Capitol Hill Artwalk

Capitol Hill Artwalk

I made a little video about the 14 June 2018 Capitol Hill Artwalk: Queer Edition. The video is terrible; the Artwalk and the artists are incredible. I like walking around taking photos on Artwalk Thursdays, but I haven’t really gone into the galleries. Huge mistake. I’ve always liked Capitol Hill, but I’ve only been scratching the surface. There are a lot of studios and galleries to explore, and in doing so, you see another side or sub layer of Capitol Hill (many of the the studios are below ground).

I shot video because I need the practice. If I’m going to make it in photojournalism (very much up in the air), I want to be proficient with photography, video, sound, lighting, and some writing. I’ve made some progress. Initially, Adobe’s Premiere Pro confused the heck out of me. But in this video, I was able to assemble multiple clips, trim them, rearrange them, change the volume, and add some text. It took me forever, and it’s lousy, but a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first really boring video. At least the subject matter is good, and there are a few dogs in it.

Handheld on the XT2. I think I shot this at 50 fps and kept the shutter speed between 1/60 and 1/250. The settings were guesswork. I’m just glad I actually got some video footage. (I think I got water on the lens.)

There were 13 galleries and studios hosting events. I think I went to most of them. Seattle has a reputation for being a place where it’s hard to meet people and break through the so called Seattle Freeze. If you’re in that boat, give the Artwalk a shot. I’m not an extrovert, but I talked to several people who I’ve seen around the neighborhood, be it at coffee shops or the grocery store. Usually we’re all on our phones or rushing to the next thing. But at an event like Artwalk, you might fight yourself looking up, looking around, and…horror of Seattle horrors…engaging. (I’m exaggerating. Seattle can be a tough place to meet people, but it’s not impossible.)

I’m biased, but Aria Salon, Blue Cone Studios, and Steve Gilbert Studio had fantastic photography exhibits. A Kevin Westenberg portrait of Rufus Wainwright was on the wall. That image is amazing. It’s a little counter-intuitive, too, at least for me. I’m not sure why, but my brain has a hard time framing things where the subject is in the foreground to the right / lower right, with the empty space extending in depth to the left/upper left. For whatever reason, I tend to put the subjects at the left. Something for me to think about. (I think Kevin Westenberg was at the exhibit. Tall guy with blond hair? Pretty sure that’s him.)

Keith Johnson was also exhibiting. He had two rows of prints, maybe 10-12 in total. I saw one get snatched up, I was jealous. I’ve seen Keith shooting locally at several events. He’s fearless, and he goes non-stop. Last night he had time to talk. Sort of. There were several people waiting to talk to him and possibly buy his work, but he graciously spared a few minutes to talk cameras.

In the video you may have noticed the series of images with what looks like paint running down people’s faces or streaked through their hair. That’s the work of Meagan Hall. Instagram is a funny place. I’m often more familiar with IG handles than I am with actual names. It turns out I’ve been following Meagan for a while. This is easily one of my favorite photos.

I hit one last gallery on my way to Fred Wildlife Refuge. Steve Gilbert Studio. The studio was featuring the works of Brenda Allen and Tia Matties, and it was packed. I’ll admit it, though, I didn’t make it past Steve Gilbert’s photography. The photos of vintage cameras lining the stairs will have you digging up your old gear. The shot of Soundgarden on stage in Arizona will break your heart and make you miss film. (I think it was Soundgarden, but it could have been another Cornell-led project.)

I called it a night for the galleries and went to Fred for music, drawing, DJs, and art installations. I was tired, so I didn’t stay long. Long enough to hear Eleanor Clayton play. She’s the one singing in the video. Her set was great. I don’t always like bluegrass. Sometimes it’s too twangy, but Eleanor’s bluegrass and jazz is a nice combination.