One of our favourite artists is Alisha Baker. We own four of her paintings. Three of them live in the Alisha Baker room:
So I'm delighted to be able to tell you that after nine years of showing her work in local businesses, she has her very first solo gallery show coming up at Form/Space Atelier in Belltown. I'm not a painter, but I'm guessing this is the equivalent of getting a book published by a New York house after years paying your dues with short stories in little magazines. I'm delighted for her. Also: excuse for a party!
Kelley and I will be attending the opening reception on Thursday, August 18th, from 6 - 8 p.m. when Alisha introduces a new series called “Dancing with Chaos,” featuring acrylic paintings and linoleum block prints inspired by Dia de los Muertos. I'm hoping lots of you will show up to support her--and, y'know, just hang out with us while looking at the pretties. If you can't make that night, the work will be up for the month. So drop by. Gallery hours are Wed-Sat. 12-4. (The gallery is often locked, so just knock on the door and the receptionist will open it for you.)
Here's the blurb for the show:
Dancing with Chaos: Paintings and Block Prints by Alisha Baker
This series began in the fall of 2009, when a fellow artist invited me to his house for an art-making day. It was an unusually warm day in October, and dancing skeletons flew from my brush as we got to know each other. That night was our first kiss, and that man has since become my fiancé.
My experience of falling in love has carried with it a great fear. I have grown up with stories of my good grandfather who died too soon. My grandmother never remarried because she had lost “the love of her life.” Facing my own true love, I have had to confront my desire for control over loss.
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a festival in Latin countries to honor the deceased, is a beautiful inspiration to me. They practice accepting death as a continuation of life. Each year they observe rituals of remembrance that invite the spirits that have flown to return for a visit.
I see how my relationship with death and loss affects my relationship to life and love. Trying to control only paralyzes life, so there is nothing left to do but let go and invite it to dance.
This show is a collection of vibrant, folk inspired paintings with acrylic on wood as well as linocut (linoleum block prints) on paper. Block-printing was used in Mexico during the Revolution, and is a powerful means to proliferate a narrative graphically. The technique appeals to me in its potential for variety, re-iteration and collaboration with each design. It has provided a means for me to open up my art process to my partner, sharing our ideas and working together to print them.
Alisha Baker was born in Northern California and grew up in Washington, currently residing in North Seattle. She has been showing and selling her work locally for the last nine years. She holds a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration from Seattle Central Community College (2000) and a BFA degree in drawing and painting from the University of Washington, where she graduated Cum Laude in 2009. She has taken additional courses at the Kirkland Arts Center and Gage Academy of Fine Arts. Beginning in 2009, Alisha has taught drawing and block printing throughout the city with her fiancé Drew Jeffers.