taste of Tacoma
More than 40 restaurateurs will offer cheap specialties from Tacoma and the South Sound. All the food on offer will be $10 or under, and each restaurant will sell a “Just a Bite” dish for $3.75 or less. What kind of food? You’ve got everything from fried peanut butter sandwiches to poke to piroshky, plus wine, beer, mixed drinks, and desserts. See chef demos, live bands, and cooking competitions as well.

SATURDAY

ART

78. COLLECT Brunch
This edition of “COLLECT” (a roaming art-shopping tour that aims to expose amateur art collectors to up-and-coming artists) will begin at Vermillion for brunch and an exhibit of “Queer Feelings” and will then move to Soil Arts Collective for two shows: Christopher Buening’s Guerilla Ceramica and a group show entitled Vessel, a sample of Mexico’s diverse contemporary visual arts scene. From there, the group will head to Greg Kucera gallery for a look at ¡Cuidado!-The Help, which involves artists concerned with America’s strained relationship to its domestic helpers on the home front and menial workers on the business front. The tour will conclude at the studio of Casey Curran for a glimpse into the artist’s acclaimed sculptures made of brass wire, wood, silk flowers and taxidermy.

COMMUNITY

79. BarkHappy Seattle: Summer Pup Crawl
Take poochy for a walk and go home with a free dog sketch, free treats, a free temperament test, and maybe some prizes from the raffle. While you’re at Hellbent, Dick’s Drive-In, or the Beer Authority, indulge in a beer while the dogs play a tennis ball bobbing game. Some proceeds will benefit Seattle Humane.

80. Duwamish Tribe Gala Dinner and NW Art Auction
Eat a traditional dinner with prominent members of the Duwamish community, then bid on Northwest art whose sales will benefit Duwamish Tribal Services.

81. Tips and Tricks for Photographing Fireworks
Do you want to take fireworks photos that don’t look like blurry slug trails? John Cornicello will demonstrate some techniques to help you take great snaps, addressing “exposure, composition, vantage point and more.”

FESTIVALS

82. Black Arts Love Summer Mixer and Marketplace
Celebrate Black arts at this community event with “over 25 artists and businesses, live performances, DJ, paint party for kids, interactive activities, good food and community fun.”

83. Plough to Plate
Learn how people grew and cooked food in the 19th century: Tour an old-school garden, orchard, poultry coop, and kitchen, try churning butter or hauling water, and get silly at a traditional British pancake race, where you flip a pancake while running. You can also watch the judging and awarding of the Golden Skillet and Golden Mold prizes for the period chefs at the Fort Nisqually museum.

84. Spirit of Indigenous People
Festàl and the Indian Health Board will mount this rich cultural festival of Native North American craft, art, and life. Sample foods, see performances, and buy artisan articles.

FILM

85. Seattle Outdoor Cinema
The Seattle Outdoor Cinema (formerly Fremont Outdoor Movies) is celebrating its 25th season with a permanent venue upgrade to the South Lake Union Discovery Center. All screenings are 21+, there will be a beer garden (proceeds from which will benefit various rotating non-profits), and other pre-screening entertainment. The season begins today with a screening of Star Wars: Rogue One.

FOOD & DRINK

86. Tacos, Live Music & Cigars
Brunch luxuriously on El Saborcito’s tacos as the San Juan Cigars company demos cigar-making and Kim Archer provides music. Stay on for afternoon chocolates by Seleušs. Your ticket includes food, the music and demo, and a glass of wine.

MUSIC

87. Around The World With KEXP: KEXP Mash-Up Patio Party
Esteemed KEXP members will gather for a music mash-up party led by DJ Kid Hops, DJ Chilly, and Darek Mazzone, along with an “insane” happy hour and patio games.

88. Chaospalooza
Seven punk and hard rock bands will generate uproar at Darrell’s this weekend. Dance to Ndy Wylie, Crossroads Exchange, Baby & the Nobodies, Klaw, Upwell, and Hundred Loud.

89. Day Break
Is your weekend in any danger of lacking chill? Nectar will supply the “island reggae,” DJ, food truck, and good vibes at this canna-themed day party.

90. Hammerfest 2017
Experience a different kind of country music from garage-ready soul rockers Del Vox, as well as live sets from Joy Mills Band, the Crying Shame, and Julien Martlew, at Slim’s Hammerfest 2017.

91. Jamie Namkung
In a solo performance, Oberlin-trained pianist Jamie Namkung will showcase a classical piano sonata, selections from Iberia Book One by Albéniz, and Schumann’s Humoresque, as a fitting follow-up to the completion of her PhD dissertation on “The Rise of Spanish Music in the Late 19th Century – An Examination of Isaac Albéniz’s Iberia.”

92. Joey Jewell’s Sinatra at The Sands
The classiness of Sinatra’s mob-approved croon tunes will never dissipate, and Joey Jewell will do his best to honor that classiness in his rendition of a full Vegas melee, with the orchestra bringing the swinging sixties to a loud, layered big band jazz reality.

93. Les Nations: A Tour of 17th-Century European Musical Styles
We only have written records of what music sounded like in the 17th century. Ever wonder what it was truly like to hear European classical musicians perform in the courts? Joshua Romatowski, Qin Ying Tan, Christine Wilkinson, and Juliana Soltis will weave the histories of their instruments and the composers with performances of works by Corelli, Lully, and C.P.E. Bach.

94. Metalachi, El Steiner, Ball Bag, Hostile Makeover
Metalachi make high-flying, virtuosic, bare-chested metal incorporating traditional mariachi tunes and instruments like trumpet, guitarrón, and violin. We daresay it’s not quite like anything else in the Seattle music scene, or beyond.

95. Sound & Shadow
Between sets by delicious local punk bands Double or Muffin, Mud On My Bra, and Klondike Kate, see a shadow puppetry show by Sound & Shadow.

96. Sunyata Records 2nd Annual Showcase of Bands
Head to the Neptune for a night of fresh, hot tunes from the local scene: Ayron Jones, the Barrett Martin Group, Vaudeville Etiquette, Noelle Tannen and the Filthy No Nos (Brooklyn Soul), and others will share hiphop, folk rock, soul, and more.

97. Train Car House Party: RIZ and ROB — Won LOVE!
The residents of Train Car House Party (seemingly a group of people who like to throw parties in the train cars of Orient Express) are throwing a party (natch) to celebrate the season of PRIDE by getting wild in mass transit. Expect talented DJs, like KEXP’s Riz Rollins, with free admission.

PERFORMANCE

98. Alma de Bronce 45th Anniversary Celebration
Enjoy an evening of Mexican folkloric dancing, presented in honor of Seattle’s Bailadores de Bronce’s 45th anniversary (the traditional gift is a sapphire, in case you were wondering). They promise lots of color, music, and costumes.

99. Aunt Franzea’s Party Box: Burlesque Curated Under the Influence
Jo Jo Stiletto presents an evening of burlesque and shenanigans cooked up under the influence of boxed wine (wear alcohol-themed costumes).

READINGS & TALKS

100. Andrew Carroll: My Fellow Soldiers
Once again, Andrew Carroll (author of Letters of a Nation: A Collection of Extraordinary American Letters and War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars, and the founding director of Chapman University’s Center for American War Letters) dove into a massive pile of artifacts and documents to create a precise historical picture. His latest work, My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War, focuses on the American experience in World War I.

101. Sandra Vea
In her book Masao: A Nisei Soldier’s Secret and Heroic Role in World War II, Sandra Vea unearths the astounding story of a Japanese American soldier who kept his secret history in Military Intelligence Services hidden for decades. Pick up a copy of this war hero’s tale and discuss the book with Vea.

102. Seattle7Writers Brunch: Charles Johnson and Garth Stein
Acclaimed Seattle writer Charles Johnson is the author of books including Middle Passage, The Way of the Writer: Reflections on the Art and Craft of Storytelling, and Faith and the Good Thing, the winner of a National Book Award and a MacArthur “Genius” grant, and the subject of this praise from James McBride: “He is one of America’s greatest literary treasures. He is a skilled wordsmith, superb craftsman, master of understatement, philosopher, cartoonist, and deeply talented novelist.” Hear him in conversation with Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain). Your admission will benefit Seattle7Writers’ youth literacy programs.

