We maintain that a successful piece of art conveys the message it was
meant to convey and that a successful artist is, indeed, trying to say
something with their art. That is to say that if one creates a piece of
art that was meant to convey fear and that fear is never felt by the viewer
then that art is not successful.
Of course it is more complicated than that. It relies heavily on the viewer’s personal experience,
education and open-mindedness.
Does it need to have broad appeal or reach just one person?Are its meanings varied?Deduction of these questions leads me
to believe, and I whole-heartedly do, that an artwork is successful if it
cannot be ignored.It does not
have to be loved or believed.It
may be hated or even feared.The
inability to disregard the art becomes the measure of the art’s success.It’s even better when it calls into
question the very personal choices we make for our own lives.It is in this place that we have found
the success of Dylan Neuwirth’s work titled You
Might Live, You Most Certainly Will Die.
The gallery in Seattle did not have ideal windows
to display traditional paintings. We tasked ourselves with finding
artwork that would come to define our Seattle gallery and us. It would
make relic of the traditional sign and speak to our personal beliefs.
After meeting with Neuwirth it became clear to us that he was the right artist
to produce such a piece. You Might Live,
You Most Certainly Will Die, is a reminder that focusing intently on personal
choices, pursuing passions and embracing risk are necessary in ones comfort
with the inevitable and as such represents our gallery and our purpose
The neon sculpture hovers permanently in our window in Seattle. The piece was mounted on a custom lathe and plaster backing that the artist and gallery collaborated on.
The lathe plaster boards and mounts.
Interior view. Neon sculpture by Dylan Neuwirth, "Imagine a Relaxing Email"
Amy Spassov and Erik Hall in their Bellevue space. They’ll open a second gallery in Pioneer Square this month
PHOTO CREDIT: ANDREW VANASSE
While we applaud the sudden wealth of delectable restaurants opening willy-nilly in Pioneer Square, it’s refreshing to learn that there are also some non-food-focused efforts entering the mix. Exhibit A: Hall Spassov Gallery (319 Third Ave. S; hallspassov.com) a contemporary gallery that has operated in Bellevue since 2006. In July, the gallery opens a second location in the building formerly occupied by Grover/Thurston Gallery. Bellevue-based husband and wife Erik Hall and Amy Spassov, both artists themselves, represent approximately 30 emerging and established artists, including local painters Francesca Sundsten and Alicia Tormey. The gallery will debut in the neighborhood with User Profile (7/3–7/31), a group exhibition that reveals the gallery’s aesthetic, which Hall describes as straddling the line between visually pleasing and “challenging.” The duo is excited about being in the midst of so many other galleries (the Bellevue space is in the heart of the shopping district) and the loyal First Thursday crowds. “Seattle has a built-in curiosity about art that will drive our foot traffic,” Hall says. But what about the new commute? “People act as if the bridges are the Great Wall of China,” he jokes. “I guess we are going to find out what nomadic invaders of the Ming Dynasty were up against.”
Behind the scene shots at our second location in Seattle's Pioneer Square. On June 1st we took over the space formerly occupied by Grover Thurston Gallery, located at the corner of 3rd Avenue South and South Jackson Street. Since then, we've been working hard at making some changes; putting our stamp on it so to speak. If you are familiar with the space you'll recognize the updates that have been made and we're very excited to show you. Come for a visit on July 3rd for our grand opening during the First Thursday Art Walk. We'll introduce you to our new digs, as well as our talented roster of artists during our first group exhibition in Seattle titled, User Profile.
We shook hands with Richard Thurston and Susan Grover who ran one of Seattle's most respected galleries for over two decades, received our keys and the space officially became ours that day.
Day 3, demo. We took out the desk, amongst a few other things.
First things first… I don't know much about fly fishing or tying flies. I have however, learned a great deal from my father-in-law Jay Spassov. He is a great guy, an accomplished fly fisherman, a protector of nature and to me a friend and fellow artist. While our medium is different our care and consideration for our craft is the same.
I have a state-of-the art easel I use daily for painting. I have arranged my studio with attention to how I work, move and feel in it. The best investments I make are the ones I make in the equipment I use for my art. My easel, what I use to hold my canvas, was by far the most important.
It was the glorious Super Bowl last year (Ravens 34 vs. Niners 31) that I decided to build Jay a new "Easel". I did tons of research to figure out what a fly tier might need in the way of tool storage, structure and workability. What I discovered was that most fly benches are stable, but that stability had a downside. The generally accepted designs offered nothing in the way of adjustability. I thought for months about how I wanted to approach the build so that I could balance adjustability with stability.
The live edge and the spalted Maple mimicked waves, water and the shore.
I knew I wanted to use live edge wood to help keep the feeling of nature in the bench that would develop to include many mechanical parts.
Those mechanical parts I mentioned…
I got some wheels off of a funky old lamp. Wheels on a lamp are strange, wheels on a fly ting bench… more strange.
I added in a few other innovations. The magnetic strip in the front right side is my favorite. I watched Jay tie many flies and always noticed him setting scissors, pliers and other tools down and awkwardly reaching for them again as he held a fly. This keeps the tools front and to the right near his working hand.
Adjustability came in the form of multiple tool holder sizes, but was most apparent in the rolling tool arms. The bench expands from 0 inches to 72 inches allowing plenty of room to spread out feathers, furs, tools and thread. It can also divide into two separate work stations. The wood is White Maple and Zebrawood. The thread dowels are made out of polished aluminum.
Our good friend, Paul collects vintage cars. He has an affinity for old Citroens. During the course of restoring one of these beautiful cars he ordered blue leather that when viewed in person was clearly the wrong color for the car. It was, however, the perfect color to make some "left of center" benches. This highlights the first of them.
Like the "Beast" bench previously documented in our blog. This bench was intended to mix the old and new. The intention was to develop a modern shape, but add in classic details in the cushion. What I came up with Amy named the "Blondie Bench".
I used deep tufting on the cushion to create the early classical feel. It was interesting to see what would dominate the look, the color or the tufting.
I wanted to keep the design as simple as possible. The risers for the glass are in the same proportion as the tufting.
The height of the glass lines up generally with that of the leather.
Making the glass tempered gave the edge of a slightly blue green hue.
The risers were constructed in three pieces. Each has a bolt, polished metal sleeve and a pad.