Elles: SAM Gallery 2012

SAM Gallery

Featuring Northwest Women Artists

October 25–December 1, 2012

Seattle Tower Building

In conjunction with SAM Downtown’s Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, Paris exhibition, SAM Gallery presents a survey of emerging and established Northwest women artists. These artists include Deborah Bell, Gala Bent, Jaq Chartier, Claire Cowie, Marita Dingus, Tatiana Garmendia, Etsuko Ichikawa, Yuri Kinoshita, Molly Landreth, Amanda Manitach, Yuki Nakamura, Jenny Riffle, Stacey Rozich, Barbara Sternberger and Katy Stone.

Please join us for an opening reception for the artists in this show on October 25 at 5 pm.


Women take over: Northwest Asian Artists at SAM

Posted on 15 November 2012.

By Deanna Duff
Northwest Asian Weekly

Yuki Nakamura’s “Illuminant Pink Arrow”

Women have taken over the Seattle Art Museum. Not through protests or demonstrations, but with a different type of exciting, artistic occupation. SAM’s new exhibit, Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, Paris, features a century’s worth of female artists representing work from Frida Kahlo to Cindy Sherman. In honor of the local art scene, a companion show, Elles: SAM Gallery, spotlights Northwest women artists.


“Some are very established and some are more emerging artists,” said Jody Bento, SAM Gallery’s manager. “There are 15 artists represented and we included many different viewpoints and definitions of what it means to be a Northwest artist.”

Located a few blocks from the downtown museum, SAM Gallery’s mission is to provide a venue for regional artists to display and sell their work. The gallery’s Elles exhibit includes 50 pieces including photography, abstract paintings, three-dimensional work, ceramics, and more.

“Every artist has an uphill battle to get their work seen and to find an audience, but I think women still face unique issues. I don’t feel this exhibit is about settling a score with feminist-themed work. It’s a celebration of the women in this community,” said Bento.

The Northwest is also home to a vibrant group of Asian heritage artists. SAM’s founding collection was centered on Asian art and Bento believes it’s a natural evolution to spotlight the next generation. Seattle-based artists, such as Etsuko Ichikawa, Yuki Nakamura and Yuri Kinoshita, are included in the gallery show.


“They bring an Asian aesthetic. I think in all three cases, the artists are concerned with beauty. There is a meditative quality — from the fire Etsuko applies to wet paper to the fine detail of the porcelain work by Yuki or the light filtered through woven paper by Yuri. It’s intellectual on some level. They’re not just going for a visual “Wow!” They want to create a feeling concerning beauty,” said Bento.

From art aficionados to casual admirers, the SAM Gallery show is a must see. It’s a rare opportunity to view a diverse survey of Northwest, female artists.

Yuki Nakamura’s “Illuminant White Gold”


Yuki Nakamura

Yuki Nakamura, born and raised in Japan, came to Seattle in 1995 to attend the University of Washington where she earned a Master of Fine Arts. Her chosen medium, ceramics, has expanded in recent years to include fashion design, printmaking, and multimedia projects.

“Like Japan, there are many little islands around the Pacific Northwest. There is a similar geography and that probably influences the Japanese community that’s been here for 100 years. It’s helpful as an artist,” said Nakamura.

In 2007, Nakamura was commissioned by Seattle City Light to develop a large-scale installation for their Municipal Tower office. She used hundreds of vintage, porcelain light bulbs and video projectors to create “Filament,” a thought-provoking look at light. The SAM Gallery show includes a smaller-scale version.

“It’s important to see museum shows with international artists and also gallery shows that focus on locals. It’s a different experience since this is a group showing (at SAM Gallery) with a variety of artists. It’s unique to have an overall feeling of what’s happening in the Northwest,” said Nakamura.

Elles: SAM Gallery
Northwest Women Artists
October 25-December 1
Seattle Tower Building
1220 Third Avenue

Free and open to the public.

For hours and location, visit seattleartmuseum.org. Visitors should note, SAM Gallery hours differ from the downtown museum.

Deanna Duff can be reached at info@nwasianweekly.com.