SPORTS & RECREATION

103. Prom Dress Rugby
Whether you want to see the tough rugby players of Quake and the Emerald City Mudhens duke it out in prom dresses (men) and tuxes (women—we suppose genderqueer players can take their pick) or you’d like to join in the ruckus, head to Cal Anderson Park for some scrumming fun.

SATURDAY-SUNDAY

ART

104. Oddmall: Emporium of the Weird
Come one, come all, ye connoisseurs of Ouija, ye wearers of rhinestone-encrusted bow ties, ye hunters of Pokemon cameo jewelry. Oddmall: Emporium of the Weird’s biggest show yet purveys whimsy, art and extravagance from over a hundred and fifty local vendors. Plus food trucks! Admission is free and for all ages, so bring your peculiar children.

105. Urban Craft Uprising
“Seattle’s largest indie craft show” boasts a very large number of vendors—150 or more—selling toys, clothing, jewelry, food, clothes, crafts, etc., etc., etc. It’s a boon for small business owners and their customers alike. Just be prepared for crowds: These markets can easily draw 12,000 indie shoppers.

COMMUNITY

106. Seattle-Tacoma Pet Con
Buy goodies for your favorite animal friend, or—if it is of the cooperative sort—bring your pet for a free nail trim, discounted microchipping, and/or vaccine, or treatment. Don’t yet have a personal beast? Meet adoptable creatures, or simply enjoy the entertainment, like agility demonstrations, (human) speakers, giveaways, info on animal welfare volunteering, and more.

FESTIVALS

107. Slug Fest
What’s there to celebrate about slugs? Well, for one thing, they’re essential decomposers. For another, when you look at them up close, they’re actually pretty cute. So ride the eye-stalked tram through the wildlife park, flop down a soapy track in a “human slug race” (nothing like a human centipede race), do crafts, and more.

GEEK & GAMING

108. Curiosity Days: Dive In
Learn about the aquatic ecosystems that sustain sea life, discover oceanography, and get educated on ecology with scientists. There’ll be a touch tank and more awaiting you at the Pacific Science Center.

109. Queer Geeks and Gamers Convention
Is there enough queer geekiness in your life? The answer is always NO, but you can make some headway at this convention, which will offer a cosplay contest, exhibits, the femme-centric Pink Party, and of course games—board, video, and arcade.

SUNDAY

ART

110. Body-Positive Figure Drawing with Tatiana Gill
‘Cause real artists aren’t afraid of curves: Join instructor and cartoonist Tatiana Gill and practice drawing models of all figure types in a session built on body positivity and acceptance. (Models will be clothed and kids will be welcome to draw too.)

111. Graveyard
Hooray! Derek Erdman’s art is returning to Seattle—in fact, the purpose of this show is to “remember” the city. They’re a bit skimpy on the details, but they do tell you to “follow the signs.” Bring a donation for Mary’s Place women’s shelter.

COMMUNITY

112. Dog Day Afternoon & Parade
A parade of pups will invade Fremont this Sunday, vying for the Best in Show Silly Dog Costume award. Take your own favorite pooch for treats, a photobooth, and furry good times. Bonus points (from us, not the organizer) if you reference the 1975 Sidney Lumet film of the same title. (Maybe teach your dog to bark “GAT-TA-CA!”?)

FOOD & DRINK

113. Beers Against Slavery
Your ticket doesn’t just get you tacos, Cupcake Royale desserts, and a prize drawing entry: It also fights against human trafficking.

114. Seattle Lamb Jam
Everyone knows that pork belly has been a thing for way too long now, but what about lamb? It doesn’t get enough credit, does it? Everyone knows it’s DELICIOUS, but it also has a rep for being hard to prepare. That’s what makes the Seattle Lamb Jam all the more fun. This year, the festival brings together six Seattle BBQ chefs to compete for the title of Lamb Jam BBQ Master—a royal title indeed. Besides lamb in many different tasty dishes, there will also be local breweries, winemakers, distilleries and live music from Rain City Ramblers. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the University District Food Bank.

