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Artists Everywhere is Art Everywhere: Black Lives Matter Mural Restoration –



On the road with royal alley-barnes, Acting Director for the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture

Seattle is an incredible City that is home to a diverse and expansive art and cultural sector. Almost every neighborhood is home to art, artists, and the threads that weave our cultural landscape into a rich city that thrives because art is everywhere. From our city’s first people’s to the birth of the state, music, art and culture have defined our region.  

Supporting, strengthening, and celebrating the rich history and the people who continue to make Seattle one of the nation’s most livable cities is the heart of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Acting Director alley-barnes vision and the impetus behind this blog series celebrating “artists everywhere.” 

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“Artists everywhere IS Art EVERYWHERE. Art is the music we listen to, the movies/plays/poems/books/anime/paintings/sculpture we laugh, cry, cling, empathize, live with and through. Artists and the public are the focal point of our mission, employing artists so that we can all enjoy art everywhere. I hope you explore the city with me and discover the art that is everywhere.”

royal alley-barnes, Acting Director, Office of Arts & Culture

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture is an incubator that strengthens the arts sector and Creative Economy through grants, Public Art, arts experiences in public schools. For the first feature in this series, we take a look back at the Black Lives Matter mural restoration in Capitol Hill. 

In July 2022, ARTS partnered with Vivid Matter Collective, the Seattle Department of Transportation, and community volunteers to repaint the Black Lives Matter mural on Capitol Hill. 

Created on June 11, 2020, Vivid Matter Collective – now comprised of 16 local artists – created the 250-feet-long Black Lives Matter mural along Pine Street as a creative reflection of the grief, anger, pain, hope, and resilience of the Black community amidst the death of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests in Capitol Hill.  

In September 2020, ARTS and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) began collaborations with the 15 original artists from Vivid Matter Collective to recreate and maintain the mural. 

Takiya Ward at the Black Lives Matter restoration; Photo courtesy of the artist

“The annual repainting of the now landmark Black Lives Matter street mural serves as an opportunity for reflection and reverence. We as the artists responsible remember that fateful day when we painted the mural seen around the world June 11, 2020. What has happened since then is the effect of that effort. We decided to form a collective to continue to support one another in our artistic endeavors. We opened a gallery, with support from Molly Moon’s Ice Cream, to continue to show our work and share with the community. As monumental of a moment that mural was, what we got from it was so much more. We got each other. We’ve all experienced individual and collective successes since then, but the real reward is connection, affirmation and a renewed sense of purpose. Our hope with the mural continuing to hold space on Capitol Hill is that the people who encounter it are reminded of the energy of that time, and continue to commune, speak, work and grow from a place of connection and want for everyone to have their fair share. To live and thrive, not just survive.”

Takiyah Ward, Co-Founder of Vivid Matter Collective

Photo courtesy of Takiyah Ward

Among the volunteers at the recent restoration was ARTS Acting Director, royal alley-barnes, who assisted in repainting the large letters while also connecting with the muralists and volunteers. 

“The recent restoration of the Black Lives Matter mural shows the utmost importance of this artwork to both the community and the City. What an honor it was to share the afternoon with Vivid Matter Collective artists, ARTS & SDOT staff, and – most importantly – community members who collectively share the desire to ensure the legacy of the mural prevails for time to come.”

royal alley-barnes, Acting Director, Office of Arts & Culture

“This mural feels like a representation of our neighborhood and of our city. To see Vivid Matter Collective and community members show up to be a part of archiving this moment together feels really important to the work we should be doing as a city.”

Ricky Reyes, ARTS Public Art Project Manager

Photo by Ricky Reyes

Today, the mural stands as a reminder of the importance and cultural significance of the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement. ARTS and SDOT remain committed to ensuring this mural and its message are preserved for years to come. 

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Toronto Biennial of Art Appoints Curators – Galleries West



The Toronto Biennial of Art has appointed Montreal curator Dominique Fontaine and Peruvian curator Miguel A. López as co-curators of its 2024 edition.

Fontaine, who was born in Haiti, is a founding director of aposteriori, a non-profit curatorial platform that produces diverse and innovative contemporary art. Her projects include curating Between the earth and the sky, the possibility of everything for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche in Toronto in 2014, and co-curating the survey exhibition Here, We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary, which showed at the Royal Ontario Museum and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 2018. 

López worked as chief curator, and later as co-director, of TEOR/éTica in San José, Costa Rica, from 2015 to 2020. In 2019, he curated the retrospective exhibition Cecilia Vicuña: Seehearing the Enlightened Failure at the Witte de With (now Kunstinstituut Melly) in Rotterdam. The exhibition travelled to Mexico City, Madrid and Bogota. 

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Patrizia Libralato, the biennial’s executive director, said the two curators will contribute scholarship, innovation and inspiration to deepen the event’s connections to both local communities and global conversations.

“Together, we aim to create an event as uniquely diverse, responsive, challenging and engaging as the city itself,” she said.

The biennial, which will run from Sept. 21 to Dec. 1, 2024, attracted more then 450,000 visitors to its first two editions, which featured free programming across the city. 

It has featured work by artists such as AA Bronson, Judy Chicago, Brian Jungen, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Kapwani Kiwanga, Caroline Monnet, Denyse Thomasos and Camille Turner.

