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The Weekend List: The arts and culture guide to Seattle's good life

Sir Mix-a-Lot goes classical, celebrate your fro, Rebecca Solnit's wise words, a revolution of dance and more.

·      denotes events that are $15 or less

AFROS: A Celebration of Natural Hair

Brooklyn-based photographer Michael July spent 5 years documenting natural hair in all its myriad ways: glam, stoic, sexy and just plain I-want-to-squeal cute. NAAM hosts an exhibit full of portraits of creative and political folk that span all ethnicities and ages (8 months to 80 years old). Later this month, you and your hair can show off at an Afropunk party hosted by DJs Riz Rollins and Tony Goods. 

Terence Nance, one of hundreds of portraits in Michael July's "AFROS: A Celebration of Natural Hair". Courtesy of Fort Wayne Museum of Art Collection

If you go: AFROS: A Celebration of Natural Hair, Northwest African American Museum, Through Sept. 8. ($7); Afropunk party on June 28 ($15). — F.D.

Just Be Your Selfie

I’ve yet to see Echo (The Big White Head sculpture) now towering on the Seattle waterfront, but I will surely do so soon and I will properly whip out my cell phone to snap a selfie. Same goes with Dylan Neuwirth’s latest installation, a 25-foot neon sculpture now hanging from the trees in Occidental Park.

"Just Be Your Selfie" by Dylan Neuwirth, now hanging in Pioneer Square's Occidental Park. Photo: Tim Lennon

Neuwirth, who according to his Twitter feed had one heckuva time hoisting his “Just Be Your Selfie” creation, can now bask in the neon glow. Selfies are also a central theme in Tariqa Waters’ installation, those colorful acrylic mirrors now spread out throughout the park. A third installation by Sam Trout wraps light poles in colorful tape. They’re all part of ARTSparks, which kicks off with First Thursday.

If you go: Just Be Your Selfie, one of several interactive art installations, Occidental Park, Through September (Free). — F.D.

Rebecca Solnit

Closing out an exciting year of the Seattle Arts and Lectures Series is Rebecca Solnit, a writer whose topics span urban landscape, art, history and ecology, and whose works drift in and out of memoir and essay. She has a meandering, extensively researched approach through which you’re bound to learn a lot, including about yourself. Solnit’s bibliography (A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas) gives you a sense of the scope of her material. These nearly impossible undertakings are all driven by gorgeous, sometimes breath-holding-worthy, prose. From her newest book, The Faraway Nearby: “Not a few stories are sinking ships, and many of us go down with these ships even when the lifeboats are bobbing all around us.”

 If you go: Rebecca Solnit, Town Hall, June 5 ($5-15) — N.C.

On The Boards’ 2014 NW New Works Festival

Two weekends of explosive creativity kicks off Friday night and seriously, this is the sort of event that you politely steer your wee-bit-boring friends to in order to hip them up. There’s dance (Linda Austin), dance+video (Anna Conner & Co.), music+dance (Pennington + Bischoff + Reker) and puppetry! (Kyle Loven). There’s also Sarah Rudinoff, whose 20-minute theatrical piece is all about identity. “I started with the idea of who we pretend to be and all the masks we wear and how that butts up against social media,” she says. Rudinoff’s a force and every time I’ve seen her, I cannot look away. An entirely different bunch of performers takes over both On the Boards venues next weekend, including Seattle dancer Amy O’Neal and performance artist Wayne Bund.

If you go: NW New Works Festival, On The Boards, June 6-8 and June 13-15 ($14-$30). — F.D.

Seattle Symphony’s Sonic Evolution

When maestro Ludovic Morlot moved to Seattle from France some two years ago, one of the first things he did was to get up-to-speed on the Who’s Who of the local music scene. And that included discovering musician Anthony Ray, better known in these parts as Sir Mix-A-Lot.


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