MUSIC

115. Ballard Civic Orchestra: Espectacular Concerto
Multi-generational, intercultural orchestra Ballard Civic Orchestra will present a free show of their current concert series as a celebration of Latino and Hispanic musical culture, featuring two guest artists, including violinist Teo Benson, and Latin Grammy nominee and master pianist, composer, arranger, and countertenor José Luis Muñoz.

116 Ecco Chamber Ensemble: Enough Is Enough
The Ecco Chamber Ensemble will reflect on the age-old dichotomous battle between war and peace, with a special spotlight on the current sources of violence happening around our world right now. The afternoon program will feature Night of the Poets by Seattle composer Sarah Bassingthwaighte, a percussion piece by Storm Benjamin commemorating victims of gun violence, and works by José de Azpiazu, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Imamovic Almer, Federico García Lorca, Luigi Nono, Arvo Pärt, Henry Purcell, Arnold Schoenberg, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and Steve Wanna. Proceeds will benefit Americans for Responsible Solutions.

117. The Four Seasons
During Century Ballroom’s excellently priced swing lesson and dance, see Sister Kate Dance Company’s performance of The Four Seasons, with routines celebrating autumn, winter, spring, and summer (or, as they’re known in Seattle, autumn, winter, spring, and winter).

118. Witch Bottle, Samvega, Alina Ashley Nicole
Witch Bottle draws inspiration from “our magical community”—spirits, folklore, imagination, and fantasy—to weave dark folk-punk.

PERFORMANCE

119. Freaksheaux To Geaux
Freaksheaux to Geaux seeks to revive the dark and sexy vaudeville of traveling troupes of yore, “with a Southern Gothic twist and some modern flavor” imbuing the burlesque, belly dance, and acrobatics.

120. Visual Musician & Friends with Josh Rawlings Trio
Visual Musician is Jessie Sawyers, who performs rhythmic tap dance along with the live music of the Josh Rawlings Trio, pulling tracks from indie rock to jazz standards and everything in between.

recommendedGet all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app—available now on the App Store and Google Play. recommended

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

African American Community Wants to Preserve Its Heritage

It was a U.S. community that was once the site of a regional slave market where black men, women and children were sold to white slave owners. After the slaves were freed in 1863, some stayed, forming their own neighborhood. Now a group of African Americans is trying to preserve the history and culture of the centuries-old black community that has faded over time. VOA’s Chris Simkins has more on the story from Hagerstown, Maryland.

Charleena Lyles Needed Health Care. Instead, She Was Killed.

Photo

Photos of Charleena Lyles, who was killed by the police in Seattle on Sunday. Credit Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times, via Associated Press

On Sunday morning, two Seattle police officers shot and killed Charleena Lyles in her apartment. She was pregnant, and three of her four children were home. She had called the police to report a burglary. According to the officers’ account, shortly after they arrived, Ms. Lyles, who the police knew was mentally ill, pulled a knife. Both officers shot her. Societal failure to care for mental health, which leaves the police as mental illness first responders, may well have been one deadly ingredient in this tragic encounter.

According to her family and police records, Ms. Lyles wrestled with significant mental health issues. An audiotape reveals officers discussing her police and mental health history immediately before the shooting. Seattle Police Department officers had been called to her residence more than 20 times before this Sunday, with mental illness often figuring in those encounters. The department had placed an officer caution on her address for this reason, meaning officers should be on alert for dangerous behavior from her. Despite repeated previous mental health referrals and the involvement of Child Protective Services, she was alone with her children on Sunday, in distress and with nowhere to turn but 911.

Ms. Lyles’s situation is not unique. People with untreated mental illnesses are disproportionately likely to attract police attention. The combination of mental illness, racial segregation and poverty is particularly likely to result in police contact, often leading to arrest. In fact, a 2006 Bureau of Justice Statistics study revealed that 24 percent of state prisoners report a history of mental illness, with other sources reporting rates in some larger facilities as high as 70 percent. But it was not always the case that mental illness would result in the cycle of catch and release that evidently plagued Ms. Lyles.

