The Weekend List: Two big art fairs and the poetic sculptures of Leo Saul Berk

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Leo Saul Berk's Structure and Ornament
(detail), 2014. Plywood and Acrylic.

* Events that are $15 or less

Leo Saul Berk: Structure and Ornament *

The Seattle artist pays homage to his childhood home through sculpture made from wood, wool, coal, aluminum and fiber. Berk grew up in the architectural wonder that is the Ford House, a dome-shaped abode designed by Bruce Goff in a Chicago suburb. Would I be a different person? Berk wonders if, say, he grew up staring at a ceiling of a different sort (the architect imagined a different type of spiral ceiling for the Ford House but he couldn’t figure out how to actually build it so for this show, Berk sculpts a large wooden “bowl” and it is poetic). There is so much here that demands to be seen over and over again. Note: Don’t miss the green glass orbs (or are they black?) floating in the pool outside the museum’s entrance.

If you go: Leo Saul Berk: Structure and Ornament, Now through Sept. 6 (Free)—F.D.

Seattle Art Fair

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Airstream by Julie Blackmon

In local arts and culture circles nothing is being more talked about than this week’s Seattle Art Fair (and the other big Seattle-centric art show, see below). Paul Allen, an avid art collector, reportedly got the notion to put on a fair here in his hometown after being inspired by the art fairs in Miami Beach and in Venice a few years ago. So here we go: three days, 60-plus galleries from near and abroad and several off-site installations as well. The buzz about the event—before, during and after—is likely to be louder than anything the Blue Angels produce.

If you go: Seattle Art Fair, CenturyLink Field Events Center, July 31 to Aug. 2 ($20-$35)—F.D.

Out of Sight *

When word arrived that Vulcan would be co-producing a big/fancy/pricey (insert

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qayaq by JustinGibbens

preferred adjective) art fair here, local impresarios figured they’d turn the spotlight on a whole host of homegrown contemporary art creatives. So here it is: artwork from more than 80 emerging and mid-career artists, all from the Pacific Northwest, that takes over the third floor of King Street Station (a space that, curators say, has never been open to the public). Note: there’s also a Swedish pancake brunch on Sunday celebrating the event. So how will this fair compare to the other one? We’re so glad you asked. Look for our review in Crosscut this weekend.

If you go: Out of Sight, King Street Station, July 30 to Aug. 2 ($10)—F.D.

Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation (SFDI) *

Some of the world’s leading dance improvisers have been in Seattle teaching, creating

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Jennifer Monson

and chatting. The festival’s final days include lighting talks, dance jams and a chance to observe (for free) Jennifer Monson, artistic director of New York City’s iLAND, in action as she explores the built and natural environments of Capitol Hill. And here’s a novel tidbit: the festival, celebrating its 22nd year, has also seriously committed to the environment; it’s working with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation to offset its carbon footprint. SFDI organizers say theirs is the world’s first climate-neutral dance festival.

If you go: Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation, Venues include Velocity Dance Center, Century Ballroom and Broadway Performance Hall (Most events are free; Tickets are $15 for Dance Innovators Performance on July 30)—F.D.

Movies at the Mural presents Selma *

From friends to movie critics, nary have I heard a criticism of Selma, which tells the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1965 march on Selma, Alabama. Like in any history film, we know the ending. But yet Selma manages to be compelling, revelatory and important. The acting, the storytelling, the cinematography are all on point, making me shiver with anticipation and sorrow even during the trailer. If somehow you’ve yet to see the Oscar-nominated Selma, now is your chance to see it on the big screen for free.

If you go: Movies at the Mural, Seattle Center, 9 p.m. August 1 (Free)—N.C.

Seapony *

The Vera Project’s listing for this Seapony album release show calls the band “reliable dream pop purveyors.” This might sound a little bland as compliments go but not when it’s measured against other similarly genred bands. Many groups make only one good album when working within the narrow confines of the style (jangly guitar sound, ethereal, vocal delivery, muted percussion, etc.); Seapony is releasing its third album, titled “A Vision,” this week, and it’s as easy on the ears as its previous two albums. It innovates enough to stave off boredom, but provides the sonic comfort fans of the genre live for.


If you go: Seapony, The Vera Project, Aug. 1 ($8). All ages.—J.S.H.

The Funky Meters

When many people hear the word “funk” they add the suffix “adelic” almost without thinking, immediately equating the genre with George Clinton and his crew of hallucinogen-quaffing musical pranksters. In some cases, one might think of James Brown shaking it on stage, or hear the organ and guitar interplay of Sly and the Family Stone. But true funk aficionados think of a fourth name: The Funky Meters. They got started early—1965 to be precise—in New Orleans. Since then, they’ve released nearly 20 studio albums and worked as session musicians for artists like Dr. John, Paul McCartney and Robert Palmer. They’ve also been sampled by innumerable rap artists over the years. Theirs is a bluesier, jazzier take on the genre that holds up well over time. Go investigate an (unfortunately) arcane piece of musical history this week.


If you go: The Funky Meters, Jazz Alley, Aug. 4 and 5 ($34.50). — J.S.H.


Here’s a claim that few would make: Canadian band METZ channels the spirit of Nirvana better than any band to date. The statement is admittedly a bit arbitrary; modern hardcore bands are not all competing to see who can do justice to Kurt and Co.’s grunge aesthetic. But while listening to Metz’s first and second albums, you can almost hear Nirvana, especially their extra-raw “In Utero” phase.

The intelligently disinterested lyrics from METZ vocalist Alex Edkins; the frantic drums and chugging, roiling distortion-- it’s all there, just like Kurt, Krist and Dave did back in the day. They pay homage to Nirvana’s style from afar, and are neither a cover band nor a rip off job. Ironically enough, they do Nirvana justice by fiercely seeking their own sound, exorcising their demons through screaming and shredding in their own modern, post-hardcore way, rather than trying to take queues literally from the gods of grunge. METZ’s sophomore album, “II,” came out this May. Go see them at Neumos this week and see if they hold up to the comparison.


If you go: METZ, Neumos, Aug 4 ($15) 21+. — J.S.H.


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