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In the midst of the digital age, many are astounded that film still even exists. Everyone has digital film and video capabilities, and film Is very expensive, so, why bother right?

While that may have been what you thought once upon a time, your mind will be forever changed once you see the brilliant art made on and with film by artist Jennifer West at her Seattle Art Museum installation “Film Is Dead”.

In this revolutionarily inventive show, West uses 70mm, 35mm and 16mm analog film strips to create beautiful and visually compelling works of art. She treats the film with common household items including food coloring, nail polish, coffee, vinegar, bleach and more to create patterns and unplanned but stunning effects by eroding the films emulsion, staining it and letting the film take one whatever characters it might.

West’s SAM exhibit features film strips and remnants that have been treated and manipulated by the artist in this way, hung from the ceiling, and spanning almost the entire length of the gallery.

In addition to the physical installation at SAM, West has taken many of these works and digitized them to create a film that explores the differences and relationship between the analog and digital qualities of the film medium, creating another layer to this thought provoking artistic experiment.

Jennifer West is a Los Angeles based artist with some history in the Seattle. West received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Evergreen State College in Olympia before returning to her home state of California to earn her Masters in Fine Arts from ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena.

West’s works have been displayed in various solo and group exhibitions across the country and the world including Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Lisa Cooley Gallery, New York, NY, Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China, Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR and many more.

Her love affair with film dates back more than ten years and she boasts a very interesting and varied portfolio of works including photographic and video works using different and rare types of film and film techniques, light play, performance and her unique film quilts and magic lantern works. West’s style and aesthetic are likely different from any you’ve seen before, exploring and challenging the differences between modern digital photographic art and classic analog film techniques. Her style simultaneously evokes nostalgic feelings and encapsulates a modern and almost futuristic aesthetic, and over all seems to challenge films obsoleteness and the digital waves supremacy.

If you share a love of visual arts, interesting techniques, the fusion of arts and science or simply subscribe to the thought that everything old is new again, “Film Is Dead” is a show worth seeing, if for no other reason than to see something beautiful before it’s gone.

JENNIFER WEST: FILM IS DEAD . . .

Exhibit on display through SUN MAY 7 2017

SEATTLE ART MUSEUM

THIRD FLOOR GALLERIES

 

We all know Seattle is a cultural metropolis, even if much of the rest of the world doesn’t. So, to say it’s exciting to see a musical with its roots in Seattle hit the Broadway scene, might be a bit of an understatement.

The musical smash “Come From Away” got its start on the stage of the 5th Avenue Theater, right here in Seattle, (as The Seattle Repertory Theater’s best-selling show ever, no less) and this month, it makes its debut under the bright lights of Broadway.

While it may seem like strange subject matter for a musical production, “Come From Away” takes us back to one of the most tragically memorable periods in recent American history, September 11th, 2001. But this show is not about gloom and doom, or irreparable loss, nor is it about spinning what happened into something to sing about or a comical view of the events of that fateful day, but rather, shines a light on the true and often untold story of the airline passengers stranded away from home during that time.

After the attacks on 9/11, the FAA shutdown our airspace indefinitely. That means you were not leaving the country by plane, and if you were out of the country already, you couldn’t come back home either.

Photo: Chris Bennion TheWrap.com

In light of their inability to come back stateside, there were approximately 7,000 airline passengers destined for the US that were instead forced to land in the quaint Canadian town of Gander, Newfoundland.

The humble town of Gander had only 500 hotel rooms in total, and suddenly found itself playing host to 7,000 unexpected visitors. So, in true Canadian fashion, the residents of Gander opened their homes to these stranded strangers, and more importantly, they opened their hearts.

“Come from Away” tells the story of the beauty in humanity after such a catastrophe, with the Townspeople feeding, clothing, housing and caring for those stranded.

“They didn’t have time to organize or structure a response other than the human response of we will help them,” said Kenny Alhadeff, one of the producers of Come From Away in an interview with King5 News. “We will clothe them. We will feed them. We will shelter them.”

Alhadeff is not only a Broadway producer with such critically acclaimed productions as the Tony Award winning “Memphis” on his resume, but also a Seattle native with deep roots in the Pacific Northwest.

As soon as Alhadeff and his company secured the rights to “Come From Away” he knew he wanted to bring some more local talent onboard to really make this production “sing” (pun intended). He started by recruiting locally-grown and critically hailed Musical Director/Conductor Ian Eisendrath to arrange the music, right here at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater.

The cast boasts West Seattle native and star of the hit musical “Memphis”, Chad Kimball as one of the major players, as well as another familiar face on the Broadway stage, Kendra Kassebaum.

While Kassebaum may not have been born and raised in Seattle, she chose Seattle as her home many years ago, after a very successful turn in New York and on Broadway (You may recognize her as the bubbly-blonde Glenda the Good Witch in the musical phenomenon “Wicked”).

Even though she sought to escape the craziness of the NYC life, the beautiful story of “Come From Away” was powerful enough to pull her back, much to even her surprise, calling it “the biggest thing I’ve ever done in my life”.

Most productions seek to add star-power when they finally hit the “Big-Time” of Broadway, but Alhadeff and Co. have chosen to keep the original cast intact for their Broadway debut. That’s a lot of Northwest sourced talent cropping up in the Entertainment Capital of the World, to tell a very powerful, and moving story.

The marquee is up for the Broadway run of Come From Away. (© David Gordon) TheaterMania.com

“It’s a show that transcends an evening in the theater,” Eisendrath said. “It’s a story that causes you to leave entertained, but deeply moved, and soul revived, and you think about how you live and what you hope the world might become.”

If ever there was a story that found the light in the darkness of true calamity, the tale told in “Come From Away” is it. A beautiful, moving true story about the goodness in people, about community without borders, about love, loss and coming together as citizens of the world to help those in need with selfless acts of kindness and grace.

“Come From Away” not only tells a story that is often forgotten, but serves as a wonderfully entertaining and truly touching reminder of the healing that can be found in the most unlikely places and the triumph of good and altruism over evil and suffering.

“A great piece of theater won’t end the war; it won’t cure cancer. It won’t stop the disparity in wealth,” said Alhadeff. “It won’t bring civility back to the political arena, but it will carve a path of light in your soul so you can do those things.”

“Come From Away” began its Broadway preview on February 18th, and will officially make its debut on March 12th.

 

For more information about the show or how to get tickets, click here.