What changed over the past half-century is that the United States has seen a stunning decline in resources devoted to public mental health — during the same time the nation adopted mass incarceration. A 2009 International Association of Chiefs of Police review reported that the available hospital beds for persons suffering from mental illness dropped by 95 percent from 1955 to 2005, to 17 beds per 100,000 persons from 340. From 1985 to 2005, the nation’s incarceration rate tripled.

The shift away from hospital treatment of mental illness was not matched by an offsetting commitment to fund the health care people needed to live on the outside. Medicaid reimbursement rates are so low that it is difficult to find providers who will accept it. As a result, many people with mental illness are functionally uninsured for their most urgent health care needs. That is, state support for mental health retreated at the same time state investment in incarceration exploded — and both with disastrous results for vulnerable communities.

The consequence of the disinvestment in public mental health has also not affected all vulnerable communities equally. African-American people are at least as likely as white people to experience mental health distress but are half as likely to receive mental health treatment. This helps to explain why it’s easy to recall other high-profile cases of police use of deadly force involving black victims with documented histories of mental illness.

Continue reading the main story

Sen. Kamala Harris Drops Her Summer Playlist

Wondering how you’re going to get through summer ’17 without President Obama’s annual summer Spotify playlist?

No need to worry.

California Sen. Kamala Harris has released a sunny playlist of her own, just in time to commemorate African-American Music Appreciation Month. Her catalogue of jams ranges from Hip Hop by Cali natives like Tupac and Dr. Dre, to soulful classics like “Let’s Stay together” by Al Green and “ABC” by the Jackson 5.

“Our nation has an indelible soundtrack, songs that have become anthems recognized across the world. Much of that soundtrack is inspired and informed by the vast contributions of African-American artists in jazz, R&B, rap, hip-hop, and beyond,” Senator Harris said in a statement.

Image: Kamala Harris Image: Kamala Harris

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence member Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) on April 25, 2017 in Washington. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Harris is the second black woman to be elected to the U.S Senate and as her profile in Washington grows, some beltway chatter has suggests she could be a future candidate for president. Most recently, the freshman senator caught national attention for her dogged questioning of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

But this is not a politician’s playlist, much like President Obama’s summer soundtrack, her music choices are culturally diverse, soulful and timeless.

Related: Mixing Music and Medicine: Meet Grammy-nominated Producer Nana Kwabena

“No matter where you are from or what you look like, music is a bond that can bring us all together. To celebrate African-American music is to dance, sing, and even march to the rhythms that have long served as vehicles for honesty, inspiration, struggle, success and joy.”

So what can we expect next from Senator Harris, maybe a summer reading list?

See below for Senator Harris’ full Spotify Playlist.


Senator Kamala Harris’ #AAMAM Playlist

“Check the Rhime” by A Tribe Called Quest

“Juicy” by The Notorious B.I.G.

