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Jun 13, 2023

If you're looking for tips on how to experience art in the Seattle area, you're in the right place. In this weekly post, KUOW arts reporter Mike Davis has suggestions for what to do around Seattle over the weekend so you can have your own adventures in arts and culture.

"She Bends: Redefining Neon Legacy," is showing at The Museum of Glass in Tacoma. This is my pick of the week. I had a chance to visit and see these pieces up close. When many of us think of neon, we imagine signage outside of businesses. These pieces are nowhere near the commercialized blinky displays you see around the city.

The first piece to catch my eye in this collection is "tend to grow (watermelons)" by artist Jude Abu Zaineh. It is a wall of about a dozen neon watermelons. Standing in front of the piece, I was impressed with the design and the illuminated colors. But when Museum of Glass curator Katie Buckingham explained that this piece is protest art, intended to have conversations between cultures who don't get along, this piece took on a new life. Zanieh, who immigrated to Palestine from Kuwait as a kid, uses watermelons, which are the national food of Palestine, in her art to push cultural conversation.

This exhibit is full of thought-provoking pieces, like Stephanie Sara Lifshutz's neon poem that reminds viewers of the blood, tears, and burning flesh involved in making this art. There are also installments that teach viewers about how neon is crafted and the science behind the art.

"She Bends: Redefining Neon Legacy," showing at the Museum of Glass until October 2023

"Art + Flight," is showing at the Museum of Flight. This exhibit was a delight. I remember going to the Museum of Flight as a kid, and it was never about art. It was more about technology and getting an up close look at some really cool aircraft. Seeing this exhibit with visual art while also getting to sit in the cockpit of a Lockheed SR-71A made for a great experience.

The art on display in this new exhibit is a collection of local works all inspired by flight. Artist Jhun Carpio crafted the "Artemis SLS Rocket" out of toothpicks, wooden coffee-stirrers, and LED lights. The craftsmanship is stunning with so much detail packed into this model. And artist Anne Acker-Matheiu's "Jet Streams" is a must-see. Her acrylic collage is full of vibrant colors that are so welcoming that viewers may overlook the fact that the piece is inspired by Acker-Mathieu's memories of clear skies on 911 and then the rush of fighter jets from Joint Base Lewis-McChord as they streamed by — the only planes in the sky.

"Art + Flight," showing at the Museum of Flight open until Jan 7, 2024

"The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster," is showing at Grand Illusion Cinema. This is the first feature film from up-and-coming filmmaker Bomany J. Story, and Grand Illusion Cinema is the only place where you can see it. This story follows a brilliant young Black girl, whose brother is violently murdered. She believes death is a disease that can be cured, and in a new-age Frankensteinesque experiment, she reanimates her brother's dead body. In true slasher-flick fashion, the reanimated brother goes on his own killing spree. If you have been following my picks, you know I love a slasher flick! So, I’m excited to see this limited release film making its way to Seattle.

"The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster," showing at Grand Illusion Cinema June 9 - 14

Mike Davis is a reporter covering arts and culture. In the past, he's reported on news, politics, and sports for the South Seattle Emerald. Mike previously hosted a podcast where he discussed national politics and pop-culture.

Kim is the local news host of KUOW's All Things Considered, airing from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays. Kim covers breaking and developing daily news, both local and regional, as part of NPR's afternoon drive time programming.

Visual Art "She Bends: Redefining Neon Legacy my pick of the week "Art + Flight Film "The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster