Culture Trip: Named 1 of 9 Emerging Contemporary Artists in Seattle to Know

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9 Emerging Contemporary Artists From Seattle to Know

When people think of Seattle, they often think of the well-established, household names in business, music, and art. Even after the creation of grunge some 20 years ago, Seattle is still kicking; the city has more to offer than Bill Gates, Kurt Cobain, and Chihuly. In a place that’s always looking forward, here are nine emerging contemporary artists.

Akira Ohiso

Akira Ohiso is an artist, writer, and musician who is interested in exploring the “boundaries between digital and analog media.” His current sketches, created with his finger on his iPad with help from an app, are observations of the city of Seattle. Though he intends the art to be objective for the audience to interpret as they like, he does hope to specifically promote discussion on diversity, homelessness, gentrification, and green living.

Art Beat Blog of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture

Art Interruptions 2017: Delridge Greenway and Connector Trail

Temporary artwork in the Delridge Neighborhood Greenway and Connector Trail

August 3 – December 31, 2017

The Office of Arts & Culture, in partnership with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), commissioned seven emerging public artists to create temporary art installations within the Delridge Neighborhood Greenway and Delridge Connector Trail for Art Interruptions 2017. The artworks inhabit city sidewalks and parks and offer passers-by a brief interruption in their day, eliciting a moment of surprise, beauty, contemplation or humor. Art Interruptions is funded by the Seattle Department of Transportation 1% for Arts Funds.

Art Interruptions Walking Tour Saturday, October 7, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Explore the West Seattle neighborhood, experience Art Interruptions and meet the participated artists. Hosted by Feet First; visit www.feetfirst.org for detailed updates. All photos by Minh Carrico.

Smelting by Akira Ohiso

Akira Ohiso’s art installation brings attention to the history of the river as a fertile fishery for the Duwamish Native tribe. The shallow banks of Longfellow Creek once supported smelt, but they slowly disappeared with the Industrial Revolution and the subsequent proliferation of chemicals and toxic waste. Ohiso created drawings of native smelt – in red, yellow, black, and blue – that were then digitally printed onto white windsocks to create fish kites. In the artist’s Japanese culture, fish kites (Koinobori) are flown on poles to celebrate an annual national Children’s Day – symbolizing hope for a healthy and prosperous future for children. This year also marks the 75thanniversary of the Japanese-American internment camps, adding poignancy to the installation.

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Real Change: January 11, 2017

REAL CHANGE

January 2017: Article on Akira Ohiso's Seattle Drawn Artwork

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The January 11, 2017 issue of Real Change features Akira's latest work, Seattle Drawn, which is now on view atPopuluxe Brewing through Jan. 31st.  Thank you to Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project and staff writer Lisa Edge for the feature.

To read the full article, you can pick up a copy at local vendor locations throughout the city.

"Real Change is a reader-supported low-barrier work opportunity that rewards effort from the first day forward. More than 300 active vendors sell our award-winning weekly newspaper each month, with about 800 vendors served annually."

More than a million dollars is earned annually for vendors by purchasing the paper on the street.

Learn more about this empowering program here.

READ ARTICLE ON AKIRA

FACE STOCKHOLM: FALL 2016 CAMPAIGN

September 2, 2016: Feature on Photography For Girls, our collaboration with photographer Kelly Merchant

This Fall, we had the opportunity to work with a really special photographer, working on a really special project. Kelly Merchant, (along with Akira Ohiso and Ellie Ohiso) is the driving force behind Photography For Girls. A movement that consists of photographing women on their terms with realistic representation, portraying them in a light where they are comfortable in their own skin.

Read the Feature

Catskill Made Summer 2015 Issue: June 21, 2015

Liberating the Exquisite Corpse

FOR SOME ARTISTS, GIVING UP CREATIVE CONTROL OVER THEIR ARTWORK IS THEIR WORST NIGHTMARE. BUT IN A NEW COLLABORATIVE ART EXHIBIT CURATED BY ELLIE AND AKIRA OHISO, CALLED EXQUISITE CORPSE OF THE CATSKILLS, CREATIVE CONTROL WAS TRADED FOR CHANCE, HUMOR, AND SURPRISINGLY PROFOUND RESULTS.

The concept was adapted from a surrealist parlor game developed by artist André Breton. Though exquisite corpse was originally intended as a way to pass the time at French cafes, it became an integral part of the Surrealism art movement, and of the way that period in art history is now explained. So the goal, says Ellie, was to “take an idea that, in its inception, was meant to be a game among friends [and was] turned into taught art history, back to its roots.” And in returning the game to its original form, she and husband/creative partner Akira transformed the normally “extensive” and editorial process of exhibit curation into something spontaneous, democratic, and fun.

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County House: January 12, 2015

It should be mentioned that the main stream media is following a trend that began with bloggers and even print publishers, in identifying this 2-3 hour remove from, particularly, Manhattan and Brooklyn, as THE get-outta-Dodge destination for the stylish and hip. Green Door Magazine, alas, closed its doors last year, but covered the colorful and creative people and places populating the Sullivan County area. And they coined the frequently used phrase "Hickster," which really does accurately portray that Brooklyn cool meets Upstate flannel population of weekenders who are buying and visiting in increasing numbers.

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Pacific Standard Magazine: October 21, 2014

To promote the march, event organizers ran a month-long advertising campaign throughout New York City’s subway system. One of the two posters selected from hundreds of entries to represent the campaign depicts the Statue of Liberty submerged up to her armpits in water. Along the horizon, where an ominous ocean meets an overcast sky, big white letters declare: “The Next One Won’t Be Biblical.” The poster is bleak, a clear allusion to the flood in Genesis that only Noah, his family, and several pairs of lucky animals survived, while the unrighteous perished.

“We wanted to make something that was powerful enough and scary enough to get people to look at it,” says Akira Ohiso, who, together with his wife and design partner, Ellie, created the apocalyptic graphic.

“When I share the image on social media, I’ve had cousins of mine who are still quite religious say things like, ‘Oh, please, that’s such hyperbole,'” Ellie says. “And then I’m like, ‘OK, yes, it’s hyperbole. So let’s talk about exactly how high the water has to get on Lady Liberty before you start having a discussion about what’s really happening.'”

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