“Everything is Everything” by Lauryn Hill

“Redbone” by Childish Gambino

“Rise Up” by Andra Day

“Groove Me” by King Floyd

“Happy” by Pharrell

“California Love” by 2Pac feat. Dr. Dre

“Dirt Off Your Shoulder” by Jay-Z

“Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj

“What’s Going On?” by Marvin Gaye

“Love on Top” by Beyoncé

“ABC” by The Jackson 5

“My Shot (The Hamilton Mixtape)” by The Roots, Busta Rhymes, and Joel Ortiz

“Have a Talk with God” by Stevie Wonder

“Sinnerman” by Nina Simone

“Kiss” by Prince

“Everybody Loves the Sunshine” by Roy Ayers

“All We Got” by Chance the Rapper feat. Kanye Westand Chicago Children’s Choir

“I’ll Take You There” by The Staple Singers

“Bam Bam” by Sister Nancy

“Tightrope” by Janelle Monae

“Humble” by Kendrick Lamar

“Tambourine” by Eve

“T-Shirt” by Migos

“Choices” by E-40

“Word Up” by Cameo

“Try Again” by Aaliyah

“On & On” by Erykah Badu

“Pretty Little Birds” by SZA

“If I Ever Fall in Love” by Shai

“End of the Road” by Boyz II Men

“Think” by Aretha Franklin

“Video” by India Arie

“In Common” by Alicia Keys

“Smooth Sailin’ by Leon Bridges

“Cold Sweat” by James Brown

“Body and Soul” by Billie Holiday

“Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green

“Waterfalls” by TLC

“Be Without You” by Mary J. Blige

“What’s Love Got to Do with It” by Tina Turner

“Bambi” by Jidenna

“Dis Generation” by A Tribe Called Quest

“Hit the Road Jack” by Ray Charles

“Marching into The Dark” by John Legend


Follow NBCBLK on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Children’s Clinic bids farewell to ‘compassionate’ physician

Dr. Karen Walker has been with the Infant Welfare Society for over 30 years

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 1:54 PM

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Email

“).popup({ “positionTo” : “origin”, “transition” : “flip”, “history” : false, “overlayTheme” : “b”, “theme” : “none”, “dismissible” : false }).popup(“open”); }); });

Print

Dr. Karen Walker, 65, has been busy seeing some of her last appointments at the Oak Park-River Forest Infant Welfare Society Children’s Clinic, 320 Lake St. The clinic provides dental and medical treatment, along with behavioral services, to area children from low-income families. 

Faced with a growing population of clients and increasingly unstable federal and state funding scenarios, the IWS is switching to what its executive director, Peggy LaFleur, described as a more efficient model of care that relies on nurse practitioners and physician extenders rather than physicians. 

“This is a very difficult time for health care,” LeFleur said in a recent phone interview. “We’re getting less funding than we used to.” 

Nonprofits all over Illinois, she said, are being squeezed as many state and federal funding sources are either eliminated altogether or spread much thinner, with some who support the welfare society also attempting to prop up other organizations whose funds have completely disappeared.

The precarious financial environment means being forced to part ways with someone who LeFleur described as the embodiment of the welfare society’s commitment to helping the underserved.

“Dr. Walker has been our longest standing medical provider,” LeFleur said. “She’s compassionate, a very good clinician and deeply committed to her patients.” 

In an interview last week, Walker said she’ll start seeing patients at her own private practice from now on — quite a transition, considering she’s been practicing part-time at the Children’s Clinic for more than 30 years. 

“I had started a pediatric practice in Oak Park and just needed to supplement my income a little bit,” Walker said. “So I answered an ad in one of the medical journals about the Children’s Clinic.” 

As her private practice grew, she said, it became more difficult to service patients on public aid or who were paying out of pocket. Eventually, she started seeing many of those patients at the clinic.

“The Children’s Clinic gave me a chance to service a lot of my patients because I’d say to them, ‘Yeah, you can keep seeing me, we just have to go to the clinic.’ I’ve always been into community medicine. The clinic gave me the opportunity to serve both worlds.” 

LeFleur said that roughly 25 percent of the clinic’s patients come from Oak Park. Around 1,000 come from Austin. Other community areas with heavy representation include Cicero, Berwyn and Melrose Park. Around half of the clinic’s patients are Hispanic while African Americans represent about 30 percent of the clinic’s clientele. 

Arbutus Winfrey said all three of her children and both of her godchildren have had Walker as their primary care physician. 

“I’m trying to see if her clinic takes my son’s medical coverage,” Winfrey said. “If so, we’ll be following her there. He’s had Dr. Walker since he was born. He’s 16 years old.”

LeFleur attributed Walker’s magnetism to the fact that she puts her patients before herself. 

“We don’t make money in anything we do and we really have to be as efficient as possible,” LeFleur said, adding that Walker, in the same spirit, has passed up more lucrative opportunities elsewhere in order to deliver high-quality medical care to generations of children. 

“At the clinic, we sacrifice,” LeFleur said. 