Source: Toronto Biennial of Art

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Football and art come together in the first NFT exhibition of its kind



–  The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture’s From Strike to Stroke exhibit features 64 FIFA World Cup match results in a unique man-machine collaboration

DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia, Dec. 6, 2022 /CNW/ — The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) celebrates the art of the beautiful game in a unique exhibition at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. From Strike to Stroke features 64 NFTs by 32 artists from the competing nations, while Artificial Intelligence (AI) fuses the pieces from the contending two countries in each of the 64 matches into a unique piece based on the match outcome. The result will be a singular collection of one-of-a-kind NFTs created through a collaboration of man and machine. Strike to Stroke runs at the Msheireb Galleria Doha, Qatar until December 23.

Ithra, a cultural bridge between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world, channels the world’s passion for football into its infatuation with the arts as the world comes together for the World Cup. The exhibition melds the man-made with the machine-made, and combines art, sport and technology in an innovative fashion.

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It features the work of 32 emerging and established artists, each tasked with creating a piece representing their country and using their respective team’s jersey colors. After each match, the AI-powered algorithm combines the artists’ creations with match statistics to generate unique pieces that represent each game. The collection will be a unique set of pieces presented as NFTs – non-fungible tokens. These cryptographic assets are based on blockchain technology, and created in a process similar to cryptocurrencies.

From Strike to Stroke includes artists who have never created NFTs and NFT artists who had not worked within traditional fine art.

“The passion shared by football fans for the love of the beautiful game can be tangential to the passion shared by art aesthetes,” said Dr. Shurooq Amin in her curator’s brief to the exhibition. “By connecting 32 artists from both the traditional and digital arenas, Ithra not only bridges the gap between Web2 to Web3, and between football and art, but furthermore between human and machine, as the artists collaborate with AI generation technology to create unique NFTs that combine art, football and technology.”


Images and exhibition catalogue can be found here.

For more information on Ithra and its programs, visit

Photo –

SOURCE King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra)

For further information: Media contacts: Nour Aldajani, [email protected], +966-583268120, Nora Al Harthi, [email protected], Domia Abdi, [email protected], Hadeel Eisa, [email protected]

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Richard Serra’s art installation hard to miss in Qatar desert, once you get there



Depending on the direction you approach, you see only part of the art. As you get closer, the dark plates get bigger and bigger and you get to see all four.The Canadian Press

Art stands tall in the desert some 75 kilometres northwest of Doha.

You need a rugged vehicle and no small resolve to find it, given signage is almost non-existent. The last few kilometres take time as you cross the desert on a slightly flattened but irregular path well away from the closest blacktop. Proceed with caution.

But East-West/West-East by American sculptor Richard Serra is worth the effort.

Completed in 2014, the installation comprises four giant steel plates – the outer two stand 16.7 metres high and the inner two 14.7 metres – and span more than a kilometre. Slightly different in height, to compensate for the difference in ground level, they line up like enormous fence posts in the barren desert flanked by gypsum plateaus at some points.

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If not the middle of nowhere, it’s well on the way.

Possibly the last place on earth you’d expect to see “one of the most significant artists of his generation,” as Serra is dubbed by the Gagosian Gallery which has showcased his work in both New York and France.

“Taking art to the people,” is how Qatar Museums, the country’s arts and culture arm, explains it.

Depending on the direction you approach, you see only part of the art. As you get closer, the dark plates get bigger and bigger and you get to see all four.

“After the perceptual bombardment of Doha, with its architecture dominated by idiosyncratic shapes and kitschy facades, the sensuous experience prompted by the rigorous abstraction of the (desert) sculpture is at once bracing and sensitizing,” wrote Artforum magazine.

“Serra reminds the viewer, like 19th-century German Romantic artists such as Caspar David Friedrich, of man’s frailty in the face of nature’s omnipotence,” added Numero magazine.

For non art-critics, imagine the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey on steroids and times four in the desert. Stand next to one and you feel like an ant – a very hot ant under the blazing Qatari sun.

You’ll also likely be alone, albeit under review from what seemed like security in a nearby pickup truck.

The 84-year-old Serra, who worked in steel mills during college, is known for his large-scale abstract steel sculptures.

There is another in Doha itself. A sculpture called 7 – the number seven has spiritual significance in Islamic culture – was commissioned by Qatar Museums.

Built out of seven steel plates, it faces the sea at MIA Park, adjacent to the Museum of Islamic Art.

Like a billionaire stocking his mansion with objets d’art, the government of Qatar has dug deep into its oil-filled coffers to decorate the country with world-class art.

There are big-ticket art works all over.

In 2013, Qatar Museums Authority head Sheikha al-Mayassa al-Thani, the daughter of the emir of Qatar, was listed atop ArtReview magazine’s annual Power 100 list “on account of her organization’s vast purchasing power and willingness to spend at a rate estimated to be US$1-billion a year – in order to get top works of art for its Doha museums,” ArtReview said.

Le Pouce, a giant golden thumb by French artist Cesar Baldaccini, is front and centre in Doha’s Souq Waqif market. French-American artist Louise Bourgeois’ Maman, a giant spider that can also be found outside Ottawa’s National Gallery of Canada, stands inside the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC), which doubles as the World Cup’s main press centre.

Another edition of Maman, one of seven, was sold for US$32-million by Christie’s in 2019.

“The Miraculous Journey” by English artist Damien Hirst is hard to miss outside Sidra Medicine centre just down the street from the QNCC. The 14 monumental bronze sculptures chronicle the gestation of a fetus inside a uterus, from conception to birth – ending with a statue of a 14-metre-tall anatomically correct baby boy.


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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2022

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