CONTACT: michael@oakpark.com 

Painting a Charles McGee mural

CLOSE

“Unity,” a mural by lauded artist Charles McGee, is painted on the exterior of the 28 Grand Building in Detroit’s Capitol Park.

At 92, Charles McGee is still creating art and still as thunderstruck as ever by the dazzling visual tapestry all around us.

“I look at our world in awe,” said the celebrated artist and teacher, speaking a week ago at his Rosedale Park home, “and how it’s all put together.” It is, he added, a fascination “that almost became a religion for me.”

That fascination and spirituality are on triumphant display in a retrospective at the Library Street Collective, which includes a number of pieces completed just this year.

If you can make only one art show this summer, “Charles McGee: Still Searching” would make an outstanding choice. The show is up through through July 1.

Hung in a spectacular, raw, pop-up space on Woodard filled with windows, “Still Searching” wends a path through McGee’s creative evolution, one that highlights the artist’s dizzying range and joyousness embedded in all his work.

Indeed, it’s a show that couldn’t be completely contained in Library Street’s temporary quarters at Woodward and Clifford. Walk around the corner to the top of Capitol Park and prepare to be bowled over by McGee’s 11-story black-and-white mural, “Unity,” completed in May.

“Still Searching” traces McGee’s creative arc from his early figurative work through the dazzling abstracts of mid-career, and then circles back to his starting point with hybrid canvases in which the artist integrates all the elements he’s explored up ’till now.

Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

Working with ancient Egyptian and African motifs, as well as the very stuff of life as seen through a microscope, McGee, the Kresge Foundation’s 2009 Eminent Artist, grapples with the primeval and the symbolic.

“I’ve always admired how well Charles combines his love of the figurative with abstract forms,” said Valerie Mercer, Detroit Institute of Arts curator of African-American art. “It makes his work very contemporary.”

“Still Searching” reaches back as far as 1965, when McGee was 40, with an affecting charcoal study “Mother and Child.”

That’s followed by a parade of the artist’s signature abstracts like the 2008 “Rhapsody in Black and White,” whose idiosyncratic, overlapping elements look a bit like bacteria or protozoans dressed up in party clothes.

“The forms,” said Mercer admiringly, “just seem to come alive and dance.”

The show concludes with one of McGee’s knock-out pieces, the 20-foot-wide, immensely colorful “Play Patterns II,” with its flattened, hieroglyph-people — floppy feet and all — juggling snakes as they parade across a background of what appears to be a sea of colorful microorganisms.

Those who know the DIA well will likely spot some resemblance to the museum’s huge McGee, “Noah’s Ark: Genesis.”

It goes without saying that there’s an identifiable signature to McGee’s work.

“I could recognize a Charles McGee anywhere and not confuse his with work by any other artist, ” said Mercer, who’s followed the artist ever since she landed in Detroit in 2001.

There’s no confusing the 118-foot-tall mural in Capitol Park, which echoes many of McGee’s smaller, protozoan assemblages.

Library Street owners Anthony and JJ Curis, who’ve energetically promoted public art over the years, arranged for McGee to get the commission.

“Bedrock’s new building was just coming on line,” Anthony said, referring to the downtown real-estate development company, “and they had this massive, blank facade on the north side.”

Bedrock, which collaborated with the Curises on any number of other public artworks downtown, including “The Belt” alleyway east of Woodward, was interested, so the couple approached McGee.

“I wasn’t sure how Charles would react,” Anthony said, “but his eyes just lit up. I think he realized what an opportunity it was.”

The result is a soaring, can’t-miss piece of art in downtown’s most-urbane new neighborhood, one that acts as a fitting exclamation point to “Still Searching.”

And the artist himself? Is he satisfied?

McGee laughed. “I’m never totally satisfied; I always say things can be better.” ”

mhodges@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-6021

Twitter: @mhodgesartguy

‘Charles McGee: Still Searching’

Library Street Collective (pop-up gallery), 1505 Woodward, Detroit

Noon-6 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays

(313) 600-7443

lscgallery.com

‘Unity’ mural

28 Grand (north side), 28 Grand River, Detroit

Read or Share this story: http://detne.ws/2sJHmCr

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment